Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan
Andrew woke with a start from his doze on the beach, as something was pulling his sleeve and a strange voice was pleading with him “Please come and help us, we can’t manage on our own”. When Andrew opened his eyes he jumped up with a start “What the…?” a giant crab stood before him, reared up on it’s back legs it was as tall as he was, it was grabbing his arm with one of it’s huge, front pinching claws, Andrew recoiled in fear and disbelief, “No! No! let go of me, what do you want!” He cried out, not believing that he was actually talking to a giant crab! “I don’t want to hurt you” The crab said pulling Andrew to his feet “You must come and help us now, or we will all be killed!” the crab insisted, pulling Andrew along the sand.
Andrew looked about frantically, he had no choice but to stumble along with the crab, struggling was futile he found, the crab had a vice like grip on him, he yelled out “Help me, somebody help me!” but, as he looked around him, he could see no-one, he was quite terrified! “I repeat, I do not want to hurt you, we just need your help!” the crab assured him.
They entered a dark cave under the rocky face that went up from the beach, Andrew couldn’t believe what he saw before him, he had never seen so many crabs in one place! They were enormous and scurrying in all directions. He had got over his initial shock and had begun to realise that the crab was not threatening him in any way, in fact it acted as if it was genuinely scared of something. They made there way towards the back of the cave, past more scurrying crabs.
The crab led him into a chamber at the back of the cave and Andrew gasped at what he saw there, a cage like construction of enormous shells took up the whole of the back of the chamber, several giant, translucent jelly fish were wrapped round both sides of the cage and they seemed to be acting as a sort of glue, keeping the shells all in place, over the top of the cage was a mass of huge eels, that looked as though they were about five feet long and that were writhing in a tangled, frenzied mess.
Andrew swallowed hard, it all looked terrifying. In front of the cage was a huge rock and behind it a giant, deep red lobster, it’s huge feelers wrapping themselves around the sides of the rock. Andrew was transfixed, the crab pulled him forward “This is our Master” he said, pointing to the lobster, “We must take him to the enchanted pool, he can only be out of the pool for one more hour or he will die and if he dies the curse of the Crab Lords will be activated and we will all be killed!”
“Why can’t you take him to the pool then? Those shells are easy enough to break down aren’t they?” questioned Andrew, “This is our challenge, a different challenge is set each year by the higher crab council to test us, we must be able to meet this challenge to be allowed to stay in the safety of this cave and to show the council that we are able to protect The Master at all times, our challenge this time is that we must free our Master, without touching the walls of the cage, if we do touch them then the electric eels will fire an electric current and kill those of us that are within the eel zone, the only way is to remove the rock, but we cannot move the rock and this is why we need your help”, “But what do you expect me to do?” Andrew replied, looking at the crab incredulously and still unable to believe what was happening to him, “You are human, you must have a different brain and knowledge to us” the crab pleaded.
Andrew, although really worried about what was happening to him, was also finding himself starting to think of how he could help, he had never been able to resist a challenge and his brain started working on ideas on how to move the rock. He asked the crab to release his grip and went up
to the rock to inspect it, he could see the terrified eyes of the lobster behind the rock, he could also see, now that he was close, that the rock was not only very tall, but also very deep.
“What is your name?” the crab asked him, “Andrew” he replied.
Andrew looked about him trying to find something that might help, “What are you looking for Andrew?” asked the crab “Are there any big, heavy bits of driftwood lying about?” Andrew asked The crab barked out some orders to the crabs nearest to him and within seconds, what seemed like hundreds of crabs were scurrying out of the cave. They came back to Andrew, one group after another, each group carrying a piece of driftwood “Too thin, too short, too narrow” Andrew turned each group away until, finally, a huge group brought in a really thick, strong piece that he thought might do. “Andrew, 15 minutes have already gone” the crab said urgently, looking at the huge clock at the side of the chamber, which was made from long conical shaped shells.
Andrew positioned the piece of wood under the back of the rock and instructed the crabs to roll a smaller rock under the wood a short distance away from the big rock and summoned every single crab to grip onto the wood to attempt to pull it down. “It’s no good” Andrew said, “We haven’t got enough leverage, get a bigger rock to put under the wood!”, “Andrew we have only 30 minutes left!” the crab said anxiously. Andrew pondered, then shouted “Rope, see if you can find a long, thick piece of rope!”, “As fast as you can!” ordered the crab.
The crabs scurried along the beach, back and forth along the surf line, the time was ticking away, the head crab was pacing to the mouth of the cave and back, suddenly he shouted to Andrew “They’ve found some! They’re coming!”, “That’s perfect” said Andrew, taking the rope, “Now I’ve got to get up the rock somehow and get the rope over it” the head crab barked out an order and several crabs formed a ladder by climbing one on top of the other, Andrew instructed some of the crabs to take an end each of the rope, telling them to get ready to take up the slack, when he shouted out. He put the central piece around the back of his neck and climbed up to the top of the rock. The eels were writhing close to Andrew, he had to keep ducking to avoid them touching him. The head crab looked on anxiously, glancing at the clock every few seconds, “Andrew we have just 20 minutes!” he yelled.
With one enormous effort Andrew managed to throw the big rope over the top, shouting at the same time “Take up the slack!” the crabs pulled on the rope, it started slipping down, “Pull harder!” Andrew yelled, the rope pulled against the rock, just high enough up for the leverage Andrew wanted, he climbed down. Gathering large groups of crabs together he instructed one group to pull down on the piece of wood, one to pull on the left hand side of the rope and a third to pull on the right hand side “On my command, pull as hard as you possibly can!” he instructed, turning to the head crab he said “Make sure that the area in front of the rock is well clear of any crabs, and sort out who is going to release the The Master as soon as the rock is clear” , “Okay, Andrew, will do” he replied and started issuing orders to the remaining crabs.
Andrew checked that everyone was in position and shouted out “Ready? After three, three, two one, PULL!” the crabs pulled with all their might “Pull! Pull harder!” shouted Andrew and the head crab joined in with “Come ON, pull, we’ve only got 15 minutes!” suddenly there was a loud CRACK! The wood had broken, but as it broke, all the other crabs pulled on the crabs that were pulling on the rope and very,very slowly the rock tipped forward and landed with a crash! Andrew couldn’t believe the speed that all the crabs, who had been instructed to rescue the lobster, moved into place, “Quickly, quickly, we have ten minutes to get to the pool” the head crab was shouting, he turned to Andrew, “We cannot thank you enough for saving The Master and all of us!” As the crabs started to lift the lobster free all hell let loose, the tremor from the rock hitting the ground had dislodged one of the jelly fish and some of the shells were starting to fall “Hurry, hurry!” urged the head crab, the lobster was freed, the procession, headed by the head crab, followed by the lobster and then the
hundreds of crabs, started running through a hole in the wall of the cave. More shells were falling and the roof of the cage started to collapse, bringing with it some of the eels, Andrew realised that he had to get out of the cave, back to the safety of the beach. As he turned to make for the cage entrance more eels fell to the ground and, as they did electric currents were flashing backwards and forwards, the cave was lit up with a brilliant blue light, Andrew started to run, before he got to the cave entrance there was a terrific explosion and he felt himself catapulted through the air.
“Andy! Andy!” Andrew heard his name being called, he stirred, opened his eyes and saw somebody standing over him, he blinked and recognised his mate Joe, “I guessed you’d be here kipping!” Joe said, Andrew blinked again, trying to clear his head, Joe was chattering on “The others were moaning cos you were late, I said I’d bet that you’d been on the beach and ………….” Andrew wasn’t really listening to Joe’s chatter, he was still trying to get his thoughts together “Where are the crabs?” he eventually asked “Crabs? What’re you on about?, you been drinking?” Joe demanded “Umm, no, no I haven’t, I came for a hike, felt like a rest and lay down here for a while and ……” Andrew’s voice tailed off. “Well dunno where you were hiking but you look a right state and you must have been in a really deep sleep to have been dreaming about crabs!” Joe said with a grin “Come on, the others won’t wait for us much longer” and he strode off along the beach, after yanking Andrew to his feet.
“A dream? Could that all have been a dream?” Andrew asked himself “It seemed so realistic, but, of course it was a dream, totally ridiculous to even think there could be such a thing as giant crabs, lobsters, eels and jelly fish, he shook his head and grinned to himself, “God knows what made me dream that!” he said to himself, Joe was yelling back to him “Are you coming or not?”, “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming” Andrew replied, he bent down to pick up his sweater and groaned as he felt a pain across the muscles in his shoulders and it was then that he noticed that the beach was littered with pieces of jelly fish and eels, which the seagulls were feasting on, something made him look back towards the rock face, there was no cave entrance, but one huge rock was strangely black, Andrew found himself thinking that he was pleased that there were no pieces of crab on the beach as he ran after Joe.