“What the Tide Brought In,” by Alexei Kalinchuk

Jul 6th, 2011 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Event Chronology:

Incident #1.  Goraga surfaces in harbor, marches into the port, rips out a pier and heaves it downtown.  Roaring, blowing fire, he then razes the city.   

Incident #2.  Goraga surfaces in harbor, endures artillery shelling for several minutes by nearby battleships, then sinks from view bellowing in rage. 

Incident #3.  Goraga surfaces in harbor and pulls a fully-manned battleship underwater with him in his claws.

Incident #4.  Goraga surfaces in harbor to fight a giant squid, which he then devours.  An hour later he excretes a five-mile wide slick of feces and undigested tentacles in the harbor, which the governor promptly declares a disaster area.  A gagging EPA team concurs.  Flies buzz and gulls screech madly over closed beaches.  Tourist season is over.   

The president tours the port and shakes hands with longshoremen and fishermen.  Cynics note that a giant turd bobs in the background of many of these dockside photo opps.  Financially strafed fraternities print t-shirts depicting this moment, making it the most popular t-shirt that summer on campus.  National newscasters give up on euphemisms and use clinical language to report on the harbor’s environmental disaster, while civic leaders denounce all the attention paid to the matter.  Taking hometowner’s umbrage, the mayor asks, “Isn’t every body of water some aquatic animal’s toilet, after all?”  Nonetheless, the news vans stay and reporters debark to local bars to drink a concoction of vodka with a square of chocolate floating in it called Goraga’s Revenge. 


Goraga himself has not been seen since the incident.  Whether from death by intestinal distress, or shame as some theorize, the great beast has ceased to haunt the harbor.

No one tells the jokes anymore, and though the event devastated the local fisheries, importing has since busied the port and made it quite wealthy.  Nonetheless, to this day parents forbid their children to swim the beaches and bottled water enjoys a popularity here surpassing that of other cities.


Alexei Kalinchuk says, “I’ve been published in Amoskeag Journal and The Bitter Oleander, and am a well-regarded Master in the art of Ukrainian Massage.  I also have artwork online at dimezzoilmare.com.  Also, I’m a former Mouseketeer-one of the ones they arrested for wire fraud.”

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