Issue #87

Summer 2023

Sea World

by Thomas J. Misuraca

Gerard stepped on a jellyfish on his bedroom floor.

An electrical jolt ran up his leg. It knocked out power in the house.

As Gerard fell to the floor, the jellyfish pulsed.

His wife, Cheryl, slightly stirred at this commotion. Seaweed shrouded their bed, reminding her of that seaweed wrap she had at the spa on their honeymoon. She curled up and went back to sleep.

Doing her best to ignore the eels wriggling at the foot of the bed.


Next door, Anna opened the kitchen cabinet and saw a squid squirm behind a box of corn flakes. She knew if she saw one, there were thousands she didn't see.

All night long, she felt phantom squid crawling on her skin.


Lobster, crabs and crustacean infiltrated George's basement. All day long he heard them clack over the concrete.

"Don't go down there without shoes on," George warned his children.

The next day he caught his son racing crayfish. He was barefoot. The boy was having so much fun, George didn't have the heart to discipline him.

"Wash your hands before dinner," he instructed. Then, added, as he often had to with the boy, "Use soap!"


Snails stuck to Sally's bathroom walls. Earlier that day, at her favorite French restaurant, her escargots came to life and crawled out of the serving plate. The garlic made them slide across the table with unusual speed for a snail. She tried to stab them with her little fork. When she pierced one, it emitted a piercing scream.

She let the snails in her bathroom be. Were they related? Or was this just a bizarre coincidence?


Arnold was about to sit on the toilet.

"Stop!" his wife screamed.

Arnold hovered in mid-air. He turned and looked in the toilet. Piranha swam about the bowl.

"See," Arnold said. "There are worse things than leaving the toilet seat up."

Next time, I'm not warning him, his wife thought.


Clams and mussels were submerged in Thad's thick shag carpeting. Occasional spouts of water shot into the air.

He put on his capri pants (his mother used to call "clam diggers"), knelt onto his carpet and began to dig. He had a great recipe for steamed mussels and clams in a white wine sauce.

To his surprise, he pulled out an oyster.

Thad mangled his thumb trying to shuck it.


Denise turned on the shower and streams of sardines and herring rained down on her. Their slippery skin slid over her flesh. They were too big to go down the drain, so she doubted she'd have time to lather, rinse and repeat before the shower was filled with the thin, greasy fish.


"Dad!" Jeni cried. "There's an octopus in my room!"

Sam ran in, wielding a magazine.

"Don't kill it," Jeni cried.

"I won't!" Sam assured her.

With the magazine, he slowly coaxed the octopus out of the room. At first it was stubborn, holding tight to the floor with its tentacles. But eventually it gave in and crawled out of the room. Sam guided it down the hallway and towards the back door. It rolled out into the yard and joined the other octopi who sunbathed in the rock garden.


Sea anemone infiltrated the neighbor's garden. They were a more invasive species than weeds. Drowning out any plants that were there previously.

Tammy told the gardener to pull them all out.

"No, no," he argued. "In Beverly Hills, they pay thousands of dollars to landscape with lovely marine invertebrates."

It was a sight to behold when the gardener added colorful coral.


While Avery was playing the scales on the piano, the keys turned to scales.

"Eww! Gross!" Avery cried.

"You have to continue," her mother insisted. "Or you'll never get into a good college."

That night, she mastered Britten's Peter Grimes.


On the beach, Kate ran towards the water, but the tide was going out. It had things to do and couldn't be bothered with people any longer.

Author Bio


Thomas J. Misuraca studied Writing at Emerson College in his home town of Boston before moving to Los Angeles. Over 125 of his short stories and two novels have been published. His work has recently appeared in Literature Today, The Unconventional Courier and Beyond Queer Words. He is also a multi-award winning playwright with over 150 short plays and 13 full-lengths produced globally. His musical, Geeks!, was produced Off-Broadway in May 2019. His story, "If You Look at It, You May Die," appeared in Issue #2 (Spring 1999) of The Cafe Irreal.