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It’s summer blockbuster season! Which means the cineplexes are filled with all sorts of over-the-top action flicks. Some have argued that the action/disaster genre as a summer staple started with none other than Spielberg’s JAWS, about a murderous shark and the men who come together to stop it. But what if JAWS wasn’t a disaster thriller? What if it was a romantic comedy. What if Sheriff Brody didn’t want to kill the shark, but had far more deeper, intimate feelings about it?

 

 

[Hooper is examining the remains of the first victim]

Hooper: This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus - possibly Longimanus or Isurus glauca. Now... the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis; however the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Didn't you get on a boat and check out these waters?

Brody: No.

Hooper: Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn't any propeller; and it wasn't any coral reef; and it wasn't Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.

Brody: A shark? [giggles nervously] Do you’d think a shark would be into a guy like me?

Hooper: What?

Brody: What?

 

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Brody: Is it true that most people get attacked by sharks in three feet of water about ten feet from the beach?

Hooper: Yeah.

Brody: And that... and that before people started to swim for recreation - I mean before sharks knew what they were missing - that a lot of these attacks weren't reported?

Hooper: That's right.

Brody: Now this shark that... that... that swims alone...

Hooper: Rogue.

Brody: What's it called?

Hooper, Brody: [together] Rogue.

Brody: Rogue, yeah. Beautiful name, Rogue. Now this gal, she...she keeps swimmin' around in a place where the feeding is good? Looking for a mate, right? That’s what she’s doing. She’s looking for that special someone.

Hooper: It's called "territoriality". It's just a theory that I happen to... agree with.

Brody: Then why don't we have one more drink and go down and see if we can help her find what she’s looking for.

Hooper: Can you do that?

Brody: I can do anything; I'm the chief of police.

 

 ---

 

Brody: It doesn't make any sense when they pay a guy like you to watch sharks.

Hooper: Well, uh, it doesn't make much sense for a guy who hates the water to fall in love with a shark.

Brody: She’s only a shark if you look at her from the water.

Hooper: That…that still doesn’t make any sense.

 

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Quint: The idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin', and sometimes the shark'd go away... sometimes she wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, she looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y'know the thing about a shark, she's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes.

Brody: Beautiful.

Quint: How’s that?

Brody: Nevermind. Continue.

Quint: When she comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'... until she bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then... oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces.

Brody: I’ll…uh…be in my bunk.

 

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Quint: Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women.

Brody: And here’s swimmin’ with women without legs! Who have fins, and gills and teeth! Who are sharks!

Quint: What?

Hooper: What?

Brody: What?

 

---

 

Brody: Smile, you beautiful bitch.

[kisses shark; the shark explodes]


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Jared Axelrod

Jared Axelrod is an author, an illustrator, and a world changer. Throughout her eventful life she has also been a circus performer, a puppeteer, a graphic designer, a sculptor, a costume designer, a podcaster and quite a few other things that she’s lost track of but will no doubt remember when the situation calls for it. She is the writer and producer of “The Voice Of Free Planet X” podcast, were she interviews stranded time-travelers, low-rent superheroes, unrepentant monsters and other such creature of sci-fi and fantasy, as well as the podcasts “Aliens You Will Meet” and “Fables Of The Flying City.” The story started in “Fables Of The Flying City” is concluded in The Battle Of Blood & Ink, a graphic novel published by Tor. She is not domestic, she is a luxury, and in that sense, necessary.