You couldn't swing a dead cat in here, thought Jacques Cousteau thoughtfully, without hitting a sphinx. Luckily for him, the statues would sleep until the midnight hour, and it was only three strokes after the twelfth bell of dawn's-night.He took a deep breath before breaking the surface of the water, and climbing up the island's shore. A bitter stench wafted to his nostrils, and as he looked about, he could see why. All about him were the bloated corpses of things that may once have been part human, but now were too dead to be.
"Either these are the long-dead living," whispered Jacques to a crab crawling from an eye socket, "Or the recently living dead."
The crab made no reply, and Jacques' eyes narrowed with suspicion.
The crab slowly closed its right claw, then allowed it to fall lazily open.
Jacques withdrew a comb from his raincoat, and slowly twirled it in his hand.
The crab's eyestalks slowly crept forward.
Jacques' face was the picture of solemn focus, while his mind scrabbled for everything he knew about this type of crustacean. Did they hunt in packs? Were the females huge, winged carnivores? Did they serve the sea-witch or-
My God! Mercury is in the third palace of Jupiter! That means- Jacques lunged forward, but it was too late. The crab's shell split, and writhing maggots poured forth into Time. Twelve chimes sounded in the space of no more than a second, and no less than an eon. Jacques turned as behind him, the waters churned.