Aaron Lebold is a forty-two year-old youth worker, but behind the scenes he has a passion for writing, and has felt that way his entire life. In his early years this translated into music, where his greatest pride was composing the lyrics for songs that displayed great emotion and had the ability to inspire others.

After years of doing music as a hobby, he decided it was time to move on to new ventures. That included getting off drugs and returning to school to be an addictions counselor. 

Aaron was a successful addictions counselor for eight years. He was able to stay sober from all drugs and alcohol and dedicated his life to becoming a better person by helping youth avoid the same paths of addiction that he once took.

Eventually he felt the desire to challenge himself again, and decided to focus on writing. He began with daily blogs and then proceeded to create his first full-length manuscript in 2017. He continued writing and it has become a more serious venture.

Aaron has two books published with Gloom House Publishing titled Genocide and The Sheriff of Salem, and one book with D&T Publishing titled Born Sick.


by Aaron Lebold


There wasn’t a soul in sight to witness the phenomenon.

It was a clear night in 1893. The ocean was calm and tranquil and the breeze above was gentle and calming.

Suddenly the sky opened up, and for thirty-eight seconds there was a downpour of crustaceans not known to our world. They had no problem sinking to the bottom of the ocean where they remained in a hibernation state for twenty-five years: growing, evolving, and slowly preparing to feed.

By 1918, they had grown substantially, each of them now closer to the size of a basketball. They generated crab-like legs and scorpion-like mandibles, each equipped with venom. They sat on the ocean floor, their outer shells covered in spikes to deter any potential predators.

After their transformation, the time had finally come for them to feed. Each individual creature used a special gland to fill several small sacs with air, and they began to float to the surface in search of a meal.


Captain George W. Worley straightened his collar as he looked in the mirror. He always liked to look sharp before he addressed his crew. He was used to many men at his command, and this journey would be no exception. Three hundred and six men were already onboard and ready to depart from Rio de Janeiro.

He stood in front of his ranking officers. “Welcome aboard the USS Cyclops. We have about eleven thousand tons of manganese ore onboard that we will be taking to Baltimore. We have a stop scheduled in Barbados for supplies. Weather permitting, we should arrive at our final destination in mid-March.”

Some of the men chuckled to each other, catching the captain’s mediocre joke that the ship could reach its destination in any exact month. Worley decided not to mention that the weight capacity of the ship was only eight thousand tons, which was well exceeded by its current cargo. He also decided not to mention that the starboard engine of the 550-foot ship had a cracked cylinder and was not operational. He had made a report but was instructed to get the vessel back to the United States for service, which was already their destination.

Worley retreated back to his cabin, and on February 16, 1918 the ship headed out to sea, destined for Baltimore, with a stop in Barbados.


Captain Worley smiled as he stared into the horizon. It was a beautiful day, and he was optimistic that the cracked cylinder and the extra weight were not going to jeopardize the mission.

He picked up the radio for a check-in call. “Weather fair. All well.” 

He set down the receiver and went out to the deck for a cigarette. One of his men was already standing there, leaning over the rail and looking at the beautiful scenery.

“Great day for a great journey,” Worley greeted.

“Aye, Captain, but I got a strange feeling.”

“I don’t want to hear any superstitious nonsense. This is the perfect day for us to cover some distance.”

The man nodded reluctantly. “It’s probably nothing, Captain, but the sea seems restless. Smells funny too.”

Worley scolded, “Get to work. You have too much time on your hands and that’s not good for your imagination. I run a tight ship.”

Worley extinguished his cigarette and made his way back into the cabin. He sat in his chair and put his feet up. The gentle waves of the water were soothing, and within a few minutes he was fast asleep.

He was oblivious to the looming danger.

The creatures began to gravitate towards the large moving vessel. They could tell that it was not a mammal or anything they could eat, but somehow they could sense life.

They began inching their way up the sides, initially about two dozen of them. A special paint had been applied to the cargo ship, designed to keep pirates from climbing aboard. The creatures were not affected, and scaled the slick metal as though they were walking on flat land. As they climbed higher, the remainder of the crustaceans followed suit, and in various waves they began ascending towards their prey.

It took close to thirty minutes for the first of the hungry predators to make it to the deck. They began falling from the railing onto the wooden floor of the enormous ship. Once they righted themselves, they were on the hunt. It didn’t take long for them to find what they were looking for.

They moved quietly, with a stealth that made them nearly undetectable. A man in a white uniform was mopping the deck. Suddenly he felt something on his left ankle, but before he had time to react, the wound began to burn like fire. “What the hell!”

Another deckhand began to approach. “You all right there, Maynard?”

There was no answer.

The new deckhand watched in disbelief as his shipmate began to tremble and then violently shudder. His flesh began to liquefy; it melted like a burning candle. Skin puddled, slithering down the limbs. The shipmate shrank until he was reduced to a blob on the deck.

It happened in less than two minutes. All that remained was a pile of soiled clothing.

The new deckhand knew he should run, but was frozen in place from the shock. Part him of questioned his sanity, and another part wondered what could literally turn a man into a liquid in only a few moments. 

He was just about to turn and run when he felt something bite his ankle just above his shoe. He glanced down to see a creature that resembled a large crab, but he could tell it wasn’t a crab. He instinctively kicked his foot, but it was too late.

The pain started out like a burn, as though someone had stuck a glowing ember into his sock. He fell backward as his veins began to feel like they were pumping acid. He let out a scream that was louder than he thought he was even capable of, but before help arrived he no longer had any feeling in his body. He lifted his hand to his face, and his fingers were gone. Chunks of bone protruded from the stubs, but even they were quickly melting away.

Around a dozen men came running to the scene from various workstations. The screams they were hearing were difficult to ignore, but by the time they arrived to help the deckhand, they could not find the source. They stood around and observed with confusion.

There were two puddles of some sort of red substance pooling on the deck of the ship, and several crab-like creatures circled around them, drinking it through some sort of proboscis. The men walked cautiously together to investigate. They didn’t notice the second wave of crustaceans flopping themselves over the railing.

One of the sailors ran up on the feeding creatures and stomped on it as hard as he could with his boot. The shell felt like a cinder block. The man fell backwards, not at all prepared for the resistance that he faced from the solid crustacean.

The crab continued to feed on its fresh kill as if nothing had happened, drinking huge gulps of the human stew. The man scurried backwards, attempting to get away from whatever that thing was. He had fear in his voice. “Do something! Somebody, kill it!”

He didn’t even know what hit him when he felt a pain like no other on his left hand. He screamed as it spread through his body, and he was never able to get back on his feet.

The other men watched in disbelief, one of them deciding to take action. He began throwing things at the creatures, metal rods, and brooms, anything that was within his grasp. Everything bounced off with no effect. He turned his gaze back to his shipmate, who was now partially liquefied and no longer screaming. He had been reduced to a strange heap of goo, and one of those things was already slurping at his remains.

On the deck of the mighty Cyclops, the invaders were growing in numbers and spreading. Some men ran to their sleeping quarters. Cargo ships were not permitted weapons, but that didn’t always stop the paranoid from sneaking firearms on board. The armed men charged out in search of the enemy and fired shots that did nothing more than ricochet and hit other sailors who were running for their lives.

There was mass panic and confusion. The carnage began to spread like a virus, consuming seamen like a wave of acid cutting through a group of frightened rats. The sailors were trying everything, weapons, boots, but nothing seemed to slow the attack.

One man kicked one of the creatures with all his force, sending it flying but only to land on the back of one of his own. He watched in horror as the man screamed from the bite and fell to his knees.

Captain Worley awoke to the commotion, and without any thought he raced out onto the deck. He looked in horror as he saw many men screaming and panicking, running around as though they were being chased by rabid dogs. Clothing was scattered all over the deck, like his men had rendered themselves completely naked before they vanished. He noticed large crab-like creatures blanketing the wooden boards, creatures that he didn’t recognize.

He ran to inform his other ranking officers. “We have a situation! Our crew are out there in a full-blown panic, and the ship is covered in some strange beings!”

The men all stood, and quickly ran out to see this for themselves. They watched the men trying to defend themselves and saw that their efforts were in vain. None of them knew what to do, until an Admiral spoke up. “We need to try burning them. Let’s torch those things!”

“We can’t have fire on a ship!” Worley cried. “You know that!”

The Admiral said, “We can’t have those things killing everyone, either. We’ll use that new blow torch so that our aim can be exact. Get some of your men to stand by with buckets of water, just in case.”

Worley knew it would be an experiment, and a bad idea. He yelled to the men standing behind him, “Get the life rafts ready.”

The Admiral yelled, “We don’t need life rafts, you imbecile! We need everyone to obey me!”

Two men ran below deck to retrieve the blow torch, which had only recently been invented. They raced back up and held it up for the Admiral to see. Three other men were ready with water buckets.

“Fire the torch!” yelled the Admiral.

Hot flames blew onto the crustaceans, but they were unfazed. They turned towards the men holding the blow torch. The men stood their ground and continued to try to burn the creatures as they advanced. Finally, after realizing their efforts were in vain, they threw down the blow torch and ran.

Just as Worley predicted, the wooden deck caught fire. The men with the buckets merely threw them down and also ran away. Worley knew that now there was no stopping the fire. The ship was doomed, and because the Admiral had over-ridden his command for the life rafts, there was no escape.

Worley and the Admiral took refuge in one of the cabins, and the Captain tried to use the radio for help, but was shocked to realize it wasn’t working. The two officers waited in fear, seeing the flames grow larger through the small window. Bloodcurdling screams from the men could be heard on a regular basis.

Worley looked to the Admiral. “What should we do? They’re dying out there!”

The Admiral shook his head. “If we go out there, we’ll be dying too. We need to wait this out.”

Worley no longer cared about respect for those in higher ranks. “Coward!”

Oddly, the Admiral did not reply. Nothing mattered anymore.

Within moments the two men could hear violent scratching at the door. Strange crustacean bodies were pressed up against the glass window. Nobody could make sense of it, how were these things able to get onboard? How did they climb a steel door and get all the way up to the window?

These questions would go unanswered. The glass shattered and the creatures began to file into the small cabin. The two ranking leaders had no chance; the only exit was now swarming with hungry invaders that had no interest in taking any prisoners.


The entire attack only took less than an hour. Every single crew member was found and devoured. They were not able to hide. The creatures could sense them, smell them. The fire on the ship continued to rage, devouring the clothing that had been left behind.

Once they had fed, the creatures climbed back over the railings and dropped into the sea. They had eaten, and now they could rest until their next evolution.

With holes burned into the ship, it didn’t take long for it to begin sinking. The fire had raged to the point of consuming nearly everything that wasn’t made of steel. The men were all gone, and their attackers had fled. It took over an hour for the vessel to fully descend into depths of the ocean.

The ship was never found, and the crew was never heard from again.


In March 1918, the base in Baltimore was waiting for the Cyclops. They had no radio contact since Worley’s last transmission that had said, “Weather fair. All well.” 

They waited and waited, but every time they tried to contact the ship, they were met with the same response.

Radio silence.

A search was conducted, and as far as anyone could tell, the 550-foot cargo vessel just disappeared sometime after leaving Barbados. No emergency signal was deployed, and no wreckage was ever found.

Throughout the years there was much speculation on the fate of the ship, but the general consensus is that it, and all of its crew, fell victim to the deadly and mysterious Bermuda Triangle. Some say a giant monster came from the depths and pulled the great ship under. Some say that it sank as a result of too much weight, and a broken cylinder.

Some say a lot of things, but you? You know the truth.