Lost At Sea
(I made a small change and made the man into a woman instead. I hope you enjoy it, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!)
The sea is like a giant, teeming mass, roiling from the storms that have passed through the area. Every time something brushes my leg, I jump, certain that something hungry will rise up from the dark depths and devour me for a meal. Not that I’d be very satisfying; my bones are sticking through my skin, my skin so red and raw that it hurts to even trying to stay afloat.
At best, I’d make a good appetizer. The thought brings the ghost of a laugh to my parched throat, and even that brings unbearable pain. I’m going to die out here, and I knew that, however distantly. Loving the ocean comes with its own set of risks. But I’d never expected to be thrown overboard by my own crew. All because I’d been caught with the cook’s assistant.
Who knew that pirates even cared about one’s sexuality? The entire situation was laughable. Well, it would be if I wasn’t on the brink of death.
The sun is still high in the sky, beating down on me with its harsh, stinging rays that feel worse than a jellyfish sting. I’m so weak, and it feels like I’ve been swimming for a lifetime. I know that I’m fading, even without the hallucinations. Sometimes I see her, glimmering in the salt mist like a fey from one of Da’s stories, smiling and slipping me a bit of dried fruit when the rest of the crew isn’t looking.
I miss her terribly; she was screaming when they threw me off, desperate to save me, but the others had held her back, holding her face and making her watch while I hit the water. The last thing I remember before the ocean took me away from the ship. Storms had followed shortly after, and it’s a miracle that I didn’t die then. They didn’t even give me food before they’d sacrificed me to the salty water.
It’s so, so tempting to give up, to give in and let the sea take me. I didn’t do anything wrong; I did nothing but find love in the middle of all of the other offerings that a life of freedom has given me. But I’m so very tired.
There’s a ripple in the water and I swim backward, barely able to keep afloat. Maybe it’s a whale, come to end this agony at last. My heart hammers against my ribs, though it seems to take more effort than normal to function.
But much to my surprise, I can see a thick, glittering fin, then a head pops up above the waves.
“I’ve been watching you for a while,” The creature says, its voice like waves crashing on the shore, its hooded eyes glimmering with something like amusement. “You like you need help.” Finally, it rises, and I realize, with a shock, that it’s a mermaid, her long, teal-colored hair covering her breasts, tail flipping in and out of the water lazily.
“How’d you guess?” I ask sarcastically, and she narrows her eyes. Then she tosses her head back and laughs, the sound silvery and sweet.
“What an amusing human you are. And pretty, too.”
“How kind of you to say,” I retort; surely she must be joking.
She swims in a circle around me, lips flat, brow furrowed thoughtfully.
“I have a proposition for you, sailor girl,” She murmurs, and she swims so close that I could brush the hair out of her eyes if I had any strength left.
“Would you care to hear it?” I’m dying. What do I have to lose, anyway? And besides, she’s probably a mirage. What could hurt to hear her out?
“Yes. What is it?”
Her eyes never leave mine, and she smiles, showing off gleaming white teeth, more like a shark’s than a normal human’s. She moves closer and before I realize what’s happening, her webbed, delicate hands are wrapped around my waist, pulling me against her, and I sigh; her skin against mine feels like pure relief.
“Would you like a second chance at life? Under the water, this time?”
Her eyes, an emerald green that reminds me of the Mediterranean Sea, bore into mine, waiting for my answer with bated breath. “I can help you, and you’ll be restored. But you have to come with me to my kingdom,"It takes but a moment to decide, and I nod.
"Yes. Yes, please.”
Faster than blinking, she leans in and kisses me, so soft and gentle I can’t help but wonder if I’m imagining all of this. But then she pulls me deep under the waves, tight against her body, and I go willingly, opening my mouth.
The last thing I see is the last of my air bubbling up to the sun-soaked surface.