Beware a beautiful melody...
Looking over her shoulder, she motioned to the two behind her to keep swimming. Many tales were told around the jellyfish pits about how the deeper, darker regions of the sea were dangerous, home only to witches and monsters. All the stories ended with a warning for all merkind to stay away from the shadowed rocky depths, where the graveyard of old ships lay.
But she was curious and daring, and wanted to see for herself. With friends by her side, three little mermaids swam to the border.
The edge of sanctified seas were marked by poles stuck into the ground, pulsing gently with bioluminescent light. Beyond the pale throbbing glow, the seabed flattened and fell, cracks spiraling out beyond vision while deep gashes hid the secrets of the sea.
But while the seabed beyond may have been barren, the bones of past lives rose against the light; wooden ribs of ships, some broken and some intact, masts and poles and broken bits lay scattered as if this land were a battlefield, a mark of how many humans had battled the sea...and lost. Yet sea-life persisted. Moss and lichen clung to the artificial bones, waving at the three like gaunt, spindly fingers curling as if inviting them further.
Her friends hesitated at the border, glancing at each other. Her own heart pounded against her ribs, screaming to turn and run.
But she was brave. She was adventurous. She was going to go further than her cousin, who swam out two nights before to the very edge of sight and came back with a piece of a ship to prove his bravery, and who wouldn’t stop bragging about it.
Puffing out her chest, gills flaring in front of her friends, she swam out into the graveyard of wood and steel and sea-growth. She fanned her fins bravely at the edge, spinning to make sure her friends could still see her. They gave an answering flash of fins, letting her know they could. She hadn’t gone as far as her cousin. Making an effort to swallow her fluttering heart, she turned and swam deeper into the graveyard.
The glow faded from behind her, and for a moment she felt trapped in utter darkness. Then...soft lights from above began to appear. She glanced up, watching silver threads of moonlight making its way from the surface all the way down to her. Patches of silver interspersed between whole pieces of ships and hollow shells, exposing treasures and things she had never seen before. She looked around, hoping to see what kind of fish lived out in these wastes, but saw none.
Swimming down to a random ship, she began searching for something small she could tear from the bones; it couldn’t be seaweed or moss, as that could have been taken from anywhere. It had to be something clearly marked as a human thing.
Something caught her attention further down...a song, trapped in the water. Someone was singing. Someone like her.
Her heart froze as she strained to listen, her mind buzzing with the possibilities of sea witches and horrible graveyard monsters. Everything she refused to believe. Yet...monsters couldn’t sing such a beautiful song, could they?
Her tail pumped the water, body moving swiftly through the ships as she listened. A distant part of her screamed to get away, wailed at the sudden scattering of skeletal figures under her fins. But her body wouldn’t stop. The song spurred her onwards, seeking out the singer. The music dismissed all worries as she got closer, the lilting melodies slowly beating away any fear from her mind.
And then she found it; the singer. Hidden away in the shadows of a broken deck sat another mermaid. Another mermaid!!
The singing faltered as the mermaid looked around, catching sight of her. She had a flash of instinct to hide, but found it quickly dismissed. Why would one of her kind want to hurt her? After all, she could sing so lovely.
Staring at her, the mermaid resumed the lovely melody, the music growing stronger and more intriguing. She couldn't help but drift closer and closer, yearning to look upon the face of the singer. The song promised joy and love, dismissed things like fear and hesitation and instinct. Told her not to look at the shadows looming around her, asked her to forget the sight of dried-up husks of other merfolk under her fins.
The beautiful voice.
A hand reached out, stopping just at the border of light and dark. The song changed, the mermaid weaving a story through the notes about how an old sea witch cursed her to remain here in isolation. How all she needed was the gentle touch of a stranger, and she would be set free.
She stared at the hand as the cursed mermaid’s song wrapped around her. Something drew her in, some force from the hand alone. She hadn't made up her mind. Something still snagged her attention, nagged at the back of her mind. Something was wrong...but her body moved forward, this time without permission or guidance.
Her skin crawled as she left the light. The water was so cold...no. It wasn't the water. The hand was now on her arm, a lifeless chill crawling up her scales and skin into her heart as the cursed mermaid pulled her closer.
The singing was loud, now. So loud, it washed away the last vestiges of her hesitation and will. Her body relaxed, sunk into the lilting chorus of the music. She didn’t feel any pain as sharp, pointed teeth pierced her body, didn’t flinch as the cursed mermaid began to feed. She was aware of nothing but the sweet music, carrying her away into oblivion. Then she was aware of nothing at all.
Coming upon her traps, the sea witch paused. The mast she had previously used to trap a mermaid was now empty, the magic cuff used to keep her here broken and drifting. A body floated nearby, hidden among the wreckage of human ships and sea vegetation. Moss was wrapped around the dead mermaid, holding her down in an act of burial amongst the graveyard.
The witch sighed. The mermaid previously trapped here was one of the ancient ones, back in the days when they had the ability to sing others to their deaths via sucking the bodies dry. The humans managed to confuse the legends, as humans do, resulting in names like ‘vampire’ and ‘siren’. If only they knew what horrors lurked in the deeps.
And now that horror was free.
Holding her seaweed belt down against her body, she swam over to the dead mermaid and looked her over. Two prick-marks could be found against the small body, a sure sign she had been fed on.
The witch wasn’t powerful enough to kill the ancient one, but had managed to use her arts to trap her here, and so long as the ancient one was left to starve, she wouldn’t have been able to break free. Clearly, one little mermaid had slipped through and given the keys of escape to a monster as old as the waters.
Back in the old days, the witch would have a clan to call upon. But most of her family was dead, slain by whalers or sea monsters or merfolk scared by false stories. She was the last of her kind, and it was her duty to finish what her family started.
Yanking free a small sharktooth knife, the witch began to enchant it as her mind raced. She must find the ancient one before it had time to spread itself, before it had time to give others its dark gift. The nearby territory was in danger. She had to act fast.
First, she had to make sure the newest kill wouldn't turn into that which killed her. And then...the hunt was on.
The Short Stories
From time to time I have minor adventures, whims, or odd ideas that manage to be written down. Below you'll find all my little nonsensical adventures, anything from other-worldly to other-wordly.
Occasionally I get a wild hair and do something I can't particular categorize. So it gets classified as 'nonsense' and put into the corner for others to look at.
To shorten this introduction: I'm a Millennial Gemini Ravenclaw Firebending INTP-T that is somewhere in the range between Enneagram numbers 4-7 (It keeps changing and I keep forgetting which number I'm supposed to be). If that doesn't give you some kind of picture of how I operate then you'll just have to start Googling things.
All 30of30 Animal Bear Bubbles Chess Chess Game Cocky Cookies Detective Event Fantasy Fantasy Game Funny Grandma Halloween Haunting Hedge LevelUP Magic Magical Symbols Marwolaeth Mermaid Mermaid Song Mystery Mythology Noir Parody Phone Calls Plants Pupmkins Rabid Plants Redmoon Rocky Roses Satire Song Squirrel Symbolism Symbols True Love Underwater Valentines Story Vampire Zombies
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