The crickets’ chirping chorus dimmed as the distance grew with each step I took towards the sea. The sound of the waves crashing along the rocks of the shore added to my excitement. The sun was rising as I manoeuvred my way through the tall grass until my boots were met with pebbles and coarse sand. The breeze was gentle and smelt heavily of ocean salt.
Where once stood a lighthouse, now remains the vestige of a weatherworn stone staircase leading towards the depths of the dark waters. The steps were covered in brown algae and scattered hollow seashells.
I rolled up the hem of my pants and stepped out of my boots, leaving them behind as I broke the surface of the frigid water. The waves retreating away from the shore started to sound like a recurring melody: a soft, timid series of chimes accompanied by what sounded like a wind instrument similar to a flute.
I was locked in a trance, hypnotized by the music growing in a crescendo. Suddenly, I felt something with sustenance push me aside. Losing my balance, I rested my hand against the rock wall. Curious, I wandered a few steps into the ocean until the waves brushed just below my knees.
The water began to bubble and foam. At that moment, I sensed a slither of a fishtail wrap around my legs. I reached to dip my hand into the ocean and was met with a scaly surface. A creature popped out from the murky water, splashing cold droplets into my face, hindering my sight. I rubbed the salt away with my sleeve and had difficulty in keeping my eyes open to assess the beauty floating effortlessly in my sight. The mermaid was covered in silver scales from head to tail, camouflaging and shifting tones of grey to match the colour of the ocean waves. The creature did not utter a single word. Reptile eyes glanced at me in awe.
We meet again, I thought as I observed her scales shifting from grey to dark blue. Thick locks of seaweed protruded from her head and blew in the wind.
I have never heard her voice. Often, I would wonder what she would sound like. What beautiful melody would resonate from such a marvellous creature?
Luckily, she seemed to recognize me from our previous encounter as she knew where to find me. To my surprise, she was not afraid of me, nor I was of her.
What was her name, I wondered. Who was she amongst her realm within the sea?
A fin grazed my hand. It felt unusually warm, enticing. I was completely under a trance. Before I knew it, the waves brushed against my shoulders. I suddenly felt the weight of the water engulf around me.
I glanced behind me towards the shore when I couldn’t feel the comfort of the stone staircase nearby. My eyes widened in fear and worry sank to the pit of my stomach. The decrepit lighthouse was far away, barely a dot visible in the distance.
Chimes rang in my ears, calling me, drawing my attention back towards the mermaid luring me further into the ocean.
Time stilled; the sun seemed to have frozen in the sky in a permanent state, hovering just slightly above the water’s horizon.
Fear washed away when our eyes met once again.
I knew her. She was taking me somewhere safe. Those thoughts kept repeating in my mind, reassuring me, encouraging me to follow this creature of the sea.
Come with us, the waves were bewitching. Follow our lady of the sea, the fish were chanting.
During all this journey, the mermaid remained silent as she etched me on into her kingdom.
Water pushed my lips apart, spreading my mouth wide open. I fought against it and started coughing, heaving. However, the beautiful creature placed her fin gently against my chin, urging me to relax. Soon, my natural reflexes dissolved, the muscles in my throat gave in, and heavy pressurized water invaded my airways.
I was sinking, helpless. My only consolation was the mermaid by my side as I sunk into oblivion.