I Lost My Heart to the Ocean

The rock that I clung so desperately to had become both my salvation and bane.
Too frightened to leave it and take my chance with the sea, it served as my anchor to life.
Three long days and nights I had grasped to that seaweed encrusted, solitary lump of land.
The remains of my ship and colleagues, so much detritus on the saline surface, served as a constant reminder to my fate.
The intermittent dorsal fins that glided effortlessly from the dark depths did nothing to help ease my turbulent and progressively more morbid thoughts.
It was on the eve of the fourth night, as the sea became more tempestuous, that I suspected I was losing my mind.
The rain fell upon me without warning glazing the surface of the rock with a substitute ice veneer.
There was no moon, no cloud, just darkness.
Until a strange luminance passed close by to me just below the surface of the agitated sea.
I thought myself insane; this simply could not be!
The supposed lunacy only drove me to hold on all the more tightly as I scrambled to keep clear of the water.
But in my desperation, and despite the sounds of the squall, I dislodged a chunk of rock into the depths, and the luminance heard it!
The colouring stopped its forward momentum and paused, then steadily grew closer and evermore brighter to the stormy surface.
Breaching the waves as one, hundreds of the most beautiful female countenances I could ever imagine shone in unison.
Some tilted their heads to regard me from a different angle, others just ducked immediately back below the surface.
One, eyes the colour of coral despite the darkness, drifted towards me.
A cerulean arm, glowing as it had below the water, reached out to me then recoiled as though stung.
The woman-thing blinked, a nictating membrane rather than eyelid, that blanked her shining eyes and brought an added depth to the night.
A moment later they returned and regarded me with confusion.
The beautiful creature reached to her neck with one crablike claw and one human hand.
She unhooked a shell on a piece of old fishing line that hung close to her perfect skin, and passed it to me in the grip of her pincer.
My trembling hand took the gift as seaweed fell across her face.
The woman smiled, rose higher from the water, propelled by some unseen force, and stooped to kiss me.
The sensation was unlike anything I have, or ever would, feel again.
It seemed like my skin had been brushed by sand as her lips touched my forehead and the scent of the ocean overwhelmed me.
I felt a sudden pain, but could not say from where, it was everywhere and nowhere, all at once.
Then, she turned from me and I saw a tail as of a dolphin breach the water and propel her effortlessly to her waiting kin.
The ensemble vanished as one below the turbulent waves and I was left more alone than ever.
I was found by a merchant ship the very next day.
The sailors later said that I clutched the necklace I had been given so tightly that it had severed the little finger of my left hand.
I know differently.
This was the price I had paid for my rescue and for the gift of life.
Somewhere, far, far away in the darkest corner of the ocean a mermaid was explaining to her father how she came to have a second set of fingers.
This was my gift to her in exchange for my salvation.
Whether I would have done so in retrospect was debatable?
For, as I stand here, about to cast myself into turbid seas, it is not my finger I should seek to regain from the mermaid, as I now know her to be, but my heart.
She stole it from me that tempestuous night and I would endeavour to reclaim it.
Here is as good a place as any to start.
After all, how much ocean can there be?

Image courtesy of deviantart.com & Google images

Where Mermaids Wait (Sequel to Adrift)

Mermaid (Photo credit: kissabug)

Deep, deep, down below
In a place that’s never seen the snow
Where darkness rules a liquid home
And pressure crushes at your bones
Lies treasures from the wrecks of men
But only fish can get to them
Where luminescent pierces night
My mermaid waits this sailor’s plight
Down I drift to meet my doom
As figures rise up from the gloom
And emerald eyes stare at my form
Perhaps I look lost and forlorn
As hands so soft take hold of me
They pull me down incessantly
Until my breath no longer hold
For me there’ll be no getting old

The Mer-girl

I know you won’t believe me, but I need to tell you what happened to me that day, back when I was twelve, before I leave for good.

How I had been thrown clean through the windscreen to land at the edge of a little stream, whilst my Mum and Dad, both safely fastened into their seats, had been killed, I will never know? What I do know is, that as I lay there and the blood from my cut head ran into the crystal clear water of the mountain stream a voice told me not to die. It wasn’t a voice in my head, nor was it a voice from someone near by, it was just a voice. 

I didn’t die that day although for a time I wished I had. The next six months of my life spent living at the edge of the North Sea with my grandparents, was a very unhappy one. My time convalescing was incredibly lonely. Everyday, I would hobble along the shoreline on my crutches and cry. My nana and granddad showered me with more love than a child could ever wish for, but the only thing I wanted was gone. My mum and dad would never be coming back and I wanted to be with them so much, wherever they were. 

One day, when I had managed to discard my crutches and realised that the stick I had to use would always be with me, I decided to take my own life. I would like to say it had been a hard decision, but it wasn’t. I’d simply had enough. My sorrow mirrored the depths of the sea that I gazed at every day, and I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I had kissed nana on the cheek and said thank you for such a lovely breakfast, it was only cereal, but I didn’t know how else to say goodbye. I had collected my walking stick that granddad had carved my name into so that nobody mistook it for their own and left my seaside home for the last time.

I hopped my way along the seashore for the last time and watched a sea mist roll slowly in. Good I had thought, I would slip away under the cover of God’s breath. I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending. I had chosen a particularly rugged set of rocks to jump from. I knew it might hurt for a moment, but it was worth it to spend the rest of eternity with my parents.

The climb up the wind-polished granite had been a difficult one, but I eventually stood overlooking the raging, froth-topped sea and smiled. It was a smile of satisfaction rather than pleasure. I knew I had made the right decision because it was the only decision I could make. I wedged my walking stick in-between two rocks so that granddad would get it back after all his hard work chiselling my name into it and jumped. It was as easy as that. No thought required.

The sea was so cold it chilled me to the core instantly. Salt water slipped into my open mouth and my tears merged with the undercurrent. It didn’t hurt, I relaxed into infinity. 

But my death was a short lived one, as I felt strong arms wrap around me and gently lift me upwards, coughing and spluttering to the surface. I was laid on my back across a rock and watched as the most beautiful woman in the world stroked my brow.

“I could not let he who gave me life perish below the ocean. Not yet.” 

I said nothing. I imagined I was dreaming even though I knew I was not.

“I was just a fish until your blood that seeped into the mountain stream gave me the life of something more. I could not let my father die.” She smiled at me and I smiled back.

Her voice was like the rolling of the tide, it lulled and caressed me. Seaweed covered her human body like a dress of emerald green, whilst her fish tale slapped occasionally at the roaring waves. She rested over me protecting my body from the sea spray until I felt able to move. 

She said nothing else, just smiled again, kissed me on the cheek, and ducked back below the surface of the thrashing sea. 

I had returned every year to the point where my old walking stick still marks the place where I first met her. I had sat for hours and waited patiently for the seed of my blood to show herself once again: she had not done so. 

But now, as I slip from the rock in old age, I know it is her hands that guide me into the waters. I know that I will never see my mum and dad. The depths of the ocean will be my burial home.  I swallow my last breath and trust to the care of my only daughter. She smiles to me with the look of a water-bound angel and I am happy at last.

“Now it is time to die,” she whispers. And it is.