Crimson Tide (*Niau's Challenge*) #14

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
-Won Third Place in Niau's Challenge!~

"Home is home, though it never be so homely" - for mermaid Moraga, the sea is home, and the Earth is hostess. A lover of nature (being a freak of nature herself), Moraga doesnt see why she has to share her home with the humans. They're destroying the only home she ever had. It's a short story about instant, life changing mistakes, beauty that lies skin deep, a vulnerable race, and emotions that clash inside one body, and a fate that begins with a sunset painting a Crimson Tide...

Submitted: September 02, 2010

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Submitted: September 02, 2010

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The sea was ruthless as they tottered on – silly humans. They really knew of no other pass time but sailing, and fishing, hunting, bird catching, etcetera. The earth has grown weary but she delivers still; she shall stop producing when her produce is wanted the most, and THAT will be her ultimate revenge. That shall be her salvation: she, too, will die, after having been dying for so long.

‘Moraga, I do LOVE these creatures so! Pray tell me what you despise in them when there is too much to be loved about them already!’ Qattara asked, idly playing with a skull she spotted on the ocean floor. ‘Tell me, tell me, tell me…’

‘I despise them all,’ I started. A cloud of hate engulfed me as I thought about, just WHY I resented these creatures that ruled the land. I was a princess of the sea, and they were supposed to mean nothing to me. Why care? But, yet again, why EXPLAIN why I care? ‘But I have killed none, my Qattara.’

‘It’s not MY fault…’ the mermaid sang. ‘I keep forgetting they cannot breathe underwater. But I love them, so I lure them here…’

‘And it is for YOUR love that they die Qattara – not that I complain.’

Qattara continued what she was saying, like I hadn’t spoken at all. -‘And once I am half way down the ocean, I pull their faces close so I may lay a kiss upon their cheeks, but then I find them still and blank – their brilliant expressions gone.’ her chest was heaving, her heart too full. But then she got violently angry, and crushed the skull with her bare palms. ‘Those fragile, insolent things; dying on me!’

Qattara’s anger was as boundless and as illimitable as my mighty sea – spreading and affecting everyone around her, so I DID wonder, at this particular point in time, why she seemed to compose herself much too quickly after an anger scare. I had known the mermaid for over five hundred years now – more than enough time for one to become acquainted with one’s moods and actions. I looked over at the creature and asked it what the matter might have been, and she told me that she was in love.

‘In love with whom?’ I heard myself ask, floating distractedly on the sea surface, recalling the number of times I’d said those particular words: they HAD been countless.

‘A human god,’ was the mermaid’s reply.

I considered this for barely a moment, and had my answer fixed straight away: ‘You know you aren’t.’

‘But I am!’ Qattara bellowed, her eyes flashing an angry green. They glowed through the sea like an ear piercing echo, resounding and bouncing off surfaces. ‘I even know his name!’

‘How?’ – My, my, wasn’t I the curious companion?! I should, as I usually told myself, long after those little scenes of heartfelt comradeship had led to unfathomable danger and peril, have just kept my mouth shut.

‘I sang, and he heard me through one of the caves. There is a pool there that connects to the ocean, and he’d happened to stroll by and hear my song.’

‘It wasn’t chance, my Qattara.’ I breathed, getting frustrated and pulling her into the cradle of my arms. ‘A mermaid’s song calls to a human, and a human WILL answer. A human WILL come.’

‘THE most perfect human I’ve ever had the privilege to behold came!’ said she. ‘And I received him, and showed him what I am, and told him to meet me there every day of his life, until he dies!’

‘Was he not scared?’

‘He didn’t have to be. And I told him that. He WILL love me, Moraga.’ The mermaid huffed. ‘Like you said, over a hundred years ago, when a thing like this happened: what’s not to love?’

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Qattara’s voice sounded through the caves and whipped into the trees and I felt its power devour all the land. Mother earth was welcoming us into the part of her we did not, and could not see. She was carrying our voices through the wind and stroking our palms with the sand she’d left for us to sit in. I embraced her presence, and she mine.

‘There he is,’ Qattara breathed, once her affianced was in sight.

‘Which one?’ I called, looking at the crowd of men nearing our location on the beach. The fools!

‘The one with the soft baby curls and eyes the color of my tail fin!’

I looked for a minute, and saw the apple of my best friend’s eye. He WAS a sight for sore eyes, and my eyes were sore just looking at him.

Just to the man’s right, was a man pulling himself towards us with the use of his hands. He had legs, but they were entwined together, and they looked too thin and bony to support his weight, let alone serve their purpose and help him walk. He had dirty hair, and his eyes were sandal brown. They reminded me of dusty topaz – of everything that was brown, shiny, and beautiful.

I opened my mouth to whisper his earthly name – ‘Man,’ – and he answered. He was the most striking thing I’d ever laid my eyes on, because he looked different from the others. He struggled so to get close to me, and once he was, I let him marvel at the beauty that I was.

I let him run his hands through my hair, down my collar bones and up my tail fin.

I was entranced, captured by the man’s vulnerability – I wanted him, and I wanted him forever. I took him in my arms and cradled him like a baby, and stroked and kissed his face (how soft and dry his skin was!).

‘A leper,’ I heard Qattara say. Her voice sounded far away from me. ‘Moraga, your human is crippled and broken! Look! He has not the use of his legs!’

I hissed at her, and did not allow her to distract me from my man anymore. He was mine! She had hers, the “human god”! I felt a vicious greed creep up and capture me, and I felt a jealousy for this man I’d never had to feel before. I held him close and asked him to tell me he loved me, (which he hastily did) and jumped into the pool, ready to show him my world – to run away with him, forever.

I was swimming at the speed of light, excitement gripping me. I wanted so much at that particular moment, that it was impossible for me to decide a destination. I finally decided to swim him to my favorite rock, the one that overlooked the ocean. It was sunset by the time I hauled myself out of the water, onto the rock...and too late to save my darling.

His face was still but his eyes were open, watching me. There was no love in his eyes. No emotion I could make out other than deep contempt for his murderer – for me.

As the sun descended on my naked back, and on his tranquil, sodden face, I felt a warmth down my cheek that I’d never felt before – but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was the sadness that had instantly gripped me, taken me captive and stolen me from my right mind. I couldn’t comprehend – why wasn’t he breathing?! Why was he immobile?! What, I asked myself, had I done?!

And then came the anger, in flashes of red surfing crimson tides. Then came the reality: every human dies.

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