She curled up on a rock that rose just over the low tide, surrounded by sparkling, green sea water. Her fins slapped the water gently, music to her ear as she combed her cascading, golden hair.
It had been long ago since the last human had passed by this cove. The beautiful kataw picked up a stringy piece of seaweed from her blue-scaled tail between a slim thumb and forefinger, then tossed it back into the ocean.
The rippling water reflected green light onto her pale, flawless skin. Her sky blue eyes were closed, concentrating on her rythm with a small smile on her cherry lips. She had closed off the gills on the sides of her neck from the harsh air, and was using her small, button nose to breathe. Her bare chest rose and fell with each breath.
She paused suddenly, comb halfway through her golden hair, and listened. Voices.
A boat full of men was rounding the corner into her cove. She slipped under the surface of the water just as the three young men became visible.
They were bare-chested, showing off heir tan, muscular bodies. the men all shared the same dark, curly hair, but their faces were different. One had a white scar on his chin.
The beautiful kataw rose out of he water so that just her eyes were abve the salty liquid. Her gills had been put back into use. She watched them from her safe distance.
They were laughing at one another's stories about his girlfriend. The three men docked their boat, tying the rope around the rock the kataw had been sitting upon. The boat was old and the white paint was flaking off.
As the men brought out a cooler full of beer and whiskey, the kataw saw her chance. With glee, she slowly allowed the tide to rise, so that they wouldn't notice the rock sink below. The old boat barely tipped sideways, pulled taut by the rope. She let slightly larger waves rock the boat, lulling their drunkenness.
Now her trap was set.
She swam slowly, silently to the mouth of the cove, then began her act.
She screamed; high, piercing wails, and flailed her arms, careful not to show her tail. She mimicked slipping under, then fighting her way back to the surface.
"Help me!" she cried. She allowed the current to carry her into the cove sloser to them. She spluttered and gasped for air, screaming for help.
One of the men dived out of the boat and swam towards her. "Hang on!" he called to her.
Once he reached her, she threw her arms around him as if in a panic. Then she was still in his arms, and grinned up at the two men left in the boat.
Frost suddenly spread across the surface of the water, travelling as quickkly as a gust of wind. She flipped over into the water backwards, dragging her savior with her. She propelled herself downwards with a splash from her fin as a layer of ice covered the surface completely.
The man's eyes bulged at the sight of her, terrified. He fought to get away from her, but she held his wrist tight and swam down, down.
Then she let go and watched him gleefully as he writhed in agony, clutching his head, as she increased the pressure of water around him. Bubbles of air escaped from his nose and mouth, and he began to drown.
Then he was still.
The kataw maneuvered over to him and took his face in her hands. She kissed him upon the lips, then released him, letting the lowering tide carry him away amidst the melting ice, and a boat with two drunken, hysterical men.
© Copyright 2016 Yoshie Akira. All rights reserved.
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