Chapter 1 - Man
The seagulls were cawing as
they swooped around the deck of the ship looking for
morsels of food left by the passengers on the cruise.
We had not long left port heading out to sea. I was
only young at the time, in my early teens, and wasn't
in the least excited at the notion of travelling the
world with my parents on their second honeymoon.
They didn't consider me
responsible enough to be able to look after myself. I
wasn't completely stupid, I knew how to feed and
clothe myself. Why didn't they leave me at home? It
wasn't like I was going to set fire to the house or
anything, the last time I did was an accident, I
would never do it on purpose.
My parents were unpacking in
the cabin while I stood staring at the land as it
gradually grew smaller being replaced by the sea.
That was how I envisaged the entire cruise to be. My
parents would be busy enjoying themselves while I
would remain alone and bored. There wasn't anyone
else my age onboard, they were all either middle aged
or old. What was I expected to do for six weeks? Even
the deck was deserted as everyone busied themselves
within their cabins. A younger crowd would have been
cheering, up on deck alongside me waving the land
goodbye, but old people weren't like that, making me
wonder if anyone would ever sit down on any of the
many rows of deckchairs. I felt alone on the vast
ship while it sailed onwards into the empty ocean.
The gentle breeze tasted
salty, carrying the sound of the ship's thumping
engine that throbbed within my head, irritating my
sinuses and causing a headache simultaneously.
The sea flowed lapping at the
hull while sea birds cawed above. It was likely to be
that way for the entire trip. What was the point?
There was going to be no relaxation for me.
I leant forward against the
handrail looking down at the white frothy water as
the engines pushed against it moving us further out
to sea. The frothy water reminded me of a fizzy drink
and I found myself growing increasingly thirsty as I
continued staring. It was a hot day and a cool
refreshing drink was a good idea, but there was
something of a comfort about staying where I was for
my boredom was making me listless, which caused me to
grow ever more bored. It would take quite some effort
to physically go back to the cabin and ask my parents
for some money to buy a drink.
Very slowly I walked while
still partly leaning my hand against the handrail
only to let go when I came across some bird poo then
continued walking slowly.
I wasn't sure why but for
some reason I walked back to the handrail and leant
over the edge for a final look at the port as it
shrank in the distance. In quite a short space of
time it looked tiny and...
Instantly I was underwater
having no idea how I had gotten there. I struggled,
moving my arms and kicking my feet in a panic trying
to resurface. It took a tremendous amount of effort
to move very slowly up to the surface where I was
able to take a short breath before sinking again. I
gulped and swallowed water. I tried to cough when I
reached the surface again but desperately needed to
take a breath but couldn't do both simultaneously. I
was constantly sinking after each short breath then
having to fight with all my might to resurface again.
I couldn't struggle anymore and my mouth opened
underwater filling my lungs with seawater. When I
resurfaced I coughed and spluttered but sank again
before I could catch another breath. I was drowning.
I sensed the movement of the
ship as it travelled away from me with no one aware
of my absence. It would be some time before my
parents discovered I was gone and my body would be
lost at sea. If there was only a way I could call out
to them, but I couldn't breathe let alone scream. A
deep sense of sadness fell over me as I imagined how
my parents would deal with the loss for the rest of
Instinctively I continued to
fight against the sea but I knew it was a losing
battle and it was just a matter of time before the
surface was out of reach. I closed my eyes and waved
my arms and feet frantically.
Chapter 2 - My
A pair of hands grabbed
tightly around my sides, swiftly raising me up to the
surface. I coughed, spluttered and vomited seawater,
whilst trying to regain my breath and trusting that I
wasn't going to slip from my rescuer's grip. Luckily
the person holding me was an excellent swimmer and
held me firmly under my armpits whilst treading water
keeping us both afloat. I tried to speak but couldn't
while gasping for air. My fingernails dug into her
bare shoulders trying to hold onto her with all my
might, causing her to flinch slightly as I drew blood,
yet she still remained completely calm. My guess was
she must have been a lifeguard aboard the ship or a
fellow passenger who witnessed my fall. Either way I
was lucky to have such an amazing swimmer come to my
rescue. I tried to thank her but couldn't formulate
words whilst taking deep breaths.
We were holding each other
almost at arms length, her hands under my armpits and
mine gripping her shoulders, it was a strange
position to be in and I was sure she would drop me at
The sunlight reflecting on
her pale wet skin was dazzling and bright. She had
dark yet shiny hair that cascaded from her head, down
her back, spreading out on the surface of the water.
I also noticed she was topless, so guessed she was
sunbathing aboard ship before coming to my rescue.
Being a normal teenage boy a topless woman was
something I would normally be excited about, but
under the circumstances I was more impressed at her
swimming ability and never gave her breasts a second
thought as they occasionally revealed themselves from
beneath the surface of the water. Her face was clammy,
with no makeup of any kind, and her eyes were dark
with large pupils never once appearing to blink.
I turned to the direction of
the cruise liner as it sped away from us. In a panic
I started pointing toward it.
"It's..." I said
breathlessly, "It's... it's moving away from us,
leaving us here."
My rescuer calmly turned her
head in the direction of the ship then moved herself
closer to me. Sliding her left hand around my back
she held me close against her body, then used her
right hand as a paddle as she calmly swam with me in
her arm towards the direction of the ship. There were
splashes behind us as she kicked with her legs
beneath the water.
There was no sense of panic
in her actions at all, she took the entire event in
her stride. With each stroke of her hand and splash
of her feet we increased speed and I couldn't believe
it as we were actually catching up with the ship. It
wasn't too long before we caught up and were swimming
alongside. She was an amazingly gifted swimmer to
have been able to achieve such a feat, we were
actually moving faster than the ship and had to slow
down before we overtook.
She had a bright and happy
look about her face as she turned toward me. Her open
mouthed smile was a pleasure to see, her teeth were
pearly white with a slight hint of fish upon her
breath. Her body felt icy cold as she continued
holding me against her daring not to let go of me. I
hoped with all my will that she wasn't going to
succumb to hypothermia therefore dooming us both.
She held me at her side and
waved her right arm into the air letting out a short
but high pitched scream. A rush of people on the ship's
deck started moving around and within moments the
ship's horn blew. Lots of lifebelts were thrown over
the side some almost hitting us. My rescuer didn't
attempt to grab hold of one, instead she continued to
partly tread water and partly paddle to keep up with
A lifeboat started to lower
over the side with two men inside. It was annoyingly
slow and I had to hold back my panic as I wanted to
get closer, but the woman holding me stayed back not
attempting to move until it reached the water. With
me still in her arms she swiftly swam closer to the
lifeboat then lifted me up with both arms. I was
surprised at her strength and agility to be able to
hold me in such a manner whilst simultaneously
"Give me your hand!"
One of the men on the lifeboat said.
He was large, very muscular
in fact, and covered with tattoos. He grabbed hold of
me then in a single movement lifted me up into the
"Now you!" He said
calling out to the woman.
She pushed herself away from
the boat and began waving as though intending to
"Come on!" I called
out to her.
She lowered herself
underwater then flipped herself upside down revealing
her fish tail. All three of us within the lifeboat
couldn't believe our eyes. She was a mermaid!
Chapter 3 - Going
It had been two weeks since
the incident and my parents had cancelled the cruise.
Instead we were sitting on a small yacht at the same
location where I had fallen overboard in an attempt
to find the mermaid again. A lot of other people
shared the same idea and were trawling the area.
There were at least thirty other boats along with
divers within the immediate vicinity searching for
any signs of her.
I was tired and it felt as
though I hadn't slept a wink since the incident. It
wasn't the shock of almost losing my life that upset
me, but the fact that a mermaid saved my life that
was causing me to go over the event constantly in my
head. I had grown completely smitten with her and
head over heels in love, but at the same time felt
fear because mermaids never really existed. I hoped
that maybe it was all a prank and she was really just
a good swimmer wearing a fake tail but that was
extremely unlikely, either way I needed to know.
I was sitting on the back of
the small yacht with my legs dangling over the side
gently kicking the water with my feet. My parents and
a team of divers also shared the deck and were busy
with their extensive search. They had an underwater
radar that checked for anything larger than a cod.
Almost every hour the divers would jump in and search,
closely followed by the divers on the other boats, on
the off-chance that the blip on the radar was her,
but it never was. The likelihood of her showing
herself with all those people around was remote.
Personally I was bored with the search even though I
had been excited by the idea when my parents
suggested it. My father had plenty of money and could
easily fund such a venture, and there were plenty of
willing volunteers to offer their services for free,
eager by the prospect of just glimpsing a mermaid.
But I was beginning to have doubts that anything
would come of it or if anyone would ever see her
I turned my head to one side
as some of the divers jumped in splashing water
against my face without any consideration or warning.
They jumped in one by one, six men and two women
wearing ultra-tight wetsuits leaving nothing to the
imagination. One of the men's wetsuits was bright
orange looking completely out of place, he may have
been the lead diver I wasn't sure.
I was wearing an orange
lifejacket over the top of my t-shirt and shorts. I
slowly lowered myself into the water, partly as a way
of cooling myself with it being such a hot day but
also partly because I was bored. I felt safe with the
lifejacket keeping me afloat as well as plenty of
divers and boats around, but even so I held tightly
against the back of the yacht.
A splash of water hit me
against the face again as a diver resurfaced. I
closed my eyes and turned my head away then felt the
diver rub their hand against my cheek. As I faced
them I realised it wasn't a diver, it was her, the
I couldn't believe my eyes
and stared in total shock. How could she possibly
have known who I was? Did she recognise my feet
beneath the water?
I felt her soft hand brush my
cheek once more then she lowered her arm to her side.
Her dark eyes stared into mine as she slowly moved
herself closer whilst tilting her head. There was
movement from her mouth and her eyelids raised as
though she was about to speak yet she remained silent.
I responded with a bright smile. She then made a very
silent almost inaudible squeak that hurt my ears
causing me to flinch and briefly close my eyes. It
was probably a high pitched sound that was only
audible underwater. It must have been her way of
"Um, hello," I
She moved her lips but this
time there was no sound whatsoever, she may have been
mocking me. She tilted her head yet again and poked
out her chin. I had no idea what she was trying to
"It's... so good to meet...
meet you again," I stuttered with nerves.
She rested her hand upon my
shoulder and moved even closer pressing the tip of
her nose against mine. Her salty fishy breath wafting
against my face. I had a suspicion that she was about
to kiss me so I readied my lips.
The water around us suddenly
stained red as she let out a very audible scream. In
an instant she was dragged underwater while a group
of divers resurfaced, one of which was holding a
harpoon. Another boat approached and the men onboard
were holding a net getting ready to jump in.
"NO!" I screamed at
the top of my voice as I attempted to dive underwater
only to be prevented from doing so by my lifejacket.
There were splashes
everywhere as well as shouting and screaming. Some of
the divers were arguing over who she belonged to
while other boats sped closer causing chaos. I was in
such a panic, I had no idea what was going on, where
she had gotten to, or even if she was still alive.
The next thing I remembered
was my father jumping into the sea fully clothed
while my mother yelled at the diver in the orange
wetsuit. A boat coming at speed hit another boat
knocking some men overboard.
Someone yelled as he pulled against another net that
had been thrown in.
All that remained was a
tangle of her long hair entwined around a metal chain
to which a blood soaked torn net swung.
Chapter 4 - Cold Wet
The sunset felt warm against
my face as I looked at the distant horizon from the
beach while I stood upon a dilapidated unused pier.
Every moment of that day was firmly imprinted on my
mind with the exception of the chaos that followed. I
blamed myself for what happened. Why hadn't I
realised what they all wanted? They didn't care about
her. They just wanted to take her and stick her in an
aquarium, or kill her and have her stuffed and
displayed as a trophy. It had torn me up inside. I
just wanted her to know how sorry I felt but there
was no way I could tell her. She was probably dead,
she had lost so much blood. I wished she had allowed
me to drown that day so no one would have known of
I continued watching the
sunset as the sun appeared to sink beneath the sea.
It had only been a few weeks since what happened but
there were still people actively searching for her,
or to be more accurate fishing for her, in the vague
hope that she would show up again. I had even been
asked to join them again but there was no chance that
I would be willing to act as bait.
I took a large breath then
sat down dangling my legs over the side of the pier
having already removed my flip-flops. The beach was
deserted as the sun went down, with the only sounds
coming from a few distant gulls. The sea looked
strange at that time of day reflecting the sun
turning the sea a sunset red. I wondered how deep the
light went and if sunsets were visible underwater.
Some seagulls started
swooping down against the surface of the water
picking off small fry disturbed by something below
the surface. Gulls were opportunists and never missed
the opportunity for a meal. They instantly flew away
again as someone surfaced. I stared as this person as
they waved their right arm at me. It was hard to see
in the distance but she looked topless. It couldn't
be her. There was no way she could have known where I
was. How could she possibly find me? Was she able to
detect my scent?
In an instant and without
being aware of what I was doing I had already jumped
into the sea swimming towards her. I wasn't a good
swimmer and she knew it so she swiftly swam closer.
"I'm sorry!" I
yelled out, "I'm so sorry."
The mermaid wrapped her arms
tightly around my body and pressed her lips firmly
against mine forming a tight seal. We sank underwater
and I felt myself being carried out to sea, and even
deeper under the water. Every few moments I felt a
bubble of air transfer from her mouth into mine and I
was able to breathe. As I tried to look where we were
going all I could see were her beautiful dark eyes
staring back at me. She was taking me somewhere but I
had no idea where, possibly her underwater home.
There was a possibility she
blamed me for what had happened and was intending to
take out her revenge upon me, even so I was willing
to take the risk and not fight against her wishes
even if she intended to take my life. Yet I knew deep
down within my heart she wasn't that kind of creature.
There sensed no malice within her.
I felt us change direction
and she started swimming up until we finally
resurfaced in cave that was lit with a magnificent
glowing blue emitted by tiny sea creatures lining the
While still in our embrace
she parted the kiss and swam me over to a stone ledge
then proceeded to sit me on top of it. She dragged
herself out of the water and sat beside me. Her eyes
reflected the blue light of the cave as she stared at
me tilting her head to one side. There was something
hypnotic about her gesture that filled my body with a
hazy warm feeling as the back of my eyes tingled.
I looked down at her tail as
she swung it against the water's surface. There was a
distinct wound in the fin at the very tip. Her hair
appeared different too as though she had either cut
it short or tied it back.
"I am so, so, sorry for
what they did to you," I said as I continued to
stare at her tail, "I didn't know they were
going to do that."
Tears poured down my cheeks.
She didn't appear to understand what was happening,
maybe she had never experienced crying before. She
then began licking the tears from my cheeks and
around my eyes with her rough clammy tongue that
oozed with her fishy breath that I was beginning to
"Thank you," I said.
She responded with a squeak
and began stroking my hair. I loved her with all my
heart and I suspected she loved me. I wondered if
fate would allow us to have a relationship and what
the future may bring. It would be far easier for me
to live under the sea with her than her living in
danger on the surface with me.
She once again pressed her
lips firmly against mine. I expected she was about to
take me for another swim but she stopped, removed her
lips from mine, then smiled. For the first time in my
life I was happy.