Title: Shadow in the Sea
Author: Sheila A. Nielson
Published: July 15, 2015
Sssssadelyn, sang the silky soft voice.
I stumbled my way through shadow and moonlight. Heedless of everything but the sound of Araedyn’s whispers calling out to me from the edge of the sea, I hurried onward.
“Araedyn,” I cried urgently into the night. “I’m here!”
I don’t know how much time passed as I flew down toward the beach. When I finally felt the soft sand give way beneath my boots, and heard the roar of the ocean fill my ears, I knew I was almost there.
I pelted down into the water, all my fear of the ocean swallowed up for the moment in the wild delight of once again seeing the young merman I’d come to love.
The ocean’s waves swept over my shoes and ankles, splashing my face and body with its salted ice spray. I stopped dead in my tracks as a dark silhouette rose up out of the inky black waves to greet me.
Bright moonlight shone down, illuminating the figure’s still glistening features from above. It was a face as beautiful and cold as green emeralds shimmering within the settings of a priceless necklace.
I recoiled in horror, trying to back quickly away from her and make my escape.
She spoke the word with calm command. The power of her irresistible voice instantly made the muscles in my legs go weak beneath me. Before I knew what was happening, I’d crashed to my knees in the surf, gasping against the icy shock of the water. The welt along my wrist burned, rushing to fill my body with unnatural heat, fortifying me against the cold. I shuddered in response as the mermaid moved up the beach, using the strength of her arms and tail to pull herself up into the shallows on her stomach. I silently returned her unfaltering gaze.
As she moved in closer to me, the marks upon my wrist turned scalding hot. I cried out clutching at my skin, digging against the pain with my nails. The mermaid stopped her advance and immediately drew back a bit, leveraging herself into a half-sitting position, with her tail trailing in the waves behind her.
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