The storm was as fierce as any other, the only difference being I was one of the poor fools that were hit by a strong wave. I watched many crew mates be knocked overboard into the trouble waters and never to be seen again. The impact gave me an opportunity to see many things. The dark clouds above, the towering waves and soon I saw the ship rising above me as I fell into the blackened sea.
The cold waters welcomed me and I found that sinking feeling only growing more intense as I was embraced by the icy ocean. In that moment I felt the fear of death as I couldn't swim. The last sound I heard before my ears were blocked by the water was screaming. It was panicked, pleading and piercing. I knew the voice.
My long descent began, my thrashing doing nothing to help it. I clawed at the water, I bid to return to the surface, join my crew once more and enjoy a strong drink. Luxuries like that were stripped from me the moment the wave struck me and not it was all about me coming to terms with my death. I knew that moment would come, deep inside, but I held onto that breath as long as I could.
Soon any light that shone into the ocean was gone and I was surrounded by the inky void. The breath within me burned and then the pain vanished. I felt like I could hold it longer now, but it didn’t matter. My body grew stiff and my mind slowed. The grip of death was tightening on me, restricting me. I struggled to even blink in the darkness.
That is when I heard them. The voices that called to us that night, the screams of anguish and the songs of pleasure. I felt there voices wash around me and I tried so hard to spot their movement. My perspective yielded nothing but the void and I was forced only to listen.
Some voices spoke about me. I knew they did, I could feel the current of water as they swam around me. To say I was scared was an understatement. The creatures were fast and the flicker of a fin only made the horror more intense in that moment. I soon realized that there was a spell over, one that allowed me to breathe as I was breathing this whole time. I released that hot breath in my mouth and lungs, watching the bubbles rise with my hopes.
Not for a second did I wonder if I was dead, but I did wonder if I soon would be. Would the creatures keep me alive longer to eat me later, toying with their food, or was there hope in this story? I felt that was up to the monsters and their swarm around me which I could feel only growing. If I am being honest, my hope dwindled as the sweet swinging turned to cackles and chants of violence.
In those moments the mind is challenged by the heart. The heart falters, but the mind clings on, burdened by instinct to live when the heart only wishes to die. I tried to drink the water and drown myself, an escape from such pain that they chanted. My attempts were pointless in the purpose, only reinforcing their chant. That is when I had my first brush with a creature.
It was ever so slight, a touch of fin across my back, then a cold touch of fingers around my ankle. MY demise would come soon. Part of me wanted the sensation of touch, the cold waters restricting most of my feeling, but a greater part of me did not wish for pain in my last moments.
I felt myself breaking, my mind slipping into madness as these thoughts and worries were fast becoming realities. I knew I would go mad before I died, I knew I would scream for nobody. I was pulled downwards into the darkness and away from hope. I didn’t struggle anymore, what was the point?
That question was answered when a voice sang out louder than the rest. It was a sweet melody, soft and comforting, but more than that; nostalgic. I pictured my mother in that moment, her singing me to sleep when I was younger. It soothed the chants into silence and the malicious grips upon me released me to the emptiness once more.
The sea around me brightened as the clouds cleared above. Powerful light poured down, filtering its way through the ocean, mixing to form the blues and greens of an attractive sea. White flickerings of light sparkles on the surface of the waters as well as my eyes.
It was then I saw the dark grey skins of the creatures as they fled to the darkest parts of the ocean, their onyx tails whipping behind them to hurry their pace. I was able to move now, freed from the spell that restricted me, but not the one that kept me from dying.
It was then that I saw her, a giantess of a mermaid, sweeping around, face and body clad with coral and sea life. Her motions smooth and silent, which I would have found disconcerting if it weren’t for the voice she sang with. My heart and mind calmed. I was as sane and happy as I ever was in that moment.
Her large hand stretched towards me, but I did not panic, my lips moving with hers to sing the lyrics with her. She raised me towards the surface, rough clouding her eyes, but not her farewell smile. The rush was intense in that moment as I spiraled towards the surface.
A flash of light as my face raised above the water, breathing the welcoming air. Before I had time to grapple with what happened I was being grappled by my crew, dragged through the waters and pulled aboard.
All the while I was told how lucky I was that the storm cleared enough for them to spot me, but I felt I was far luckier being graced by the sea goddess herself.