A continuation of The Little Mermaid – Part 1
We had been successful in the invasion, but for some reason I couldn’t get that one day out of my mind. The others had been celebrating and going out to meet the local french girls on their time off, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the beach. Anywhere I went, my mind wandered back.
“You coming, Gene?” Henry asked as he and the other guys gathered their things from the sand.
“No, I think I’ll wait here for a bit,” I said and looked up with a smile. “I’ll catch up with you later.” I sat back and looked at the water. It was so calm and relaxing, unlike the last time. How could something so healing become so menacing? People retreat to the beach for an escape but are also afraid of what lurks beneath. Little did anyone else in the world seem to know what I knew, what really lurks beneath.
“Oh come on, that girl last night was definitely into you,” Henry said trying to get my attention again and added a little punch in the arm.
I shook my head and scoffed, “I wasn’t really interested. I was just playing wingman for you, remember?”
“Alright, whatever you say, man. I’m going back to that bar to get a drink with Nancy again. Get a nice tan for me with the sunlight you still have left,” He said jokingly and walked off. I too got up and started walking in the opposite direction, towards the water. I could hear my brothers leaving, all loud steps and loud mouths.
I watched the sun go down, the bright colors cross the sky, just as they hadn’t done on the day two thousand men died. Eventually, it was just the me and the moon watching the waves roll in. It was nice to see the moon and the stars without the light from the US cities that washed away the night sky. It really showed their beauty, something people seemed to stop to admire less and less.
I had a sudden urge and I quickly took off my shoes and moved closer to the shore. Tentatively, I put my feet in the water right where the moonlight hit. There was a slight chill, but it was welcoming, which was unusual for cold black water. Normally, I would have had no desire to go in the ocean, especially at night, but it was as if it was calling to me. I took a step forward, which brought me knee deep, but it wasn’t enough, something told me to go deeper.
So I dived into a small wave and submerged myself, head and all, into the black water. I opened my eyes and blinked, adjusting to the water. I expected to see nothing, only the darkness of the water and perhaps a little moonlight I had seen from above. But I did see something, I saw a light in the distance far and below, like a beacon. I started swimming towards it, my clothes giving some resistance, the only part of me telling me to go back. I had been in the water for over a minute, but somehow I was still able to breathe.
I was getting deeper and the light was growing, building up my heart rate from the adrenaline. An outline formed from the light, it was a structure. A castle, maybe? I wasn’t too sure. Something moved passed it and blocked it out, only for a second, but enough to make me pause.
Something else was in the water with me. I reached around my body, feeling for my pocket and finding my knife. I pulled it out and held it in front of me. It reflected the bit of moonlight coming from above and I hoped it didn’t give my position away to the creature. Regardless, the thing was closer, I could sense it.
A few bubbles escaped from my mouth and I suddenly felt a tightening in my lungs. I gasped and water rushed into mouth. I couldn’t breathe anymore and I started to panic. But my panic didn’t last long, the beacon I had been following grew dark as the spots manifested in my vision.
I woke up on the edge of the water, salty and damp. The sun was up, but there was no one around. I was trying to wrap my brain around the situation but what I had done just a few hours ago made me more confused than anything. Was it just a dream? Even if it was a dream, it didn’t explain why I was wet.
I pulled myself up and sat on the sand, leaning back on my arms. I was exhausted. The beach was empty aside from the usual rocks and debris that had remained. But there was something else too, it looked like a person. Curious, I got up and walked over. It was definitely a person, it was a girl, lying motionless on the beach.
*To be continued*