The mermaid languished around lazily watching from the corner of her eye, as the boys played on the banks of the lake. She resented them with every fiber of her being because even though they were innocently playing with each other and laughing, she knew the kind of men they would grow up to be. She had witnessed it first hand as a young mermaid when her entire family was wiped out from existence due to the callousness of humans. They had been unceremoniously using her lake as a free sewage ground and little by little her entire family had fallen ill due to the rapidly spreading toxins in their body. It consumed them from within, changing the colour of their tail and then their complexion. Their hair would fall out and ultimately they lost their voices leading to their final breath.
It would get to the point where their bodies would decompose completely and only skeletons would be left behind. Even though the skeletons washed up on the banks, the authorities brushed it off as dead fish or human murders from long ago. She remembered how even though an inquiry had been conducted and the culprits jailed, it would never bring her family back. From that day on, every summer, a young boy or two would go missing. In her opinion humans were too gullible and small children especially tended to do exactly the opposite of what adults asked them not to do.
They were easy enough to lure away from the main camp. During the day, she would let the child she selected have a fleeting glimpse of her and then swim away quickly. No one would believe the child, and spiked with curiosity, the child would often spend most of their time at the camp trying to catch glimpses of her while with his friends. If she was lucky and the child didn’t know any better he would sneak out a few nights later himself to come to the bank and see if they could get a glimpse of her. She would reveal herself in the moonlight and enthrall her victim with a few splashes till they were completely mesmerized. She would then leap out and in a split second pull them under water with her and drown them to their death.
She threw a withering look, one last time at the group on the bank and selected her prey. She swam away to the bottom where her coral cove awaited her. On the outside two skeletons guarded the entrance, their lives long gone. A path of skulls, from her previous victims led the way inside. She pondered as she descended on her seaweed covered throne of coral. Now it was just a matter of playing the waiting game. She would wait a few days before she made her move. Everyday she eyed the group maliciously and one day she got lucky.
While playing together with his friends, her young victim had to run ahead to catch it away from the rest of the group. With a resounding splash she leapt out in the sun and jumped back in, swimming away quickly so as to observe her victim’s reaction. The young boy looked up in wonder, hardly believing his eyes. He went back to his friends, pale as a ghost and unusually silent. When his friends probed him, he replied he was tired and wanted to rest. That night he tossed and turned in his sleep and was unable to enjoy the evening’s merriment.
He waited for everyone to go to sleep and then quietly flicking the mini torch in his pocket he walked out not realizing his folly. He walked out in his socks so as not to wake up anybody. As he inched nearer the edge he saw the ripples and an iridescent tail gleaming in the moonlight. He padded out softly to the edge. In the distance an owl was hooting away merrily. As he neared the surface, and stared in deeply, the mermaid launched herself at him. For a moment he was in complete shock. Water filled his lungs making him rasp, jolting his eyes and senses awake. But it was not the beautiful tail that he saw, but the malice all over her face. She was hideous below the sea and her arms were covered in green scaly pustules.
She dragged him deeper and deeper until all around him was inky blackness. Without thinking, he stopped attempting to fight her and controlled his breathing. Sensing his weakening, the mermaid loosened her grip ever so slightly, but that was enough to give him a small window of hope, just enough to defend himself. Yanking his arm free, he struck her in the face aiming straight at her eyes. Temporarily blinded, she released him, clutching her eyes in pain. He swam up to the surface, as fast as he could where he could see the first rays of dawn making their sullen appearance.
Behind him he could hear the splashing of the tail catching up to him. Without stopping to catch his breath as he hit the surface, he launched himself on to the bank, spluttering and choking. The mermaid came up and what he now saw was a grotesque face with heavily bleeding eyes. Clearly his desperate attempt to flee had left lasting damage on her. With a piercing shriek at having lost her prey she swam back to the deep murky waters of the lake.Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in