The sun rose slowly over the treeline, the sky a painting of reds, blues, and yellows. She stared up at the sight through her fingers taking care to remember that it’s not a very smart idea to stare right at the sun, no matter how enticing it was. It could burn her from the inside out. She stretched her hand out, the webbing between her fingers blurring her view of the sun peeking out over them. She blinked, the air hurting her eyes. Her eyes still closed, she let her hand down and gazed quickly at the sight.
She turned and retreated back into the water the second she felt the heat begin to well up inside of her. She swam to a safe depth and turned back to glance at the surface. The sky didn’t look too terrible from underwater, but she knew better. She gazed absentmindedly at the pile of moss-covered skeletons covering the lake floor. She closed her eyes and swam back to the entrance to the underwater tunnel that led to the sea. She couldn’t bear to stay in that place any longer than she needed to.
She could see the pitch black hole a few yards in front of her, she swam languidly relishing in the quiet of the lake. She had begun to swim towards the exit on her back, her eyes closed. If it weren’t for the fact that she was underwater and wasn’t mortal, she’d look like a relaxed mortal woman. That is, until she felt the violent stab of a harpoon through her tail fin. She screamed, her beautiful face suddenly marred by a jagged line of sharp teeth, her black eyes glaring at the shadow of a boat on the lake surface. She ignored how much of her luminescent blood surrounded her and braced herself for the task at hand.
She ignored the pain enveloping her and gripped the harpoon in her hand and pulled hard. She watched in horror and anger as the tip pulled out a piece of her flesh. She tugged hard on the harpoon knowing that at the end of the rope connected to the harpoon, she’d have her shooter, the hunter. It didn’t give way and neither would she. She tugged even harder and smiled at the body falling into lake.
She didn’t take a second before swimming right at the body and pulling the rope and harpoon gun from him. She turned quickly and grabbed the body by it’s neck and looked at the idiot mortal who thought it smart to hunt her and was surprised to meet not the anger she expected but confused and then wonder.
She let her hand slip gently from his neck to rest awkwardly between them.
He looked at her, his eyes wide and his cheeks puffed out as he struggled to stay at her level. He was no Prince Charming, but she couldn’t help but like him. She blinked at him as he smiled. He pointed up and she nodded. She followed him as the both swam up to the surface. She kept the bottom half of her face submerged so that only the top of her head and her big, shiny, black eyes were seen.
He took a gulp of hair and pushed wet locks of black hair out of his face and stared at her. He opened his mouth then and began talking. She had no idea how to tell him that her kind did not understand the language of the mortals. It had been so long since they had travelled to the surface that the language was now lost on her generation. He continued to talk on, gesturing to her, to his boat, to the lake, and then again to her. He then looked downcast, as if he was apologizing. Hoping she was right, she nodded.
He said nothing more so she looked at him in goodbye before turning away when she heard the sounds again. She turned back to him. He was back in his boat and had something in his hands. He gestured for her to come towards him. She narrowed her eyes at him, but came to his boat. She pushed herself up on her elbows, so that half her body was submerged now. He stared at her for a moment before showing her what was in his hands.
The sun was high in the sky now and it shined brightly on the necklace he held. The small lavender jewel glimmered beautifully in the sunlight. She looked at him as he held up the necklace in an awkward gesture. It took a few minutes for her to understand that he wanted to put it on her.
She let him.
She turned her back to him and held her long forest green hair up as he slipped the small jewel around her neck and fastened the clasp. She let her hair down and turned back to face him, her hands finding their way to his face. She touched him gently as he bowed his head to her. She let him go. She slowly backed away from the mortal and his boat, the jewel shining proudly on her chest.
He blinked and she was gone.