There wasn't anything in the waves when I first looked. Kneeling by the rocky shoreline as the light faded from a gray sky, the wind blew in from waters that carried the chill of the approaching winter and the salt of the sea. The rush of the tide rolling up and sliding back towards the horizon filled the air as I lay back on the sand and let the rawness of the moment sweep over me. But it was getting darker and for some reason the darkness and being so near the water made me feel uncomfortable. I rolled up into a sitting position, stretching my arms and yawning as I looked out over the horizon one last time before I rose to my feet and turned towards the road somewhere's in the distance when I snapped back around, something I glimpsed ringing inside. Did I really see…
Alarmed, my eyes scanned up and down the rocks that jutted out into the frothing cold sea, swearing I had seen a pale figure, arms against the dark rocks, when suddenly, about fifty feet out into the water, two thin arms broke out again, flailing wildly back and forth above the surface.
Before I knew it I was running barefoot towards the water and leaping up the rocks. I couldn’t say what made me leap out so quickly, but just as suddenly as my courage had carried me out, it left me. My feet formed around the wet stones with increasing terror as I shakily progressed out above the open sea, slipping and jerking with bolts of fear shooting threatening to seize me. The further out I got the stronger the roar became- the sound and sight of waves falling against the rocks rising like a thundering chorus. But the fear of watching someone die seemed to will me ahead of myself. Scared of each step, I advanced along the rocks further and further, now so frightened that soon I crawled along on hands and feet. The light was fading quickly and what once seemed a short distance seemed a very long way back. The spray of the water fell all over me, the winds chilling as they swept through my damp clothes. Coming this far I could see a face in the water, pale white skin with pale blue eyes that seemed to cling me in place. It wasn't beauty, really. It was as if her eyes were hands and mines was the rope that held her up from sinking forever. Spluttering, flailing, her eyes never left mine.
It seemed like forever that I stood there, helpless and frightened at the situation. There seemed no way to reach down there. The rocks were too wet and the sea rolled hard enough to push and pull the woman into the rocks, and then there was the wind. If it had not been so much sea spray I would have been sure I was crying from nerves. But desperation made me move closer. I couldn't do nothing. I couldn't just let her die. And all that time, when she could clear her face of the water, she cried up to me ’help me, help me, please’ and I don’t think I felt anything as terrible as a woman’s distress.
I dropped one leg down after the other, closer and closer till I was kneeling on the edge of the only flat stone around, shaking from fear as much as the cold. The water was breaking over me like a heavy blanket. I pushed it out of my mind as waves brought the woman's arms close against my own, flailing and slapping, slipping off before yanking her back out of reach. I knelt further, reached farther. I didn't notice I was yelling out to her so much until the pain swelled in my throat. I fought images of myself being knocked into the swaying chaos of the open oceans as the woman struggled for life.
I reached out once more, straining to grab her arm as the waves pushed her in again and this time I caught her. She was still writhing. I nearly freaked, thinking her shifting wild weight would pull me over with her. I tensed around the stone, fighting bone-deep fright as I pulled her closer to the rocks. Both her hands clasped around my wrist and her face stayed above water now more often than not. I could feel relief and strength flooding through me. Before, her cries bounced through me like an echo, but now I was firmer. I could feel myself steadying, but the light was so dim now that both my skin and hers was fast becoming the only discernible objects. I pulled her closer, feeling stronger and stronger, fear giving way to purpose. She seemed to lean back as if to get her foot up against the rocks when out from the water I saw the bottom half of her body. It extended not into to legs but a sickeningly thick, pale trunk of flesh covered with...scales? I don’t know when I started screaming, but I was screaming so hard blood might have been flying out. My arm recoiled, my body snatching back from the water, but her arm struck out with a flash, and I was snatched from the rocks with jarring force, pulled down deep as her arms clasped over mine, pinning them to my sides while I felt her powerful body churn through the water. My endless screams of terror gurgled into the darkness, my lungs squeezing, my body seizing, shaking and scrambled helplessly as I lost my mind and my body took over.
Soon my body seemed to give it's last efforts. My lungs stung from the water that filled them. My body jerked and twisted with less and less force and then I felt its mouth seal over my neck and teeth sink down into his flesh. It's hold was still solid, my arms pinned so tight my lungs could only collapse but not expand to breath back in. But now it didn't even hurt. I just fell sleepy and weightless, fading in the black depths, pondering on the exotic feel of teeth in my neck as a tongue, rough and alive, slid around my skin.
In only moments all was nothing but fading sensation. And even that gave way to an emptiness that carried me beyond the cold, deep into a void I knew in the pit of my being there would be no return from.
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