Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Short Story: Sunlight and Sea Magic

I press my face to the glass of my prison; the humans don’t know my tears mingle with the salt in my tank, would probably never guess that I can cry. But I can. No matter how many times I hear freak, it always hurts.

Being in a circus, on display like an animal, consumes me. I watch little girls walk around on two legs, their smiles sweet and happy. I witness lovers kissing, their hands woven together. And the clothes; I envy the rainbow-colors of human cloth.

I can never walk. I’ve never been kissed. I don’t have clothes, except for a seashell net, which barely covers my breasts. My prison-tank is too small for me to swim, forcing me to float limply in the tepid water. Every single day is motionless torture.

But I have memories of a better time.

My family had treasured me, telling me often how beautiful I was, how special. How gifted. But I’d gotten caught in a tidal wave and had been swept away. Waking up on the shore had been terrifying. Air had cracked my skin and dried my lungs.

And then the circus found me.

They named me “Demon of the Deep” and ripped my dress, my lovely seaweed-silk dress, so they could wrap me in their scrap of embellished netting. They’d thrown me into my prison, the stagnate saltwater rejuvenating me only enough to keep my heart beating.

It’s been years since then, a horrible half-life. I am no longer a child of the sea, but a woman. Human men, lust brightening their eyes, seem to recognize this.

Only one man is different. He’d been a boy the first time I’d seen him, a small youth in metal cuffs working near my tank. I had screamed and yelled for my family for months after my imprisonment; most people would laugh or mock me, but the boy never did. He would watch with sad eyes. The humans were cruel to imprison me, but even more so to enslave one of their own children. Although I didn’t learn their language for several years, it took only days to learn that the boy was property, a creature not unlike myself. That bonded us, and now my man – for that’s how I think of him, after countless kind gestures on his part – has begun to sleep near my tank, his bruised body just another shadow in this strange land-world.

But tonight is different and he is not just a still shadow. He’s crawled to me, a single finger pressed to his lips. I nod fearfully; the other circus men would hurt him if they found him wandering around at night.

He climbs up my tank, surprising me with his agility, and offers me a hand. I peek above the water, questions in my eyes, but he remains silent. I lift one hand, afraid and excited, and let him grip my fingers.

His skin is soft and warm, like sunlight. I haven’t touched another creature in years, and his hand sends tingles down my arm. My eyes close in ecstasy. Imagining the rest of my body enveloped in soft warmth is easy, and shivers race through my blood.

Slowly, so that the water doesn’t splash, he pulls me from my tank. One strong arm bands around my waist, so close to my breasts that they ache, and then slides lower to cup the length of my tail. I moan and writhe in his arms while his breath caresses the shell of my ear, a sweet sea-breeze that has me arching towards him.

I feel him move, gently climbing down from my tank and then walking, but I don’t care where he goes. Every motion is bliss and heats me further. My pleasure must have been obvious, for he chuckles, his hands gripping and then smoothing out the delicate scales of my tail. His other hand inches up, almost touching the underside of my breast through the net. My nipples pearl and I moan louder.

He whispers in my ear, probably telling me to be quiet, but I’m lost. My skin is afire with sensation and I want more. I curl into him and let my face rest in the hollow of his throat. A human smell, unique and musky, fills my nose. I breathe him in and skim my lips over his pulse. He hisses, but not in an angry way.

I grin.

I want to taste his sunlight, so I flick my tongue over his pulse. His moan raises goose bumps on my skin and I wrap my arms tighter around his neck, pressing my now-tender breasts to his chest. My head falls back when my nipples meet the rough material of his shirt through my net, and his lips press down on my exposed throat, kissing and licking as I pant for air.

My skin starts to dry and panic fills the back of my mind, but I want a real kiss before I die. I want to experience the fiery heat of the sun in this brief freedom he’s gifted me with – a gift I would never have asked for. I know that that we will both meet death for this; his will come from stealing me, the other men lending far less mercy than the dry, burning air will give me.
I lift my head to gaze at him. His brown hair is tousled, curls flopping over his brows. His eyes, which have always been blacker than the deepest ocean depths, sparkle. I smile fondly, causing him to trip over something while blushing. My smile widens at the primal, feminine power I feel, and I brush my lips over his, reveling in the sensations. His sun-kissed skin scorches me with its heat, forcing me to gasp in the deadly air as pleasure fills my every pore. To touch…to feel his skin…

He groans. I feel him stop moving as I press forward again, merging my mouth to his. When he sweeps his tongue forward, surprising me, I open my mouth and I’m filled with a passion I’d never known existed.

Passion worth dying for.

As if he can hear my thoughts, he breaks the kiss. Some of the sparkle is gone from his eyes. He kneels with me still in his arms and his face gentles into a smile. He places a last kiss to my lips before lowering me into water.

I hadn’t heard the waves, or smelled the salt, but I gasp in joy and then whimper helplessly as my body sucks in the life-giving essence of the sea. My eyes squeeze close as energy builds within me, power I’d thought forever lost. Once again I’m lost in sensation, unable to control the moans and gasps falling from my lips

He’d brought me home.

I flutter open my eyelashes, needing to look at him. His face holds tenderness and love. I reach for him and he reaches back, weaving our hands together. I seal my eyes shut again and use the gift I’d been renowned for as a child. Sea-magic seeps from my body into his and he shudders before falling bonelessly into my arms.

I watch his body transform; his pants rip as his legs fuse and a beautiful green fin replaces his feet. When he stirs hesitantly in my arms and looks at me with wonder, I use his fingers to trace down his body, showing him the changes.

His beautiful eyes sparkle again.

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