|Song of Sea
Author: NHKZ PM
Imagine the Little Mermaid, except, not quite Little, and not Mermaid at all. Now imagine seeing it on the day your father died. And on the day where your livelihood is being turned upside down...Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 2,156 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Updated: 02-04-11 - Published: 08-17-09 - id: 2710268
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The day my father passed away -It started as a gloriously sunny day, but something was up, even before I peeked out of the window. It is the kind of bleak feeling one gets right before the storm breaks overhead, with lightning and thunder galore.
Still, I was only seven. What interested me was the thought of the sea - Oh the sea!
I finally peeked out of the window; the wooden sill creaked loudly under my grip. The vast ocean beyond the sandy shore was bluish-green beneath the cerulean sky. The tide was in. I measured the amount of steps I needed to run to its edge. Fifty-seven, if I ran.
And I did.
The morning air felt good against my cheek, and running swept my hair onto my face, so while I was breathing, I breathed my hair in too. I choked, then laughed while I brushed my hair away.
My father was at the end of the pier, and below it would be the slim sampan, its belly freed of the usual spices. As I neared him, my father waved. I waved back, and walked onto the pier, counting the number of gaps between the wood planks. I could see the sea between my feet, through those gaps. Waves were lapping against the moss-ridden supports. There wasn't any form of railings, so I made sure to walk precisely in the centre. Even so, that left barely two hand spans' worth of leeway on either side.
I sang out the numbers as I began to run again.
When I reached my father, he lifted me and placed me in the sampan, and then dropped into it. He untied the ropes that fastened the boat and started paddling out to the open sea.
'Where shall we go today?' I asked, trembling in excitement.
My father smiled his crinkly smile. 'Away,' he replied.So we went away, until we were just a small dot surrounded by the horizons.
I appeared over and looked into the sea while my father threw his fishing net. I thought I saw fishes, and I exclaimed so.
My father put a finger to his lips. 'You'll scare them away.'
'Right,' I whispered, and continued watching. I dipped my finger in the water and wiggled at them. The fishes hovered near the surface, probably out of curiousity. But they suddenly fled - perhaps all, but one. I felt something tug my finger. I suppressed a cry - whether of delight or terror, I can't remember which - and moved the finger around. The hold stayed. I pulled my finger upwards, and held my breath to look at what I had 'caught'.
Two fingers gripped my finger.
I stared at them, not daring to blink. Perhaps I was imagining it, perhaps I was not. I blinked, and the fingers were still there. They were slimmer than mine, yet sort of longer, and somehow seemed greenish and pale against my bronze skin - and holding for a good few minutes before they let go and slip into the water. I leaned towards the water. Beneath its surface, a face peered back.
'Father! There's someone in the water!' I called out, panicking. 'I think he's drowning!' Yes, that was probably it. That was why he held to my finger for so long.
Father turned and looked at where I was pointing. 'There's nothing there.'
'But there is!' I protested. 'He's there.'
My father gently pushed my hand down. 'Stop pointing,' then in an undertone, 'Let strange things be. Don't draw their attention to you.'
My father shot me That Look, so I kept quiet. Quiet but fidgety. I didn't dare look into the sea again, however, because my father watched me. Not for a moment, did he let his gaze slip.
And then, the sound of thunder clapped right above us.
My father looked up and frowned.
The sky was blue and not a breath of cloud in it. Nonetheless, he started hauling the net back to the boat. I watched with delight as our silver bounty danced on the deck, poking at it as the boat slowly moved.
Yet, just as the thin light line of shore came into view, there was another clap of thunder and suddenly, it simply poured. This time around, the sky was no longer empty, but filled with angry grey clouds. The sampan rocked on tumultuous waves. I grabbed the side of the boat, hanging for my dear life. But it was too harsh, and I found my grip loosened.
If I had known any prayer, any prayer at all, at that time, I would have prayed for our safety. But at the moment I was tossed into the sea, I cried out, 'Help!'. To anyone who who hear me over the roar. I cried to skies, I cried to the sea, I cried to my father.
I plunged into the ocean.
Instinctively, my legs kicked, bearing me upwards, as much as my strength could - which was not much. The glimmering surface was still far away. At this moment, I foolishly tried to breathe, and when I did, I breathed the sea.
My vision faded away as I breathed, and choked and breathed again. The light through the ocean roof never looked more bright nor beautiful. I watched it, mesmerised as I was suspended in the water.
Before that light switched off in front of me, I felt something curling around my wrists.
I woke up on my hard bed at home, and for a moment wondered about my nightmare.
But it wasn't.