The water in the lake shimmered beautifully under the dim moonlight. She had never seen anything so wonderful in her life. Slowly, she slipped out of her shirt, allowing the faded cotton to fall to the ground at her feet. Toned muscles flexed under sun-kissed skin as her body adjusted to the cool, night air around her. So many times had she wanted to just jump in and take a good swim, but had been too busy, or backed out because it was too cold. Not tonight. Tonight, she was going to go all the way.
Shivers ran up and down her spine as she waded, waist deep into the cool water. Wow, she hadn't expected it to be so cold. Slowly, she bent her knees, submerging her body into the depths of the water until just her head was visible. The warmth of the water just below the surface was welcoming, so she dunked her head, her long brown hair plastering to her forehead and cheeks, slightly slanted champagne hazel eyes closing against the waves.
She'd been in here for twenty minutes already, but she showed no sign of getting out. The water felt good on her bare stomach and legs. Felt nice and cool as it soaked her undergarments and rippled between her toes and fingers. A quick kick of her legs, and she was gliding through the chilly liquid, causing it to cascade over her slim frame. Bringing her arms around, she kicked again, pushing through the water, moving one step closer to her destination.
No one had ever made it to the lighthouse before. Not a single person for as long as she could remember. But she was going to do it. Going to be the first one to grab hold of that red metal railing and hoist her body out of the water, falling onto the cool surface of the lighthouse's floor. Bragging rights would then follow, and no one would doubt her ever again. She'd be the first of the group to swim the whole way, and she would be at the top of the food chain.
Suddenly, something felt seriously wrong. Something had her foot in a death grip. Jerking her leg, she managed to break free, but not for long. Again, her leg was grabbed, and she felt her body being drug under. She fought to keep her head above the surface, but she was just no match for the force pulling her down. Taking a large lungful of air, she allowed the thing to take her under, and that's when she got a good look at what it was; a mermaid.
Now, when people usually hear the word 'mermaid' they think sweet little half-fish, half-human woman much like Ariel from the movie. Wrong. These things are nasty creatures with talons strong enough to cut through bone like it is butter and teeth like razors. A mermaid won't kill you. No. She will let you suffer, dragging you down under the water until the pressure is too much and it crushes your lungs. Eventually, you'll drown, and then she'll take you to her lair and make you tomorrow's lunch.
How did she know this, you ask? Simple; her parents were hunters. No, they didn't hunt deer or any other kind of animal. They hunted supernatural creatures. Ghosts, vampires, demons, werewolves; you name it, they've hunted it. So, it seemed sort of ironic, and a little poetic, that she would die at the hands of the very thing her parents kill, huh?
There was no one around. No one who knew where she was. Once she was gone, her parents would look for her, but they wouldn't ever find her. Soon, she'd just be cast off as another missing person. The police would stop looking after a while; well, that is if her parents decided to even involve them. When you're in the business of hunting things most people pretend do not exist, you and the cops are not exactly close. But, none of that would matter to her in a few moments; the water was already making her lungs burn for oxygen that she couldn't receive.
As she was being drug down, deeper and deeper into the black abyss, she gave up. She knew there was no way out, and that death was inevitable. Her mouth opened as she unconsciously tried to gasp air, causing her lungs to fill with water, the burning being replaced by a feeling of suffocation. That was not her best moment. It didn't matter now, though; she could feel the darkness taking over. Knew it would be just a few minutes before she slipped into unconsciousness. And then, death.
Suddenly, strong arms wrapped around her waist, and she was being pulled to the surface as opposed to being drug to the depths. A shred of hope ran through her body that her father had found her and she was going to be okay. Unfortunately, she couldn't seem to stay awake any longer, and she slowly slipped into unconsciousness. Wasn't that just her luck? About to get rescued, and she would die right before it could happen.
She choked as water came rushing out of her lungs and into her mouth. Rolling onto her side, she spewed the cool liquid all over the grass, making it damp and muddy. A few more mouthfuls, and she was done, her throat aching at the force it had taken her to choke up all that water. As her mind began to wrap around the fact that she was not dead, she saw someone standing over her, dripping wet, naked except for the black boxers hanging loosely around his lean hips.
The man was looking down at her, his expression hard, but she thought he saw a slight hint of worry. Bright, baby blue eyes bore holes into her champagne hazel orbs as the man stared intently at her. What did this man think, she was going to do a trick or something? As she continued to look at this strange visitor, she could have sworn the bright blue orbs were growing darker, almost black.
Thinking her mind was playing tricks on her, she closed her eyes, squeezing them shut just for good measure. When she allowed her eyes to slide open once again, the man was gone. Quickly, she sat up, her eyes darting from left to right, searching for the man. He was no where in sight. Suddenly, headlights could be seen pulling closer to her, and she had to squint against the bright light. Her breathing slowed when she heard a woman's voice calling out to her.
"I'm fine, Mom," she assured her, standing. A few more coughs escaped her lips before she walked over to her clothes and began pulling them on.
Once she was fully clothed, her mother ran over to her, wrapping her arms around her neck and pulling her into a tight embrace. "Oh, honey, are you okay? We were so worried!"
She hugged her back. "I'm fine, Mom. I just got attacked by a mermaid. No biggie."
She pulled back to look at her just as her father joined them. He looked mad. "Are you okay? I mean, mermaids are nasty. How did you even get away?"
She shook her head. "Yeah, I'm fine. And I don't know how I got away. I...must have fought it off, I guess." She wasn't lying, exactly. Truthfully, she didn't know how she got away. And besides, she wasn't ready to tell him about the mystery man just yet. First, she needed time to process everything in her own head.
Again, her mother hugged her. "Well, all that matters is that you're all right."
Soon, she was ushered to the car, and they were on their way home again. She wondered why her father had been so quiet since he got there, and the entire ride home. Something was bothering him, but she didn't have the slightest idea what it might be. Her father was always a mysterious man who managed to hide his feelings very well. Finally, once they were home, she got her answer.
When she stepped inside, she noticed that everything was packed. She knew right away what that meant. They were moving again. Another creature had to be taken care of. It wasn't that she didn't understand this was necessary, it was just she didn't want to have to go. This was the first place they had stayed long enough for her to make friends. And now, her parents were going to take her away.
"So," she asked, her voice a little more bitter than she had intended it to be, "where to this time?"
She could hear the sadness in her mother's voice when she answered. "We have to go to California. Jericho, to be exact. There's a haunting there that could take some time to finish the job.
Before she could answer, her father spoke. "And that's why we're not taking you." She spun on her heels, looking at her parents. Not taking her? What? "We're taking you to Pennsylvania. A little town called Mount Pleasant."
"What am I going to do there?" she asked, a little hurt that her parents were going to just ditch her for a job.
"You're going to stay with Ellen. She's a friend of the family," her father informed, his voice stern and final. "And you're going to school."
She huffed. "I don't even know Ellen. And as for school, I don't care about it." She took a step closer to her father. "Let me come with you. I can help."
"I'm sure you can, Skylar, but we don't want to risk it," her father stated. "And besides, school is more important right now."
Skylar knew that was her mother talking, but she didn't dare back talk. Her father wanted her to be a hunter like they were, but her mother wanted a better life for her only daughter. Knowing there was no way she was going to win this argument, she just gave in. Grabbing her bag, she walked out of the motel, waiting for her parents to follow. They always liked to get going as soon as possible.
She was right, and they were soon following after her, closing the motel door, leaving no evidence that they had ever been in this town. As she was about to jump in the car, her father stopped her. He thrust keys out towards her, and Skylar took them, confused.
"Here, your mother and I thought it would be best if we just let you take your own car," her father explained.
"Dad, I don't have a car," Skylar countered.
"You do now." Her father pointed to a 2006 Dodge Charger. "She's all yours."
Skylar was speechless. All she could do was give her parents a quick hug and a 'Thank you,' before they were in their cars and driving off in separate directions. She had no idea what was in store for er in Mount Pleasant, but right then, she didn't care. All that mattered was that she was going to make the best of it.