Story Time: A Curse on the Waves

A Curse on the Waves

Gwen Cosmos

He could hear himself screaming as the storm around him chased the waves up and pushed them over him. He was drowning, he was swimming, he wasn’t going to make it. Pain jutted from his tail as his fins were ripped apart. His lungs burned as they changed from being able to breathe the sea to rejecting her salt water. He reached the surface and pulled in a desperate breath as another wave fell atop him. He spun in the water, his skin burning. The edges of his vision turned black as he noticed tiny shimmering blue scales floating away from him. He turned over again and then there was nothing.

***

Gentle hands pulled him up and away from the lapping sea. A memory of silvery hair and piercing gray eyes filled his mind. He remembered the way she would stare him down as to challenge him. How she placed her hands on his face before she kissed him. He remembered her touch, and without realizing it, he reached for her. His hand met nothing but cold air.

He opened his eyes to night, the stars and constellations looking down at him. The water tickled him as it crawled across the sand. He touched his hand to his head as his memories flooded back.

The body that had sunk to the floor, a cloud of blood above it. The white coral knife, bloodied. Strong hands restraining him. His father’s face as he sentenced him, the mark of the betrayer stinging into his arm, and then the storm that had changed him.

He sat up quickly and looked down to find a pair of feet and legs. The scales were gone, nothing but sensitive pale skin. He touched it, his hand shaking, begging it not to be real. He wiggled his new toes and bent his knees. He wasn’t a creature of the sea anymore, he was human. Angrily, he stood up, shakily, and kicked at the sand. He wanted to go home, he wanted to see her again! Hot tears rolled down his cheeks as he looked at the sea. He was never going home ever again.

The water rushed passed him as something sharp scraped his foot and he looked down to see a small blue scale. He picked it up, rubbing the smooth surface beneath his thumb. He cupped it in his hands and brought it up to his lips as he muttered ancient words he barely understood into his palm. Angrily, he threw it into the sea and watched as the waves calmly swallowed it.

It was a curse, an ancient curse to send to his father. A curse to make the sea uncontrollable. If any of it were true, that is. For all he knew he had just wasted his breath.

He stood up, staring out at the ocean. His heart still longed for it, even in his land-locked form. The water ran over his feet as if it were saying farewell. Then he turned away from home and towards this strange new world he was imprisoned in.

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