Getting Her Swim Legs

Posted: August 23, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , , ,

moonlight over ocean“That was out of line. I’m sorry,” Erica said.

“Thanks.”

Erica didn’t want to get into a conversation about what happened to his family, or the finer points of how he’d kept his true nature below everyone’s radar. The ‘orphan’ gambit and having friends to lay out the paper trail would have covered a lot. Erica wondered how much she was risking with him.

She’d known him for a year. The cruelest thing he ever did was kill spiders for her. Erica pushed Aaron with her elbow. “So are you going to marry me or what?”

“I’d love to. I’ve wanted to for months. Do you want to move into the ocean with me or not?”

“What do you mean? An underwater habitat?”

Aaron shook his head. “I want to go home. I miss my family. I have nieces and nephews who are growing up.” He blinked his eyes slowly. The third time, his irises were golden, like some fish eyes she’d seen. “Would you become like me? Stay with me?”

Erica’s mind spun into a watery churn of possibilities. She wouldn’t just study marine biology. She would be marine biology. Erica looked at his scales again. For entire life, she’d felt like she didn’t belong on land. The only time she’d ever known peace was in the water.

She leaned toward him. “Show me.”

* * *

Aaron and Erica hid their clothes between rocks on the jetty and swam off shore. They followed the moonlight toward the horizon. Erica had been the third-best swimmer on her college swim team. She knew how to dive and had even messed around with synchronized swimming. Tonight she felt more at home in the water than she ever had.

They reached about a quarter-mile off shore. Not that far, really. The sea floor was only about fifty feet deep here. They had to go another mile or so before the shelf dropped and they were truly in the ocean. Aaron pulled up, treading water. Erica pulled up alongside him. She asked, “Why are we stopping here?”

“This is good enough. Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

Erica’s feet came together as she tread water. They stayed there. Was she getting tired? Erica kicked to get them moving again and breached halfway out of the water. She flopped down on her back. She gasped as she saw her tail slap the water. She kicked her legs again and the tail sent her under. She swore and took in a gulp of water, but instead of choking, she breathed.

Erica kicked again. She looked up. In two kicks she’d gone at least ten feet under. Twenty. Erica smiled. She dolphin-kicked from her hips through her legs and out her toes. Her tail snapped like a whip. Erica couldn’t believe how fast she moved. She tucked, turned on a dime, and tried to find Aaron.

He was trying to catch up to her.

Photo credit: “Moonlight Reflections” by Abri le Roux at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

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