I fought against the urge to breathe. It made my lungs burn but I had to resist. The water maiden pulled me lower and lower. Deeper and deeper. Until there was nothing. No light to kalaidescope around me like dozens of stars in the sea. No distant sounds, muffled by the water's weight. Nothing. Except her. I could see her still in this darkness. Her ebony hair and fishscale eyes. Her beauty frightened me and yet I could not look away.
Her lips met mine and I could breathe again. I sighed relief and twisted my body into a swim next to hers. She led me deeper into her home, the world growing brighter with each spastic kick of my legs. I tried to move my legs, both together, in the graceful way hers moved but I failed. How did she move so? She was no fish, no dolphin or shark. So how?
She placed a red cap on my head and smiled. I didn't smile back. I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to! But I didn't. We were alone in this sea, at this moment, and I did not want to smile at her in this way.
Soon, we came upon a palace, built into the reef. The water swirled around it, white foam riding the walls and dipping into the doors and windows as a lover would delve his tongue into a woman. The sensuality disturbed me and I let go of the maiden's hand. She gurgled something at me, eyes wide and confused. I ignored her and moved ahead but with my ineptitude she quickly passed me and was in the lead again.
Before I could enter the splendor of this underwater paradise, a man overtook us. A bone-like crown circled his temples like a laurel leaf and his eyes, deep obsidian, bore into my soul. I opened my mouth to speak but alas my English tongue could not translate to his ocean tongue. His bronzed hand, huge and barbaric, leapt out at my face. I turned to cover my eyes but he only ripped the red cap from my head. He gripped it at his hip, a crumpled and pathetic piece of cloth, and stared at me. His eyes flipped from the water maiden to my person and suddenly I realized. This man was her father. His arm around her shoulder, hugging her to his chest, confirmed it.
Without the protection of the red cap the air left my lungs and I couldn't breathe. I closed my eyes, clutched at my throat, but to no avail. I tried to flee but found my legs too heavy. When I opened my eyes I saw the maiden break from her father's hold. She clutched my wrist in her slippery fingers and began to swim frantically to the surface. We rode the currents but it was too much. My eyes began to close, the world faded, and I sucked the seawater into my hungry lungs.
Inspired by Sunday Scribblings.