Mylene wanders along the deck, humming quietly to herself. She's trying to avoid going back to the cabin. Father caught her singing again and he’s in a mood. It's best for her to stay as far away as possible.
She's out at the front of the ship, with no one around, so she lets herself sing instead of hum, but makes sure to stay quiet. She stares out over the water, watching the mist dance across the surface.
A rocky outcrop looms out of the mist, the ship almost near enough that she could reach out and touch it. Her mind wanders as she watches it pass, eyes catching on some seaweed, a seagull, a dead fish, a beautiful woman…
She leans over the rail to get a closer look, convinced her eyes must be deceiving her. But no, she saw it right the first time: there's a woman lying on one of the rocky ledges, sprawled out like she's sunbathing on a beach.
As the ship moves closer, Mylene realizes something she hadn't before: the woman is shirtless. Her upper half is completely exposed, and she doesn’t seem concerned about it. Mylene blushes and knows she should avert her eyes, but can’t tear her eyes away. She traces the curve of her breasts down to the soft pink of her nipples and licks her lips, throat suddenly gone dry.
The woman shifts, long black hair spilling over the rock like ink, and opens her eyes. She looks straight at Mylene, plush lips parted as she begins to sing. Her voice is beautiful, amplified as it echoes through the mist. Mylene realizes it’s the same song she was singing a moment ago and feels the urge to join in.
A second voice joins the first, creating a perfect harmony, and a second woman appears from behind the first. She lies her head on the first woman’s stomach, dark skin glimmering in the sea spray, and looks up at Mylene. She smiles, so beautifully that Mylene can feel her heart skip a beat. The second woman runs a hand down the first woman’s side, making her smile, and leans in to kiss her.
Their songs breaks off as they kiss, and Mylene aches to join them. Whether in song or in the kiss or in both, she can’t quite tell. The other sailors are noticing them now, coming in droves to stare at them. Mylene sees the lust in their eyes, the same lust she sees directed at her when she walks by, and shivers in disgust. Her father sticks his head out of the cabin and crosses himself at the sight of the naked women.
The women break the kiss and turn back to the ship, smirking. Then they heave themselves up and slither off the rocks and into the water. Literally, they slither: their lower halves are fish tails, glimmering with iridescent scales and delicate fins. As Mylene watches them cut through the water, Mylene can see the immense power in those tails and feels a twinge of worry. She’s heard tales of the half-woman, half-fish creatures that lure sailors to their death and must admit that is what they’re facing now.
Looking over at the entranced sailors, Mylene doesn’t think they’re going to put up much of a fight. But, to her surprise, the mermaids don’t head for the sailors watching them desperately. Instead, they swim to where she’s standing and stare up at her, bobbing slightly as the waves push at them. She know she should back away, but she’s curious. She can see her father try to get closer, but the crowd of sailors keeps him at bay as they all rush to see the mermaids.
The long haired one smirks at her and purrs:
“Hello, darling. My name’s Regina.”
Her partner chimes in:
“And I’m Yolanda. What’s your name?”
Mylene smiles down at them; they don’t seem dangerous, in fact they’re very polite.
“My name’s Mylene. You’re a lot nicer than I expected.”
Regina and Yolanda laugh, voices tinkling like fine crystal, sending another rush of heat through her body. She blushes harder and tries to get a grip on herself. Regina continues:
“We’re much nicer to people who respect us. You don’t stare at us like the sailors do, you stare in a way that makes us feel good.”
Mylene gasps at that. She finds it’s true for her as well: when the mermaid's eyes wander across her chest and down her curves, she doesn’t feel afraid like when the sailors look at her that way.
“Does that mean you’re not going to kill me?”
Yolanda shrugs, water splashing with the movement.
“Well, we’d like to make you an offer. We can make you a mermaid like us. You can sing whenever and whatever you want. You can love anyone you want.”
“Don’t forget not having to wear clothes, like, ever. And you get to kill annoying men!”
Mylene must admit it sounds amazing. She could never have imagined that mermaids were real, let alone that she could become one, but now that she has the option, she likes it a lot.
Yolanda looks concerned though, and speaks up:
“We will have to drown you though, that’s necessary for the transformation to work.”
Mylene winces at the thought. But when she turns back and looks at what’s in her life right now: the cramped ship, her angry, constraining father, and the rowdy, frightening sailors, it doesn’t sound that bad. She closes her eyes, takes a deep, calming breath.
The mermaids cheer and clap, grinning widely up at her. Regina shouts up to her:
“All you have to do is climb over that rail and jump into the water, we’ll take it from there.”
Mylene tosses one leg over the rail, then the other, until she’s sitting on the railing. Her dress catches the slight wind, fabric flowing as she dangles over the drop. She turns back to look at her father one last time, watches him scream at her to stay. Then she lets go of the railing and falls into the cold water.
There’s hands pushing her underwater, pinning her there. It has to be the mermaids. Her world becomes a whirlwind of panic and freezing water until she runs out of breath. Then the pain starts, searing through her lungs and then her whole body, until finally darkness takes her.
When she wakes again, she’s surrounded by warmth, soft skin pressing against her from both sides. A hand strokes her hip, gentle and comforting. She opens her eyes to see Yolanda smiling at her. They’re both wrapped around her, looking at her as if she was the most beautiful thing in the world.
She sits up, shivering as she loses their warmth, and stares down at where her legs used to be. Looking at the tail, she feels a strange mix of pride and sadness. Then, she looks out past the rocky outcropping Regina and Yolanda must have brought her to and sees the ship. There’s other mermaids there, cutting through the water and luring the men into the water. None of the sailors come back to the surface.
She feels a vicious pride in that and smiles, fangs digging into her lip. Regina and Yolanda hiss in agreement, wrapping their arms around her as they watch the attack on the ship. Regina begins to sing, Yolanda joining her almost instantly. It’s a strange, haunting tune that Mylene has never heard before in her, yet she somehow knows it by heart.
She joins them, their voices melding in harmony and their bodies entangled, and they watch the ship sink.