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Shipwrecked

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Captain’s Log: Morning of August 28

Last night, my crew and I set sail from the Silas docks to investigate the mysterious disappearances of three ships off the coast of Montenegro. But as we approached the estimated area of my lost ships, a sudden storm rocked the waves with thrashing winds that tore our vessel to shreds.

The mast cracked and fell, crushing the helm and separating myself from the others. Rigging and what was left of the sails wrapped around my legs as the ship slowly sunk into the depths.

They were not so pleased with my order to leave me to go down with my ship.

The last thing I can recall is seeing most of my crew had made it safely aboard a small dingy boat before embracing the cold waves.

And yet here I am. Writing in my journal, shipwrecked on a small island somewhere. I have no idea how I’ve survived or made it here in the first place.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that my journey to solve this mystery has only just begun.

 

Captain Laura Hollis let out a short satisfied sigh as she placed her journal down onto the sand, now mostly dry after sitting out in the morning sun. She just couldn’t wait to write in it, the octopus ink she smudged in some places as the small twig she used as a pen scratched the wet paper.

Placing a small rock on its pages to continue drying and not flip in the wind, she heaved herself upwards, dusting the sand off her bottom and began to work.

Ship destroyed by a monster storm.

Miraculously survives and is now stranded on an island.

Journal writing first before survival.

Priorities.

Tossing aside her coat and boots, or what was left of them anyway, she set off to explore the shore of her little island.

Despite being stranded and possibly miles away from civilization and even possibly no way to get back home, she couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful place to be stuck on.

The soft sand beneath her toes, warm sun, the breeze and the ever wonderful sound of waves, music to any sailor. She took her time walking across the beach, keeping an eye out for land or ships across the horizon but she was in no hurry.

Eventually the sand ended and rock took its place to form a path into a small cave. The water’s calmed here, creating a small pool within the cave. Perfect for shelter in case the storm were to return.

“Well…I always said I needed a vacation…” She laughed to herself, carefully hopping over rocks smoothed over by the tide and time,”It’s not exactly what I had in mind but-”

She froze.

Like the eternal instinct of every sailor, she remained utterly still as a grey fin with a distinctive black tip, peaked out of the water’s surface.

As if realizing it was spotted, the dorsal retreated within the dark depths.

Finding her breath a moment later, she laughed at herself because she was on land and should have nothing to fear.

But still…

“…Why would a Blacktip be over here?” she asked herself but had no answers but more questions.

There it was again. That feeling in her gut. She felt it before the storm hit. She felt it when she heard the news of another ship had gone missing.

The Blacktip returned again, it’s dorsal just barely stroking the surface of the waters, circling around in front of her before retreating out towards the ocean.

Laura had every intention of leaving the shark alone if her terrible curiosity didn’t get the better of her upon realizing that said shark was possibly the biggest blacktip reef shark she had ever seen in her life.

Turning on her heel she retraced her steps and followed the dorsal fin along the path running parallel with the shark. Eventually the rock path curved upwards, becoming a small cliff the hung off the island and over the ocean.

Falling to her knees and clutching the side of the rock, Laura leaned over to catch the last glimpse of a black tipped fin before it disappeared deeper into the depths.

Much to her disappointment, she flopped back to sit on her legs and sighed,“…I should stop procrastinating…time to light a fire signal an-”

The water beneath her exploded, splashing water upwards around the cliff and on her as something jumped out of the ocean and landed right in front of her on the rock.

Laura yelped and fell over backwards landing hard against the ground.

She groaned, slowly sitting back up.

The water dripping over her face clouded her vision, at first glance she assumed it was a human but a quick wipe with the back of her hand revealed light grey skin, black eyes and a smile full of fangs.

She found herself frozen once again but for the same reason.

“oh….my….god….”

It stared at Laura for a moment, enjoying the look of surprise on her face, it leaned forward to rest her chin on her arms. Laura could barely catch a glimpse of a long shark tail flicking back and forth over the edge of the cliff where she hung on.

“So you did make it after all. I was wondering if you were ever going to wake up”

Laura’s mouth hung open in disbelief.

“You…can speak?” she sputtered, “Wait you’re real?! The stories were true?!”

The mermaid just smiled,”You must be new at this aren’t you?”

In an instant, Laura was back on her feet.

And fuming.

“YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S BEEN SCREWING WITH MY SHIPS” she screamed, suddenly just a few inches from the mermaid’s face.

She blinked up at the human, biting her lip in thought,“……well you’re not wrong”

The mermaid leaned back as Laura sat in front of her and got in her face, she was not happy.

“THREE SHIPS. I LOST THREE SHIPS, LOST AT SEA AND ALL CREW MISSING”

She watched the human stand up and begin to pace, now she was…laughing?

“But I knew it! I knew something else was happening. I hid a female sailor on one of those ships. She didn’t fall for the siren’s song but is now traumatized for life after surviving a ship wreck and seeing a bunch of men being dragged into the ocean to be drown and I think she mentioned being eaten alive poor girl but I knew it!”

Laura finally stopped and huffed, placing her hands on her hips, satisfied with herself. Just like that the mystery was solved and her journey was brought to a rather short conclusion.

“The shark part was left out though…didn’t see that one coming”

She laughed, giving Laura a slow clap.

“Congratulations Captain, you’re a world class investigator…”

Despite now being face to face and even having a conversation with a creature that she once considered a childhood story, Laura rolled her eyes at the fish,“And you are a very sarcastic siren…Mermaid……shark…”

Jamming her fist against her cheek, she shook her head and grinned at up at the girl, “Have you considered not using the route you were sending those men on? Not that I’m complaining, you fed us for a few months…”

“….it was a shortcut…”

She threw her head back and laughed,“You are definitely new at this”

Suddenly all of the questions, side eyeing and whispers back home made sense, “Oh God….no one told me”

“Most prefer to pretend we don’t exist, and for good reason” she shrugged.

Laura groaned, covering her face with her hands, no one told her a thing and she sent nearly a hundred men to their deaths. Great.

“Wait a moment…” she paused herself, staring down the mershark for a moment, who looked back in confusion,”…you said Captain, how did you know? And you were waiting for me to wake up?”

Fins where human ears would be, flicked in mild annoyance.

“Your observation skills seem to be in well working order“

“You saved me? Why? I mean..thank you I rather enjoy living but…”

She shrugged once more, twirling thick wet strands of black hair in between her fingers

“To be honest, we tried killing you all earlier while you slept last night”

Laura paled. There were more of them…of course there were.

“But not a single male on board? Interesting. And such a tiny human in comparison barking orders?” she finally looked back up at the girl and smiled, lips curling upwards to expose a full set of sharp teeth. Laura wondered if this was what fish would see before they perished, and yet for an instant she wouldn’t have minded it.

“You amuse me”

Laura blinked once.

“…that’s it?”

“That’s all”

With that, the mershark smiled, “Good luck to you Captain” and jumped back into the ocean.

Laura found herself leaning over the edge to catch one last glimpse of the supposedly mythical creature, and was quite surprised to find her staring back.

“Thank you!!” she called out before it was too late.

It could have been the heat, or the water was still in her eyes but if she didn’t know any better a tinge of pink color spread across the mershark’s face before diving into the ocean.