Photo Challenge# 79, September 22, 2015
Ariel loved the water. Of that there was no question. It was where she was happiest. She loved the purity of it, she was often overheard as saying, the way it caressed her without any intention and cloaked her like a second skin.
In the water, all of her worries float away with the random tangles of seaweeds. There was no discrimination there. The water accepted her, embraced her with welcoming arms. In the water she was not Ariel the introvert, the geek—or worse Ursula (a nickname the kids took great pleasure in inflicting upon her because of her real name).
The water allowed her to be whoever she wanted to be and so she likened herself to her namesake, the little mermaid. Only in her case, she was curious as to what lay deep in the water. What gems did it hide? What would it be like to swim among the schools of fishes?—All of them glistening like fine jewels in the sunlight.
One afternoon while bathing in the rays of the setting sun shimmering beneath the lake, Ariel caught the faint whispers of her impending doom. Surfacing she found a young lad sitting beneath a weeping willow. The sweet tune that had lured her from her beloved water came from a harp. She frowned as her feet carried her closer towards the lad, a desire to hear him clearer blossoming within her.
What am I doing? She wondered.
She wasn’t one to approach others but yet she couldn’t stop her feet. It was as if the music was wrapping itself around her, tugging her towards the harp in a slow seduction.
The lad never stopped playing, even when she paused before him. He kept his eyes closed, spinning the end of her tale with elegantly nimble fingers. She fell into a trance, her eyes unable to disengage themselves from those fingers that seemed to be sucking her very soul into the harp.
The music changed and Ariel gasped as the sounds of the seas and oceans crashed around her. She swayed, closing her eyes as she listened and saw the many tales of the vessels of water being weaved for her ears—beautiful scenery painting themselves on the back of her eyelids. She didn’t want it to stop. Her mind reached out, wanting to dance among the fishes and her soul lifted free from her meat suit; from confinement and she soared into the sky before plunging into cool, crystalline Blue Ocean.
The music stopped and the lad stood with a smile and said, “Thank you for the meal.”
Ariel’s body was discovered a few days later in the lake she last swam. The ocean had claimed her, they said not knowing how true that was.
The lad was never seen in those parts again but sometimes when the sunset was particularly surreal you can see a ginger haired mermaid, in the ocean faraway, bathing in the last rays while listening to the music from a lad’s harp.
Thank you for reading,