The waves crashed onto the rocks, as white foam lined against the contrast of the barnacles. He watched the couple from a distance, locked in an embrace. Their bodies were half submerged in the cold water, where they exchanged body heat to fight the cold. Bodies entwined, the man pulled his woman closer, in for a passionate kiss.
A tear rolled down his wrinkled cheek as he took a swig from his flask. The reminiscence was too beautiful, and too painful to relive.
Alexios was just like any other ordinary boy when he was young – mischievous and inquisitive. His home was in a small fishing village of Southern Europe, where the villagers hunted from the sea for livelihood. Fresh fish, salt, oysters and pearls were exported and despite its size, the village was prospering from the bustle.
When he hit the age of 21, Alexios had grown to become a fine lad. He had an enviably broad and built physique, with skin evenly tanned from the long hours spent in the sun. His hair was a soft black, with slight curls at the end. They framed his strong jaw perfectly, accentuating his bold green eyes.
His family harvested pearls for a living. Having no advanced breathing apparatus then, the “farmers” were trained to hold their breath for a prolonged period of time, giving them sufficient time to search for the ones ripe for harvest, the ones which held the precious, silvery sphere. Alexios was the best and the strongest swimmer in the team of farmers that his father had instructed him to lead.
The only slight problem with Alexios, was that he was born partially deaf. A mutation in his ear drums caused him to be unable to pick up high notes. But science was still lacking in advancement and he had thus learnt to deal with it throughout the years.
On his 21st birthday, his father gave him an extremely beautiful dagger, embossed with his initials and inlaid with precious stones. A large Aquamarine, for protection from the sea, was nestled in the middle of the handle, surrounded by the bewitching dark green hues of the blood-stones, to protect the wearer from evil and for endurance. They encircled the Aquamarine as though standing in vigilance. Garnets lined the sides, to bless the wielder with courage. Specks of topaz littered along the shaft to grant him everlasting strength and spirit.
Everything was going great for Alexios’ family. The business was booming. But of course, life always had its ups and downs. Alexios’ father fall gravely ill and as dread hung like cobwebs around the house, everyone feared death may win the fight.
Alexios, being the filial son he was, sought to find his father the most beautiful pearl – The black pearl; said to, when grounded and mixed with a certain mixture of herbs, is so rejuvenating that even the dead can be brought to life.
Rumor has it that a half day sail away from the village, in the north west direction on a day with no wind after a thunderstorm, will clear the fog that surrounds a mysterious shipwrecked island. In that island lies a deep pool which was believed to be enchanted. It is pitch black in the day, yet on a full moon, the iridescent moonlight casts a steady stream of moonbeam like a halo and turns the water to blue, enabling sight underneath.
In its watery depths where the seabed is, lies a home to many oysters which held pearls that shine like that of the moon. The oysters are thought to have absorbed the essence of the moonlight which in turn make the pearls so alluring, they will illuminate by themselves even in a place void of light. Out of all those oysters, there will be one with the most enthralling find; the one with the darkest shade of nightsky, yet which shines as bright as the moon itself.
However, many have failed to reach the bottom, having ran out of breath. Some died in a struggle for oxygen, some died on their way to the island. Those few who returned sane, claimed to have heard peculiar and melancholic music.
It was time to hunt. Alexios gathered a few days supplies, recruited a few of his best men. A thunderstorm just brewed over and everything was as calculated.
The captain of the small ship was Edgar, a man well known for his scruffy gray beard and sea sense. On the zenith of the afternoon sky, the men bid goodbye to their families and set sail for their mission. Everything was going as planned as the ship left the dock, into the horizon of endless width. The weather was making everyone lethargic and hot. Due to the lack of wind, the men had to paddle the oars in order to maneuver through the deep sea.
One of the farmers, Rico, doused in perspiration, still smoked his pot non-stop and said: “I heard from one of my friends, that cranky old fool, said he met a beautiful woman once while he sailed too far out to catch the larger fish. She was like a dolphin, swimming gracefully and laughing at him. When he bent down for a better look, he heard a splash and BAM! Gone were his fishes from the basket. Went home empty handed and got scolded by his shrewd wife.”
Everyone on the ship laughed merrily and sang songs of the seafarers to pass time. Suddenly, Edgar yelled from the helm of the ship. He spotted something from a distance.
“Alexios! Dingbat. We have a problem!” An enormous school of fish were headed towards the direction of the ship and that meant that sharks will be close behind. It will be impossible to continue the original route as the presence of craggy rocks made it impossible to negate collision into a feeding frenzy.
Edgar pointed to the approaching mass of moving silvers in the water and Alexios knew the gravity of their problem.
“Will it be possible for you to go around? Do an alternate route?” Alexios pressed anxiously.
“Aye. But the reroute will take longer, and there will certainly be more of them rocks and we will have to be more cautious. It’ll be night-time by then, and even I have hardly tread those waters.” Edgar answered with a hint of uncertainty.
Alexios looked as more of the deadly dorsal fins sprung up in the water. He knew there was no other way out. He nodded to acknowledge the captain’s forewarning of the risks. The other men were frantic upon seeing the predicament but everyone worked furiously to steer the ship to the right, away from the bloodfest that was about to take place. They’d rather not be part of it.
It was 9 at night. Amid the cloudless sky, the air was still. The sea was eerily quiet as it basked in the lonesome moonlight. Edgar checked his compass and looked hard at the map again. He beckoned for Alexios.
“If we make a sharp turn here,” Edgar’s weathered finger went across the aged parchment “we will be in the creek of death, but it will enable us to reach the island in no time.”
“Creek of death?” Alexios’ eyes widened. He did not wish for his parents to be without their only child, nor bring all the good men with him right into Death’s hands.
“It ain’t child’s play to navigate through those waters. The small valley got its scary ol’ name because many ships have met their fatal peril there during thunderstorms. Our sweet girl here is small, and the waters are quiet tonight. I’d say we’ll be fine. Won’t we, my lady?” Edgar patted the headboard of the ship lovingly, as though attempting to seek its approval. (after which a creaking sound resonated through the board, as though the ship itself was in agreement with what was just spoken.)
“Its your call, captain. I ain’t no master of the seas, only a humble oyster farmer.” Alexios gripped the old man’s arm firmly and with trust before leaving to join the rest.
The ship sailed gracefully, with no difficulties for its elegant size into the towering valley. The rocks made shape of a tiny path, allowing her to just slip through the space perfectly. The moon was at its peak, peering through the crevice, casting incandescent light throughout.
“Hmmmm……… HmmmMm…” The men looked towards the direction of the sound in unison. It was a sweet melody, but so… so… sad. Everyone stopped rowing and stood up, completely enraptured. Everyone except Alexios. He picked up a few low notes that had a tinge of vibrato to them, but that was it.
“Hey, guys, Hey!!!” Alexios tried to get Rico’s attention by tugging his arm. But Rico did not respond, as though hypnotized.
Alexios ran to Edgar, whose map was dangling from just two mere fingers. He shook him hard. The ship sailed by itself, as if by magic. The slow current was pushing it, further and further into the valley…
Alexios knew he had to act fast. He yelled loudly into Edgar’s ears. “HEY!!!!”
Edgar shook erratically, as though snapping out of a trance.
“What’s going on Edgar? I can hear some sounds but what has gotten into everyone?”
Edgar heard the song once more and furrowed his brows. “Could it be… How can that be? Song of the sirens! I thought it was a mere sea myth. We have no time. Try to wake them up, my son. I will try to steer us away but… It may be too late.”
Alexios had many questions. But he knew there was no time for answers. Whatever that was happening, it must be really bad. He started shouting really loudly, at the top of his lungs, and tried to slap the men back to reality. But the song must have gotten louder too, as even for Alexios, he was able to pick up more and more bits of the melody.
Finally, the tall rocks ended abruptly. Like two guardsmen of a palace entrance, they parted to reveal a cluster of flat rocks. And on top of those rocks, in the silver moonshine, were a few extremely beautiful…. women. Except that they had no legs, but a long, scaly tail.
Edgar took to his feet, to the large bulk of supplies they brought. He took out his own harpoon and yelled to Alexios “Grab whatever weapon you can find!”
It took awhile before Alexios reacted to the captain’s commands as one of the mythical creatures caught his eye. She had long silver hair, the color of moonlight, so lustrous it made her skin look paler than it was. She was perched shyly at the corner of the flat rocks, peering at them with her hair messed up from swimming. Her breasts were not as rounded as those of the other nymphs, but they were firm and her nipples were partially concealed by a few loose silver locks of hair.
Her tail was splashing poetically at the surface of the water. It was a mesmerizing shade of aquamarine, just as lucent as the stone on Alexios’ dagger. All the nymphs were still singing, their beauty too ineffable for mortal description.
Edgar used all his force to steer the ship away from some oncoming rocks which were right in the middle of the valley, but the strong current persisted and overpowered him. The ship crashed onto the rocks, and all the men collapsed onto the floor, not from the crash, but as though in deep stupor. Edgar wielded the harpoon, his hand shaking from fear. The two men left standing then ran to the furthest side of the ship, and Alexios attempted to drag the men away from the rocks.
The nymphs made no move, but watched them, clearly amused. One of them with a fiery red tail and loud curly orange hair started laughing heartily. Her breasts were huge, and bounced in rhythm to her enchanting voice. She wore a crirclet made of seaweed and shells.
Alexios tried to pay no attention, still desperately trying to lug all the unconscious men to safety.
There were 8 of them, but as Alexios was trying to rescue the 3rd one, the fiery siren flicked her left hand, as though raising a command. Two of the nymphs beside her immediately dived into the water, before emerging from the surface in a high jump. Both of them landed with hands on the deck of the ship, tails still frolicking in the water.
One smirked at Alexios, before wrapping her slightly webbed fingers around one of the men and in a flash, disappeared into the water. Alexios took out his dagger and just as he was about to try and fend off the second one, Edgar fired the harpoon. The sharp spear pierced the soft sides of the nymph as she cried out in pain before falling back into the sea.
The rest of the sirens started to wail, as if they can jointly feel that searing pain. The fiery one let out a high pitched scream which caused Edgar to cover his ears. Alexios watched in fear, oblivious to the sound but he knew she was letting out a warcry. He gripped his dagger tightly, counting how many he had to fight. 9, including the injured one. Edgar and him, were obviously outnumbered.
Alexios ran to the edge of the ship, which is in ruins after the impact from ramming into the rocks. He knelt down and faced the bevy of angry women/fish in front of him.
“We are just humble fishermen, here to look for pearls to make a living. I have no intention of hurting anyone… nor letting any of my comrades lose their lives. Please let us go!” His voice echoed in the valley, tinged with a desperate plea.
The fiery one looked at him ostentatiously and spoke. “What do we have here? A brave, handsome young man who did not fall prey to our beautiful song….”
She beckoned with both her arms, and this time 7 of them including her dived into the sea, leaving the injured one mocking him from the corner of the rocks.
Alexios noticed the farmer, Gathos, who was captured by the first nymph that attacked. He was laid flat on the rock, with the nymph on top of him, scrutinizing every part of his lifeless body.
But in the next moment, the fiery one appeared. Her hands were unlike the rest. Her fingers were clawed and too grotesque to look at, with barnacles sticking up like sores. Edgar fired the hapoon, but she dodged it with expertise. A few other nymphs had successfully landed on the deck and tried to slither towards the remaining men, attempting to drag them down to the liquid abyss of death.
Alexios took out his dagger and stuck it out in front of him. “Back off! I don’t know what you are, but I just want the safety of my friends. Let us go!”
The fiery one spread out on the deck, fanning her tail slowly. Her hands propping her up for support. She motioned for him to go closer with her talon. Alexios hesitated, but did not waver. Dagger in hand, he walked towards her.
She made him kneel down beside her as she whispered “We are your most beautiful nightmare.” He gasped as her tail parted into two, before taking form of legs. The scales faded away, leaving only a hint of red at the feet. She wrapped her arms around him as she stood up, steadily, holding his gaze. She then smiled again, seductively as she crooned, her voice spiked with lust.
Her fingers moved to grab his muscular arm, offering her ample breasts to him as his palm covered the circumference of her soft mound. Alexios stared into her eyes, they were a beautiful shade of grey, but he detected no love, no life in them. He snapped out of her trap and pushed her away.
“I have done nothing of unjust! And I will definitely not allow my friends to perish in your filthy hands!” He grabbed her left arm firmly which was scaly and slimy and pinned her down to the floor, dagger at crook of her neck. Edgar let out a loud yelp. One of the nymphs had flicked his harpoon overboard and he was defenseless.
Alexios heard cries as Edgar got maliciously attacked again, with only his arms to fend the vicious nymphs. His grip on the pinned mermaid strengthened.
The fiery one did not show any sign of fear. “Kill me, and you will never get out of here alive!”
“I don’t want to kill you. Just let us go.” Alexios insisted, his voice strong and determined.
“You are courageous… and kind. Reminds me of him.” her lips twisted into a sad smile before anger plagued her face again. “BUT EVERYTHING WAS JUST A LIE!”
Her anger empowered her as she snarled, legs morphing back into her strong tail, which flicked at him with dexterity and finesse. He was flung against the hull from the impact and gradually lost consciousness.
Heat…. lots of heat…. Alexios struggled to open his eyes. He found his almost nude body covered by white sand, heated up by the perpetual glare of the sun. He was stripped bare, with nothing but his undergarment left. His dagger was gone. Where is everybody? Why is he alive? Or is he dead and this is the heaven that people talked about?
Ripples pooled through the water in dainty circles as a tail disappeared back into the sea. Alexios got up and tried to walk to the fringe of the sand, clutching his head and staggering from the grogginess. Memories of last night were like fragments of a bad hangover.
“Hey, who’s there?” Alexios shouted out to the ocean, feeling like an idiot. It must have been minutes since he stood there, but there was no sign of anyone/anything out there. Just as he turned to head back to the shore, he saw her, perched the same way she did when he first laid eyes on her. She was on the sandy slope, her aquamarine tail dazzling in the midday sun. Her breasts and fore arms were covered in sand, which indicated she must have slithered across the sand to get up there.
He broke out of the gaze when he realized he was too enticed by her beauty. Too beguiled to remember he was an unarmed man wearing only a cotton undergarment standing in front of a dangerous nymph which may most probably rip him apart or eat him. Or both.
Balling his hands into hardened fists, Alexios adopted a fighting stance as he approached her with circumspection.
“What do you want?” He shouted, words carried by the hot zephyr. He was afraid to get too close.
“Come… sit with me.” She replied, her voice almost a sweet whisper, like wind chimes and corals. Her smile was so divine that it melted his heart.
Alexios couldn’t hear her properly, as that pitch was beyond his spectrum of sound. But he lip read and assumed she wanted him to sit down.
“Sit down here? Are you crazy? It’s blazing hot. And I am no fool to be deceived by your disdainful words!” He yelled back, keeping his distance.
She gave a look of subtle confusion before she stretched out her hand, and pointed to a shady spot under a palm tree, meters from where they were. She then stretched out her arms like a helpless child waiting to be picked up.
Unlike the fiery one, she had no sinister shadows, no mask. Her innocuous blue eyes sparkled with no glint of malice. Alexios dropped his fists, contemplated for a while before walking over to scoop her up. After all, its only to her disadvantage to be further away from her wet fortress.
Her tail was cool from the sea water still clinging onto her scales which were a tad bit rough. Her skin however, was soft and smooth. She wrapped her arms around his neck as she rested her silver crown against his taut chest. He felt his heart racing, overwhelmed with an unexplained adrenaline rush bursting through his veins.
“Your heart beat…” She spoke again, this time with no chime in her voice, but a serious tone. Alexios gave a puzzled look before dumping her onto the soft sand underneath the tree.
“Are you thinking of eating my heart?” He responded defensively, hands clenched.
She threw back her head in peals of cheeky laughter.
“Don’t do that, I can’t hear you.” He was annoyed. Annoyed because she must have sounded like an angel but he can’t imagine it.
Her face grew curious as she touched her ears and cocked her head sideways as if in question.
“Yes. I have bad hearing since young. Unable to hear sounds that are too high pitched. So, I will not fall prey to your silly traps!” Alexios then decided to sit opposite her, maintaining his distance.
“Not me.” She said sadly as she played with her hair, brushing sand out of it.
“Is that the one with the red tail?” He probed.
The nymph looked at Alexios as though surprised that he guessed it. She nodded, a fearful expression clouded her beautiful face.
“Then why am I alive?”
“Me took.” She replied and with a simple gesture of her arms crossed into an embrace over her heart.
“Good heart.” She smiled again, cheerfully and reached forward with her webbed fingers, placing them across his chest.
Alexios flinched from her sudden gesture but his body wouldn’t budge. He knew she was feeling his heartbeat.
“What is your name? I am Alexios” He replied tenderly, for that moment when she was sensing his heartbeat was so intimate and so…. comfortable.
“Ika.” The way she spoke her name sounded like bells over a summer breeze.
“Thanks for sparing my life… Ika.” He looked down, as though in awkwardness. Ika inched closer to Alexios, her fingers brushing the coarse stub of his facial hair, before locking gaze with him once more.
The chemistry and her charm was too much for him to bear, as Alexios felt something stirring within his heart. Ika closed her eyes and smiled, as though listening to his rapid heartbeats, her graceful fingers still lingering on his cheeks.
“What am I doing?” Alexios jumped up, startled by the engulfing passion that was about to be further ignited should he lean anymore closer. “Where are the rest of my companions?” He questioned, expression hardened.
Ika’s large blue eyes looked right into his and shook her head sadly.
He couldn’t control his anger, jamming his bare fist right into the palm tree behind her. Letting out a loud cry of despair, he dropped to his knees into the sand, finding it so difficult to accept the loss of his fellow men. He knew he had to get out of there. But he had already lost everything. He needed to find the black pearl.
“Where is the ship. Is it of conditions to sail?” Alexios heaved a heavy sigh, both hands on his lap, turning to look at Ika. She was taken aback by his sudden outrage but understood his pain. She nodded.
“Where are we now? I need to find the black pearl. It is said to be on the island surrounded by fog, resting in a deep pool.” Alexios brushed the sand off himself, got up, and scanned his surrounding.
“Lunam caelo” Ika pointed to the surroundings before gingerly combing her hair with an enchanting smile on her face as she spoke.
She continued “Moonshine palace.”
She then looked up at Alexios with a look of excitement on his face but shook her head. “Dangerous.” and pointed at him.
Alexios frowned. “I am the best swimmer in town. And I have to get the pearl, no matter what. If not, my comrades have perished for nothing. My father… he is gravely ill. I need the pearl, or he will die.” He looked down at Ika and offered his arms, a tinge of sadness swept across his eyes.
“Thank you again… for saving my life. I will repay you one day.”
Ika stared at him and stretched out her frail arms. In his strong embrace, she felt safe. Pressing her ears against his chest, she listened to his heartbeats again.
“Me help you.” She whispered.
Alexios glanced down, looking surprised. “Why are you so nice to me?” An angelic and deathly beautiful face looked up at him and he knew in his heart, he didn’t have to ask.
She nuzzled his chest once more as her reply. Alexios trudged into the sea, until the water is up to his waist. Then, he slowly let her slip into the cold. She did a few flicks as though she missed being wet. Which was well, natural. Alexios stood still as she encircled him, making playful splashes.
She was giggling, her beautiful laughter echoed within the enclosed mountainous terrain of the island. Alexios couldn’t hear it, but he looked at the pure elation painted on her face and in his heart, he felt that he knew how she sounded.
The splash fight turned serious and they soon found themselves to have made their way into each other’s arms once more. Ika’s tail swirled gently in the water as she clung onto Alexios’ shoulders. Closer… and closer.
Her long lashes fluttered shut as she tilted her head. Alexios looked at her, with her intricate features. She was so heavenly. He pulled her in for a kiss, trying to search for her tongue. As their tongues played ferociously, Ika traced her fingers down his perfectly sculpted back.
She tasted like the sea, and of morning dew. So divine.
Alexios laid Ika down horizontally in the water as he gently swept her hair back. The silvery locks fell gently behind her back, leaving her exposed breasts. Her nipples were taut from the passion, pink and ready to be caressed. He planted light, fleeting kisses from her forehead, to her eyes, to her lips, working his way down slowly.
His hands trembled slightly as they supported her back, which was arched in fluid concentration with her perky breasts sticking up proudly, as though wanting to be touched. His right hand went up slowly, until he reached the milky globes. With his lips still locked with hers, he fondled her breast. It was soft yet firm, and so smooth. His thumb and index finger worked on her nipple, rubbing it, stroking and teasing so hard. Ika’s tail rose and fell in sheer ecstasy as soft moans escaped her lips.
Alexios broke away from her magical kiss, before going for her breasts. He kissed them both, before latching his mouth on the left nipple, sucking hard. It was of salty goodness as his tongue flicked over the sensitive bud, trying to lap up all that flavor. His right hand continued to be busy with her right breast, fingering and pressing onto the nub. The dual stimulation drove Ika mad.
Her right hand lunged wildly at what’s left of his undergarment searching for his manhood; only to find it throbbing with excitement. She pulled the garment down, revealing a taut and hefty muscle. Her hand was barely enough to grab the entire circumference, but Ika started stroking it anyway.
The passion roared over the calm waves, as though setting fire to the water. At that moment, Ika’s tail started to morph, just like how the Fiery one’s did. The tail started to divide, and the aquamarine faded. Soon, her newfound legs were kicking up against the seabed.
Alexios was only partially surprised by the morph, but that did not deter him from devouring her soft breasts. He reached up again for yet another kiss, his left hand clasped over her waist in a domineering cradle. His right hand then moved south, navigating in the crystal blue water for her precious genitalia.
His fingers reached her nether lips and they parted to welcome him. As his fingers delved in, the nectar gathered from her arousal clung onto them. She was already soaking wet. He dribbled against the narrow passage in a slow ascension, his thumb grazing her clitoris mercilessly.
Her moans grew louder and it rang like sweet rhapsody, reverberating in his ears. His fingers worked furiously as his lips covered her breast once more, tongue lashing against her nipple hungrily, sore from all the handling. His thumb encircled the clitoris. Movements of him fingering her that hard constantly sent pulses of electric bliss down her spine. Finally, the pleasure exploded within her, as she rode momentarily senseless on her orgasm. The sweet bliss of pleasure left her body like tidal waves as her body rocked in surges.
It was her turn to return the favor as Ika went underwater after recovering. Her lips took his manhood with sanction, with her tongue teasing the tip. She planted kisses across the entire length of it as her right head caressed his testicles. She fitted the entire shaft in her mouth with some difficulty and performed the blowjob. She went down on her knees and the sand from the seabed buoyed her legs.
Alexios let out a groan as Ika dived deeper down his member. The build-up was driving him mad. His hands caressed her hair, but turned into a yank when he wanted her to stop. Stop… or else… It was too late. Ika continued her movements, one hand on his buttcheek whilst another massaging his two sensitive counterparts. He came, with all of that pent up excitement fully loaded in her mouth. Ika swallowed the liquid gratifyingly and looked up adoring at the man.
Alexios grunted, his knees slightly weak. His arms went around Ika, pulling her up to the surface. He then held her hand, as the two of them, stark naked, swam to a couple of big rocks nearby. Alexios pinned Ika against the husky surface of a rock, singling out her nipples for a quick nibble before turning her, exposing her back view and her soft round bottom. He doubled her over, grabbed her right hand and placed it hostage folded across her back whilst her left hand grabbed onto the rock for a dear life.
Her legs parted as Alexios teased her nether region with the head of his shaft, still frictionless from her sweet fluids. He then entered her, slowly but with force. She was really tight. A gasp escaped Ika’s lips as his entire length filled her up completely. Alexios started to build up the momentum, penetrating hard. The impact of his plunges caused her breasts to flail up and down helplessly.
He then grabbed one of her free moving boob with his spare hand, adding to her pleasure by violating her already swollen nipple. He was thrusting so forcefully that they were making their own waves as the water sloshed around nosily, yet deafened by their joint moans of pure pleasure.
Alexios couldn’t take it anymore as he released her right hand, grabbed Ika tightly by her hips and went for a final set of thrusts. Harder…. and deeper… Ika cried out as she felt his manhood attempting to go further in, wanting to feel every inch of her inside.
Alexios let out a loud groan. He then moved savagely and finally, he erupted. Like a raging storm, he came inside her, going deeper with every ejaculation. His cum mixed with her fluids in her sweet valley as Ika moaned softly in delirium, embracing the remnants of his passion. Only then did Alexios detached himself from her, spinning her around to face him and pulled her in for a kiss.
They were in love with each other, and no further words were needed to express that cognition.
The pair spent the afternoon foraging for fruits to fill Alexios’ growling stomach. Ika led him to a beautiful shady spot off the island’s coast where palm trees and shrubs grew to provide a heavenly thicket. Gentle waves washed up the shore to tickle their feet (and tail) where they made love again, frolicking and basking in new found matrimony.
Alexios gazed adoringly at Ika. God, is she divine. Sunlight streamed down through the green canopy, searching for little spaces amidst the leaves to reach the sandy floor. Ika’s hair glowed endlessly, and the aquamarine of her tail glittered like diamonds.
He stretched out his hand to cup her chin and his tone grew serious.
“I want you to be my wife.”
Ika’s eyes widened before sadness tinged her eyes in a flash. She shook her head. “Ika can’t.”
The brows on Alexios’ face furrowed. “Why? Is it because of the fiery one?”
Ika’s face turned paler than it already was. She then crumbled into a little pile, hands bent over her tail and whispered: “Nymph, cannot love a man.”
“But I love you. With all of my heart. And I will carry the memory of your face to my grave.” Alexios kissed her hand.
Ika gave a somber smile. She planted a kiss on Alexios’ heart.
She then noticed a beautiful seashell washed up ashore. With the help of some seaweed, she fashioned a necklace and placed it around Alexios’ neck.
“Ika” She pointed to the necklace, and then to her heart. Alexios clutched the necklace, before pulling her in for a kiss as the waves lulled them to be united as one, once again.
Nightfall came. The sky was iridescent with starlight. The moon ascended to the zenith of the pitchblack canvas. It was like a step closer to heaven from where they were looking.
Ika shook off the sad atmosphere and said. “Its time, my love.”
The pair embarked on the journey to the enchanted pool under Ika’s guide. Alexios took special care whilst trudging through the plantation, afraid to hurt the beautiful creature that he carried in his strong arms.
Thunderous echoes could be heard as they approached a huge cave, right smack in the middle of the island. Alexios entered the cave cautiously. Everywhere was romantically lit up by mysterious lights.
“Guardians of the cave” Ika cooed softly, reaching out her fingers as one of the small fairies landed and kissed her fingertip. Her little wings fluttered like that of a hummingbird and she was the size of a walnut. Her wings shone a prismatic silver, moving so fast that she looked like a Christmas light.
Alexios glanced around in bewilderment. Are all these real?
The passageway widened to reveal the source of the noise. It was a gigantic waterfall, with the angry flow of water gushing into a big pool. The top of the cave had an opening, wide enough for moonshine to hit right at where the waterfall ended. The opalescent light revealed a glimpse into the mysterious pool. Anywhere out of the spot lit by the moonlight, is water that is darker than the sky.
Ika instructed to be placed by the edge of the pool. Beautiful pebbles that shone like pearls circled the circumference of the pool, indicative of what treasures lie below. Where the moonlight touched, the surface of the pool glimmered. The tiny guardians started to gather around the couple.
“Don’t do it Ika….” all of them chorused.
Alexios gave a look of bewilderment. “What’s happening? I will be the one to get the black pearl. I am the strongest diver in my town.” Alexios tried to explain.
The fairies let off peals of laughter but Alexios could not hear them.
“YOU FOOL!!!” They teased, flitting through the air, covering the area with fairydust.
” My old man is dying. And only the pearl can rescue him.”
The fairies then responded by forming a circle around him, preventing him from going closer to the pool.
Alexios called out to Ika who only peered curiously into the pool, before staring right back at him. It was the same look she wore when they first exchanged glances, when they first made love, and when he told her that he loved her.
“Ika will always watch over you.” As the words slipped through her lips curled into a tender smile, Ika dived into the pool, leaving nothing but a splash.
“NO!” Alexios rushed to the pool, wanting to dive down but the fairies stopped him. He knelt by the side of the pool, anxiously trying to look into the black mass.
“IKA!!! IKA COME BACK!!!”
He was not sure of what was going on, but the gripping fear in his heart couldn’t be wrong. Something sinister is about to happen.
A whirlpool formed in the middle of the water, right where the incandescent light was. A large mother of pearl, still nestled majestically in its shell surfaced from the gloomy depths. As though absorbing essence from the moon, the pearl shone as bright, in luminescent white.
A pair of hands reached out from below, embracing the pearl. It was Ika. Alexios shouted in a frenzy, and tried to break free from the fairies’ grip but to no avail.
His voice reverberated throughout the cave, but all Ika did was flash a beautiful smile. Some fairies went forward, surrounding the mermaid. A lovely melody overpowered Alexios’ feeble cries. The fairies were singing. The ones around Ika sang with melancholy as they braided her hair.
“Always be kind, Alexios… And listen to your heart.” Ika whispered, her gentle voice floating above the sweet song. She took up a dagger of familiar design. which suddenly emerged from the swirling water.
Alexios consciously reached to his knife shaft, and flew into a rage to realize his dagger was missing, and that it was about to commit something malevolent in the very hands of his beloved.
With no hesitation, Ika gave one last, loving glance at Alexios before her cries penetrated every fiber, every cell of his soul. ;
The dagger went straight through her chest, right into her heart, as though a skewer, she drew the weapon out, along with her beating heart. It was of a pale aquamarine, the color of her tail, of her mesmerizing eyes, but the blood that was drawn; a pitch black.
Alexios dropped to his knees, tears streaming down his face. He shunned away from the scene, not wanting to witness it. Fists balled, he plummeted the grainy floor angrily.
The blood dripped over the pearl… “Drip.. drop.. drip.. drop” And as though magic, dyed the pearl black. It was not an ordinary black. It shone like the moon when placed under moonlight, more dazzling than the moon itself.
The shell then closed up gracefully, before floating to the edge of the pool, resting next to Alexios’ fists.
“If I had known, I will never have wanted to get the black pearl. I wouldn’t… I will not have it!” Alexios shoved the shell away in rage. But the fairies stopped him and held the pearl firmly, suspended in the air.
Ika did not talk. Her slender arms crossed over her small frame, and then as though poetry in motion, she lied flat on the surface of the water. The fairies did not stop with their song as they proceeded to sprinkle fairy dust and flowers all over the dying mermaid.
The whirlpool turned into a lovely shade of aquamarine upon contact with Ika’s profusely bleeding body, before enlarging in circumference to welcome her into the chasm.
The fairy song stopped abruptly as the shell opened up again. Ika’s beautiful voice traveled from her body, into the waiting clam.
And just like that, the ravaging water stopped its ritual. Just like that, she was gone.
Alexios could not react, his lifeless limbs would not move an inch. Hot angry tears would not stop flowing. The fairies placed the shell before his feet, quipping “Take it, because this is Ika’s love for you.”
He turned upon hearing footsteps approaching. It was the fiery one. The usual look of malice was missing from her face. It was replaced by sorrow and sadness, etched so deep, as though the emotion was worn for a long long time.
She sat beside the broken man, before taking his hand and placing it across her breast, where the ugly scar resided.
“Long ago, I loved a man, who told me he loved me too. He asked me if I was willing to do anything for him. And of course, I said yes. He brought me to this pool and told me we will be together forever. In that moment, from the kiss he gave me, I couldn’t sense any love in his heart, any sweetness from his lips. I realized doom was imminent. I then tried to break away from his arms.
When he knew his lie was exposed, that heartless man took out his dagger and swung it across my chest. I fought him, my cries so loud that I awoke the dormant fairies, guardians of the pool. They fought him off together with me, until he perished and was devoured by the water.
The fairies told me of an ancient folklore, where a mermaid died together with a mortal man, right here in this pool. Because they knew that they could not be together. From then on, the pool became enchanted. There is nothing magical about the pearl that you mortals talk about. Its the heart of the siren, that is said, when given with true love, will grant any mortal, the gift of immortality.
I always thought all men lust for greed, beauty and power. After I killed the heartless man, I realized my powers increased, and I possessed the ability to take human form whenever I pleased. Thus I sent the message to my sisters from all over the sea and we took reign of the valley of death – To lure all the hateful men to our lair. Yet, power could not be gained by my sisters, because there was no emotions, no love making.
But today, as I have witnessed for myself, true love given to Ika by a mortal man, I admit I may have been filled with too much abhorrence to see for myself that not every man is the same. Please keep the pearl close to you as always. Because it contains Ika’s love, and her soul.”.
The fiery one wiped a tear away from her ember eyes, before turning to walk away.
“I have repaired your boat, you may set sail when the sun rises above the morning sea.”
With a flurry, she was gone. The fairies prepared a bed of leaves and a pot of sweet nectar for Alexios. He was still in a state of despair and shock. It was all too much for an ordinary human to absorb. He kissed the shell, and gently opened it. Pressing his ear close, he could hear faint echoes of Ika’s voice calling his name. “Alexios…” The pearl gleamed, as though smiling at him.
Alexios fell asleep on the makeshift bed, the shell placed right at where his heart was. So that Ika can hear his heartbeat, once again.
The couple broke away from their steamy embrace as they watched the old man, feeble fingers clutching the black pearl strung on his necklace, wadding into the ocean, deeper and deeper, just a distance away from them.
The young couple called out, as the brave young man was prepared to save the old man from suicide “HEY, OLD MAN, DON’T DO ANYTHING SILLY!!! I AM COMING TO GET YOU OKAY?” The woman hurriedly push him towards the old man, as she stood and watched, face paled.
The old man lifted his palm, in a Stop notion. “I am going to meet my love, that’s the only life worth living for,” The young man stopped in his tracks. The couple watched in astonishment as a whirlpool materialized right where the old man was. It was a queer shade of aquamarine. An euphonious voice could be heard cooing. And then as though magic, the old man was gone.
The black pearl floated for awhile, dazzling in the middle of the ocean, before sinking in, down to where it belong.