I sat alone watching a fish glide through the current in the distance. The warm water brought a relaxing sensation with it and a sign of the changing season. I slid my fingers through the water trying to make as little disturbance as possible. One wrong move and the water would shift alerting others of my position. Slowly ever so slowly I let my body relax into the flow. Sliding along the currant I danced to the sounds made by the other inhabitants of the ocean.
I twirled with the current around a jagged rock just missing the sharp edges. One cut would release the scent of blood into the water and call all the predators in the area. Useful but not what I wanted right now. Flipping back I let the lower current pull me down into a sea cave as if being swallowed. Clams lined the wall holding onto their treasures snapping shut at any ripple in the water. I swayed with the current disguising my presence as I slid pearls from any clams I passed by. Popping out the other end the current shifted yet again forcing me to adapt to a more chaotic rhythm. I swung my arms around forcing my body to barrel roll. The world spun making it impossible to tell up from down. However that was all right. I closed my eyes to the world and just felt the push and pull of the water around me.
It drug me through many rocky outcrops that had caused the chaotic current to begin with. Cutting, spitting, twisting, and turning the current drug me through the maze of jagged rocks. Eventually the rocks ended revealing a vast sandy desert and much calmer waters. I slid my way out of the current and along the edge of the rocks so that I could look out into the desolate land. Pulling out a sand dollar I ran it across my fingers while watching shoals of fish feed. Sunlight danced through the water creating interesting shadows as if telling a story. I sat in silence on the cliff edge not minding the time that passed by just enjoying.
There was no reason to hurry home anyway. Today was my day. No work. No need to keep up appearances. Just a quiet day of what I want. I smiled as I flipped the sand dollar up into the air. I needed the brake. Too many days have been spent in the eyes of others. I was used to traveling through the shadows, going unseen, unheard. However recently my Boss decided to use me as advertisement. Bastard.
Just remembering the conversation pisses me off.
“Mor, where is everyone?” asked a slightly irritated Man sitting at his desk. He tapped his finger on the wood while looking at the empty room.
“Dead,” I replied from the middle of the room, “Or resigned, or retired.” I started flipping my whale bone dagger.
“Hm, and the new recruits?”
“There are none.” I grabbed the string attached to the end and started twirling it.
He spat out a sigh. “Why is no one interested in becoming a mercenary these days?” I lifted an eyebrow at his muttering. “I mean the pay is good. You get food and board. Sure there are some draw backs.”
“Like death.” He glared at me.
“You could die doing anything,” he growled. I shook my head at his argument. “I mean it’s not like there are a lot of jobs out there!” He slammed his hand down on the desk causing papers to fly. “How am I supposed to run this place if we have no people!”
“Well, I’m still here.”
“One person doesn’t make a mercenary corp, Mor!” He ran his hands roughly through his short brown hair. “Go find some people.”
I froze. “What?”
“Go find some idiots who don’t care about life or death. I don’t care where you pick them up but find some.”
“… Are you joking?”
“Does it look like I’m joking?” I just glared at him. “Look Mor, we need at least twenty people to run this place. Right now we can’t even take jobs.”
We glared at each other. “Tsk, fine. But you better not complain about the results. You know I hate people.” I slammed my dagger back into my belt as I stalked out of the room.
“Don’t kill anyone. You know what happened last time.” I waved my hand in acknowledgement.
“It was one time…” I muttered.
I crushed the sand dollar in my hand. Treating me like a poster girl. I was a Mermaid for fucks sake. I kill and eat people, lure humans to their death, and laugh while watching. I don’t play house with drunken idiots. Taking a deep breath I ran my fingers through my blood red hair methodically taking out any knots to try and calm down.
To add to all the stress of interacting with those pea brained monkeys I hadn’t been able to be in the ocean for the past month. I pulled a sea urchin out from between the rocks and started dismantling it. Stabbing the spines one by one into the sponge next to me and removing the poison sack. Placing the sack into my pouch hanging on my waist, I repeated the process with another ten sea urchins.
With that done I went through the spines stabbed into the sponge. Choosing only the longest and thickest ones I also added them to the pouch. The process didn’t take long. I added some chunks of the sponge I used as a push pin holder. I sighed at the familiar process I have been doing since I was a kid.
It was relaxing. When I was younger my mother took me out and taught me the uses of the many sea creatures in the ocean. What could be used as weapons, medicine, and to help with our magic. I miss those days. Unfortunately those peaceful days didn’t last long.
Twenty years after I was born my Mother was taken from me. I sighed at the memory that left me alone. Sure I could live with the other Mermaids out there, but I don’t really fit in. They’re all about peace and thats not really my thing.
No, I much prefer the life of a mercenary. Even if I have to take on my detestable Human form it’s way better than being one of those spineless fish. Sure its dangerous and I’m sure my Mother would have preferred I changed with the times… Oh who am I kidding? The old sea witch would love that I still bath myself in blood. I smiled. She really was a monster of the sea.
It’s been almost two hundred years since then. Humans and ‘mythical’ creatures live together in ‘peace’ now. I laughed darkly. At least that’s what the governments tell their people. If there truly was peace than there would be no need for mercenaries.
Suddenly, the atmosphere changed causing me to break out of my train of thought. I sat up straight trying to find the cause. The water started to push away from me as if rejecting my existence. Frowning, I shoved off the rock trying to get back to the water however fate was not so kind. As I shoved off, the water vanished around me causing me to plummet to the sea floor. I hit the sand hard and groaned in pain. That was definitely going to bruise. Sliding my hands underneath me I pushed myself up. My tail quickly changed into legs to support me in this new dry environment. The webbing in between my fingers vanished. While my eyes changed from double eyelids to single forcing me to blink the salt out of my eyes. Red scales were scattered across my skin like freckles showing that I was a creature of the sea no matter what form I take.
Shaking the water off my head, I examined my surroundings. The ocean was pushed off in a one meter circle around me. Frowning I tried to touch the water only to have it move away while maintaining that one meter distance. I scowled at this unusual situation. Here I was having a good day and the water just had to start acting weird like I was some sort of foreign invader. I stretched my limbs a little to get feeling in my legs and then ran at the water wall. Strange phenomenon be damned I was going back into the sea one way or another.
As I stepped full speed on to the sand it started pulling me down. I stumbled and fell allowing the sand to seal my hands. I gasped in horror as the sand slowly pulled me down cutting off all my chances of escape. Struggling against the pull only made it worse. The concrete like hold over the covered areas had me panicking. As the sand reached my head the world turned black.
I awoke in a forest. Yes a forest. It has been years since I have seen one but it was obviously a forest none the less. Frowning I got up. Where was my water? My ocean? My home? Taking a deep breath of air I choked. “Cough, cough, cough…” Shit I forgot.Coughing out the water that was still in my lungs I regained my breathing. Finally done with my little episode I took a better look at my surroundings.
Trees covered the area thickly causing my sight to be limited. Grass grew to be about knee high creating a second visibility barrier. I frowned. I couldn’t smell salt anywhere only the sent of trees, dirt, and animals. I shifted my weight uncomfortable. Rustling sounded from my left as a rabbit quickly made its escape. I sighed. Making up my mind I started walking in a direction. If I can’t see the ocean then I’ll just have to find it.