Depths
Depths
I had gone to the ocean, as I did every day, as I was interning on a boat, studying Marine Biology. I was always ecstatic to get there, every morning, even if we set off before anyone else. But the clouds were dark and grey. The boats were rocking, but they were still tied up with frayed rope.
I knew that a storm was brewing, but I didn’t care. That day, we were planning to go out, and tag a few whales, if we could find any. It was bound to be a huge step forward for my learning!
I walked towards the Madame, a small ship with an iron will. I still couldn’t believe that I had gotten the internship. And the three person crew that I worked with was fantastic. Captain, Captain Reyes was the most intellectual of the bunch. He knew how to treat animals, never once hurting them, even when he was pulling hooks from their backs.
Still, I knew that he was lonely. Four years ago, his wife had died, from an aneurism. And he still kept a photo of her, up in his Office. I knew that he had no one. He needed someone who lived out on the high seas, like he did. He needed someone who shared the same interests in marine life.
Suddenly, I heard a messy sobbing.
I knew where it was coming from; someone was sobbing, next to the Madame. I had to help whoever it was. Somehow, people crying by the ocean made me unbearably guilty. So, I went to the side of the boat, instead of boarding it.
Then, I saw a woman, with flowing, buoyant blonde hair swimming in the bay. Her eyes were red and puffy.
“Hey! The water’s dirty! You can’t swim here!”
Suddenly, a glimmering gold mermaid tail flicked out of the water. I would have said that I was surprised, but I wasn’t all that flabbergasted. I had been studying marine life long enough to know that there were infinite possibilities inside the ocean’s depths. Besides, I had seen mermaids before, out in the distance, waving towards the Madame.
“What’s a mermaid doing, out here?”
The mermaid woman hiccuped.
“Well, there’s this man, up on that boat. I’ve been trying to woo him. But there’s one problem,” she said.
“What?”
“The only way a... mermaid can get someone to fall in love with her is to sing to him.”
It sounded cheesy, but I could be a match maker for non-existent creatures for just a few minutes.
“So, why don’t you just sing a love song or something?”
She opened her mouth, and she began to screech. She was crying like a seagull. But the words she shouted were about love. Was she...trying to sing something? Well, that was a problem if that was her singing voice. She would never get whatever man she loved like that. They’d mistake her voice for a bird call.
“That is a problem,” I agreed, “Who is this man, that you love so much?”
She pointed to the Madame, and I saw that she was gesturing to the strong, man on deck. Captain Reyes! The mermaid could be with him! She just wasn’t going about it the right way.
“Well, let’s face facts. You can’t sing. But I want to help you! Captain Reyes would love you, if he could see you. You’re perfect for him! But singing might not help. He adores whales, and if he heard their sounds on his machine, he would go right after it. And he would find you, instead!”
“That’s a great idea! Can you get a recording of a whale from your boat?”
I played the recording that day, and Captain Reyes went after it. He had found the mermaid instead, swimming in the ocean, waving coyly at him. I knew that I had succeeded in getting them together, so I took the small boat back to land, to give them some room.
But when I came in the next day, late, I realized that something was wrong. The Madame was docked. Why hadn’t they left without me?
I clomped up the gangplank, onto the boat, and I entered the control center. No one was there. I went onto the deck, annoyed that I didn’t see a single one of my crew mates.
But as I stepped onto the deck, I realized that something was horribly wrong. No one was up there...but there was a shell on the empty deck. Tentatively, I picked it up.
Inside of it was a torn, crumpled page. I read it:
Thank you for the help. It’s finally my time to become what I’ve always wanted to be.
I looked out, into the ocean...but there was no trace of my friends. What did the mermaid want to be?
Then, I remembered. Mermaids don’t need to sing to woo a man. Sirens do.
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