“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the ocean this calm,” I mutter to myself as I sit in my chair, staring off into the blue nothingness. The waves rock the small privately owned boat gently, and they seem to be calling my name. The dark, indigo waters stare back at me, wanting to welcome me and embrace me in their cold depth. I just sit, relaxing in my chair though, my lit cigar in my hand. I bring my attention to the soft grey smoke that disappears into the air, thinking of how my children scold me for continuing my smoking habit as it damages my lungs, covering them in a layer of ash and residue. It’s a comforting sort of habit, though, despite the hacks and the coughs I have and the yellowing of my teeth. The nicotine keeps me going, as my job wears me down each and every day, my loneliness of an older man weighing down on me. I sit, rocking at sea, not too far from shore though as I wait for that pull on my net.
Moments pass before I hear a tug on the net of my boat, slightly tilting my small boat sideways from the heaviness of whatever had been caught in it. I quickly stand up and usher myself to the rope of my net, and pull it backwards with the help of some of my fishing equipment. The net tugs back though, obviously not wanting to come aboard.
“Come… on….” I breathe out, pulling as hard as I can with my aging body.
At last, the catch gives in and lets me pull the net with it onto my boat. But it is not a fish that I have caught.
There, sprawled under the woven rope of my net, lays a panting and barely conscious fish-woman. Her scales gleam in the midday sun, and her breaths are short and fast, not used to this all-natural oxygen air. Her tail was long and flexible, twitching slightly, her thin and nearly translucent fins caught in the net. Her pale and shining skin, as if covered in some sort of oil, was mesmerizing, to say the least. Her arm and hand bled, probably cut from the rust of my boat as she tried to escape from the clutches of my net. I wanted to go get my first aid kit, that was for emergencies, but my eyes locked onto her hair. It was wet, of course, just as if a fine lady had emerged from a steamy shower in the nighttime, getting ready for bed. It was a dark shade of brown, like a human’s hair color, thick, and extended down to past her breasts, covering them neatly and wholey. Her eyelashes matched her long hair, fluttering slightly from her dazed and unconscious state. Her face went paler than before, as did her pink lips, and I knew it was because of the wound she had gotten from my boat. I hurried myself to the small cabin of my boat and to a narrow closet by the steps down into it, grabbing the kit and returned to the fish lady. I untangled her resting body from the net and applied the necessary medicinal ointments, without the thought of it not even going to work crossing my mind. I cover the cut in a bandage, not knowing if it was going to get wet and not fulfill its purpose. Once I am done patching up the woman with a tail, I pick up her figure and carry her to the edge of the boat. She lazily opens her eyes and looks at me with half-opened lids, Her eyes are the brightest green any man could ever see on any beautiful mistress, but she was no woman, not any woman that could be caught and settled down, tamed, by any man that I know. They were like a bright mint green with specks of the color of life, if life had a color.
Then something odd happened. She sat up quickly in my arms and quickly hacked and coughed, coughed like she had a disease, like tuberculosis. She did until she coughed up a ring, of course, with drops of blood pouring down her chin. She coughed up this golden ring, with aquamarine stones and diamonds and sapphires and many gems, but each a tiny carat to fit more and more different kinds of mythical stones in it. It projected onto the floorboards of the ships, bouncing slightly before rolling and stopping. The fish woman looked at me and blinked softly, taking one last glance before she jumped into the water from where she came.
I looked over the edge of my boat for a time after she swam away and under the waves that rocked my boat. I walked away from the edge and brought myself to the ring, and bent over as I picked it up.
No one would believe me of my encounter though, despite this ring.
I don’t blame them though.
It’s just a story that I wrote.