This story was inspired by a painting called "Doll-Faced Mermaid" by Liselotte Eriksson. Please visit "Doll-Faced Mermaid" at http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/loth/l/i/liselotte/stenar.gif.
She crawled up on to the rocks, ready for her task. She sighed, then looked down the length of her body. Her tail was long and gleaming; itís blue scales floated playfully above the water. The rest of her was smooth, youthful, and vibrant as well. Her hair, heavy with water, splayed about her head as she laid it down. The rock was cold and solid underneath her webbed hands. Being careful to keep her tail submerged, she waited patiently and silently.
Her task was one she wished she did not have to take. But in her world, things were done when they needed to be done. What she was doing was necessary for the safety of her world. Her seductive body twitched, wishing to return to the water. Her people often had yearnings like these when they came to shore, others afterwards, wishing to go back to land. They had no choice but to return to the water. Though they had adapted to life underwater, several felt tugs back to their roots. Though humans naturally evolved from the sea, some went back. These were her people. The mermaids. They were blessed, or cursed. Belonging neither to the land or the sea entirely, they were seen as outcasts by both sides. Creatures of the water feared their human roots, while humans believed that they were seductresses, stealing sailors from the seas. Well, that is not entirely untrue, she thought with a sad smile.
She flipped her tail fin impatiently. She could not wait all day. Foreboding clouds covered the sea, and she knew that soon deadly waves would crash into the rocks. The perfect setting for her task. She itched to go back home, wishing she did not have to do this. A single tear trickled down her moist skin.
Her sensitive ears picked up the soft sound of bare feet on the sand of the beach. At last, she thought. The wind was stirring up, and waves began to form. Still, she stayed calm, her lips pouted, hair still splayed. Her heart ached, but this time, no tears fell.
A young man approached the rocks, his clumsy feet climbing down the rocks. Oh, those feet, how she loved them in their ugliness, so unlike her lovely tail. She didnít move, letting him come to her on his own. How she pained to get up, run to him, if her body would allow it. She allowed only her eyes to move. His worn but neat clothes whipped in the growing wind, and carried his laughter away. He ran to her, and cupped her head in his hands, gently kissed her provocative mouth. She smiled, and turned so she could face him. He obviously had never heard of any legends of her kind.
"Come with me," she said, in a voice no male could resist. She took his hand, kissed him one last time, and pulled him under with her. He obviously thought that she would protect him from the water, the water that gave each of them life.
It hurt her to see his eyes begin to bulge with fear when he realized this was not true. She held firmly to his hand wishing he did not have to go through this. She touched his face, now turning blue, and cried silently. He looked into her eyes, then resisted the struggling. Even if she had let go, there was nowhere for him to go. The waves were now crashing above their heads, and he would be thrown to the rocks if he let go of her hand.
It was not long before she began swimming toward her home, her dead lover held tightly in her arms. She cried again, her beautiful face overflowing with tears of love and hatred.
And with the burying of his body in the sand, the task was complete. She had sacrificed the only love she would ever know for the safety of her people. Even though, she knew her murdered lover has somehow understood her responsibility, and had forgiven it through his love.