Fiction Friday: Depths of War - Part Three

Depths of War - Part Three

The trio of panicked Surfies broke through the surface. Looking about they saw nothing but a small islet. They swam quickly toward it, believing they would make it to safety. But amidst the formidable waves, hidden by sea spray and foam, Maran awaited them.

Her silver eyes made a quick assessment. Two males and a female, one of the males older and stronger than the others was leading them. She would  need to take him out first. She waited in the foam for them to approach her. The white foam created by the waves crashing against stone made the perfect cover for her pale skin and hair. She perched, tail against rock, for the right moment to push off and attack. The fool was leading the small group straight toward her. She had left only her eyes and top of her head above the surface. Now she dipped below and shoved off, tail thrusting against stone, propelling her toward her prey.

Maran's head thrust into the merman's gut, stealing his breath with force and surprise. She angled her chin, razor sharp teeth tearing into his flesh, ripping it away. Breaking the water's surface she spat blood and flesh. A ghastly smile spread across her once beautiful face as she spied the look of surprise on the faces of the two remaining surfies. "Sorry," she stated, her tone indifferent, "but it's our time now." And with a twist of her strong core, she lashed out with her barbed tail.

***

Divvy looked from where the others had emerged in the surf toward the direction in which the twins had swum away and back again. The taste of blood alerted her to the fact that she had been biting down hard on her lip. Her mind raced with possibilities. The nerves in her tail ached for action, urging her to flee. She could chase after the children, or take a different course in an effort to find help, but she knew it would be too late for her three fellow Satah who had surfaced into a trap.

Running her tongue across her bloodied lip, she ignored the call to flee and instead dove below the surface and raced toward the danger. Years of choosing to lie about in the sun had done nothing to strengthen her tail. She was a slow swimmer even at her fastest. She should be able to use the ability granted to the merfolk that allowed them to manipulate the water around them to swim faster. Varun had often chided her for neglecting to practice this ability to reduce the water’s force against her movements. Now she understood why.

The distance to the ambushed Satah was not great, and yet she arrived only in time to witness the splitting of flesh and fin as the spiked tail of their assailant sliced through them. She didn't slow at the sight but instead found a greater burst of speed and energy that carried her crashing into the sallow-skinned creature before her. The distraction of the kill and Divvy's unseen arrival had been enough to take the bottom-dweller by surprise. She felt a flash of hopefulness as she knocked the stunned monster off balance. Her gaze darted to the sharp rocks of the islet. Continuing her momentum and gratefully accepting the help of the storm strengthened surf, she spun her captive toward the roughest edge of the rocky outcropping. She smiled, amazed with herself, but the feeling was fleeting.

Suddenly the creature, having recovered from the surprise of her attack, spun them both about. Divvy now found herself being hurtled toward the jagged rocks.


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