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March 29, 2014



“And the light of the moon shall guide the way of the Shoreborn through Her waves into the Ocean’s depths.”
The Book Of The Ever Changing Waters

Jordan Reede grew up in a coastal town. He had always been fascinated by the ocean, it drew him like a magnet attracted iron filings. His mother had photos of him as a toddler, splashing and laughing in the sea. His connection to the water grew stronger with the passing years. He loved to swim, but something about chlorinated pools was unsatisfactory. He prefered the ocean, while in the buoyancy of its water he could forget that his legs were useless, dead things stolen from him by a rare genetic disorder. He had girlfriends, he was a healthy heterosexual male with good looks and charm enough to make women see past the wheel chair, but none of them gripped his heart as much as the sea. At times he could swear that he could hear a faint whispering among the breakers, seeming to be calling to him.

The summer night of his twenty-fifth birthday everything changed. He woke at midnight. The full moon hung like a glowing gem over the brine, it pulled and tugged at him. Restless, he dressed in swim trunks , pulled himself into his chair and wheeled himself out the sliding door, down the ramp and onto the dock. The whisper became a distinct voice. “It is time. Come to me my son.”

Pain stabbed through his legs and chest. The voice grew louder and stronger. “Come, come to me, my son.” Compelled by forces beyond his control he slid from the chair to the dock and then dropped into the salty water. He was in agony, his nerves burned, his skin itched, and his body was wracked by tremors. He began to gasp for air, his lungs on fire.

The cool water eased his pain slightly. A small wave splashed over his face, he accidentally inhaled a small bit it. The pain in his lungs let up. Ignoring instinct, he bobbed beneath the waves and breathed in deeply. The fire vanished, amazed he surfaced. He took a gulp of air. The pain returned. He ducked under and tried another breath of water. The pain receded. His lungs took up a steady, easy rhythm pulling water in, then pushing it out. A fluttering sensation came from the sides of his chest. He touched his hand there and felt gills opening and closing.

The trunks were pinching him, he slipped out of them. A glint of silver flashed in the moonlight. He raised his hand towards the surface. His eyes widened as he realised that his skin had become covered by shining scales. He looked down, his legs had joined to become a fishtail.

“Come to me, my son!” The voice thundered through his being. The merman felt new instincts blossoming within his mind. He turned his back on the shore and his old life, beginning the journey into the ocean’s depths. The wheelchair sat forgotten on the pier.

In response to From A Photo Story Prompt # 3

  1. Wow….love the story, a sort of Little Mermaid in reverse! Very well written creating an air of reality in this fine piece of fantasy! Thanks for sharing this with WDBWPs!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. From a Photo – Short Story Challenge # 4 | We Drink Because We're Poets
  2. From a Photo – Story Prompt #4 | We Drink Because We're Poets
  3. Shoreborn Part II: Spawn | Musings of a Soul Eclectic

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