The king informs me that his only daughter, his pearl, Princess Kim, has been kidnapped by pirates. The king’s fleet followed, of course, but lost sight of their ship when the twilight’s fog rolled in. The ship is not lost to me, of course, for I sense every intrusion, every disturbance in the vast sea.
I swim through the ocean, my powerful tail propelling me forward like a torpedo, my long, silver hair streaming behind me. I reach the place where the ship is anchored, a dark stain above already dark waters. I break the surface and find Jacob’s ladder slapping the side of the ship. I reach the bottom rung and pull myself up. My tail transforms into two slender legs, weak but nimble and necessary. I climb to the top of the ship and jump onto the deck.
The crew members pause in their labors and stare at me, slack-jawed. I stand before them, naked, the full moon shining off my glistening, alabaster skin.
I unsheathe my claws, six-inch blades with serrated edges, a shimmering combination of mother of pearl and steel.
With a speed unknown to humans, I move from man to man, slashing through skin, muscle, and tendons, severing heads and limbs. The expressions on their faces turn from amazement to surprise to confusion. Only the captain lives long enough for dawning realization before I drive my claws into his ribs and rip his beating heart from his chest.
One by one, I drag the bodies over to the side of the ship and throw them overboard, a gift for the tiger sharks scavenging nearby. When finished, I am clothed in blood, wet and sticky but not uncomfortable. Still, I will be glad to return to the sea.
I move below deck and take out a few remaining stragglers before I find the princess sleeping inside the bilge. I wake her, and to her credit, she doesn’t cry out though her features show fear. I raise my hands to show her I mean her no harm.
“Your highness,” I say. “Your father’s men will be here shortly. You are safe.”
She nods, and I return above deck with signal flares I found in the captain’s quarters. I light one and watch as a streak of red illuminates the midnight sky. I wait a few moments and light another. That should be sufficient.
I dive over the side of the ship, returning to the water churning with sharks below me. My legs fuse and my tail unfurls, a relief, and I swim away into the night.
* * *
Today’s prompt is from Kim Kouski’s story of how we met. I didn’t get to the part about where we saw the movie Thor together, and I cried when Loki died. That is a story for another day.