Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Mermaid Afterlife

art by
A Mermaid Afterlife
by Rebecca Fyfe

The boat went down so fast. I'd barely had time to put a life vest on and leave my room three floors down before the water came rushing in. I wasn't the only one who drowned that night, or the youngest.

There were hundreds of us on that ship. We'd all been asleep when the ship hit something. I still don't know what we hit, only that it was only a matter of minutes between the ship's movement suddenly jarring most of us awake and the water rushing in. A wall must have breached above our floor, because the water was coming in from above us, pouring down the stairs in a torrent that pulled many people's feet out from under them.

I struggled against the flow, mostly managing to remain upright while the icy water numbed my legs and tried to pull me in the opposite direction of the stairs. It didn't take long before there was too much water in the corridor for me to continue walking against it, so I started swimming. At first, the water swept me backwards, the current too strong for me to fight, but eventually, the corridor filled all the way. I was fully immersed in sea water and had no way of breathing, but that's when the current stilled enough for me to start swimming. I wanted to live.

It didn't matter though. The floor above ours was full of water too. I could see others, some just children, but none of them were moving; I was the only one still struggling. For some reason, I refused to believe that I was going to die, that I wouldn't be able to make it out of there. If only I could hold my breath forever.

Despite my struggles and my will to live, death took me anyway. There wasn't a cloaked figure in a scythe coming to take my soul or anything, but there weren't any angels glowing with holy light either. No, my vision just started to get darker and my head felt like it was going to explode. I desperately needed to take a breath and my body was screaming with pain from the need. Eventually, my body gave out, and death took me on a sigh as cold sea water filled my lungs. Everything went black.

They won't ever find my body though. When the rescuers come, there won't be anyone left to rescue, not even our blue and still corpses. It turns out, when you die in the sea, you get a completely different afterlife than the one you would get if you died anywhere else.

We were all given new bodies, ones that could breathe underwater. We had tails like, well, like mermaids, I guess. Yes, that's right. We get to live our lives as mermaids. I'm told that we will have lifespans that can go on for 1,000s of years. Then we'll get to come back as something else.

We have had to leave our families behind, except for the few who were lucky enough to have family on board with them at the time. As far as our families are concerned, we all died at sea. It's better that way anyway, because we could never survive on land anymore, even if it wouldn't really freak people out to find out we existed.

I'm happy down here. I didn't think I would be, not when I first saw the ones who came for us, all glittery scales and porcelain skin, with their long hair flowing out behind them. But the ocean has a way of welcoming everyone. I feel embraced by it. And there are so many others like us. It's like living out entirely new lives in a world that's completely alien to our first one and yet similar in a lot of ways too.

Yah, I'm happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment