|art by Robert Fyfe|
by Rebecca Fyfe
by Rebecca Fyfe
The ship's sailing had been easygoing for the past few days. The water had been calm and tranquil. But today, things were different. Today, the storm had moved in and Eric wasn't sure that the ship was going to make it out of this one.
The waves were crashing over the aide of the ship, sweeping everyone and everything that wasn't tied down overboard. The swells from the sea were tossing the ship in every direction and the thunderous waves had caused the ship to list first one way and then the other, falling so far to each side that it almost overturned several times.
Several crewmembers had already been tossed overboard. Eric had been unable to save them, needing all his strength just to keep himself from being swept into the ocean.The dark clouds had blocked the sun, and the storm had lasted for so long that Eric wondered what god they had angered to cause such a continuous and violent attack on their ship.
As the waves lashed at his face, her thought he glimpsed something in the water, something close by when the ship listed so far to the side that he could almost touch the ocean's surface. It was a very large fish of some sort, for he'd seen the scales. And yet, he thought, for a brief moment, that he'd glimpsed a woman, with her long, dark hair flying behind her in the wind as she surfaced. She'd gazed at him, her eyes full of sorrow. But Eric knew that his eyes had just been playing tricks on him. There had been no women on board, and, if one had fallen over, she would not have been able to surface again so soon, let alone stare at him so calmly.
Eric heard a large crack and knew immediately what it meant. The ship was falling apart. None of them would survive this night. He untied the rope from his waist and waited for his imminent slide into the sea. It would be better to let the sea take him quickly than to cling to debris and hope for a rescue that would never come.
Eric felt the wind rush past him as he fell and then the cold, wet of the ocean swallowed him. Instead of drifting down as he expected, he felt arms wrap around his chest and something propelled him upward. As his head broke the surface, he finally looked upon his rescuer. She was lovely. It was the woman with the sorrowful eyes. She held him in her arms just above the water, and stroked his cheek.
"You will live," she whispered and he felt his eyes closing against his will as an unnatural fatigue overwhelmed him and sleep claimed him.
When he woke, he was lying alone on a beach with debris from the ship all around. He saw two of his crew members on the sand too, but when he checked, their bodies had already grown cold from the unrelenting hands of death.
Eric looked out to sea and saw her in the distance. She dove under water, a long multi-colored tail surfacing behind her before splashing back down into the ocean. He knew he had her to thank for his life, and he vowed to help protect the ocean's waters from then on.