An original fan fiction by Katelynn E Koontz, author of Wind Whisperer (2014).
It’s storming again.
Adele walks the shoreline, bare feet digging into the wet sand. It cakes between her toes, a welcome relief from the shoes that she had been forced into earlier. Already, being so close to the ocean is making something come loose in her chest. Sharp teeth protrude over her lower lip. Once brown eyes fade to blue.
She sheds her clothing as she goes, no longer having use for it. The rain washes away her guise, until her skin is covered with pale yellow scales that glisten in the moonlight, until her gills welcome both air and rain and salt spray.
In the distance, a young man is trying to gather up his beach supplies. The rain comes down in a heavy, dangerous sheet of gray. Black clouds billow above the ocean water, turn the white sand into hills of ash, gray and taunting.
“Hello,” calls Adele, and her voice is a siren song, a storm call, a crystal shattering on the stones.
Instantly, the man is looking at her. Awe settles on his face. “Hello?”
“Can you help me? I’m lost. The tide took me too far to the east. All of my supplies,” she says, knowing that her song will keep him from noticing her true appearance.
This wouldn’t be the case, not too many years ago.
Back then, mermaids had to bargain away their voice to get a pair of legs. They had to risk losing their skin, just to get a chance at coming on shore.
But the Last Lover changed all of that.
With her betrayal at the hands of the prince and the witch, with the loss of her voice, and her legs, and her beautiful seal pelt, everything changed.
Adele changed, too.
Hunger gnaws at her stomach now, the sort that no fish or bundle of kelp could ever fill. Adele holds out her hand. She gives the man a smile that is both sharp and serpentine, but he sees only beauty and affection in the look.
“Oh, yes.” His cheeks are faintly red. There’s a dazed look about his eyes. He drops his baggage, turning to face Adele fully. “Of course I’ll help you, miss. Where did you start out at?”
“Near the Bellows Coast,” says Adele, closing the distance between them. She settles a hand on his left shoulder, curls the other around the back of his neck. “You’ll help me?”
She needs him to agree.
That’s the one rule, the one stipulation.
“Of course,” says the man. “I’ll help you.”
The last of the tension fades away. Adele cannot go home to the ocean without transforming into this vicious beast, and she both hates it, and loves it, and can’t even begin to fathom it. The ocean song is something that she cannot ignore and it surges, now, fuelled by the storm, telling Adele what she must do.
She listens to it. Talons dig into the man’s skin and with one sharp wrench, she has his head pulled to the side and her sharp teeth digging into his neck.
The ocean cannot be ignored.
Neither, thinks Adele, distantly, as the tang of copper floods her mouth, can the hunger.
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