When the last mark was scrubbed clean by sand, the stone cracked, cutting into the Earth, slicing her to bedrock. Darkness wedged its way out, night without stars--and the tides stopped.
I dive beneath the next wave and swim past muscled guys tossing a ball. It rolls my way, and I pause long enough to toss it back. They smile enticingly, but the ocean is more insistent, sending water up my nose for ignoring her.
I keep going, arms slicing a path through swells, until I’m as deep as the surfers who straddle their boards waiting for the right moment to catch a ride. I’m right where I want to be, where no one can see me. I always choose a beach without lifeguards. As soon as someone notices my head go under at the edge of dark blue water, they freak out, and would-be-heroes push their kayaks into the waves to search for me. They freak out even more when I don’t come up again.
I wish I was a mermaid. People would see a flash of rainbow scales, a flip of my tail then shake their heads, certain they had mistaken a dolphin for a girl. But dolphins don’t have scales. So, in their secret places they would thrill, believing for an instant that fairy tales are real, that Ariel can get her prince. They forget that in the real story her only choice was the agony of daggers in her legs or the agony of a dagger in the heart of her lover. My choice is worse than that.
My other item of business is a beautiful and very very appreciated award from Crystal at Crystal Clear Proofing. I've always wanted this one! Thank you! You must read her blog if you want to know more about grammar, punctuation and all that important stuff. And, if you're a writer, you had better want to know.
For this award, I have to answer the following questions with one word. Here goes: