Her eyes gleamed like …

Welcome back to the daily prompts. Day six and the last for this week.

Her eyes gleamed like …

Katie loved the sea. As a toddler, hanging tight to her father’s hand, she had relished the cold sharp sting of waves against her ankles, the shimmering glare of noon heat, the dry smoothness of sand sifting through her fingers. As a young girl, she delighted in the bouyancy of floating on gentle swells, eyes closed, the sun drying the salt on her burnished skin. And, later, the rush through streaming water, her body held in the embrace of the surf as it flew her towards the sands.

Katie could swim underwater for minutes before gasping to the surface, trailing a ribbon of seaweed, or clutching luminescent shells – pale pinks, purples, creamy whites. She arranged the shells on her window shelf and every evening before sleep she would pick each one up and listen to the sea whispering its beckons.

Until the day she brought home a shell which cried. Katie held it to her ear, marvelling at the heartrending sobs. She brought the shell to her mouth and murmured, gently, gently, ‘Who’s there?’, and then peered into the shells rounded whorls.

A tiny face peered back. Her eyes gleamed like moonlight on water, kelp coloured lips pouted. Katie caught the silver glimmer of scales.

‘Are you a mermaid?’ she asked, softly, softly.

‘A stranded mermaid,’ the little creature moaned.

So Katie left the house and walked the short distance across the dunes to the midnight ocean, carrying the shell in her hand, carefully, carefully. When she reached the white foam of the shallows, she kept walking, still holding the shell; and when her toes barely scraped the ridged sand of the sea bed, Katie dived. She opened her palm and let the shell float free. The tiny mermaid eased her body out, flicked her tail and swam beside Katie, only now she was no longer tiny. Or Katie was no longer Katie-size.

Katie didn’t know and didn’t care. She savoured the cool caress of the water, relished the delight at breathing underwater.

If you’d like a slightly longer mermaid story, you can hear my award winning piece, The Moon’s Silver Path, read by Canadian poet Jacqueline Belle, on my ‘look and listen’ page here.

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2 thoughts on “Her eyes gleamed like …”

  1. Touching story. Here’s mine:

    Her eyes gleamed like two translucent pools and Brad found himself lost in their depths. He had never seen such brilliant orb – they appeared to transfix everything in their gaze.
    Brad couldn’t make out the face or the body – they appeared hidden in the shadows – but the eyes. No mistaking them.
    His curiosity now completely aroused, Brad took a step forward. I need to get a closer look, he thought. Surely, they must belong to an absolute beauty.
    The eyes gleamed more brightly than ever, drawing him ever closer. He began imagining her features, ravishingly beautiful with a body to match, although he still couldn’t make out any features.
    Somehow, the shadows seemed deeper than ever the more he advanced. Why couldn’t he maker her out. She didn’t appear to move – just staring with her ever brightening orbs.
    What was wrong – her stare was so intent. Surely, she wanted to know who he was, meet, talk and embark on what could become the journey of a lifetime.
    Brad was almost level with the tree and the eyes were overpowering.
    At last, he thought, here we are face to face.
    It was then that the wolf pounced.

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