Love of My Life
It was never the shrill icy water that sent chills up my spine, but the childlike curiosity of wondering what we might find. And each day felt like diving into unforeseen territories. However, we may have hit a bust. 9 days, no treasures. The Baltic gave nothing but ice and possible pneumonia.
I dove 20 feet, then thirty, then forty, and there she was. An oblong object, gray colored, covered in moss and thick ice from being under the sea for so long, a giant circular covering curved along the sides with a bulbous head at its center. A ship? A part of a ship?
I dove closer
It had several other circles along its curvature, it pointed down at the bottom — like a Dreidel. I leaned close and looked into the center piece. There, lying in the center of this machine was a woman. She was pale. Her cheeks bone white. How long had she been down here? How is she not a skeleton by now? Could it be possible that this contraption has kept her alive? If so, this thing could be worth millions.
“Guys, we got a body. I think it's a live one,” I called up to our captain.
“Lace it up and bring it in.”
If there's one thing I knew about my captain its that he is a somewhat decent man. Despite scouring the sea looking for treasures to make himself rich off of, he wouldn't dare leave a body in the river. The only thing possibly greater than treasure was saving a life or solving a case and maybe getting rich that way too.
We rose from the depths of the icy sea. The catch was so heavy, it took six men, including our captain, to bring it on board.
“What in hell is that?” Captain asked.
“You got me. But there's a woman inside of it,” I said.
“Logan, Grant,” our captain shouted at the other two divers, “Get me something to crack this open.” The captain leaned forward to look inside of the centerpiece. “I don't see a damn thing in there Andreas,” he shouted.
“I'm telling you I saw a woman in there.” I said.
“You've been in the sea too long my boy, but being on a crew with six men will make you start to see women everywhere.”
Logan and Grant returned with a long crowbar and handed it to the Captain. He shoved the crowbar underneath the circular covering. Captain Harding, a man well into his 60's, was surprisingly strong for his age, still it took Logan, Grant and myself assisting him before we were able to pry it open. The machine whirred, clicked and hissed. You could hear it unlocking and detaching parts of the centerpiece as ice and smoke billowed out from inside of it. We each slowly leaned forward to look inside. There she was. A white female, naked from the waist up. Up close now, her skin wasn't pale but shiny. She gleamed in the sunlight.
“She dead?” Logan asked.
The captain brought his hand towards her throat, checking for a pulse. “She's cold,” Captain said. “Boys, we may have stumbled upon a murder. Call the authorities and let's get out of here.”
Everyone backed away; Captain Harding went close to the other side of the ship to light a cigar. Logan went into our dispatch station to call the police and nautical authorities. Grant a few feet away from me, still staring at the girl. I got a little closer towards the girl, she looked to be in her mid-twenties. Closer, she was really beautiful. Soft eyes, full lips, golden hair. It was then that I realized I wasn't imagining these features. They were suddenly becoming more distinguished: Her hair went from gray, to brown, to sandy, to blonde. Her eyelashes straightened and darkened. Her breasts became full and perky. Her abdomen hardened. Her skin more luminous now. It was then that I looked at her face. Her eyes were open.
Faster than anyone expected, she leaned forward, taking my face in her hands and pulling me closer to her face she whispered, “Thank you for saving me.” Her voice as smooth and mesmerizing as the ocean waves
“Y—You’re welcome,” I stuttered. Up close, I found myself transfixed by her eyes. Her irises were a deep blue filled with all the wonder and devastation of the sea itself, and I suddenly felt calm and comfortable in her hands.
Grant let out a loud scream which alerted everyone on the boat to the ‘dead’ woman who was now gripping my face, “Witch! Demon! Sorceress!” He shouted frantically while reaching for his pistol on his hip, “Let him go you witch!”
The captain and crew turned to face us, and saw the woman come to life. “Great Scot,” the Captain shrieked as the cigar fell from his mouth and he too reached for his pistol.
“Close your eyes,” the woman whispered again.
I calmly obliged.
Then the woman with her devastating eyes and velvety whisper suddenly let out a shrill so violent and hateful it brought the entire crew to their knees. She continued screaming, rising in octaves until she shattered eardrums. I heard Grant drop his pistol, wail and fall down. Then the rest of the crew, and finally the Captain. I was spared. At last she stopped. I opened my eyes to see my ship mates dead; each leaking pints of blood from their ears. I turned to face her. She still had the most beautiful face I'd ever seen.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Ava. I am of your world now. You must protect me. Will you protect me Andreas?”
“How do you--?”
“Return me to the sea.”
“But I have so many questions..” I trailed off as Ava pressed her lips to mine.
“Return me and protect me,” she said. Ava laid down in the machine again as I tearfully placed the covering back on top of her, and watched as her features faded back to pale and decaying. Suddenly stronger now thanks to Ava's kiss, I latched her machine, lifted her over the ship and back into the sea.