The Death Song.

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Part 2: Phillip Wilkes

Salmare hummed lightly, holding the power of her Lure over the young man as she led him into the water. He was grinning beside her, his feet unsteady as they went deeper but eagerly following none the less. Small waves undulated around them, lapping up against their chests. She felt him tug against her hand and she turned to see that he had slipped a little. The suddenness of the event had jolted him and she saw that the fear that her Lure was blocking rushed over him. She turned and grabbed his face with both hands. His hands gripped her waist hard, fingers digging into her flesh.

“Stay with me,” she sang softly, “We are so close. Stay with me.” He stiffened at first, fingers twitching and then his hands relaxed. He leaned forward and rested his forehead against hers. A soft moaning sound escaped his lips as she pulled away. She looked into his eyes and saw that he was absolutely terrified but he had no will to pull free of the Lure that she had on him. She moved back, leading him by the firm hold that she had on his head. The water drifted up against their necks. He made a soft whine, eyes darting about frantically as his feet left the soft ocean bed. She could feel his clumsy human legs bumping against her own. The whines were coming more frequent now but his grip on her waist never lessened. It was as if he was holding onto her for his dear life. She smiled at the ironic sentiment. With a shimmy of her hips, her legs merged into one thick, serpentine tail, tiny scales rippling up her stomach and chest. She saw the moment he felt her change, his eyes opening even wider as her face elongated, eyes shifting from gentle blue to entirely black and twin blades of fins blossomed out to frame her face. She hissed at him and as he screamed she pulled him below the surface.

She tore out of his gasp, raking her claws against his face to expose the bone and tearing away bits of his ears. He was gulping in water and his own blood as he fought to surface. She let him break free, take one gulp of his precious air before grabbing him by a leg, sinking her claws deep and pulling him down again. He thrashed in her grip, his free leg kicking wildly. Salmare laughed as she ducked easily out the way, then she let him go again, this time tearing apart the thick calf muscle. The strips of muscles fluttered in the water like tendrils of a jelly fish. He broke to the surface, his screams coming in high pants of expelled air. His injured leg hung uselessly in the water, while the other kicked hard to keep him afloat. She swam around him, brushing against his back, raking her claws to leave thin welts. She heard him yelp and smiled, circling again to brush against his stomach, doing the same. He turned towards shore and began to swim towards it. She let him take a few strokes and then rushed him from behind, sinking him below the surface and biting down into his shoulder blade. She felt her teeth scrape against bone and for some reason the sound of it sent a strange thrill through her. Salmare spun away from him, watched him surge up with a despairing cry and then she attacked again. This time she curled an arm around his waist to pull him up against her, grabbed a flailing arm and sank her teeth deep, working till she hit the bone and then ripped her head back with the chunk of his flesh. His screams sent a sweet thrill of joy through her body. She wanted to hear more of that and feel more of this strange sweet happiness that coursed through her. She bent her head again to tear into his body and it was as if she lost herself to the sensation; her claws tearing into his stomach and chest, while she used her teeth to rip the flesh off his shoulders, neck and arms. All the while she held him flush against her, the twitching of his body feeding the frenzy that she found herself consumed by. It was only when his body made it final spasm and went limp in her arms that she stopped, panting from the sudden exertion. The corpse was in shreds with white bone gleaming under the moonlight. She rested her forehead against a bony shoulder. Then she began to laugh, tilting her head back to the moon and letting the pure ecstasy of her first kill swallow her up.

When she finally got control of herself, she swam back to shore and dragged the body up high above the water line. His face was still recognizable and she was pleased that in her frenzy, she hadn’t destroyed it. She wanted his family to recognize this destroyed body as the one of their brother and son. Salmare wanted them to be haunted forever at the sight of their loved one’s body, just as she was haunted by the coral corpses of hers. She felt tears well up, blurring the young man’s body. She gasped at the pain in her chest and she sank to her knees beside the mess of bone and flesh, hands pressing hard against her breasts. She took deep breaths, letting the pain run through her, leaving her trembling as it passed. Salmare heard shouts behind her and she looked back to see figures emerging with lanterns from the house where the young man had come from. She waited till she was sure that they had seen her before she lurched to her feet and dove into the sea. She swam out a bit and waited for them to find the body. Salmare watched them stumble over the rocky ground and then pull up short at they spotted him. They approached slowly, moving closer and closer as if they had some horrible foreboding that what they were coming up to was their loved one. Then one of them, pushing ahead of the group and walked up to the corpse. The scream was loud and heart rending as the figure dropped to its knees. Salmare’s heart echoed the pain of that kind of loss.

“Three more to go,” she said to the memories of her loved ones, “Three more and it will all be over.” With a flick of her powerful tail, she headed out to sea.

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