I was in heaven as I swam through the gentle waves my head bobbing just above the water and the froth hitting my face in a boisterous rhythm. The sun was shining down soft rays of light onto my closed eyes and upturned tail and just about hazing the tip of my nose. There was a gentle breeze in the air and it would rock me tenderly through the rolling waves.
My eyes snapped open when I felt something tickling my tail, something slimy and possibly scaly, and I skittered down into the water and away from the surface as fast as the water would allow. I swam down further and further but whatever it was wasn't letting go. My heart was on the verge of cutting a hole out of my chest and escaping. I dared to look back and froze, still wading forward a couple centimeters because of the current. Just a piece of seaweed.
I sighed before returning to the surface, still removing the long string from my tail and looking down as bubbles floated gently up against my face.
It had taken a while for me to gather the guts to come up to the surface and enjoy the feel of the sun and the breeze and the waves. I'd spent nearly two hours worrying that every shadow was a human swimming my way, or a boat, or a Blacktip shark.
I wasn't going to waste this good day, I decided, I was going to enjoy my minutes of solitude above the waters.
There was so much left undiscovered simply by the fact that I wasn't brave enough to venture far enough out of the sea. I had my reasons but at my age, at nearly seventeen, they didn't seem enough of an excuse.
I'd felt sand before, laid in a blanket of it, but what did the sand of the beach feel like I wander?
I wasn't legless, I could change if I dried long enough, there really wasn't any excuse for my cowardice.
My head bobbed above the water, my body was awkwardly upright. I let the waves slosh around the front of my face and toy with my shoulder length hair.
"Hey! Hey, you there!"
I could have jumped out of my skin, in fact I wish I could have. Someone had spotted me! Well fuck, what do I do? Swim? Swim sounded good, should I swim? Should I be swimming?
"You're way past the beach borders dude!"
I froze, absolutely still apart from the waves rocking me forward inch by inch.
"DUDE! Are you okay over there?!"
I was still muttering a long and horrifically dirty string of curses in my mind. How did I not see anyone coming?
Waves started coming at me stronger than before and I struggled to stay upright. I needed to keep myself upright or he was going to see, he was going to see my tail!
I turned slowly and hesitantly.
"Are you alright man? I'm coming over there, just try to keep your head above the water!"
He was in a boat, a big white one. How the hell did I not see the shadow of this galumphing giant, it should have blocked out the sun.
He slowly came closer and once within reaching distance he extended a well-meaning hand.
I stared at it. Can't hold it. Got scales on my fingers too.
If he finds out what I am will he eat me? I don't taste good.
I looked up at him with wide eyes and he just stared back.
He looked nice. Really, really nice. Manly. He had wavy longish hair that was a light blonde like the beach, his eyes stood out on his firmly carved face, they were blue like when the sun hits a pool of shallow water. He was wearing a really right elastic suit of some sort in black and green. It was so tight I could see his chest muscles, easily defined by their mass, he was a strong human.
I couldn't help staring, it had been a long time since I'd really, really, looked at anything human before.
He slung his legs over the side of the boat and pushed his hand out further, confusion in his eyes as though he were trying to figure out why exactly I wasn't taking a hold of his hand.
Legs are basically like your arms but they're longer and I think thicker? Oh, and the hands are a different shape but still similar.
I gazed at his hand, distracted.
It looked warm.
Without really thinking I slid my fingers through his. Scales. Shit. I immediately attempted to retract my hand but his hold on it was tight. I yelped and attempted to swim away but his grip was like a fallen boulder.
I screeched and the man yelped and put one long finger in his ear.
"Wow, are you on fuckin' ecstasy or something?! I gotta get you out of here man this ain't no place to swim. 'Specially not all drugged up."
"I am not with drugs." I squeaked. My voice was unpracticed and therefor had a painful rasp to it.
"Look at me, fuck, look at me." He pulled my arm and then I was facing him and without planning on it I was staring at him again. Very handsome. Beautiful even. And he had very soft looking lips.
I shook my head, then paused, then looked at him again, then shook my head and paused again. I looked at his groin. Definitely a bulge there, he was male, odd that I was attracted to a human but a male human? Has the world gone absolutely mad?
"Fuck man you're messed up look at your pupils!"
Was there something wrong with my pupils?
"Come on, let me pull you up, give me your other hand."
A particularly strong current pushed me, not away, but towards him. Apparently the sea wanted to see whether a male seamer and a male human could make babies, and what kind. However the sea is a child and I will not succumb to it's wishes.
I decided I would swim away from him and he would be happy seeing me end up on the shore. I yanked my hand from his grasp, only I didn't manage to, I'd always considered myself powerful but this man takes the cake and what even for? Humans did not need anything other than strong legs to hold themselves upright.
He shouted a curse and grabbed my other arm and attempted to lift me up on board. Unfortunately I am not nearly as light as the upper half of my body suggests. My tail is comparative with the weight of a very heavy hammerhead.
His face went red as he tried his darnedest to pull me from the water.
"Stop!" I yelped.
"Kid do you have a death wish what's the matter with you?!"
I stared at him. His hands felt nice on my skin, very dry but also very warm. He had a nice voice too, low and very commanding. I liked it.
"Can swim better," I said.
He looked crossly at me. "And what's that supposed to mean? Do you not speak English? Fuck, I'm wasting my time trying to lift a kid on my boat who wants to be as dead as his weight."
I pouted a little. "Mad?"
His face went multiple colors, from red to white to red to yellow and then back to the beautiful sandy tan.
"I have no idea what I'm looking at right now."
"I can swim," I tried again.
"I can see that," He said very slowly and without blinking, "But once you're lying on the sea bed struggling for air you swimming skills won't do shit to save you now lift yourself up onto my boat you annoying kid!"
I stuck out my bottom lip. "Mad?"
"Why do you keep saying that... Are you asking if I'm mad at you??" He looked so puzzled and out of habit I reached out and stroked a length of his arm. He shivered and I saw goosebumps rise.
"I'm not mad at you." He was very silent now. "Please, get on the boat before I end up drowning along with you."
I looked at him horrified. He was planning to jump if I didn't get on his boat? But he would surely sink, and human cannot breath under the water. Or maybe they can, but not for long. He would die!
I tried to pull away but when he wouldn't let go I bit him and he yelped and clutched his arm to his chest. He didn't look angry so I didn't feel guilty.
I turned and swam very fast towards the beach. Although I tried to keep my speed up to par with my usual swimming it was very difficult as I had to keep my tail constantly below me and my upper half almost painfully upright. When I swim I like to do so horizontally.
When I looked back I saw that the boy had thrown me a red and white ring but I wasn't anywhere near it now and didn't have much use for it anyway. He was standing now, his hands on his head in frustration.
I waded near the beach, hoping he would go away so I could get away from here in time to evade any morning joggers who's route ran through the beach.
He did eventually give up and sail away although I didn't actually see him leave I knew he was gone because my eyesight was good and his big boat was gone.
I turned to look at the beach, just wanted to touch the sand. It's gold color reminded me of both the boys hair and his skin. Beautiful. I reached down under the water and ran my hand through the soft powdered stone. It felt good.
I stayed there for some time, just feeling the sand and watching it fly up into the water, dance for me and play. I found a shell and it was white and clean and perfectly formed and although I knew it was an empty home it still made me happy because it was pretty.
Suddenly, and completely out of nowhere, a massive wave threw me forward from behind and I was suddenly flying towards the beach, my body hurdling straight into an apparently abandoned deck chair.
I landed with an 'oomph' onto the dry and sandy beach.
The shock left me gasping and looking around in rapid fear. The street further away was mostly empty save for a couple walking a small beast on a rope and a man opening his store just behind them.
I needed to move away as fast as I could, needed to hide my tail under the water, the only thing hiding it even partially from view was the deck chair and it didn't do much.
It was so hard to move on just my arms and I was beginning to panic so I tried to cover up my tail with sand and half bury myself but the sand was rough against my sensitive skin and it hurt under my nails to dig through dry sand. I wasn't covering myself fast enough.
Then I saw a boy running towards me and when I squinted I could see it was the one who tried to pick me up in the sea. Just my luck.
I berated myself for not having thought of an excuse or an explanation that would have sent him on his way. Normally humans are not so nice as this one. Why was he so intent on following me?
I rubbed the sand into my scales absentmindedly and that was when I realized I didn't have scales. I looked down and I had legs, and a crotch which I promptly covered with more sand, skinny legs to match my skinny body, very weak looking legs, I didn't like them at all but it was a breath of fresh air to know I was safe from inquisitive eyes. I would not be poached on a stick of harried over a camp fire. I was not going to be eaten because humans did not eat other humans. Hopefully.
The boy was two feet away now.
"What's your name?" He demanded.
A name. Oh, I hadn't thought of that.
Names are ways to remember who's who. They're mainly a human thing but I know dolphins that do it too. See there are lot's of humans and so they forget which ones are which, that's why each one of them try really hard to be as individual as they can be so that people will remember them and part of that means giving themselves names.
"Douglas," I decided. I'd once read a book by a man named Douglas Adams and I liked it even if most of the pages were mush and my reading wasn't so good.
The boy sat down next to me, breathing heavily from his fast run.
"Well Douglas do you come from round here?"
I shook my head.
"Thought as much. Do you live far?"
I shook my head again.
"At least there's that, are you any bit interested in joining my swim club? We're taking part in next years Swim Compete. We're really good but I've never seen anyone like you before. Reeked total amateur but still got sweet results. You've got to teach me that some time!"
I looked at him completely puzzled. "Yes?"
"Awesome!" He grinned. "Meet me at the green harbor tomorrow at eleven in the morning and I'll introduce you to the others!"
I nodded, "Yes."
He just continued grinning as he stared at me and I was beginning to notice that it was awfully nerve racking to have someone stare at you for so long like that.
"Okay, well c'ya," He got up and wiped the sand off his thighs. "Oh, and there's a shower behind the carousel... You better clean off you smell like fish fingers."
Because I didn't really understand and for lack of better to do I simply smiled at him.
He gave me an odd look in return and then walked away.