Odessa wanted him the moment she saw him. He was beautiful with long locks that would fan out beneath the surface and lanky limbs that could easily tangle in the weeds. He had his back turned to the water, so Odessa felt brave to lift her head from under the surface. Just to hear his voice, she told herself.
She was under the dock, her tailfin wrapped around a thin but sturdy pole. One the shore, the boy listened to a distant voice that grated against her ears. The boy shouted something in reply and turned to face the water.
His face was as beautiful as Odessa imagined. Rounded but with strong cheekbones and high ears and a thick neck. Odessa wanted to inch closer but it was dangerous to do so at this time of day. She shouldn’t be near the surface at all. But she had a bet with her sisters. All she needed was a name.
That was the sound he turned around to. The distant voice said something else. Heyerik said something back then turned back to the lake. Odessa smiled, wiggling what she could of her tailfin. The dock rocked in the water, and that caught the attention of Heyerik. She submerged. Carefully, she unwrapped her tailfin from the dock pole and swam away from her charge.
Heyerik Heyerik Heyerik
Heyerik Heyerik Heyerik Heyerik
Heyerik was not so different from the rest of them. It was easy to call him over. He stumbled onto the dock like they all do when the sun sets. Odessa felt her heart flutter with glee—her sisters owe her a boon! There were other humans by a bonfire off the shoreline. One of them tried to take away Heyerik. He was about to until Odessa broke the surface.
It was just her head and shoulders that he could see. She felt her sisters swim around her, supporting her position which was not easy to maintain but necessary to hide the truth from the humans.
Heyerik pointed a hand in Odessa’s direction and said something she did not understand. The other human could not understand either because she asked him to repeat his words. Odessa let her arm float to the surface of the water, mimicking Heyerik’s gesture.
“Heyerik,” Odessa said in her imitation of the human voice. She wanted to flinch every time she used it, but only allowed herself a blink. “Heyerik,” she said again. Then, in her own language, “Come to me.” He lumbered onto the dock and paused at the end to admire the girl in the water calling for him. Then the spell overtook him and he tipped over the edge, landing on the surface with a belly flop.
His friend, a female, screamed as she rushed to the end of the dock. The other humans by the bonfire did not heed her call, or at least Odessa paid no mind to their sounds. One of her sisters already pulled Heyerik below the surface.
One catch was successful, but Odessa found her boon for winning her bet.
She raised her arm above the surface to beckon the female, but the spell broke at the sight of Odessa’s hand with elongated and webbed digits. Odessa felt the spell’s break, but she had her last-ditch plan. She twirled herself so she floated on her back, exposing her breasts which were somehow enchanting to humans, mostly male and some female.
“Come to me,” Odessa said, a melodic rhythm behind the words.
The human female, entranced by Odessa’s spell, tipped forward like Heyerik. She landed on Odessa, who was prepared for the catch.
Under the surface, Odessa righted the female so they were face to face with her tailfin wrapped around the female’s legs. She took the female’s hand and directed it to her breast, mostly for curiosity’s sake. The female gripped Odessa, but not uncomfortably so, and her lips parted slightly. Odessa pressed her own mouth to the female’s, sharing some surface wind, then moved her lips to the female’s throat.
The female made the magic noise. Above the surface, Odessa heard humans make a similar noise as they awkwardly thrust at each other along the shoreline. It made the humans taste better, though Odessa did not understand why.
Along the bottom of the lake, Odessa saw Heyerik with her sisters, his body already bloody and mangled like a shark’s chum. His hair fanned out from his head exactly like Odessa imagined that morning.
Odessa bit the female in the neck, chewing as the female convulsed in her grip, suddenly powerful and frightening. They sank to the bottom, siren and victim. Odessa did not look at the female’s hair as it fanned out beneath the surface. Her feast had begun.