For our May Book of the Month, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, we hosted not one — but TWO contests! That’s right. We asked you to submit stories to our mermaid writing contest, but we also offered you a chance to win the Of Poseidonaudio book.
And the winner of our mermaid writing contest is Laura Genn and her story “Drown” —
Death does not steal one’s days by force; it does not frighten away a man’s life-breath – it shrouds itself in light, and smiles like a forgotten friend, and charms the soul along a path that dissolves into nothing and no one.
Fact: Deadly things are beautiful.
Fact: He should have known.
Fact: He didn’t.
It was night on the California beach. The wide, dark expanse of the ocean rolled and tossed beneath the summer sky. The sun had long since fallen below the horizon, but the air was still thick with humidity. The light breeze tickling the sand was warm and moist, as though the sky itself had been sweating. Ever watchful, the pale sphere of the moon glowed faintly in the ebony sky, a blue-white gemstone in the infinite tapestry of the heavens. Even amidst the violent upheavals of the tides, the ocean’s surface sparkled in the soft moonlight.
Beautiful. The first sign.
He couldn’t sleep, that was all. He threw on a short-sleeved T-shirt, a pair of Bermuda shorts, and his sandals — and then he slipped out of the hotel. Headed out on to the beach, just to clear his head. The sand was cold between his toes as he approached the roaring expanse of the ocean. The water lapped at his feet.
Then it happened: something moved.
His imagination. Had to be.
Again, the dark water shifted, its surface glittering like crystal. The liquid swirled uncertainly. The ocean stirred like it was boiling.
Twin eyes — cerulean, vivid, perceptive — peered out of the water.
A human face shimmered like a reflection, but no, couldn’t be his… it was female. The woman’s golden blond tresses tumbled unbound past her shoulders. Her skin was like glass: impossibly delicate and startlingly beautiful. Her lips, a pale pink, curved into an inviting smile.
He wasn’t sure if she spoke or if the divine voice in his head was a dream.
Come with me.
He knelt down on the sand. Eyes like jewels held his own, unwavering. He tried to speak, but his mouth felt like it was full of sand. The woman laughed, swimming closer, amused.
Come closer, friend. Come away with me.
He wavered. He turned, glanced at the hotel.
Don’t look back, she entreated. Never look back…
Her hand stretched up to take his, rippling in the dark water. As if in a trance, he felt his arm extend, felt his fingers interlock with hers.
Then he saw it — she had a tail like a fish, adorned with deep green scales that shone like burnished battle armor.
He tried to pull back, but her grip on his hand was like steel claws.
“No,” he coughed. “NO!”
The mermaid laughed, and suddenly he saw the wickedness in her seductive smile. Human men… so weak-minded.
And hands like iron tugged him beneath the swelling tides.
Funny, he thought as his consciousness drowned away, how no one can hear you scream underwater.
Congrats to both our winners!