For today... I hope you enjoy this flash fiction piece I wrote. There is a question for the ending for you as the reader.
“Mr. O’Connely! Is there a problem?” Ms. Beckett turned her beady eyed stare at me.
“Uh, no ma’am. Sorry.” I ducked my head and stared at my desk. The last thing I needed was her to make me go to the office. I didn’t think standing up was a good thing. I hated being a hormonal teenager.
I hated sitting at my desk in school when I could be out swimming or body surfing. Or with Aukai.
The vibrating started again. I fought the urge to squirm as the old bat droned on about participles. Who cares about that? Really, did she think any of us were listening? School had barely started and the rest of the teachers were going easy on us but Ms. Beckett, oh no, not her. She handed back the tests she made us take yesterday and I looked at the big red F at the top of the page.
Great! My dad was gonna be thrilled. I grimaced and shoved it into my backpack. At least I had an excuse to move around, the vibrating was getting worse as it grew stronger. I watched the clock like I was afraid time would begin to go backward. Each tick felt like an eternity.
The bell finally rang and I bolted out of class. I didn’t even take the time to put my English book away; I just left it on my desk. I’d get a lecture from Ms. Beckett on Monday but who cares? It was Friday, Dad is gone for the whole weekend on a ‘business trip’ and I had… things, to do.
I jogged home, too eager to wait for the bus. I dumped my stuff on my bed and left just as fast as I came in. The beach out back was private, secluded on both sides by tall jetties so no one could see me. I stripped off my shirt and then dug my hand into my pocket.
Opening my palm and stared down at the round pearl about the size of a quarter. It was huge, buzzing almost impatiently, and beginning to grow hot. The first time it happened I had no idea what holding it in my hand would do. Now… now I couldn’t wait.
I waded out in the surf up to my chest, my jeans getting soaked and sticking to my skin. That didn’t matter though. They’d be gone in moments. Slowly, I lowered the pearl into the water. Light flashed under the surface and a tingle ran from the palm of my hand into my body. It raced through me and I shivered, biting back a moan. It felt so good.
I slipped under the water to complete the change as my fingers grew webs, my legs became a strong blue tail and I began to breathe through gills in the side of my neck. I flipped my hand over, the pearl just a shining tattoo on my palm. The wonder and sense of freedom I felt the first time flooded me again when I felt hands brush across my waist. His green tail twined around mine.
‘I thought you’d never get here,’ he sent me.
I turned my head and kissed him, just barely slipping my tongue between his lips to tease him. I reached back and hugged him closer to feel his strong chest against my bare back. We drifted in the water out to sea.
‘I’ll always come back to you, Aukai. You saved my life and I fell in love with you.’
I felt his mental sigh. ‘I hoped you’d be ready to stay with me by now. It’s just… the pearl won’t work forever.’
I pulled away, flexing my tail to stay in place as I faced him. ‘What do you mean? Why won’t it work? You said it would let us be together.’
‘The magic only works for one turning of the moon.’
I stared at him. ‘But that’s today! You never… you didn’t…’ I could feel my gills working as I began to panic. ‘Why wouldn’t you tell me this before?’
He held out a hand to me, the almost translucent webbing between his fingers rippled from the movement of the water. ‘I didn’t want to pressure you but I don’t want to lose you either. You have to make a choice. Will you live on land with the humans or will you stay here with me?’
I couldn’t believe this. I blinked, feeling the warmth as tears slid down my face. I couldn’t lose Aukai. In the month we had come to know each other I felt more for him that anyone I had on land. My dad was always gone, I had few friends at school and none of those were close to me. But to never walk on land again; to live my life beneath the water? Could I do it?
Aukai waited; his patience as I fought with my fears and my wants was as steady as ever. He had shown me the wonders of his world and I felt more love from him than anyone since my mom died. I stared into his large green eyes and made my decision.
So . . . What would you do? Stay with Aukai or go back to what you've known your whole life?