Gerald couldn’t believe his luck. The first man to walk beneath the ocean’s waves, first to wear the new technology. Breathing underwater? Brilliant.
So why did he have such a bad feeling about it? There was nothing under there except for fish. Nothing to worry about. Gerald was a scientific-minded man. He knew the rumors were nonsense.
As the helmet was lowered onto his shoulders, the weight seemed tenfold compared to the test runs in the tanks. Something was going to go wrong. He knew it with as much certainty as he knew that the earth was round. He was going to die that day.
Still, the logical part of his brain pushed him to the edge of the boat. Pushed him over the edge. Into the water. Beneath the surface. Toward his demise.
The pressure was somewhat relived by the suit, but still he felt the waters closing in around him, sealing him into what would be his grave.
Stop it, Gerald. There is nothing here but fish. Not even an occasional shark sighting in this area. You are perfectly safe. His internal scolding did nothing to alleviate his fears.
He walked slowly, mindful of the currents, fascinated by the strength of the water. Such a mundane thing, often thought harmless, yet in such quantities, at such depths, it was a force to be reckoned with. The weight of the suit did nothing to aid him in his movements; the water seemed to be the proverbial immovable object. Each step took a considerable amount of effort, kicking up mud that swirled in the water, lowering visibility.
So focused was he on his task that Gerald almost didn’t see it. No, not it. Her.
Here. Beneath the surface. Under the waves. A woman. Swimming effortlessly, bothered not by the water’s resistance. His vision was momentarily obscured by the mud that his boots had kicked up, but the man in him recognized the woman in her, and he knew instinctively that she was beautiful. Beyond beautiful–radiant. A goddess.
He shook his head in slow motion, hampered by the heft of his equipment and the crushing force of the water surrounding him, trying to clear his vision. Surely there was something wrong with the oxygen flow. That must be it. There was no way a woman could survive at these depths without some sort of protective gear such as he wore. Her lungs would collapse, fill with the salty liquid, and she would drown.
Perhaps that was what he was seeing; some poor woman had suicided, and her body was drifting at the bottom of the sea, weighted down by the water inside of her, not yet filled with the buoyancy that the bloat of decay provided.
Then she blinked. Her lithe form maneuvered through the water with a grace that mesmerized him, flowing closer. Moved against the current. Moved with purpose. As she neared, he saw that she was nude, and even in his stupor he had the decency to try to avert his eyes. He tried, but failed. He was drawn to her visage, held hostage by her eyes.
So caught was he that it took Gerald several moments to notice a glaring abnormality to this woman. She was ravishing–or at least the top half of her was. Below her slender waist, where her hips and legs should begin, was a tail. Like a true denizen of the sea, she had fins and scales, scales which glistened in the light that refracted through the water. It was no wonder now how she moved through the depths with such ease.
Science be dammed, somehow this fish-woman existed. Mud now settled by his lack of movement, the water was clear and crystalline. He felt his heart rate quicken and the blood flow shift to his groin. The first was a well known sign of hypoxia; the second, though, was purely a primal reaction to the sight before him.
That was the last thought from his scientific mind. The primitive mind had taken over. Gerald the scientist was gone. Gerald the man was all that remained, and Gerald the man wanted this fish-woman as he had never wanted any woman that walked the land. (Never mind that he could see no way to couple with her; the part of him that would recognize the inherent flaw in that fact no longer existed.)
She paused mere inches from him, her eyes wide and head cocked to the side. Her slim yet toned arm reached out and her delicate fingertips brushed the glass of his helmet. A frown passed over her exquisite features, followed by the rapt stare of wonder. He wondered briefly if she had ever seen glass before, and if she understood this waterlike material that was as hard as stone.
Gerald’s hand moved as well, drifting to the smooth looking skin of her face before descending to her chest. He paused there to appreciate a firm yet feminine mound. There was no nipple, but then again what need would a fish-woman have for nipples?
Even through the thick rubber of his suit, he could feel a warmth that was contradictory to her nautical half. If scientific-minded Gerald had been aware, he would have been curious. Instead, he wanted to feel that warmth against his skin.
At this point, he no longer knew what he was doing. He pulled off a glove, allowing the ocean into his suit. He didn’t care. All he cared about was the fish-woman.
As he reached for her again, she took his hand and smiled wide, exposing brilliant white teeth. White and sharp. Sharp as a shark’s. Sharp enough to pierce his skin.
Before the waters could fill his suit, she bit into his hand. The animal brain that now controlled Gerald felt a surge of pleasure, and he licked his lips, longing to feel hers against them.
He didn’t notice the blood mixing with the salty ocean.
He didn’t notice the nearby shark, which had been circling above since the woman appeared.
He didn’t notice, until her bloody smile turned cold.
His animal brain filled with fear, commanding him to flee.
But it was too late.
The shark descended.
And the fish-woman retreated, giving her lover room to feed.