This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
This is more of an opening to a longer story I think but the brief was to write a 1000 word short story around someone else's sentence. I chose this
"She rises through black waters, leaving the City behind, and as the light above glimmers and grows, she knows she will need to remember how to breathe."
Leanee was up early, she'd hardly slept anyway. Today she was leaving her world and the excitement made her tremble.
''Don't be afraid child. I know you are small but you have great strength from your breeding and loving support from your people.'' said Mother. Leanee didn't say ''I'm not afraid, I just can't think because I'm so happy to be going'', instead she whispered to her mother. ''I won't let you down, you don't have to worry.''
Now she was on her way, swimming strongly eyes wide open, she rises through black waters, leaving the City behind, and as the light above glimmers and grows, she knows she will need to remember how to breathe.
'I have been to the surface before, I have to pull air in through my nose and mouth. My lungs will expand and my gills will relax. It's easy.'
Leanee pops her head up out of the water, sucking in air as she looks around. The air tastes sweet, just as she remembered and the coast looks familiar.
'I must be close to the meeting place.' ''Hello, hello.'' Her voice sounds odd, it lacks all the resonance that water gave it and sounds faint almost timid. Her mother had reminded her of this before she'd left. ''Yes Mother, you were right.'' she says looking down, ''as usual''.
Taking her bearings from the rising Sun and the headland to the North she turns and swims along the coast.
At Gythio a boy stared out to sea. He'd got up before Dawn too and had been pacing along the beach to settle his nerves.
'Will she come? Will I like her? I've learned a lot about Merpeople but I don't know if we'll be friends. I must be gentle, Father said.'
He pulls the pipes from his waistband and blows a note. Merpeople loved music he'd been told and Memnos had composed a new tune in preparation for this day. He sits down on a rock and plays, closing his eyes to let the music flow better. He began to enjoy himself, Memnos was brought up in the wooded areas of Greece. His family usually travelled around the southern coast in Winter and moved up to northern forests in Summer, this year Memnos had stayed behind close to this beach waiting, although the Sun was hot on his fur.
Leanee knows when she's arrived at the right place; like most of her people she has sensitive nostrils that help her identify places by sampling the water she moves through. Now with her head above the water her ears hear music and she catches sight of Memnos.
She pulls herself up onto a rock and unfastens her tail. She looks at the boy, noticing the tiny horns on his head above ears that were twitching in her direction. He was obviously pretending not to see her. She smiles at her Mother's comment that Memnos' folk were not renowned for tact. Merpeople thought self restraint was important and Leanee had been in trouble for being too friendly with everyone she met.
She stands up, tucks the tail under arm, breathes deeply and walks a little unsteadily towards him. Memnos plays his new melody again .
'That's a pretty tune. I like it.'
Memnos opens his eyes to look at her. 'Thank you I'm happy it pleased you. I'm glad we have the chance to talk together before they come.'
Leanee decides she likes him because he makes her feel comfortable.
' My mother told me your people were friendly and fun to be with. I expected you to have your family with you. I'm told you're more sociable than us sea-dwellers.'
'We thought it would be easier if there was only me here. I've already said my Goodbyes.'
'I can see that was hard for you. You miss them, don't you?'
'I do, yes, but I'm excited about the future too. Do you know anything about the Offworlders?'
'No.' Leanee frowned. ' I don't think any of us ever met one before.'
'Same here; that's a pity. I hope we don't get too much of a shock.' Memnos laughs. 'They can't have grown extra arms or heads can they?'
'I don't know. Mother told me the Offworlders are highly advanced people, but would you need to create extra limbs to live in Space?'
'We're about to find out. Look.' Memnos points to the West where a craft is flying towards them.
They watch as it circles overhead and then comes vertically straight down a short distance away. After a moment a door opens then a ramp is lowered.
Leanee swallows hard, Memnos nods at her and they walk together toward the Offworlder craft. A glow shows inside, it grows steadily brighter until it's too strong for Leanee's eyes. Memnos sees her falter and takes her hand. Then he gasps as the Offworlder comes down the ramp.
'It's an Angel. It has wings. I never believed in Angels.'
The tall shining figure has an old lined face. It opens it's arms and says.
' I never believed in Fauns or Mermaids until today. My name is Michael, please come aboard and I'll take you to my home.'