Martin the Merman

Part 1 [Martin]

The loud thunk somewhere above him woke him up.

The Great Bigs are at it again, Martin thought as he tried to get comfortable again. Peaceful nights and mornings have become a rarity in these parts.

But a secret part of him was thankful, for the dappled bluish light of early morning was rather beautiful, and being a late-riser didn’t provide enough opportunities for such surreal beauty.

Might as well start the day early, he thought to himself as he had a satisfying stretch. He swam up outside his cabin to the deck and found Bass and Dolphin chatting over some fish.

“Morning, guys. Mind if I join?” He asked as he slid between them to take one of the smaller fish.

“Mmm what a surprise!” Dolphin clicked her tongue as Martin reached for one of her fish, slapping his hand away. Bass joined in, “Are you planning to move today, Martin? The Divers are getting closer.”

Martin thought for a while. He had stayed in The Ship for a long time, it was quite comfortable. He had made some friends too. That didn’t happen often, considering all he would get were curious stares and he didn’t know what to do with that. Bass and Dolphin had approached him after a few weeks of observing and concluding that he was harmless. The conversation about The Divers continued as Martin got lost in his thoughts.

The Divers. The bane of his existence. His unwitting captors. There wouldn’t be a day that would go by without a thought of them, and the sad part was it was his own personal hell. The rest of the Ocean didn’t have to worry about the divers — they were there to protect life in general, see — but Martin was an abomination and The Divers wouldn’t let him swim and he learnt it the hard way.

He looked at Bass. “Where were they last spotted?”

Bass looked confused for a moment.

“The Divers. How close are they?” If they were close enough, he had to pack up. He thought of going to a cave he had run from a while ago. The Divers don’t usually revisit places that often, so he would be safe there for a while.

“They spotted the Ship a while ago. You know how it is.” Bass replied.

Martin knew all too well. He had known all his life, it was all he knew.

He had to go. His appetite was gone, his stomach was flipping about at the thought of leaving behind his newest and only friends and a safe warm place he had begun to count on.

After a hasty goodbye, Martin swam back to his cabin in The Ship. Upping-and-leaving wasn’t all that easy — he couldn’t leave traces of anything except wreck, ruin and decay. He carefully spread some sea-weed, sea-cucumbers and sponges here and there. By the time The Divers reach The Ship, there would be a decent growth to cover any abnormalities in The Ship.

He would be safe at the Cave for quite some time. It wouldn’t be as nice, but “nice” wasn’t exactly an option when survival was at question. It was a shelter, and having hands meant he could make it a good hiding spot. Maybe this demon-body of his was not so bad after all.

Oh wait. This demon-body of his was the cause of his personal hell. It better be useful.

Martin kept swimming for a while. It had been a while since he had been at The Cave, and he just might be lost. The Cave was in somewhat deeper waters, and it was soon getting difficult to tell morning, noon and night apart. At least it was quieter here. The continuous splish-splash was comfortable and lulling.

He was just about to take a nap when something in the corner of his eye caught his attention. Martin swooped and turned towards a huge cloud of bubbles. When the space cleared up, what he saw froze him there. It was a moment he dreaded all too often, his recurring nightmare, the exact situation he was trying to run away from, avoid. Yet it was happening right there and he seemed to lose everything — his thoughts, his movement.

End of part 1.
Part 2 coming soon.
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