merfolk sorlato dancing in the ocean <3
merfolk sorlato dancing in the ocean <3
“Why are you here?”
Leira tilted her head, so Brine motioned to the ship around them. “Oversea. Why are you here? Why did you want this so bad?”
She glanced out the window and pointed. Brine turned and saw another ship nearby, bits of white material fluttering and covering the top and sides. Noise and music drifted from the other ship, but Brine didn’t understand.
“It’s a wedding,” Leira explained. “Something they do in oversea when they fall in love. To bond themselves together. Forever.”
“And...you wanted that?”
Leira nodded, staring longingly out the window. Her voice broke as she answered, “I wanted that.”
“But you came back,” Brine said. “They said...You wanted a reversal, didn’t you?”
“I wanted…” She hesitated, small bits of water welling at the edges of her eyes. She shook her head. “Oversea was not...It’s harsher up here. Harder. I wanted to go home. My sisters brought the message back to Alesur, and…” Her voice broke again. In place of words, she slowly held up a small silver blade. “Spill blood on my feet to go home. My sisters gave much for this chance. I couldn’t…” She shook her head. “I didn’t know he’d get me.”
Brine tilted her head. This version of Leira didn’t seem to match with what Meras had been told. The story Meras had recited made Leira sound like she welcomed destruction, her teacher telling a tale of a mermaid that wanted chaos or death. That wanted the shadows to come to the waters.
But this Leira was...sad. Broken. Brine didn’t understand.
“I never wanted his curse to come,” Leira said, staring out the window. “I didn’t know he’d get me.”
The world wobbled, and suddenly Brine was watching through Leira’s eyes. She stared out the window, heartbroken as the one she loved married another. The sun vanished, the sky darkening as night took over, and Leira spun as the door was flung open. A creature stood in the doorway, taking up the whole of it as he stared at her with hunger in his eyes. His teeth glinted in the dark, Leira shaking as she raised her knife in a half-threat.
He lunged at her and she dodged away, running out of the cabin and leaping off the ship. Pain shot through her legs but she ignored it, running across the land as mist began to grow. The land curved and lifted above her. Her knee gave and the wind left her as she hit the ground. Hands reaching out, Leira pulled herself across the ground using clumps of grass and mounds of rock. The mist continued to trail after, twining and twirling at her heels.
Leira made it to the top, struggling to a standing position and looking around. She was alone in the night, the mist crawling up the hill and condensing around her ankles. She took a step back and ran into the same creature that lunged at her in the cabin, spinning with the knife up and point out. The creature caught it easily and leered at her.
His grip was like ice as he reached down and planted a kiss against her lips. His mouth trailed down to her jaw and further down, both hands holding her tightly. She acted limp and placid, letting his body get close to hers. With a final conjuring of strength, she plunged the knife in his stomach and slid it as far as she could. Dark blood spattered on the ground. He screamed and withdrew, flinging her off the cliff.
The water rushed up to meet her like an old friend. She had been tricked by this creature into love, into submission, into being a plaything. But his screams up on the hill gave her cold satisfaction. Either she did what was needed in the struggle, or she was still human and plummeting to her death. Either way, it was over.
The waters engulfed her, white foam surrounding her vision. As the darkness began to close in, as the vision began to fade, she saw six shapes coming out of the water. Six mermaids caught her. Six sisters held her close.
The vision withdrew. Brine took a shuddering breath as that world slid away, the jellyfish rejoining the stream of light. Brine stared off, processing.
It was…a mistake. All of it. A mistake of someone else's. The mistake of those creatures who started the virus. A mistake of casting the memories away so no one knew where it started. A mistake of Leira thinking that creature loved her. A mistake of the others thinking Leira was cruel.
The shadows...These Vampyrs...All of it was just a chain of mistakes.
Monsters aren’t real.
The voice of her younger self was heard somewhere in the stream below. She smiled and turned her gaze upward.
A shape came out of the darkness, slipping through the water like a whisper. Bone-white flesh caught the edge of the glow from the pit, needle-like teeth flashing in a grim, horrible smile.
She found me, a voice screamed nearby as a jellyfish drifted closer. Oh gods, she found me!
Brine sat still in the water. She didn’t move. Didn’t breathe. Didn’t think.
Panic rode round and round inside her head, from gill to gill, locking her shoulders and elbows and fins all in place as the pale shadow circled around. It kept itself on the outskirts of the light, looking down all the while as it moved. Slowly. Winding its way through the shadow and light like a drifting piece of foam. One that had haunted Brine from the days on that shelf and beyond.
Monsters aren’t real.
The light from a jellyfish hovered just behind her, her own voice echoing in her ear.
Monsters aren’t real. Momma told me so.
Brine wanted to scream. Clearly her mother was wrong. Because no matter what the memories tried to convey to her, the only thing in the waters with her was a monster.
What are you willing to risk?
Monsters aren’t real.
I never wanted his curse to come.
The voices rose and fell as more and more jellyfish surrounded her, overlapping each other and lighting up her frozen body in the dark. Her heart pounded as fear roared in her ears, the creature spinning through the waters, spinning to face her. She was lit up like the reefs. There was no hiding from it now.
The dead cannot speak for themselves.
Poor, unfortunate souls.
Why are you here?
It vanished beyond the light now, but Brine could still hear it. Still feel it. The Shadow, the Vampyr, whatever it was called. It slipped towards her, silent ripples brushing her from afar but growing nearer and nearer. The light caught the edge of a bone-white hand, reaching out towards her. Brine closed her eyes, squeezing them shut. I can’t, she thought, I can’t! This isn’t happening, not again, not to me!!
Memories of her teacher flashed through her mind, the hand whipping out and yanking Teacher back. Clamping around her neck. Clamping around her shoulders.
Ice raced up her neck, spread along her chest and back. The world swung upside-down, the current rushing in her ears before suddenly going still. Everything had gone so still.
But...Brine was still Brine. Was this...death? This quiet, cold, darkness?
Her eyes flew open.
She was back at the white shelf on the edge of the reefs. But everything was...dark. Clouded. Something, some kind of song burned at the edge of her hearing. It was driving. Maddening. But Brine couldn’t take her eyes off the single spot of light just ahead, where a mermaid sat with her back to the dark. The white rock of the reef rose up out of the waters, decorated in small glittering points of light that burned.
It clicked. The stomach-flipping sensation, the ice under her skin. This was a memory.
The Shadow. This was...the Shadow’s memory.
Something moved off to one side, the Shadow’s clouded vision shifting immediately. The figure of another mermaid lurked to one side. A purplish cloud surrounded her, shrouding her from the senses, but somewhere inside the Shadow knew exactly who and what that was. The sea witch. The witch was here, and that is why the Shadow had come.
Brine felt it, deep in her gut. The hatred. The seething. The witch had come long ago, the Shadow’s mind told her. Come long ago and stolen from them. Drove them into the darkness. Hunted and killed and stole.
She began to slide through the water, but the colored cloud grew intense. Burning. Burning in her mind. She shied away once, and when she looked again the purple cloud had moved. The Shadow spun and swam forward, determined to finish the hunt and end the fight. Her hand lashed out, grabbed and yanked and bit and tore.
A scream tore through the waters, the Shadow shuddering to a halt. This was wrong. This felt wrong. The purple magic was disappearing too quickly, gone in an instant. The clouded vision shifted to see a smaller Brine, screaming as tears disappeared into the waters. Her heart pounded, body frozen in terror. The Shadow looked back down and saw the remains of the mermaid in her hands.
The witch tricked her again, hid her magic in another.
The Shadow’s vision spun around and sped off into the waters, a howl of pain and rage filling the waters in her wake. Brine kept screaming. And screaming. And screaming until her lungs burned.
A sharp pain cut across her cheek, cutting off her last-breath squeaking scream. She blinked a few times before everything cleared away, realizing she was done. It was done. The Shadow’s memory was gone.
Her body shook, arms and fins trembling as her jaw clenched so hard she thought her teeth would crack under the pressure. Her nails dug into her palms, fins writhing and twisting underneath her. Unsettled rage left over from the vision mingled with her feelings of betrayal and horror. Meras!
Meras was there that night. Meras knew the Shadow was hunting her. Meras used the Shadow, used the Shadow’s sight to draw her to Teacher.
The Shadow may have been the weapon, but it was Meras that painted the target.
Meras betrayed her, sacrificed her, started this whole thing and then pretended to be her friend. Tried to use her to get information, tried to pretend that she was the innocent, cuddling up to her, telling her she believed her. Lies, lies, LIES.
Everything settled into one final lump inside her gut. With nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, Brine leaned over and shot the last of her stomach contents into the water. She hung upside down for a minute, the gentle current around the jellyfish whisking away any tears she cried. This was too much. All too much. Couldn’t this be over already? Why couldn’t the Shadow have killed her back then? Saved her from this horrifying life?
Her muscles clenched and unclenched, tail spasming in short bursts of twitches as she curled in the water and closed her eyes.
I don’t care anymore, she thought, fatigue and exhaustion taking over. I just...don’t care anymore.
Something moved out there. Just beyond her understanding. The water slid around her body. But she didn’t bother. Didn’t open her eyes. Didn’t even try. In the end, the last thing she felt inside was empty.
In time for Mermay, the Big Five of Texas as merfolk! 🧜🏻♂️🧜🏻🌊🇨🇱
Personal day 4 - Greed
Hippocrates the lionfish
oh happy mermay!! i'm still carrying on with my merfolk au, here's sale and zucchero! inspired by a fangtooth moray eel and a stingray respectively
Creature of the sea
If you're accepting submissions: a bishop-fish
Bishop-fish, the 204th Known One.
The mermaid was right; the room was filled with food. Grass and weed and kelp and coral decorated the walls in pulled bunches, small bits of squid meat, whale blubber, and dead shell-walkers were stuffed into various jars, and a small metal pot sat to one side surrounded by rocks and black sand.
The mermaid was waving a hand over the top of the pot, occasionally tossing the sand inside to cause a blur of heat and bubbles. She waited a moment before reaching a hand inside and pulling out a shelled creature, peeling back one side and picking at the meat between. She glanced up at Brine as she entered, reaching in and presenting another shelled creature.
Brine shook her head. “No thanks, I don’t…” she glanced around, the sentiment trailing off. Too many childhood taunts came to mind, blocking the rest of her sentence.
The mermaid shrugged, tossing it back into the pot before fishing something else out using the discarded shell of her own meal. She extended the shell again, but this time the hollowed remains held a gathering of greenery. Brine took it with a short smile and swam a bit away before gingerly biting a piece off.
“So,” the mermaid drew her attention again, “now that you’re poisoned--”
Brine immediately dropped her meal, hands at her throat as she choked and gagged, trying to spit up what she had eaten. It took a minute to register the mermaid was actually smiling, and not in a cruel way. More in a ‘I-got-you’ way.
She let out a laugh as several emotions collided across Brine’s face. “Relax,” she snorted, “I wouldn’t bring you out here to poison you. I may be a strange hermit but I still remember my manners.”
Brine wasn’t sure about that.
Letting her laughter fade into a sigh, the mermaid fished another shell from her pot. “How about this,” she said between mouthfuls, “we exchange questions and answers. You ask, I answer, then we do it in reverse until we’re either satisfied or get interrupted. Deal?” Brine didn’t answer, still struggling to bring down her panic levels. The mermaid nodded. “I’ll take that as a yes. Since you’re still freaking out, I’ll go first. My name Mereas, I’m a mermaid like you, this is my dwelling, and the scrawls out there are real.” She settled a moment to let everything sink in, and give Brine a few more easy breaths. She sat back a little, her scales scraping against the rock she had wrapped her fin around, and studied Brine for a moment. “And now you. Brine, right?” Brine nodded. “K. Take a breath. Do you think I’m going to hurt you?”
Brine did. Considered. Finally gave her head a small shake.
“I…I guess...you would have done it by now?”
Mereas smiled. Gave a short nod. “Why do you think I haven’t?”
“Because…” Brine hesitated. Gulped. “Because you...need something from me?”
Her smile grew wider just for a moment. Then it faded. “No,” she said. “I haven’t hurt you because I have no reason to hurt you. You haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not offended by you in any way. In fact, I…” she shook her head. “In fact, I believe you have been mistreated by a lot of others.”
Brine stared. “...why?”
“Why do you say that?”
Mereas studied her for a moment. “Because I believe you about the shadows.”
Brine was just starting to calm herself. Those words caused another flurry of paralyzing emotions. The only ones that had ever believed her were ones like Lilly. Ones that weren’t quite right in the mind. Brine withdrew, drifting backwards as her arms tensed against her body. Flashes of Lilly attacking her only hours ago made her tense, ready to run again. But Mereas didn’t move, her bland muddy eyes watching her silently. Her scales scraped across the rock again as she shifted once more and waited.
Finally, Brine spoke, her voice squeaking out a single word. “What?”
“The shadows,” Mereas said again. “Rather, the thing inside them. The thing that killed your teacher. The thing that stalks you now.”
“...what...what is it? What was it?”
“We have no name for it,” Mereas answered. “They called it something in the oversea...something that starts with a ‘vuh’ sound. I’ve taken to calling it a shadow-pearl.”
Brine swallowed. “How do you...know about it?”
“Because I hunt them. And…” She shuffled slightly, bringing a small glass orb into view. It glowed with a faint energy, and Brine knew it instinctively; it was the one from her room. The one she picked up when she went back. The one the shadow-creature left behind. They locked eyes as Mereas said, “...I was there that night.”
Brine reeled, slamming herself against the back wall as she fought all her instincts. She wanted answers. She wanted freedom. She wanted to scream and fight and run as all her imagined fears suddenly solidified into reality.
Mereas simply watched. Simply waited.
Brine managed to steady herself and shot Mereas a glare. “Are...You…The...The…”
“No. I was hunting when it...” Fear and anger and sadness all flickered through her features like reflections of light and Brine found her emotions starting to spiral down into calm. She was telling the truth. She couldn’t have been the thing in the shadows. Mereas closed her eyes. “...when it killed your teacher.”
The fear rushed from Brine like a current in the reefs. She felt exhausted and flat, sinking to the cabin’s floor and resting there for a moment. She spotted her disregarded meal on the floor, eyeing it as her stomach reared its anger once more. She swallowed, throat like sand, and tried not to look at how dirty the greenery appeared as she grabbed it.
“Wait.” She paused as Mereas fished in her pot again. “Let’s trade. This is still warm and…” she smiled, “and less likely to have splinters.”
MerMay Day 15: Pet
Cute and cuddly pets even under the sea
Mermay 2022 day 15: DMCL chibi.
Meras gave her a questioning look, Brine now settled next to her staring at an algae-coated table shoved up against the wall with bits broken and peeling off or floating in the water.
“What do you mean?” Meras said when Brine didn’t explain.
“I mean…” Brine sighed. “I don’t know what I mean.” She looked at Meras. “I’ve struggled what seems all my life to prove that something happened. That it was real. Now you’re telling me it was real and you’ve told me why. And...it sounds like a real explanation.” Brine had no other way to describe what little Meras had told her, spinning a story while they ate about a clan of sea witches dedicated to wiping out these shadows, how she was the last of the former and was hunting the last of the latter. But she didn’t give away much else, like what this thing really was, and why Lilly said it was coming for her.
Brine took a breath. “But...I don’t know what to do now.”
Meras held a look of careful reserve as she stared at the pot. Her eyes flicked to Brine for a moment, staring at her steadily before speaking. “What were you going to do before?”
Brine blinked and looked up at her. “What?”
Meras produced the small glowing orb again, setting it between them. “You held on to this since you were very young. You’ve been thinking non-stop about it. You told me you were winning your freedom bit by bit so you could freely explore and get the truth about that day. So...what were you going to do once you learned the truth?”
Brine hesitated. She realized she hadn’t thought beyond it. Never really thought about what the answers would look like, or what she’d do with the information. Revenge was on the edge of her mind, more like an inky cloud than a real option. She wouldn’t even know how to get revenge on the shadow, and hadn’t had much luck discovering what the shadow was until now. The closest she ever got were the other inmates, the others that were like Lilly, clawing their gills and shedding scales inside the rooms.
In the end...she just wasn’t sure. She picked up the globe and stared at it. “I guess…” she looked back up at Meras. “I guess I’d just...want to know why.”
“Why...me.” Brine found the words hard to get out. “Why her? Why that night, why that place? Why did this creature come at me, affect me, change me? Why did it have to kill her?” She gave a half-hearted shrug and looked down at the globe. “...Just...find out why.”
She risked a glance at Meras, who watched her steadily with a very passive energy. Brine shrugged and looked back down at the globe. “Sounds silly. Anticlimactic, to say it out loud.” She resisted saying the words ringing in her head: it sounds stupid. She knew it was coming, the dismissal the only thing that ever came from these conversations.
“What are you willing to risk?”
Brine looked sharply up. Meras was still staring at her. Still with the passive energy. But something at the edge of her eyes now looked sharp. Interested. Controlled. Brine couldn’t look away, taking a deep breath and holding it. Her gills flapped as she let it out slowly, the bubbles trailing towards the ceiling in small spirals.
Meras smiled. The action was small, subtle, but somehow it changed the energy in the room like a light. She held out her hand, motioning at the orb. Brine obeyed, and Meras rose glancing out one of the round holes edged in rusted metal. The light from the Reefs had faded, the light catching against the stone and colors of the city and fading into muted pinks, reds, and oranges. She waited for a moment, deciding on the next course of action before looking back at Brine.
“I can help, but you must do exactly what I say.”
Distrust immediately flared in Brine’s memory, but she shoved it away. She nodded.
Meras smile returned. “Good. The light has faded too much, there’s no point in going out. So first is rest. When first light comes, we’ll head out.”
“Back to the spot,” Meras answered, starting to swim away. “Back to the place where your fear was born.”
Mermay of the day! Day 15.
Based on a cobia fish. They be taking a nap
Second Mermay post! This time, here’s a Hua Cheng to go along with the Xie Lian from yesterday!
Mermay 2021: Blue Ringed Octopus
Merfolk 2021: Flying Cod
Mermay 2021: Whale Shark
Mermay 2021: Betta
Chapters: 1/? Fandom: Transformers - All Media Types Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings Characters: Shockwave (Transformers), Spike Witwicky, Silas (Transformers), Optimus Prime, Megatron (Transformers), Ratchet (Transformers), Knock Out (Transformers), Starscream (Transformers), Soundwave (Transformers) Additional Tags: MerMay, Transformers as merfolk, things not going to plan, Possibly a short fic I don't even know at this point, no beta we just die, Shockwave is Feral and I don't blame him, Skywatch, Skywatch is Seawatch, Because I am punny, Yes I am using Skywatch as basically an even more evil Seaworld Summary:
Shockwave is diseased and has been abandoned by Megatron's group, left to wander alone while he slowly dies, a combination of disease and ghost nets spelling his certain doom. Seawatch, a human organization dedicated to eradicating the merfolk 'threat' captures him and imprisons him. Yes, they start treating him, but he is a prisoner to be shown like a wild animal and experimented on, and he is feral and angry about it. The question is, can he escape? Is he strong enough to? And if he does, where will he go once he is free? None of Megatron's group is going to help him, and his memories of life before Megatron forced him into his group as a poison-laden weapon are fuzzy at BEST. What's a Cymer to do?