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It was really pathetic to almost drown twice in one week, Keith thought as he was swallowed up by the black water.

Is this how dad felt? Keith mused. The sensation of what he assumed was drowning was dissimilar to the image he had conjured in his head. Instead of the crushing emptiness he should have felt, he was pleasantly surprised when he noticed no change.

Well, save for the sandpapery flank of a huge-ass shark brushing against his side. 

Keith braced for the eminent crunch of bone, the ripping of flesh, and finally the slow draining of his life as his body was picked apart by whatever scaly beasts resided in these accursed waters.

But wait, what about the annoying guy-Lance- from earlier? Keith could make out his figure, rapidly dashing about, eyes all aglow and darting back and forth as they scanned the waters.

He thought about yelling for help, but what good would that do? He could already see Lance's figure disappearing in the turbid waters. Even if he had wanted to save him, there was no way for him to even see in the blackness.

The boy closed his eyes. It had to have been more than a minute, and yet didn't feel in the slightest bit strained. The magnitude of the situation suddenly sunk in as Keith began to flail his arms about wildly in a desperate attempt to make it back to the surface.

And that was when he heard it.

A voice, coming in slow and soft- barely a whisper, that quickly grew to encompass the water, filling it with some sort of invisible lightness and ecstasy. Keith could feel the liquid vibrating around him the way a wine glass does when you rub it. It was a pleasant sensation not unlike being given a gentle massage.

Maybe dying here wouldn't be so bad.

Suddenly Keith found himself pressed to the bosom of an unknown assailant, although most likely the source of the voice. A scratchy tail coiled around his legs absentmindedly.

At this point the rather perplexed fisherman had given up on understanding the situation, accepting his imminent death and the hallucinations that came with it. But something kept him from full immersion in this fantasy.

His captor was crying.

The kind of sobbing that takes away your ability to breathe, to speak, that leaves you clawing at the air, trying to force it into your lungs as your chest heaves with each labored inhalation. The voice that had once been so melodic now crashed into a cacophony of wails and groans, each one more pained than the last. And Keith cried, too.

Because when he looked up at the violet eyes of the shark, he saw it wasn't even a shark at all.

She was a mermaid.

She was his mother.

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