Friday, November 20, 2020

The Sea Hag -Chapter Eight-

 


Michael


“Aye, Dios mio!” cried our mother as soon as I set foot in the house.

I had followed Gabe in and was reaching to close the large, heavy, front door behind me when the Madre’s light, quick steps hurried up to me and her thin, callused fingers began caressing my face. “Miguelito, Angelito, what happened?” Her hands stroked and prodded worriedly at the bandage around my head and I could only imagine the wounded, haggard picture I presented.

“Mama, I’m fine,” I assured her, grabbing her fluttering hands in my own and kissing them to stillness.

“Dumbass got hit in the head with his own board,” supplied my loving twin with a derisive snort, and Mom lunged toward him. I heard a muffled thwack, and a grumbled “ow” from Gabe.

“He’s right, Ma,” I said, reaching for her.“It was a stupid mistake; I was out there too long without a break and I lost focus.” She took my hand and kissed it with a little sniff of acknowledgement. “It won’t happen again,” I promised.  

“See that it doesn’t.” she said primly. Then she sighed and patted my cheek “You boys are  making me prematurely grey.” 

“Premature?” Gabe said incredulously. “You’re nearly sixty, Mamá!”

“I’m fifty-four, cabrón,” she said dryly.

“You don’t look a day over forty-four to me,” I assured her with a sassy smile. This earned me a scoff and a shoulder-smack of my very own.

“Kiss-ass,” said Gabe.

Ven, both of you cabrónes.” Mom said, exasperated, “Sit down and eat.” She took me by the hand and led me to the kitchen. Not that I needed to be led. I’d grown up here, lived here most of my life when I wasn’t away at school. I knew it like I knew my own body. Still, she was my mother, and I allowed her to mother me at such moments. My head ached fiercely, though I was working hard to hide it, and my belly whined plaintively at the thick, spicy smell of Mom’s Pozole that permeated the house.

“He’ll be fine, Mamá,” Gabe elbowed me as he passed on his way to pull out his own chair. “Just a little bump on the noggin. Good thing that mermaid was there to save you, huh? What was her name again?”

I turned my face to try and level a glare at him. “Sirena,” I said tightly, “and she is not a mermaid.” Probably. “She has legs.” And gills, but nevermind that.

A gasp came from the vicinity of the stove and Mom bustled over, clinking two steaming bowls before us and settling into the chair to our left. “Mijito, you met a girl?” she asked like a highschool gossip. “Tell me everything. How old is she? What does she do? Where does she live?” She paused and added in a stage whisper, “Is she pretty?”  and I knew that this last question was directed at Gabe.

“I didn’t see too much of her before she dove back into the sea like a friggin’ dolphin and disappeared,” said Gabe between mouthfuls of hot soup. “Pretty great ass, though,” he added thoughtfully.

Mom scoffed softly and I busied myself with my own soup while I felt her eyes boring into me impatiently. I was so hungry, and the soup so delicious, that I forgot about her and her questions for several minutes while I finished it. 

When I had drained the last of it’s spicy, tomatoey goodness I sat back and closed my eyes with a sigh. I opened them again when Mom made a polite, throat clearing noise and said, “Well?”

There was a clinking and splashing sound and a small glass touched my fingers. “Drink up, bud,” said Gabe, his voice a mischievous grin. “Tell us all about the fish-girl I saw you suckin’ face with.”

“She’s not a fish-” I stopped, giving up with a sigh, raised the tequila shot with a muttered “Salud” and downed it, wincing at the burn. “She’s some kind of ocean environmentalist. She didn’t say which group, just that she'd been alone out at sea a long time. I don’t know how old she is, but she seems to be near enough my age.”

“She’s gotta be some kinda free diver, Ma,” Gabe interjected, sounding like he had just taken a second shot. “ Cuz I didn’t see her come up for air once after she dove in. And I didn’t see a boat out there, bro.”

I shrugged a shoulder, my face a non-committal mask. “Make up whatever bizarre theories you want about her.” I pushed myself away from the table and stood with finality. “Maybe she’s a mutant. Maybe she’s an alien. Maybe she’s just an eccentric person. The fact is, she saved my life today. If she doesn’t want the world to see her right now, then the least I can do is respect her privacy. I owe her at least that much,” I said softly, hanging my aching head. Then I turned to make my way to my bedroom, pausing to add, “And, frankly, so do you.”

I walked away then, as Mom’s plaintive, “mijo…” followed me down the hall and I heard Gabe say, “Well, he’s not wrong,” before I climbed the stairs to my room and closed the door.

My room hadn’t changed since I was fifteen. Nothing in the house had, really. Both because keeping everything consistent made it easier for me, and, I think, as a sort of homage, or shrine to my father. We’d suffered two terrible losses, traumatic changes, in the same year and all three of us had dealt with it in our own way. Mom’s response had been to solidify as much of her life as she could, to insulate herself from further trauma. Gabe had done the opposite and embraced chaos as a way of life; in a bid to be an agent of change instead of its victim.

Me? I kept my world small, academic, and largely impersonal. I looked at the unpredictability of life through the fractal lens of chaos theory. It made me feel safer to know that even chaos has it’s order, it’s patterns. And that life can be deciphered, even predicted to a point, if only you understand it clearly enough.

My head pounded in time with my heartbeat as I made my way to the en suite bathroom. I took off the bandage and felt gingerly around the swollen knot just above the base of my skull. The skin was split in the center but not large enough to need stitches. 

I trusted Gabe’s assessment on injuries since he had been a paramedic once. 

For about six months. 

The man went through careers like runway models went through clothes. He was brilliant and learned new skills easily, but seemed to get bored once he felt he had mastered a particular area. This year he was bartending and learning carpentry between Grindr dates.

I had changed out of the wetsuit into a t-shirt and board shorts on the ride back home, and now as I striped naked to get into a cool shower, I felt the sharp ache in my sternum where her strange and wonderful hands must have struggled to make my heart beat again. I smiled as I rubbed my chest gingerly and stepped under the spray, letting it soothe away the pain of my injuries.

What a strange and beautiful creature this Sirena was. I remembered vividly the feel of the webs between her long, thin fingers. Much longer than was usual for a human and tipped in thick, sharp claws. Her skin was impossibly smooth and hairless, like a dolphin but with a strange pliability that reminded me of nothing so much as the feel of an octopus. Her head was likewise hairless, and she had only slight ripples surrounding small holes where ears should have been. I hadn’t gotten a good feel of her eyes, but they were probably oversized in order to pick up more light in murky depths. I could feel her breath on my face when we kissed, but no protruding nose, like other women, so her nose must be either very flat or nearly so.

Her construction made perfect sense for a marine mammal. If I were going to design an aquatic humanoid, she is what I would aim for. The gills were an anomaly, though. There were no mammals on earth that possessed gills; our metabolism simply requires too much oxygen.

My soapy hands roamed my body as I thought about the feel of her beneath my hands. Her tiny breasts and pert nipples stiffening beneath my touch. I felt my cock twitch and begin to swell at the memory. My hand worked its way down and I began to stroke myself as I remembered the way she had straddled me on the beach. Her mewling, pleading noises as she ground against me through the wetsuit. The feel of her lips, her hands, her claws. I grunted, leaning against the wall of the shower and bit down on a cry as I came hard to the memory of my hands on her firm, smooth buttocks.

I stood under the water, catching my breath for a moment before rinsing off, toweling off and falling into bed.

The ocean crashed outside my open window and I couldn’t wait to see her again the next morning. I gripped my pillow in a full-body hug and fell quickly and deeply asleep.


3 comments:

  1. I like the glimpse of Michael’s family life. Can’t wait for more!

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  2. Like the family interactions. He really knew quite a bit of how she looked and didn’t seem freaked out

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  3. Really liked seeing more of Michael's family life and glimpses into the past . it's so cool that he could kinda know what she looked like by biological conclusions. He's such a cutie, can't wait to read more!

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