Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Sea Hag -Chapter 11-



Some kind of chameleon lizard-person had just crawled out of the woods and thrown itself at my blind twin brother before passing the fuck out. 

Mikey had called the thing “Sirena” so obviously this was his new girlfriend. Fantastic. The Sirena-creature had some kind of dart sticking out of it and I assumed that was the doing of whoever was lurking in the trees in black suits. They weren’t announcing themselves the way not-bad-guys would normally do, so I assumed also that they were up to no good.

An air-gun hiss and a dart cracking into the open door my brother stood in front of confirmed my suspicions. “Jesus fuck, get inside, both of you,” I yelled at my brother. As he scooped the creature up and labored to get both it and himself into a cab that sat five feet off the ground, I pulled the old lever-action hunting rifle from the rack and began loading it without taking my eyes off the trees.

“You fuckers got more than air guns?” I called to the four or five shadows bobbing furtively in the brush. I pulled the action and pointed the rifle with the ease of many hours spent at the gun range.

There was a heartbeat of silence, then one of them muttered something, and an answer came crackling over a tinny speaker. They all began to retreat without a word. Spooky-ass motherfuckers.

“I thought not,” I called as they retreated, but didn’t drop my hold until I was sure they were gone. With a long, slow release of breath I unloaded the rifle and stowed it above the back window once more. “Well, that’s the first time I’ve ever had to draw that thing,” I said as I closed the door and put the truck into gear. We roared out of the debris-strewn old lot and onto an old unused dirt road. The mostly empty back-end of the truck slewed a bit in the loose gravel before I could get it under control. My hands were trembling with adrenaline aftershocks and I didn’t want to look at the thing sleeping with its head in my brother’s lap. I just tried not to let it touch me as we bumped back up onto smooth asphalt and I shifted into higher gear. “It’s really just there for decoration. Not even sure it would’ve fired.” I added, like an afterthought.

When my twin didn’t respond, I blew out a breath and pulled over at an isolated spot, turning the engine off. I turned in my seat and watched as his hands stroked the creature’s weird, bald head lovingly. He kept checking her all over, as if to assure himself that she wasn’t hurt. Her skin, which had been a mix of greens and browns to match the forest, was now a mottled silvery blue. Her feet were two-toed and clawed, like a bird, but with a thick webbing between them. Her hands were human-looking but too long, webbed and taloned. I could see gill slits at her ribs and on the sides of her neck, but she seemed to breathe air just fine. Her alien-looking head was large and smooth, with only rippled holes where ears should be. Her eyes were too large and, when they were open, solid black. She didn’t have a nose, only a slight bump where it would be and two narrow vertical slits.

She had nice lips, though, and two tiny tits, so maybe that’s what my brother saw in her.

“Yo, Earth to Mikey,” I said, snapping my fingers at his face, thoroughly annoyed. 

My brother inhaled and seemed to come back to himself. He turned his face to me and his hands stilled. “Yeah. Sorry. What?”

“What --and I can’t stress this enough-- the fuck,” I said, gesturing wildly and futilely at the creature in his lap. 

He smiled wanly, stroking her shoulder. “Gabe, meet Sirena. The ‘mermaid’.”

I sputtered a laugh and his face darkened. “Maybe you don’t remember what a mermaid is supposed to look like, bro,” I giggled. “But that is no mermaid.” I paused, reflecting as I studied her unconscious form. “Maybe a Sea Hag, though.”

Michael's lip actually curled in anger. “Do not. Call her that.”

I held up my hands in surrender. “Fine, fine. When she wakes up we can ask her what she’d like to be called, mermaid, or sea hag--” I stopped as something occurred to me, “Wait. I know this. I’ve seen her before!” I pulled out my phone excitedly while Michael resumed petting his date. “Here!” I crowed triumphantly, pointing at the screen with a grainy picture of what might be a blue head with big black eyes. “‘Sea Hag Spotted in Puget Sound’,” I read the headline aloud and began to scroll while talking. “There’ve been sightings all over the world, dating back nearly a decade. Whenever she’s spotted, there’s a correlation with sabotage of nearby fishing equipment.”

“‘Environmentalist’,” Michael chuckled quietly, shaking his head. “She told me she was an environmentalist.

“So you do think she’s the Sea Hag!” I said, pointing a finger accusingly.

Michael rolled his eyes. “I think,” he said, pausing for emphasis, “that she is someone who needs our help. I think whoever tried to capture her is not going to give up that easily. And I think--” he sighed, his fingers stroking her face tenderly and his face reddening, “I think I might be falling in love with her.”

I blinked at that. Michael didn’t just fall for people. I could count on one finger the number of times he’d proclaimed himself to be in love, and that had ended...poorly. I’d assumed he had sworn off sex and romance all together (because he wouldn’t do the former without the latter, unlike myself), and maybe he had. But one afternoon with this creature and he was in love? For real?

“Gabriel, say something.” Michael said, with a touch of desperation, and I realized that I had gone still and quiet while I processed his news. 

We were nearly back home, and it looked like I might need to call into work. I remained silent a few more moments, sadistically enjoying the uncertainty on my brother’s face before, very quietly, I began to chant. “Michael-and-a-Sea-Hag, sittin’-in-a-tree. F-U-C-K-I-N-Ow!” His punch to my shoulder was hard, accurate, and eloquent. I rubbed my aching deltoid sourly. “Just for that, you can be the one to explain this bullshit to Mom.”

“Naturally,” he replied smoothly, “I am her favorite.”

Before I could explain how wrong he was, the Sea Hag moaned and appeared to be trying to join the land of the conscious once again. 

I pulled onto the windy drive that led to the small and weathered Edwardian manor house Michael and I had grown up in. The place sat off a winding rural road, near the edge of a sheer drop a couple hundred feet straight into the frothing sea.

There was a four-foot wooden railing guarding the ledge, of course, but the view was spectacular. Mom loved it here, said it reminded her of Dad.  I supposed if his spirit resided anywhere, it was here, with the people and the ocean that he loved.

Quite suddenly, I felt I was looking at our father’s face. The peace, the tenderness, the love on my brother’s face. It was the same look Dad had whenever he had looked at Mom. I couldn’t remember ever seeing that look on Michael’s face before.

A small part of me twisted in on itself with envy as he stroked her head and murmured soothing words. The way he regarded her, held her. It was a thing I had tasted but never touched, something I longed for but had never found.

By God, the stupid bastard was really in love. With a fish.


  1. Omg loved reading this from.l Gabriel's point of view. I'm dying to see what's coming and excited to have more blind guy action heh thanks for posting!

  2. Yes to more blind guy action! Loving the story. I really like Gabriel. All the characters are so cool. Looking forward to next week!

  3. Exciting chapter. Love your story.

  4. I think Gabriel is my favorite character. He's funny and observant and somehow both crass, eloquent, and thoughtful all in one go. Thanks for the chapter!