It was late winter, and it was the season when Melly’s lake was soft and slushy during the day, and frozen hard during the still-long nights. It was an unpleasant time of year, but one that reminded her that spring would surely come, and she’d be swimming in the green bottoms all day soon. But now, there was nothing to do. She combed her long red hair and sang across the surface. She shut her eyes and let the waxing sun warm her lids and her tail fins, still covered in short winter-white fur dappled with black spots near the tips. Nobody but a complete fool would come out here today.
Her song was interrupted by the crack of ice and a yell for help; she sighed. One should not underestimate the number of fools in the world, she thought, and went to see who had fallen into the ice.
She swam across the lake, under the frozen ice. It was a young man in velvet and furs, and he was floating face down in the cold, cold water. Melly paused and thought of her mother.
“You must sing every day and keep in good practice. Your voice is your weapon, and with it, you will lure strangers to their death. Smash them upon the rocks, or they will surely steal you away from here and kill you,” Priscilla had said.Continue reading