A man cradled his wailing daughter as he stood on the edge of a cliff, gazing at the waves. He cringed at the song that used to lull his daughter when she rested in her mother’s arms but refused to do the same for him.
He shifted his gaze to the teary-eyed, red-faced infant, staring at her as she cried out for a mother no longer there to care for her. He clenched his eyes shut, grit his teeth, and let her leave him.
“It’s best you joined your mother, dearest.” He turned his back on the child’s scream as it faded.
A sickening splash echoed, and the child sunk fast, reaching out into the sunlit waves. Gurgling coughs took place of her wails, and she drifted to the bottom. Currents held her in place, stealing every breath of Earth left from her. Her wails died down, and a flash of violet scales greeted the silent infant. Pale arms scooped the still baby from the sand, holding the child to her chest.
“Such a shame to see them come so young.” The woman brushed wisps of brunette curls away, gasping as the infant stared back at her with her own eyes. “Marina.”
The infant smiled and giggled, reaching for her mother’s hair. She gave it a tug, and her mother laughed through invisible tears, cupping the baby to the crook of her neck. She shifted her gaze toward the surface, swimming up and out of the current’s reach. She breached the surface, holding her breath as her daughter transformed, gaining cerulean scales of her own. Once they’d gone underwater, Marina reached for her fins, letting them flow through her fingers.
“You’ll get used to them, my darling, I promise.”
One last look toward the surface and she swam away with her child. She closed the gap between them and the surface, holding her daughter close enough to hear the ocean song. Marina’s eyes fluttered shut, and her mother smiled down at her, kissing her forehead.
“If he should ever step foot in our water, I’ll have no mercy on him. Then, you’ll be safe in my arms forever.”