She was sliding down, down into the deep blue sea of her mind. It was a slippery slope with which she didn’t have any charts or tide tables to go off of. She was a bold fisherwoman, a lover of scaly crustaceans and silver-bellied fish with their highly protrusible jaws and long based dorsal fins. She longed to swim amongst the brine shrimp, the slaters and sand hoppers. She knew the dangers of wandering too far from the salty sea waters. She had heard tales of Lobster that perished from swimming too far upstream and the fresh water drown them. She reckoned that the same would happen to her one day. She felt it in her bones, or rather her scales.
She charted a course for the highest sea, the coldest of waters that still would allow a wooden-hulled boat to move thru its channels. The ice formed on the bow. We tossed our nets into the still water, waiting for the schools of crayfish to gather and to sing their songs to the moon. Their voices rose above the quaking of the icebergs.
That night the sailors longed to be home in their own beds, far from the sea and in the arms of their lovers. They could feel it as if they could sense the breath of their lover on the back of their neck as they drifted off to sleep. The motion of the boat rocked them into a deep sleep, a coma from which only true love could awaken them.
Conner, the youngest of the men, who wasn’t in a relationship, was the only man who didn’t sleep that night. He was awake to witness the bizarre happenings on that boat. The dance of the mermaids. The merging of the winged, the webbed with the bipeds. The men, who were deep in a coma sleep where dreaming of being in their lovers embrace, but rather they were being animated by the movement and melding of all land and sea creatures into one multi-armed, winged and tentacled creature. It was not unlike the rise of the Kraken. It was something that Conner would never be able to wipe from his memory.
He knew that he must remain awake and that he would somehow serve as a tether to this human world to which the men would return to, or he hoped they would. He waited for a doorway to open through which he might be able to contact the men. As he watched, he became mesmerized by the swirling, the rainbow colors that surrounded him and the dance that was pulling him deeper in. He struggled to stay outside of the dream state trance that the others were immersed in. He used up every ounce of his will power. He wanted to run, to hide, to jump ship and sink to the depths in the darkest point in the sea. He thought he might escape this crazy dream. Perhaps he was asleep and was, in fact, dreaming all of this. He was afraid to let go and drift off and find out.
He could taste the salt in the air, it let him know that he was, in fact, alive, awake and not dreaming. When he dreams, he smells nothing. He felt terror ripple through his body from the toes on his bare feet to the top of his head. He even felt the fear which made every hair on his head stand straight on end, reaching for the night sky. He wanted to find a way out, a pathway that he could lead the men, one by one, to safety. To live to see another sunrise as a crew that made it through this traumatic dance of demons from the underworld. He felt the longing to scream, but no sound came out of his mouth. He knew that even if it did, that nothing would be heard above the scream of the mermaid’s siren and immense wailing.
He reached deep into the silver bellied emotions that connected him with the other men and with the sea creatures that were all a part of this twisted and twirling dream. He looked for a way out, or possibly even a way in, that would allow him access to break the ties that were strangling the men, holding them ransom in their sleep. He had studied knot tying from the time he was a wee lad and could barely walk. But he had never seen the likes of those knots. They were other worldly, never seen by human eyes and certainly not to be undone by them easily. Conner would have to dig deep, into his unconscious mind. He would have to follow an inner guidance, one that was way out beyond his logical mind. He set himself out to sea in a tiny dingy, thinking that he must distance himself from this madness to somehow be able to get clear enough to solve the whole mess. When he awoke, the sun was rising, the sea was calm, and he couldn’t recall why he was adrift alone in the tiny dingy.