• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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We had just reached our teenage years when we started visiting the human. I can’t really remember how we knew how to find her; I suppose we just kind of sensed her presence. Like a silent calling. We certainly wouldn’t have hauled ourselves up to the top of the cliffs just for the hell of it because hellish was exactly what that journey was. We never would have even attempted it but the fact that it was forbidden to venture beyond shoreline and at that age that’s more than enough motivation to overcome a couple of hours of extreme discomfort and exertion. Any kind of contact with humans was, of course, even more prohibited; the ultimate taboo if you like. We knew that she was expecting us because of the effort she made to create a welcoming environment; though how she acquired the sea water and kelp with which to fill her bath remained a mystery. It was just as well too since who knows what might have become of us otherwise after so long out of the sea. She would constantly talk to us even though naturally we couldn’t understand a word. However we would smile or nod our heads at what seemed to be appropriate moments and that appeared to satisfy her. She always had as her companion a bright yellow bird who was about half our size. This one never spoke or indeed made any sort of movement. It just sat on the edge of the bath and watched. We found it a bit creepy to be honest but were unable to convey this feeling to the human. We never stayed for very long; once we’d had our taste of the illicit thrill of just being there it soon became rather dull. Then, after a couple of years of maybe monthly visits, for the three of us almost simultaneously, the lure of other activities closer to home overrode the desire to continue with such arduous escapades. If we strayed onto the shore, we could still feel that strange calling but in time it grew ever fainter. As did the sense of guilt at our desertion of landgirl. Memories of those trips began to fade as well.



Everything except the yellow bird who stayed eternally vivid in my mind’s eye and whose expressionless stare I found creeping into my dreams. Then, one day, when I was out in the middle of the far distant ocean I broke the surface and there it was, floating almost directly in front of me with that same blank but piercing gaze. And it hadn’t come alone. It had brought an army with it. Thousands of them bobbing on the waves, stretching off towards the horizon with their cold, menacing eyes screaming out for vengeance.