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The Stolen Life by Mekenzie Orton

Shivering at the unfamiliar coldness of the water, I pause once again searching for Syreni. She told me to meet at the bottom of the cliff, yet she’s nowhere to be found. Where is she? I wonder moving strands of purple hair out of my face. Focusing I listen for anything unusual only to hear the sound of my tail stirring up the sand with every movement. An eerie feeling settles upon me as there’s no marine life in sight. Swimming over to the slate rocky cliff that extends its arms heavenward I turn around not trusting the ocean behind me.

A deep groan vibrates the cliff causing my muscles to tense up. Observing nothing except the landscape fading off into the distance. Dread grows in my stomach like a virus as the smell of copper fills my nose. I instantly know that it’s blood and where there’s blood predators soon follow. Searching for an escape route I look above me and think, that’s too far to swim and who knows how far up I’d have to go. Glancing to the left I see a shadow coming closer to me. Turning around I quickly start swimming the other direction.

Not wanting to find out what is behind me I notice that there’s a small opening between the rocks. Quickly slipping inside I swim away from the pursuer. I relax slightly while breathing in the cool water I close my eyes before sitting down. Using my hands to support me I lean back only for my fingers to brush something sharp.

Yanking my hand back with eyes wide open I hold my bleeding fingers close to my chest. That thing can smell blood, I think as I turn around. Eyes widen in horror my body grows stiff. I let out a strangled cry as the dull lifeless eyes of Syreni gaze up at me.

Dark green hair frames her pale face as her thin lips are open wide to reveal a row of sharp teeth. I can’t help but think that her last moments here were painful. Blood gives the water a hazy color as I lean away from her. What killed her? I panic, looking as all the cuts varying in depth and length that run across her pale body.

The smell of blood is overwhelming now. Shaking away my dislike for the wretched smell, I swim closer to see what look like ollis ferventibus or fish hooks as the humans call them. The metal hooks gloat at my cut finger. Keeping my distance from the fish hooks I examine her further. Her green and blue tail is bloody with bits of netting caught up in the scales while some are torn off entirely.

Groans echo throughout the splits in the rocks causing me to look up from my dead friend. A unsural creature covered in black swims towards me with webbed feet. Black tubes extend from the bottom half of the face to silver canisters that sit on the back, as if to weigh it down. Two glass objects that rest on the upper part on the face reflect light.

Turning my back on Syreni I swim for my life. The slit in the rock in which I first came through seems even smaller now as I scrap my side against it. Letting out a cry of pain I feel blood flow from my side, but I don’t let that slow me down. My lavender tail propels me forward as I swim upwards. All I can focus on is staying alive.

As I swim heavensward I realize my mistake, I’ve narrowed my escape. I can’t turn back now. Thinking of that thing causes my skin to prick. Blinking I’m soon blinded by the amount of sunlight penetrating the water. The water around me scorches my skin as I frantically swim.

I hear the groaning once more before I break the surface of the water. Air burns as it flows in and out of my gills with each breath I try to take. Submerging myself in the water I take a deep breath, the thing is no longer here. I got away from it.

Pain explodes in my shoulder as I’m pulled backwards by a strong force. Once again above water I look behind me I see a ship of some kind with one of those things and a few humans. Struggling against this unseen force I swim down back into the familiar water. I’m not going to go out like this.

Letting out a small smile as I feel the force start to giveaway to me. It’s then I see the black thing swimming upwards towards me. Panicking I try to change directions only to feel another force pulling me towards the ship.

Struggling with every ounce of life I have left in my body I try to get away only to fail. A net surrounds me trapping me as it pulls me out of the water. Clawing at the netting does nothing, but make my resolve stronger.

As I’m lifted the air burns causing my once pale skin to turn red like a disease. Netting cuts into the scales of my purple tail. As blood trails down my back and tail I then see that fish hooks are embedded into my skin. I’ve been subjected to the same fate as Syreni. At least she got away… I think as I’m thrown onto the hardwood. Shadows fall over me as the humans laugh at my bloody form. Baring my teeth at them they back away.

“For a beauty you sure are a dangerous little thing.” One of the Humans comment while giving me a slight kick. My focus wanders towards my ocean begging me to return home. Reaching my arm towards the sea only to fall short by the net that holds be captive. I keep my eyes towards my home as my vision blurs and the world fades away.

2 thoughts on “The Stolen Life by Mekenzie Orton”

  1. Your story was interesting and I liked it. The one thing I might change though is that everything’s happening so fast. You may want to find a more cohesive way to organize your thoughts. Cut out anything that you don’t absolutely need, such as movements that serve no purpose, or excessive explanations. Obviously you want your reader invested but the way to do this is not through description, but through emotion. The way you make them feel like their a part of it is if it feels fast paced. However it was fun to read and the vocab was great.

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    1. Thank you Mal for pointing this out to me. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way and I’m grateful that you pointed out how my story is faced pace. I’ll have to experiment a bit with using emotions rather than a lot of descriptions when attempting to invest readers. This is very useful to me and I’ll be sure to pay attention to this in the future when writing.

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