(Frerard) Frank is a merman who accidentally ends up in the human world for a little longer than intended. There he meets a struggling artist who not only saves him, but provides Frank with the har...
Yay new story!
Ha, I’ve been really busy with uni work so its taken me aaages to write this chapter. But exciting news – I finished all of my assignments today! I now only have two exams to do next month and then I am done until September. Can I hear a freakin’ hallelujah?
This also means that I now have time to get back on with my writing so that is so awesome. I feel really behind and a little bit rusty with my writing so I’m sorry if it takes me a while to get back into the flow of things, this chapter certainly doesn’t make me feel very excited about my abilities but I’m really into the story idea and so hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things as I go.
That being said, its so important to me now that you guys R&R so I know how I’m doing. And... I really hope this chapter at least snares your interest and I promise, things are only gonna get better.
So rate, review, let me hear ya and I love you all.
“Alright folk’s, that concludes today’s session. Please don’t forget to revise everything you’ve learnt ready for next week and we’ll see you at the drop off point on Saturday. Have a good week.”
“Awesome!” Frank beamed, grabbing his things and shooting up from the rock he had been lounging on. The professor was bobbing about in the water, sticking around in case anyone had any questions. A few of Frank’s classmates were looking a bit green around the gills, clearly anxious for what was to happen in a week’s time but Frank was nothing but excited.
“Jamia! Hey!” Frank beamed, waving at one of the girls treading water with her friends. She turned and smiled at Frank, waving a hand up and swimming over to him.
“Hi Frankie.” She smiled, her black hair floating around her head from the slight current in the water. “What’s up?”
“You swimming my way?” Frank asked brightly, Jamia nodding and turning to swim with him back home.
“As always.” She smirked, noticing Frank’s good mood and giggling slightly. “You excited for next week?” She asked, already knowing that he was. Frank had been excited since day one. This was the most important event in every merperson’s life... the day when they would get to go up to the surface for one night and mate with their partner in order to create life. No one got to choose their partner, that was just a given, the species survival was crucial and so everyone was matched to their partner based on their genetics. Jamia and Frank had been matched on fertility rating, Jamia’s was low whereas Frank’s was high and it was the hope that with Frank’s sperm Jamia would still be able to conceive in the one night they had.
“I’m so excited!” Frank beamed, swimming slowly towards his home with Jamia. They lived close together which was why they always swam home as a couple. Some partners only ever saw each other in the classes, but Frank and Jamia had become good friends. There was no obligation to see each other after the mating had ended. Children were raised by the community as a whole, not by the two parents like humans did.
“I’m a little nervous.” Jamia admitted as she swam with Frank, looking at him with an anxious smile. “The human world sounds so strange. Their behaviour is... Odd.” She frowned, making Frank chuckle.
“I know, but it’s not like we’ll see them.” He shrugged, not worried himself.
The classes every person was made to take were there to teach them about the human world above. They already spoke the language of the humans, a tradition that had been passed on since the dawn of time. Many believed the humans had stolen the language from the merpeople, but Frank thought that was just an old wives tale. Along with the language though they were forced to understand the basic conventions and behaviours of the humans, should anything happen that they needed to interact with them.
Back in the old times, hundreds of years ago, the merfolk had been able to go to the surface and mate on the beach in the dead of night without fear of being caught. Now though things were much riskier. Even getting to the shore was much more dangerous now. Some merpeople, many miles away across the sea, could go up onto sandy beaches like the merfolk of old, here though the nearest land was a harbour and so Frank and the other merfolk of this area would be forced to navigate their way to shore whilst dodging ships, piers and the humans many strange underwater items such as fishing nets and traps.
If they succeeded to make their way past these obstacles without being caught or seen, they would then have to make their way onto the land somewhere where they would have enough time to dry off and develop legs without any humans passing by and seeing them. Frank and Jamia’s point was going to be beneath a pier, there they would wait until their human forms had taken hold of them and they would have to mate as humans would. They had been given many classes on how to do this, and Frank was confident he’d be able to work it out though at first he had been a little grossed out by the description of the body that he was going to change into.
“What if we are seen though Frankie?” Jamia asked nervously, referring to the humans as she swam beside Frank at his leisurely pace. “I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself if we jeopardised everyone’s safety by being seen.” Jamia kept her voice low, not wanting anyone else to hear her fears. It had taken her a while to pluck up the courage to even tell Frank, but with the trip only a week away she knew she couldn’t keep it from him.
Frank looked at Jamia with a warm smile, reaching out to touch her hand and squeeze it gently. “Don’t worry so much. No one’s been seen in centuries. Not since the old ships with the fabric sails. And you know what everyone says, humans don’t even believe in us anymore. If they catch a glimpse of us they’ll just think they imagined it.”
“But what if –”
“Honestly Jamia, it’s going to be fine.” Frank chuckled, leaning over to peck the young girl’s cheek as they swam slowly through the water. “Humans are not smart creatures. Everybody knows that. They won’t see us; they’re blinded to anything but their own arrogance.”
“If you say so.” Jamia sighed, not at all convinced but she could tell nothing she said was going to make Frank worry about the trip. It wasn’t that she particularly wanted him to be anxious; she just couldn’t understand why she was the only one nervous about going. Even if Frank was right and they weren’t seen or caught or anything like that, they’d still have turn into humans with those disgusting genitals and have sex. Apparently humans enjoyed fornicating, but from what they had been told about it Jamia thought it sounded messy and inconvenient. She couldn’t understand why merpeople couldn’t just reproduce like fish, it would be much easier.
Frank on the other hand was feeling more excited by the day. Admittedly he couldn’t understand why the sex was considered enjoyable too but he was eager to find out. Any fears about being caught just simply didn’t enter his mind. Everyone knew that humans were idiots. They were the only living creatures that knowingly destroyed themselves and their environments and didn’t think anything of it. In fact, Frank was of the opinion that perhaps humans simply hadn’t evolved enough yet. They had to be one of the dumbest creatures in the world, it was any wonder they hadn’t become extinct.
Frank smirked to himself, looking at Jamia and chuckling as he touched her hand, squeezing gently when she still looked worried.
“Jay... Honestly. Stop worrying.” He laughed, making the mermaid sigh as she nodded sadly.
“I’ll try.” She promised, her home coming into view. “I’ll see you next week.” She sighed, turning to Frank to kiss his cheek before swimming quickly away from him, eager to just be alone with her thoughts for a while. Frank watched her go with a small shake of his head, frowning to himself. He felt like he probably should have been a little more sympathetic, but it was difficult when he just really couldn’t see what was making her so nervous.
Deciding to put it out of mind for now Frank turned and swam along the bottom of the ocean towards his own home. The merpeople lived in a variety of habitats, and the community Frank was part of was one of the biggest. There must have been about fifty of them at least, and such large amounts of merpeople in one place was almost unheard of. As such they had formed an almost town like setting using bits of debris that humans allowed to drop into the sea.
Merpeople with the highest statuses lived in the sunken ships that had been here for centuries. Frank couldn’t deny that he somewhat coveted their luxurious homes, though he did love his cave. Most merpeople had built their homes using materials both natural and human from the ocean floor, but there was a small drop off point where many ‘common’ merpeople lived. The sharp drop was like a long cliff face leading down, down into the darkness. Many holes and caves marked the face of this sheer drop and Frank lived in one of these. It wasn’t considered a nice place to live, the minute you went down even just a little into that darkness the water would turn freezing, but Frank’s cave was near the top and relatively warm. Plus, he had some great neighbours.
“Frankie, hey!” Frank grinned as his friend Bob appeared, swimming from his own cave with his usual wide grin. “Just got back from class?” He asked brightly, Frank nodding with a grin. He forgot all about Jamia and her worries as his excitement returned tenfold and he moved closer to Bob, inviting him into his own cave to talk.
“Uhuh, we leave next week.” He beamed, Bob grinning at him as he swam with Frank into his cave, neither of them paying any attention to the darkness stretching down below them. Some caves were set further down, but now too much. No one actually knew how deep the crevice went, when they were children it used to be a game to try and see who could swim down the furthest but no one had ever reached the bottom. The water would grow too cold and all light would disappear until you couldn’t tell which way was up anymore... No one had ever dared to go any further than that.
Frank led the way into his cave, hurrying to get some light shining. Though Frank didn’t live in one of the biggest caves his was still quite spacious. It stretched off into two main rooms which was really all he needed, and all the walls and ceiling were coated in a thin algae which allowed the photophores he had been cultivating to live and glow. Photophores were light emitting organisms that were found on most sea creatures. Merpeople had been able to grow these organisms themselves for centuries in order to harness light, but Frank believed he had the most in his cave. He just loved the soft blue glow, and he all he had to do when he got home was stroke the bits of algae covering them out of the way and his cave would be lit up for him.
“Did you want anything to eat or...?” Frank turned to smile at Bob over his shoulder as he drifted about, stroking the walls to reveal all the photophores. Bob smiled and shook his head, moving into one of the two main rooms and sitting down on the seaweed coated rock inside. He sighed and draped himself across it, the seaweed soft on his back.
“I’ve just eaten, thanks though.” He smiled, watching Frank with an amused smirk. Bobs cave was much darker in comparison to Franks and he thought the ridiculous amount of photophores the younger merman had were a little over the top. “Looking forward to being human for a night?” Bob asked conversationally, resting his arms behind his head and idly swishing the fins at the end of his tail about.
“Definitely.” Frank grinned in response to his friend’s question, sitting down opposite him once he deemed his cave bright enough. “Jamia’s a little nervous though. She’s worried the humans will see us.” He sighed, idly picking at some seaweed as Bob rose his eyebrows in slight surprise.
“The humans haven’t seen anyone for centuries.” He pointed out, Frank nodding.
“That’s what I said!” He chuckled, glad to hear that Bob agreed with him. “But you know what girls can be like. She’s really panicking I think. But I’m really excited, I can’t wait to go up there and see the human world for myself.” He grinned, his eyes bright at the thought of it all. Bob had already been to the surface. He was four years older than Frank and so had mated almost five years ago himself but he hadn’t really said much about it.
“I wouldn’t expect to see too much.” He said now, laughing a little at Frank. “You’re only up there for a couple hours, and you have to keep out of sight as you know. Where are you two meant to change?” He asked, Frank telling him about their point beneath the pier and the older man nodded sagely. “That’s fair enough, you’ll be safe there. But you won’t exactly see a lot of the human’s world, but then that isn’t what you’re going for.” He reminded Frank gently making the younger man wrinkle his nose up.
“I guess...” He conceded, though deep down he’d love to have a chance to really explore the human world. Hearing about it was interesting enough, but Frank wanted to see it. He wanted to be able to walk around on legs and see what it felt like to be out of water like that. To do the strange things the humans did and see the things they had created. He had heard all about things like sky scrapers and cars but he wanted to see them for real.
“Don’t you ever want to go back up there?” He asked curiously, Bob looking at him in surprise.
“Where? To the land?” He asked, scoffing and shaking his head when Frank nodded. “Hell no! The humans are strange creatures, and their world is terrifying. I mean... You shouldn’t feel nervous or anything,” he quickly covered, not wanting to frighten Frank; “But I wouldn’t have wanted to stray from the beach at all when I went there. I could hear noise in the distance, I’m not sure of what. But it was loud and alien and I wouldn’t have wanted to see what caused it.” Bob sighed and frowned at the memory. He was a large merman, with bulging muscles and an intimidating posture, but even he had been like a frightened maiden when he had gone to the land. “Their world is so... different to ours.”
“But isn’t that what makes it so exciting?” Frank pushed, a little disappointed to hear his friend was so against the human world. He had always wondered why Bob didn’t talk about it more. Frank knew that once he had seen it he would want to talk about it all the time, but Bob always kept quiet about it. In fact, this was probably the most Frank had ever heard him say about it.
“It is a little exciting I guess.” Bob shrugged, not wanting to put Frank off going. He tried not to discuss his experience of going to the human world – most merpeople who had been there liked to keep quiet about it. It was an intimidating, mysterious place, and it was important they didn’t frighten the younger merfolk about going. Mating on the land was crucial to the merpeople’s continuing survival and so it was also important that no one became so frightened by the prospect of going to the surface that they then ended up not going at all. “Personally though I wouldn’t want to go again. I mean... It’s just too weird.”
“Ah Bob, you’re so boring.” Frank scoffed, laughing to show he was only being playful as he got up from his rock and swam up towards the ceiling to stroke some more algae away from the photophores. “I can’t wait to go up there and see what it’s like... I’m an explorer at heart. I can feel it in my scales.” Frank sighed, gazing wistfully upwards, as if he would be able to see right through the rock and the water and to the human world above. “I wish we had longer to be up there...”
“Hmm...” Bob frowned, trying to remember if he had ever felt that way before he went. He was sure he hadn’t, but then it had been a long time ago. “Well... Just see how you feel when you get up there.” He eventually said, Frank rolling his eyes though he smiled as he sank back down onto his rock.
“I guess...” He agreed, looking down at his tail curled beneath him and trying to imagine legs there. “Does the metamorphosis hurt?” He asked curiously, stroking a fingertip over the black scales of his tale, Bob smiling as he shook his head.
“Not at all.” He said genuinely, pleased he could at least assure Frank of that. “It just tingles a little is all.” He shrugged, looking down at his own sapphire blue tail and remembering the day he had grown legs. “But... Nothing can prepare you for how strange it is to see your tail disappear like that... I couldn’t wait to get mine back.” He laughed, Frank smirking over at him.
“I know it’s going to feel weird, but I kind of can’t wait.” He admitted quietly, never liking to tell anyone that since people always jumped to assumptions and thought he meant he wished he was human. He didn’t... Humans were stupid and clumsy and killed most living things; but he still felt excited at the prospect of having their body for a day. “I mean... It’ll be nice to turn back and everything but... I dunno. Isn’t it amazing that we can just change our form like this?”
“It is amazing.” Bob nodded, smiling warmly at the younger man and wondering again how full of life Frank was. So full of curiosity and excitement. “But even we have limitations. You know you can’t just turn back and forth at will.” He reminded Frank softly, the younger man nodding with a ‘duh’ expression.
“Yeah I know.” He sighed, smiling as he fluttered his caudal fin, a deep red colour in contrast to the main black of his tail. “I wouldn’t wanna be human forever, don’t worry. I’m not getting any bright ideas.” He smirked at Bob, the blonde man chuckling and nodding.
“Good. You wouldn’t want to be up there forever Frankie. Trust me on that.”
Jamia held tight to Frank’s arm, gazing above them both with wide, nervous eyes. The couple due to leave before them had gone and soon enough it would be there turn to swim up and head to the surface. Frank was looking excited, but Jamia felt ready to be sick.
The merfolk ready to go to the surface to mate had all been brought to the drop off point – a sandbank some distance from the town. Here they were much closer to the human shore and it would only be a short swim before the harbour would come into sight. Each couple had different points to head for, and there was a ten minute gap between one couple setting off before the next would leave.
“Now then, Frank, Jamia. Are you ready?” Marigold was the organiser for that years mating season and she smiled comfortingly at Jamia when she turned to face her with a greenish tinge around the gills on her neck.
“I don’t think I can do this.” She whispered quietly, ashamed to admit it. Marigold only smiled comfortingly at her, swishing her bright golden tail and shaking her head fondly.
“Nonsense, of course you can. There’s no need to be nervous, Frank will be with you the whole time.” She assured the frightened mermaid kindly, Frank nodding his agreement and gently touching Jamia’s hand with his own. He offered her a gentle smile and squeezed her fingers delicately, hoping to calm her down.
“Everything’s gonna be fine Jay. We’ll be back before you know it.” He promised her, Marigold nodding and smiling warmly at Frank; pleased to see that he was being comforting to his mating partner. Although liking each other wasn’t necessary for the mating ritual, it did help.
“Exactly. Now get ready to leave, it’s almost time.” Marigold beamed, Frank grinning and lacing his fingers with Jamia’s as he felt the first flutter of nerves inside him. Knowing that any second now they’d be leaving made him feel some of his excitement turn to fear, but he pushed it aside easily. A small crowd was gathered to watch each couple leave, and Frank glanced over his shoulder to wave goodbye to Bob who flashed him a grin and thumbs up in response.
“Alright, go!” Marigold suddenly called, Jamia jumping in horror and hesitating to move; but Frank was eager as ever and he gasped and automatically launched himself upwards. Since he was still holding onto Jamia’s hand the girl was dragged alongside him and she gave a little squeak of horror as they swam rapidly upwards towards the surface.
“F – Frankie!” Jamia gasped, not sure what she wanted to say, just feeling terrified but Frank only squeezed her hand, never taking his eyes off the approaching light above them.
“It’s okay Jamia. Don’t worry.” He beamed, working his tail as quickly as he could to speed to the surface. They had to act quickly, but he was a little over eager. Jamia simply clung to his hand and let him drag her along, her face the picture of terror as the water above them grew lighter and lighter and then all of a sudden -
“Agh!” Jamia gasped and almost screamed when they broke the surface, their speed causing them to fly out of the water so that even the tops of their arms were exposed before they dropped back down to bob in the water. The wind that whipped against their wet faces was colder than anything Jamia had ever felt before and the sensation of not having water around her face was alien and intimidating. She turned to look at Frank and felt a little relief that he at least looked as stunned as her.
“F – Frankie...” She whimpered, her teeth chattering as she swam closer to the male and let him pull her against his chest. “I d – don’t like it.”
“It’s okay... We just need to... To get used to it.” Frank said uncertainly, hugging Jamia close and looking around with curious eyes. So far there was no sign of the harbour they were heading to, just water all around. But Frank knew which direction they were supposed to head in.
For a moment he just focused on getting his bearings and grow accustomed to the strange sensation of being out of water. The gills on his neck felt dry and itchy when he lifted his head up far enough to get them out of the water, so he kept himself as low as possible to keep them wet. The sky above him was like nothing he had ever imagined; though he knew vaguely what the sky looked like this churning mass of black and grey was not what he had been expecting. The water felt colder here somehow, the waves that couldn’t be felt under the water causing the couple to get lifted up and down in a rhythm that soon had them feeling sick. Everything suddenly felt ominous, and Frank found his fear start to grow.
“We... We should get moving.” He said uncertainly, Jamia nodding though she continued to cling to him as she gazed around. Something about the whole thing just didn’t feel right to her, but she didn’t dare ask Frank to go back down. If everyone else had managed to carry on then they could.
Frank turned in the direction he knew the harbour to be in and after just another seconds hesitation he began to swim. Jamia moved to swim beside him, though they kept their hands interlinked as they headed towards the human town. They didn’t know what to expect anymore, and suddenly it felt like all the lessons they had been given could never be enough to prepare them, but they swam on and said nothing.
As they swam Frank began to grow more conscious of how cold it was. The air felt strangely thick and tense, like something was waiting to happen. When the first spots of rain fell both he and Jamia flailed in surprise, splashing water everywhere as they panicked and flicked their tails. It took them both a long moment to realise what was pattering against them; they had been told about rain very briefly, but neither had ever felt it before.
“Water from the sky...” Jamia whispered in amazement, gazing up at the black clouds and squinting against the water that splashed into her eyes. It felt so different to swimming beneath the waves and she wasn’t sure she liked it. Water wasn’t supposed to come from the sky...
“It’s just rain... it’s fine.” Frank muttered, though it was making him feel uneasy too. He wasn’t used to water falling like that and he hurried to move his tail and swim faster in the direction of the harbour. He knew it was close, but it still felt like it was taking them forever to get there and he couldn’t help but wonder if they were heading in the wrong direction.
“Frank it’s getting worse.” Jamia whimpered, the wind now howling loudly around them and making them shiver violently. But ahead of them, nothing more than a rain smudged silhouette, was the harbour. Frank would not give up.
“I – Its okay, look how we close we a – are.” He responded through chattering teeth. Jamia nodded but her heart was racing with fear, the rain getting heavier and the wind louder. The closer they got to the harbour the bigger the waves seemed to be. She wasn’t sure if it was because the storm was getting worse or if it was just because they were close to land, but she was feeling increasingly at risk and didn’t dare let go of Frank’s hand in case it separated them.
“Frankie! We should turn back!” She shouted over the screaming of the wind, her wet hair sticking to her cheeks. It looked lank and almost dead out of the water. Frank had never seen her hair without it floating gracefully in the water and he wasn’t sure he liked it anymore.
“We can’t Jay! We need to do this!” He shouted back, his eyes pleading as he blinked through the rain. He was cold and frightened too, but he knew they needed to get to land.
“Then we should at least go beneath the surface, the storm won’t get us there!” Jamia pointed out, clinging to Frank as the wind buffeted at them and the waves threw them about. “Please Frankie!”
“I...” Frank hesitated, wanting to be able to see how close they were to the town but he could see Jamia’s reasoning. “Alright. Alright.” He nodded, flicking his wet fringe out of his eyes before diving beneath the surface with Jamia again, causing the mermaid to sigh with relief.
As the couple swam down they were alarmed to see just how shallow the water was. Although the ocean floor was still some forty feet below them it was nothing compared to how deep they were used to it being and they could see for the first time the many things they had been warned about.
“Oh my – fishing nets.” Jamia hissed, pressing to Frank’s side and pointing out the nets resting against the ocean floor and rising upwards like a wall of cross hatched rope. Frank scowled and laid an arm protectively round Jamia. There were a few things stuck in the nets, but nothing living as far as Frank could tell. He turned his head away and squeezed Jamia’s shoulder, murmuring at her not to look as they swam onward, navigating their way through what quickly became a maze of nets and anchors.
“Human’s are vile...” Jamia whispered as she clung to Frank, looking around with wide eyes. Although the water was getting shallower and shallower the more they swam it somehow felt darker and colder here than even the precipice Frank lived over. There was no life here, the water was filthy and polluted. It was the human’s play ground now. “I want to go home...”
“We’re almost at the pier now.” Frank said uncertainly, the shallow water picking up the winds from the storm and causing them to get thrown about slightly in the current again. The ropes of the nets and boys were moving about erratically and Frank held Jamia’s hand tighter to keep her close. “We’ll be going home soon.” He promised, starting to want to just turn back himself.
Jamia sighed and nodded, not too happy to not be going home right that instant but she didn’t say anything. She could feel the effects of the storm again, but all she could see when she looked up was the dark shapes of the boats getting thrown about on the water. She didn’t know where the pier was, or even if it was close.
“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” She asked uncertainly making Frank bite his lip and shake his head.
“I... Not really.” He confessed, looking about and shuddering. “I’ll go back up and see if I see anything.” He decided, releasing Jamia’s hand to swim back to the surface which wasn’t all that far away now. Jamia gasped and shook her head, quickly hurrying to join Frank.
“Don’t leave me!” She begged, hurrying to join him but they broke the surface before she could take hold of his hand again.
The force of the storm was immediate. All around them boats were bucking and pivoting in the water from the force and height of the waves. They were all anchored to the sea floor and the town was so close that they could make out the outline of houses and the harbour wall; but the waves obscured that view every few seconds. The sky was now pitch black and flashes of lightning lit up the horizon in the distance, sending fear crashing through Jamia as she was thrown about by the waves.
“Frank!” She screamed, turning to grab at him but already he had been thrown metres away from her and the distance was growing as the waves pulled them apart. “Frankie! Frank help!” Jamia cried, stretching her arms out for him and kicking her tail as fast as she could to try and swim to him.
“Jay!” Frank called back, his face less scared and more determined as he stretched towards her and worked his own tail. Water splashed around him as his caudal fins, larger than Jamia’s, slapped against the water. But despite his stronger muscles and clear power the storm was too much for them and soon it was a battle just to keep their heads above the water.
“Jamia! Shit.” Frank cursed, diving back beneath the water once he was able to get out of the grip of a wave lifting him. He plunged down as fast as he could, feeling safe at the bottom again although the currents here were so strong he could feel them dragging him back towards the harbour wall. Worst though, was that there was no sign of Jamia.
“Jay? Jamia!?” Frank shouted, his eyes wide with panic. How could she have disappeared so soon. “JAMIA!” He roared, using every ounce of strength he had in his arms and tail to swim deeper against the current. The water here was dark but he could see quite some way, but all around was nothing but the waving nets and anchor lines. “JAMIA!” He roared again, wondering if she had got caught in a rope and fear grip him. She could be killed if she became tangled.
“Oh shit... Shit, shit shit – JAMIA!” Frank began to panic, fighting the current but he was unable to get far. Growling he gave up and turned to swim upwards again, hoping to be able to see her if he returned to the surface.
“JAMIA!” He shouted as he burst above the water again. The waves were still incredibly huge and Frank groaned as he struggled to ride over them without getting sucked under and look for Jamia. There was no sign of her anywhere and though he screamed and shouted as loud as he could the wind just snatched the sound away from him.
“JAMIA! JAY! Oh God... Please...” He groaned, starting to feel exhausted and weak. He was spinning and bucking in the water and he was beginning to lose his bearings. Water was getting sprayed into his eyes and his gills were stinging. He knew he should just go below the water again but the current beneath frightened him just as much as the waves above.
“Jamia... Jamia...” He moaned, squeezing his eyes shut and just flipping his tail as he swam in any direction he could. He wasn’t sure if the storm was getting worse or if it just felt that way because he was so weak. He felt another wave lift him and he forced his eyes to open, gasping in shock when he saw he was higher than ever and the town looked like it was falling to meet him.
“No!” Frank choked, falling beneath the wave and spinning in somersaults that left him dizzy and sick before he suddenly felt the harshness of rock against his body. Instinctively he squeezed his eyes shut again, tensing his body and bracing himself as he collided hard against the harbour wall with an ‘mmph’.
The wave that had lifted Frank and carried him onto the harbour drew back, leaving a spray of water behind. At first Frank was confused and disorientated, his head splitting with pain. The water around it felt strangely warm and he groaned as his head swam. For a moment he couldn’t understand what he was lying on and he stretched his arms out with a pained grunt.
“J – Jamia...” He whispered, managing to crack his eyes open and whimpering when something hot and wet dripped into them. Unlike with water he couldn’t see through this and he began to panic again as he weakly wiped at his eyes, but then a second wave hit him and he went scraping across the ground, further inland.
Frank wasn’t aware of it but he was by now resting on the shore of the harbour, and the second wave pushed him back beneath a bench resting on the sidewalk facing out to the sea. No humans were around due to the ferocity of the storm, but now safely beneath the bench Frank was left on dry ground where the waves could no longer reach him with any impact.
Frank moaned in pain and slumped against the ground, oblivious to his surroundings and not even sure what had happened anymore as he gave up trying to see and just allowed unconsciousness to take over him, Jamia’s name the last thing on his lips.