Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.
“Jack,” the voice whispered.
Young Jack Jamison pocketed the flask of rum keeping him company during night watch.
He squinted at the moonlit ocean only to see gentle swells roll under the fishing boat, Deception.
The ocean was playing tricks on him again. He composed himself and continued his vigil. He retrieved his flask and made friend with its content.
“Jack, come out and play,” the voice serenaded. This time it was on the port side.
Jamison shot a look to that side. There, he saw something disturbing the water. He could’ve sworn he saw a woman’s body and fish’s tail. He grabbed the nearest flashlight and illuminated the area. Within minutes, three of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen raised their heads above the swells.
“Beware of those maidens of the sea!” he warned.
Yeah, whatever, Jamison thought at the time. He was called mad for a reason: too many ghost and monster stories about the sea.
Jamison nearly lost his feeble hold of the flashlight. It was true, he thought. That crazy fool was right.
Before the crew had retired for the night and he started his watch, Mad Bob Wade told a tall tale about mermaids. He didn’t believe it, he didn’t really listen to the warning he tried to drill into him.
“Beware of those maidens of the sea!” he warned. "They are tempting, but tempting can get you in a load of trouble."
Yeah, whatever, Jamison thought at the time. He was called mad for a reason: He told too many ghost and monster stories about the sea.
But,there they were, the maidens. They beckoned him again: “Oh, Jack, come and play.”
The young man hadn’t seen a lady for months; seeing those ladies was intoxicating. And, within seconds, he threw old Mad Bob’s warning and leapt into the water to join the mermaids.
* * *
The next day, the Captain and Mad Bob emerged from the cabin to discover that Jack was missing.
“That damn kid,” The Captain worried. "Don't tell me he fell overboard."
Mad Bob saw the flask of rum and the flashlight. He knew exactly what had happened. And that angered him.
“The maidens got ‘em.” He said, as he lowered his grizzled chin to his chest. “He didn’t listen. Nobody ever listens."
Bob raised his eyes to the ocean. He started shaking his head to and fro. I warned him, he thought. I warned him.
"Well," the captain said under pursed lips,"These maidens' are costing me, me dearly. First the fish, and now deck-hands.
He peered at Bob: "Set our course for home.We're gonna need another crew member, again."
Other Creatures of the Deep
- Salvation on the Vast and Empty Sea
A man is lost is alone, adrift at sea, surrounded by sharks. But, salvation may not be all that it's cracked up to be.
- Temptress by the River
A young man running away from his problems discovers a new horror by the River's edge.
- Slavic Vampire or Mermaid: Stay Away from the Rusalki
Young men were warned, but many didn't listen. The Rusalki is out there waiting in the depth of some river ready to lure an unsuspecting boy/man into the raging torrent and to certain death.
- Ogopogo: Canada's Loc Ness Monster
Lake Okanagan has the fun and sun. Oh, it also has a mysterious creature lurking in its deep, if you believe the accounts. Either way, Ogopogo has been embraced by the locals.
© 2015 Dean Traylor