Friday, December 28, 2012

The Return- L Redd


Sitting quietly in her plush living area with the babble of the TV and the light crackle of an early fall fire, Lisa McCallum awaited the arrival of her daughter from a late evening of being a teenage girl with friends.  The worried brow of an anxious parent adorned her otherwise lovely face.  The recent killings in the quiet town of St. Augustine had proven to be the talk of the season.  Mostly males found gutted and partially devoured.  The authorities believed it to be the work of some wild animal, but there were little leads.  Other than the killer preferred young teenage boys and somehow lead them to a secluded area and tore them to pieces, there was nothing else to follow.  The marshy coves and wetlands of the city left no viable footprints, by the time the bodies were found a number of creatures that stalked the night had taken their fill.  There was only one link to all the killings and that was the missing internal organs, mainly the heart, liver and lungs.
            That night had been grad night for the seniors of the local high school.  Lisa was eager to let her daughter participate as a rite of passage, but skeptical of the night.  The killer, although he or she preferred males, had taken a few teenage girls as prey.  Their bodies were mutilated but nothing eaten.  The ladies were damn near clawed beyond recognition but their internals were intact.  Baffled, the authorities initiated a curfew and by now it was 9pm and Angel was late. 
            Lisa flipped through an old photo album while she waited.  Quietly reminiscing about the times when she and her husband, Lamond, sailed the oceans surrounding the tip of their beautiful Florida.  Those had been the best times of her life.  Craving the adventure of the open water, they would often take week long trips letting the good wind take them to whatever port she desired.  The couple had seen the Caribbean Islands countless times and explored the reefs in the Bahamas.  Their shared passion for the sea and her bounty had brought them great wealth just as their fathers before them. 
            Lamond had been a descendant of the great explorers that settled the area in 1565.  His great-great grandfather had amassed a large fortune in gold and jewels from wreckages off the coast.  Coming from old money, the family managed well and protected their earnings.  Opening an antique/collector's shop in what is now the historical region of the town, they did quite well.  Their reputation for carrying authentic antiquities and collector's items had brought them face to face with many wealthy dignitaries and eccentrics.  Able to lavish gifts upon their only daughter and provide an education at a local private school, Lisa had done well to steer her in the direction for which she always dreamed. 
            The latch on the front door clicked as Angel entered the room.  Lisa was relieved, closing the album and focusing on the young beauty.  Angel McCallum was the only child of Lisa and Lamond McCallum.  Born after her father's death, Angel bared a strong resemblance to the once beautiful man.  Her long dark hair and dark violet eyes were traits that he had passed on.  Her mother's small mouth and delicate features were the finishing touches that launched the girl into a beauty that was breathtaking and caused many stares wherever she went.
            "Did you have a good time, hun?"  Lisa voice was more nervous than curious.
            "Yeah mom, we had a bonfire at the beach and just hung around.  Sorry I'm late, I had an episode on the way home, I got sick again."
            Lisa rushed to feel her daughter's forehead.  She was warm and starting to sweat.  The concerned mother rushed to the nearest bathroom and began drawing a tub of cool water.  Angel appeared behind her.
            "Mom, I can do it, go get some rest."  Angel's voice was quiet and soothing.
            The young beauty finished preparing the bath and soaked in a peaceful mixture of Epsom salt and lavender.  Her fevers had grown worse and her illness undiagnosed.  It was her mother who relied on an old family remedy that finally brought the condition under control.  The ailment seemed to spike as she approached puberty and only grew worse as she aged but her mother continued with her personal research and kept her daughter's health in check.
 
The Findings
            It was 8:45 in the morning when officer Beadle knocked on their door.  Two bodies had been found, a girl and a boy and this time there was evidence. 
            "Good morning, I'm detective Beadle.  I take it you are Mrs. McCallum?  I am here to question your daughter about her whereabouts last night."  His tone was stern as he reviewed the woman's visage for clues.   
            "Sure detective, come in.  My daughter is still asleep.  May I ask what this is in regards to?"  Lisa was concerned as she motioned for the large man to have a seat.
            "I'm sure you've seen the news, there were two bodies found early this morning.  Two teenagers that were out at a party that your daughter was in attendance.  We've been questioning everyone who was there.  We also have this."  The detective held up a clear plastic bag with a single turquoise charm.
            Lisa recognized the charm and moved to awaken her daughter.  Her heart pounded as the church bell with every step.  She knew the charm, it had been a gift for her sixteenth birthday.  Her anxiety arose to fine peak as she knocked on Angel's door.  To her surprise the beauty answered, she had heard everything and was aware of the visit.  She moved past her mother and into the plush living space.  Sitting quiet and calm she awaited his questions.
            "Miss McCallum, how are you today?"  The detective was cheerful and  very much attempting to create a calm atmosphere.
            "Fine, sir, may I offer you some coffee?"  She was polite and innocent in her wide eyed beauty.
            "No, but you can tell me about this?"  He held up the charm.
            "You found my charm, I lost it last night at the party.  I had been having trouble with the clasp and I guess it finally slipped.  May I have it back?"  She asked politely.
            The detective listened and watched for signs of untrustworthy behavior, but found none.  He continued to ask her about her time the night before and when she got home.  Noting that she arrived after curfew. 
            "I am quite ill detective.  I had to stop at the gas station on beach road to get something for my stomach.  My mother can tell you about it.  The attendant there saw me, if you need an alibi."  She remarked.
            "I will look into that.  You said that was around 9, correct." 
            She responded with a nod.
            "As for your charm, I can't quite give it back as it was found at a crime scene and there was blood and some skin lodged in the claw here.  It is being analyzed.  So for now this is evidence.  So did you have a fight with either of the deceased?"  His questions were more concentrated, he was not playing his full deck as of yet.
             Lisa's mother was quick to intervene.
            "What does this have to do with my daughter?  Look at her she is barely five feet tall, surely you can't think she had something to do with those deaths?"  Her tone protective as a mother's should be.
            "Mrs. McCallum, I have been in this business a long time and size has nothing to do with crimes of passion.  There were several witnesses that say your daughter was involved in a few words with one of the deceased, a Miss. Mandy Scarborough.  Apparently Miss. Scarborough posed a threat in the relationship that your daughter was having with Cody Kennedy, the other deceased teen.  So Miss McCallum if you would please answer my question."
            Angel started in quickly.
            "Detective Beadle, Mandy Scarborough was a first class whore.  And yes, I did have word with her earlier in the day at school.  She liked sleeping around and knew that Cody wanted me instead of her.  She approached me at the bonfire in her usual slutty nature and was up in my face.  I slapped her after she grabbed a handful of my hair and tried to make a fool of me.  And that's all."
            Lisa responded,  "Well you heard my daughter.  She had a scuffle, that doesn't mean she killed anyone."
            The detective responded.  "That is true and her story does match what others say took place.  The question is why was this charm found at the crime scene?" 
The worried parent responded.
            "It's a charm, they fall off with ease.  Maybe when she slapped Mandy it got knocked off and lodged in her clothing, from what I just saw on the TV, the bodies were half eaten again.  Really, does my daughter look like a cannibal?"
            The detective backed off knowing there were holes in the story that he could not fill.  However, his experience taught him something was not right.  He left the lovely home and went on to question her alibi.  Sure enough she had gone to the station and used the bathroom but there was one fact that had been left out.  She was wet from head to toe.  The attendant remembered because of the distinct erection he had from seeing her perky tits in such a sheer top.
            "Angel."  Lisa's mother's voice was sad and low.  "We need to go."
            The teen stared into her mother's eyes as she spoke.  "Will you tell me the story?"
            Her mother replied,  "Once we're in the water, yes."
            The two arrived at the marina and were quick to untie the 35 foot Catalina.  Lisa knew the voyage well as she backed out of the harbor.  Angel was quiet and looked on as the afternoon sun sparkled against her skin.  An eerie and beautiful glow emanated from the young girl.  Her long dark hair blowing in the breeze she smiled at her mother as they made their way. 
 
Suspicions
            The Beadle was back in his office attempting to piece together the events of the night before.  He was sure that Angel knew more than she let on, but the missing body organs was a clue that he had no place to put in the puzzle. 
            "Here you go, Beadle, the results from pathology.  The material in the clasp was skin, but not from either victim, it was from the killer.  But don't get your hopes up too soon.  The sample came back as non human, possibly a scale.  Could be a croc or something considering they were found in the swampy area of the nearby park."  Shane handed him the file, the detective thanked him for his help.
            Beadle had hit another dead end or had he.  He reviewed the file and the pictures once again.  The claw marks were of a creature with five digits.  Only one suspect in the world carried that trait and it was human.  Letting go of his trainings from the academy, he relied on his second major, mythology.  Leaving the office in a rush, he wanted to make sure he made it to the library before it closed.  Piecing together what he knew of the cases he was beginning to get an accurate picture.
              Once inside he  gathered several large books at a small table.  He began perusing them with a strong intent to find the truth behind a legend.  He was able to surmise that the stories of ancient mariners had only been the tip of what he was to find.
 
The Voyage Home
            That night, Lisa and Angel, dined at sea.  The wind carried them swiftly towards the islands of Bermuda and her tranquil blue green waters. 
            "We will be at our destination in a few days.  Maybe by late afternoon on Friday if weather permits."  Lisa, pulled the photo album from her bag.  She had bookmarked it special for just this occasion as she knew it would have to be.  Angel listened, for she knew only the beginning, but loved to hear her mother tell the tale. 
            "Your father and I loved to sail.  That's how we met.  We were in competition against each other back in seventy nine.  He owned a massive yacht he named, Jezebel and I had my father's, The Journey.  We raced at the annual yacht club tourney and that year I was determined to win and I did.  At the victory celebration this beautiful man came up to me and congratulated me with a kiss.  From out of nowhere he just kissed me and my knees were weak.  From that moment we were inseparable.  We married within a year and just knew we wanted kids.  We tried for fifteen years and no luck.  Time was not on my side and we finally went for testing.  It was me.  I could not conceive.  We were heartbroken.  So in order to ease my pain, your father decided to take me on a special cruise around the Bermudas."  Before she continued, Angel butted in.
            "And after that trip the angel's blessed you with me."  She smiled.  I love that story, momma.
            "Sweetie," her mother continued,  "That's not the end, not the true end." 
            Angel's face was squirmed into a question.  She had only heard that soon she was conceived after that magical voyage.  She asked. 
            "There's more?"  she asked.
            "I'm afraid so my love.  But let's save that for tomorrow.  We need rest and I need to check the weather and our coordinates."
            Angel was reluctant to sleep.  What more could there have been.  She tossed and turned most of the night.  She could hear her mother pacing in the other room.  What was she dreading?
 
Too Late
            Detective Beadle left the library in a rush and sped to the home of Lisa McCallum.  Upon arriving he knew he had been too late.  The house appeared empty and dark.  He approached the front door and knocked.  No one answered.  He turned to knob to find it click and open.  He pulled his gun and entered the home announcing his presence.  He flipped on a light to find that all the furniture had been covered in cloth.  He knew they would not be returning.  A picture lay on the table with an envelope addressed to detective Beadle.  He opened it and began to read.  His suspicions were confirmed.  He left the home and headed to the marina.   
            Upon arriving, he showed the picture to the head master of the marina.  He verified that the Sea Witch had been taken out earlier that day.  Her course was for the Bermuda Triangle and she should return sometime in the next week.  Beadle knew differently.  He sat in his car reading the letter.  Tears fell from his eyes as he did not know for whom to mourn, the prey or the predator.  He would spend the rest of the week pondering the information in the letter and questioning whether he could call in such a story.  He would be laughed off the force.  For now, all he could do was wait.  Heavy heart in hand he arrived home with a large bottle of vodka in his possession.  He would finish the container by morning.
 
The Voyage Home Pt II
            The following afternoon, they neared a familiar spot where the waters were clear and the rocks were many. 
            "Mother, I thought you said we would be longer.  You are stopping so soon?"  Angel questioned.
            "We traveled on the night wind to a special place.  A place that only a few know.  Your father and I discovered it back in ninety four.  If you sail the edges of the triangle you get pulled to this very spot no use in using your equipment, it won't work.  Thus the legends of the triangle.  We will drift from here."  Her mother was calm but Angel was not easily quieted.
            "We're in the Bermuda triangle!  Oh God we gotta get outta here!"  She screamed.
            "I told you we were headed to the Bermudas."  Her mother was placid and frightening.
            "I thought you just meant the islands, I didn't think that we were just going into the triangle.  And that makes no sense how can we already be here?  We just left yesterday." 
            Her mother sat quietly as she started telling the remainder of the story.  Angel was frightened as she had never seen her mother like this.  She did not know the person who sat before her flipping through a photo album and staring in the distant horizon.
            "Your father and I were sailing this same stretch when a bad storm pulled us in.  We were sure that we wouldn't make it.  We were tossed by large waves and pummeled in the night.  We put on our life jackets in hopes that the coast guard would at least find our bodies.  But by morning the storm subsided and we found ourselves here.  Our instruments dead we just drifted with the sea.  We were so happy to be alive we made love that day like when we first met.  There are times I can still smell him and feel him on me."  A tear streamed down her face.
            "It was in the afternoon as I lay sleeping that I thought I heard something on deck.  I rolled over to reach for your father and he was gone.  I jumped up and dressed and headed topside.  Your father was standing at the bow staring into the sea.  He didn't hear me call his name so I tapped him on the shoulder.  He turned and looked to me with a blank stare.  He asked me did I hear it.  I did not understand what he meant, I could only hear the waves in lapping against the boat.  He looked me in the eyes and said he had to go.  He said he was sorry for the pain he was about to cause, but he didn't belong to me.  He belonged to the sea."  She began to weep heavily.  Angel was confused and her voice resonated her bewilderment.
            "Mom, what are you saying?" 
            "Your father jumped overboard and disappeared beneath the waters of the triangle.  I screamed for him to return but there was nothing.  I stayed there searching for some sign and soon I got one.  Blood, there was blood everywhere, the water filled with his blood.  I cried so hard, I could not breathe.  I thought for sure a shark had him but it was much worse.  That's when they appeared."
            "They who, momma?"
            "Ancient legends they had been for so many, but both of our fathers and forefathers had been mariners and knew the truth.  They were sirens and they had come aboard our vessel."
            "Ok mom, you're crazy!  Sirens, mermaids, really!  I'm calling the coast guard."  Angel turned to work the radio as she tried her mother yelled out that it wouldn't work.  She remembered and appeared back on deck angered at the position she was in.  Her mother screamed out to her.
            "You don't remember what you did, but it was you!"  Her tears filled her eyes and rolled steadily down her grieved face.
            "What is there for me to remember?!"  Angel yelled.
            "You killed all those people!  Those young boys and girls.  It was you.  You don't remember it because you were not yourself."
            The blood drained from Angel's face as she sunk to the deck.  She had no memory of the gruesome killings that was true, but somewhere in there she knew her mother was not lying.
            "Finish the story, ma."  She begged as she sobbed.
            "I turned and there were the two beautiful naked women on deck.  Their eyes were like yours and their hair sparkled in the sun.  One's was so dark it appeared blue and the other red as firelight in a campfire.  They were breathtaking, but angry.  They wanted to finish the job but I begged them not to.  They told me that your father had been one of them but was special.  He was able to live as a human at least until he fathered a child.  He had to be at sea in order for us to get pregnant.  It was the only way and he knew it.  But there was a price for him to pay.  He had to return to face his fate for leaving his kind and impregnating and falling in love with a human.  His sentence was death and now they wanted me dead."
            "Mother, what are you saying?"  Angel was broken and sorrowed beyond anything she could have imagined.
            "Angel, they let me live.  They knew I was pregnant with you.  But there was a price I would have to pay as well.  I would have to give you back to them.  If I didn't you would kill.  It's part of who you are.  Think back, sweetie you must remember the kills.  Those young boys, you are a siren, meant to lead men to their deaths.  The girls must have gotten in your way and posed a threat and so you removed them from your path.  Here take this.  It's a mirror that was given to me by the sirens those many years ago.  It will show you who you really are."
            Angel was slow to accept the thing.  As she did the solid silver handle molded to her hand and the mirror plate shimmered in the light.  As she looked into the reflection she saw each victim and how she had lured them to their deaths tearing out their organs and feasting as a wild animal.  Her mother had known that after the kill the Epsom salt baths would sooth her system making her think she was in the ocean at home.  She screamed aloud at the revelation dropping the mirror onto the deck.  Her mother stood still watching the beings that had boarded the ship.  They were tall and thin with long dark hair and eyes that were brilliant as the sun.  To come aboard they had developed legs to coincide with the solid of the boat. 
            "It is time to go home, Angel."  They spoke in unison.  "We told you there was a price to pay.  But you had to live in denial.  How many people did you let die before you allowed the truth to come to surface?  You had our mirror all along but yet you let things be as they are."
            Angel cried aloud,  "Leave her alone!  She is my mother and everything she did was for love.  She has shown me nothing but love.  And my father loved her enough to give her a gift beyond all others."
            Mother and daughter sobbed heavily as the two beings looked on into the afternoon sky.  "Say your goodbye now, child.  It is time to go home."
            Angel stood slow and somewhat warbled as she reached her feet.  Rushing to her mother she kissed her and held her tight for one last time.  She released her grip and turned to face her sister sirens.  They leapt into the air and over the railings.  Once under water their limbs were replaced with marvelous fins of blue and green.  Angel looked back once and dove into the water.  She undressed quickly as she felt her body change.  Only the true seawater would bring about her transformation.  Her legs became fins and on her neck small dainty slits for gills appeared.  She poked her head up, tail swishing back and forth beneath the sea.  She waved good bye and disappeared just as her father. 
            Lisa stayed on the boat weeping for the loss of her family.  A dark shadow stood over her.  She looked up to face her destiny. 
            "No one should grieve as you."  The woman voiced.
            Lisa slipped into darkness as blood drained from her throat and onto the open deck.  Pushing her body overboard the others feasted on her flesh, Angel taking her part in the feast. 
            By the end of the week, the boat would be picked up by the guard.  Detective Beadle would close his case and resign from the force.  
             


4 comments:

  1. Wonderful short story! I love reading about sirens and this was perfect, it was not your average you have to be at sea to kill a man. But yet a new generation of a siren. Great job.

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    1. Thank you for the wonderful review, I will cherish it always. Oh and thank you for taking the time to read my story. L Redd

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    2. That was so cool and different. I loved it! Never knew mermaids were man eaters. lol Keep your stories coming! They are short, but have depth, color and make you wish for more. Great Job!

      Dee

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    3. Thank you, got some new ones in my head too.

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