she closes her eyes in the saltwater sting. her breath forms northern lights of bubbles around her body.
the girl smiles into the blackness of the sea. she floats, suspended in a silver film of ocean tides. and she opens her mouth to let the saltwater flood in.
her lover is singing. the siren breathes precious oxygen into the girl's lungs, caresses her peaceful face.
the girl's clothes float around her, and she can feel the drag of them around her waist and legs. her hair cascades suspended down her back. she smiles gently.
she's in love with a mermaid she cannot see. a siren whose song has already seduced her into the sea. she would rather drown than give this up.
she turns, clasped in a void of saltwater blues, feet brushing the rocky floor. the siren sings, sweet voice muffled by the water's shell. she smiles, content.
and then, she is coughing.
and then, she is coughing. water spilling from her stricken lips, cascading down her front,
and then, she is coughing. water spilling from her stricken lips, cascading down her front, and she rubs frantically at her stinging eyes.
lights, bright rectangular grids on a sterile ceiling. far more bleak than the blue cradle of the ocean. she looks up, and the masked face of the doctor is looking at her gravely.
"you were found." he says, shaking his head slightly. her voice cracked with salt and soreness, she replies. "how?" "you were the sole survivor on that plane."
the girl refuses to believe that she hallucinated the entire ordeal. she can still hear the siren's song trembling in her ears, an aquatic vibrato. she can still feel the touch of cool lips against her forehead.
later, when she goes home, she finds a single scale in her pocket.