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Shayla's dream is to explore the underwater abyss looking for the unknown. Today is her (un)lucky break, depending on who you ask. Shayla is arrogant and cocky especially when it comes to getting her way. She demanded the ship's captain she hired to take her to Skurl Cove otherwise known as the Villain's Lair where stories of multiple divers and sailors alike have gone seeking treasure beyond their wildest dreams, but none have ever returned.

The legend is there's a trove of giant pearls and rare crystals about the size of a football (that's soccer to you Americans) being guarded by mythical sea creatures: Merpeople, Beisht Kione, Grindylows, Cthulhu. Of course Shayla believed none of it calling those who make up these stories are either liars over hyping the dangers or quitters who couldn't hack it when it came time to get the job done. She was determined and no one could stop her.

She prepared herself by checking the pressure of the oxygen tanks, putting on her skintight suit and vest with all the waterproof equipment: torchlight, ceramic knife, retractable harpoon, diamond wire saw, a few satchels to carry her booty and SOS beacon just in case to let her captain know if anything's wrong, tho she was confident in her abilities.

And so she dove a kilometer from the cove into the waters beneath to search for her treasure and solidify her legacy. Shayla's an excellent swimmer and gets to her destination quicker than expected shining a light on the wreckage of a ship that must've gotten too close to the shore as the ship looked to be a hundred years old. Massive holes punched thru the hull sunk it to the bottom. a few chasms here and there, a couple of boats. Then she came across a few corpses: skeletons mostly, but there were a few that looked mummified. What could have caused them to preserve like that wasn't her concern as she came to her true destination. As Shayla shone her light she could see something reflect. Upon further examination it was the crystals she'd been searching for! She didn't waste any time as she took out her ceramic knife and cut away at the precious stones and carefully put them in the first satchel. Soon she was searching for pearls and came across a large oyster roughly the size of a king-sized mattress. This was gonna take longer to open; she took out her wire saw and proceeded to cut away at the shell.

A strange sound came from afar like that of a whale. It startled Shayla to look in the direction and saw something move, a tail, maybe a shark? But Sharks don't make noises like this so what could it be? The sound grew closer and the figure more discernible to her line of sight. What she saw shocked her beyond words, words she'd probably be eating right now if it hadn't been the sudden urgency of her situation.

The figure's lower half was that of a shark's body, the torso muscular with gills appearing where the ribs would be, and shapely bosoms of a female. The facial features contained similar features of a human, but with certain differences: pointy ears, nostrils with no nose, and eyes black as a moonless night. Could it be? YES! IT'S THE FABLED MERMAID! The sound she was making was that of a horn made with a shell and it called forth the Merpeople guardians.

Shayla, sensing danger, decided it was time to activate her SOS beacon and swim for the surface. As fast as a swimmer as she is the Merpeople already cut her off within seconds. The Mermen held her while the Mermaids decided to beat some sense into this hapless human.

A procession punches, scratches and caudal fin whips to her body tore thru her bodysuit and vest like tissue paper, her breathing apparatus knocked off had exhausted her oxygen supply. The Merpeople soon loosened their grip on their victim as they believed she wasn't a threat. A few moments later they were spewing some substance thru their gills and wrapped it around her body. Shayla was gonna die if she didn't do something fast. Her vest, which looked like it was gonna sink to the bottom had the ceramic knife still sheathed. A last-gasp effort removed the knife and cut thru the wrapping substance. Knowing she was at a disadvantage with these creatures she willingly gave up her booty in a last ditch effort to appease these guardians. It worked! The guardians let her go, but not without a parting gift. One Merman and Mermaid grabbed her arms and swam up close to the surface. Before letting Shayla go they looked into her eyes and smiled, sharp teeth and all and gave her one deep uppercut into her solar plexus and a headbutt knocking her out. They then pushed her up to the surface and swam back into the abyss to guard their treasures.

Shayla's body was recovered by the ship's crew all of whom were shocked, not only to find a survivor of Skurl Cove, but evidence of the mythical creatures on her body: a claw left deep in Shayla's leg and scales tattered all over her torso.

As I stated in the beginning, lucky or unlucky? Well, she did find the treasures she sought and Merpeople to boot. On the other hand she almost died. All I know is that cocky arrogance will be replaced by humility and respect. Oh, and she definitely will be remembered, if anyone believes her.
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Submitted on
April 16, 2018
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