The song this week for the Mid Week Blues Buster was a bit difficult to find a story to pair with. Then, I remembered how seductive the sea can be, as well as the power of some of the denizens there. Maybe it’s the first hints of fall, or the vibe of the equinox that is nearly upon us, but the ebbs and flows of life have definitely been on my mind lately, and it all seems to have come together at the very last minute.
The song in question this week was PJ Harvey’s song: Long Snake Moan
Through the comfortable green of her watery world, Kerthala saw many things passing her favorite rocks, carried by the currents. Some deeper into the darkness were terrifying to behold, such as gentle behemoths frolicking in joy that could crush an unwary merfolk with an exuberant shift of a fin. Others, along the tops of the waves, solid wooden forms carrying men, always scuttling about like a colony of crabs. Some of those men, though, would be still, looking deep into the water. Those were her favorite.
One afternoon, as the bright sun was darkened by a large ship, she saw one such man hanging low off the side, almost within reach of the waves themselves. He was busily working away on some task or another, scraping at the side of the vessel. Her tail twitched involuntarily, almost a moan of delight from her lower extremities. With only a slight effort, she followed along with the ship, watching for the right moment.
Matching her timing with one of the larger waves, she flexed her sinewy tail, rocketing just above whitecaps, clutching the doomed sailor in her muscular arms. Together, they splashed back into the water, disappearing with an iridescent flourish as her damp scales caught the afternoon sunlight. In but a moment, the rickety bench clattered emptily against the hull, with only a stocking cap floating briefly on the water to mark his passage.
The sailor tried to swim for the surface, but he was too far out of his element. The mermaid, delighted with the sport, allowed him to make some progress before dragging him back down and away from the precious air. In a voice that would have been melodic if not for the distortion of being underwater, she began the incantations. “Dunk you under the salt water. Bring to me all your love and power. As once over, so lost to under, as you die of pleasure from my spell.”
With his lungs burning for release, she pulls him to her, wrapping him tightly in her arms and tail. Their lips meet as his lungs succumb to the fight, breathing out his last breath, laden with his life’s power and his very spirit.
As the seawater rushes into his lungs to smother the spark of life, the mermaid releases his limp body to drift into the darkness and feed the creatures below as his soul has fed her. Worn with ecstatic bliss, she meanders back through the waves to her favorite sunning rocks, and waits for another shadow to pass across the sun.