Fiona leaped up onto the big rock as if she were QUEEN OF THE BEACH…hands on hips and a mock ha-haha laugh to boot. Her pretend cape of a beach towel was snapping in the breeze.
“OUCH! You are standing on my hair!’ a beautiful, ocean-wet woman shouted.
“What the!?” Fiona leaped back, lost her balance and went tumbling the two feet off her rock perch.
Rising above Fiona was a dazzling woman. Her long, dark hair shimmered with wet curls. Her eyes sparkled like the dreamlike greenish blue
Caribbean waters. She now stood on the same rock Fiona had pounced up on. Oh, and did i mention she was breathtakingly naked?
“Lovely,” Fiona said before she recovered and took her beach towel cape off to offer to the woman…or not. Unwilling to take any blame, she retorted, “If I KNEW someone would be draping their hair on a rock I was leaping onto, I’d have not stepped on their mane. But how was I to know. Who does that!”
“I was drying my hair—a very normal thing to do. Haven’t you seen it done? The rocks are warm and perfect for…nevermind.” The woman suddenly gave up and leaped off the rock, back to her side and began gathering her bundle of things…at last remembering to pull on her sundress.
“OK! I’m sorry! Wait!” Fiona tagged behind this delicious woman. “One should always look before she leaps. I’m sorry.”
“Lovely,” the woman whipped around and said to Fiona. Those eyes dancing with a mischievous glint.
“Uh, yes…I know you are.” Fiona said as she felt the foolish blush cover her face.
“I know, too! But how did you?”
“Know?” Fiona was puzzled into little pieces.
“Come on,” the woman said and started running up the beach. “It’s almost happy hour. You are going to buy me a drink, aren’t you?” She ran with such pleasure to be doing so-- as if part of her body was swimming through the air, yet her legs were slightly awkward and clumsy in the clutches of sand.
Fiona put her cape back on and flew after her.
The Cave was two blocks away, nine majickal steps down and through a big rusty hinged lavender painted door.
The BOOM of sound hit them both as they rushed in…music and laughter and drinks and two women arm wrestling…another woman enjoying her girlfriend in a mellow corner. Happy Hour really never ends at The Cave.
Fiona leaped up onto a bar stool and ordered a Paulie.
“What will you be having? “ Stoney gave her sexiest grin from behind the bar.
“Paulie.” other woman parroted.
“Two Paulie Girls, for one sweet girl and one girl who owes me ten bucks!” Stoney said, play punching Fiona in the arm.
“Got it and then some. Pay day is turning into pay everybody back day!” Both women laughed at that, but the new arrival to The Cave was busy taking in the sights.
Fiona clicked her beer against the other woman’s and introduced herself. “Fiona is my name…short order cook at the local greasy spoon by day and pirate by night. And you?”
“Yesss, you are but what is your name?”
Fiona sat there and just smiled…captured in the net of Lovely’s eyes. She put away her fighting ‘tude and reached out her hand. Lovely took it and they froze time for a long moment. Eyes met and there it was…the soft yes that enters the air between two women who connect. Yes…to wonder and magick and any happiness that can be had.
Lovely kissed the palm of Fiona’s hand. Fiona smiled and her face lit up with the light of a thousand candles. “It is beautiful to meet you, Lovely,” Fiona whispered softly and led her heart’s twin to the dance floor.
Lovely wasn’t an easy catch. She disappeared that first night. She left a little note sticking out of Fiona's beer bottle which read: Meet me at the rock, same time tomorrow. Lovely
They met night after night, with hours of dancing but very few words exchanged. Lovely simply could not get enough dancing. Then there were the long kisses and the soft embraces.
Fiona didn’t question. She wanted to just be there in it. The little notes always said to meet Lovely the next evening. Fiona had decided on the six night to ask for more, say more, give more. But before she could speak to Lovely about anything, the mysterious woman disappeared earlier than usual.
Fiona looked for her note but it wasn’t stuck in her bottle. Instead Stoney waved an envelope around like a fishing lure calling her to it. "I guess this is for your eyes only," Stoney teased her as she dropped it on the bar top.
I regret this more than any words I have ever said to anyone. I won’t be at the rock tomorrow or ever again. I know you have had questions you have not asked and I could not tell you. But this was only a holiday for me. I have my work. It is so important.
You see, nets break loose from boats offshore and it is my job and my honor to rescue any of my brother and sister creatures from the tangle of that frightening confusion they are snared in. Many dolphins drown in the nets. Seals and others lose their lives, too. I make a difference to them Fiona. How can I live with myself if I leave them to suffer and die?
Even this short holiday with you was difficult to manage. But you climbed into my heart, and I stayed longer than I should have.
My Darling Fiona, I am needed there. I know I would never be able to leave you if I continue this, so I must go and never return.
You will dance with me always. And though I never gave my body to you, for I know I surely would have never left, you have my heart with you…and my love.
Yours for All of Time,
Fiona was stunned and then frightened for Lovely. It has to be dangerous--to cut away netting while sea creatures are in them? What if she got tangled up, too? Who was helping her? Fiona walked down by the water. She stood at the rock, running her hand over the place she first stood upon her Lovely’s hair. No trace of her. Gone. She was so afraid and hurt at the same time. She sat by the rock. The sun slowly moved through the sky. Evening came. A full moon was climbing above the water.
And then she felt it--that old itch. That shift from within. Her grandmother recognized it in her and gave her the talk one night. It skips a generation once it is in the bloodline. Her grandmother could shift but not Fiona's mother. Fiona could but rarely let herself. Tonight she would transform.
Fiona was a mile off shore swimming fast…racing about the surface looking for a salvage boat of some sort. Finally she came to it…a sad little fishing boat with patches and a poorly done paint job. Damaged netting was in the boat. Her happiness leaped up. She shouted, “Lovely!?” No answer. Lovely must be diving, she thought.
Fiona sailed her body quickly through the water. There, below, she saw the wave of dark hair. Closer and then the tail…the shimmering scales. Lovely…a mermaid!
She was busy cutting free a sea turtle, while two other mermaids supported the gentle giant. Free, the turtle struggled. So it was taken away to be nursed back to health. Lovely felt a peace she only knew when near Fiona. Impossible and yet….she turned. And there was Fiona, floating in the water…tail swaying and scales shimmering. A mermaid? Fiona? She raced to her and embraced. They twirled and kissed and held each other as they drifted to the surface. Eyes met full of such wonder and delight.
“You? A mermaid? But you stay on land and work and you…” Lovely laughed and grabbed Fiona and held her tightly.
“I’m a…well, a part-time mermaid,” Fiona said. “My great-great grandmother was a mermaid who loved a human. It skips a generation. It is with me. I can think it and be it for a short time.” And she felt the short time coming to an end. Lovely helped Fiona aboard the boat. Then pulled herself in after her and shed her scales as Fiona did the same.
Hands traveled over each others naked bodies. Lips found wonderful places to kiss. The moonlit ocean sung them a gentle song as they made love and began their happily ever after together…forever…