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The damned fountain was approached but no words were spoken yet. This mysterious moment was unclear to be seen by unprecedented eyes. It was she, the beauty who lived who would speak, and returning the answer was not appropriate. She would always ask the questions she asked before, and scorn him for answering, scorn him and abuse him, and then she would torture him because she could. What could he do? He loved the monster. The beautiful lady had seduced him to come again and again to the fountain, this evil spring of poisoned water. She would emerge and sing to him, ask him to sing back, that was all he was allowed to do, sing. No words without music. Nothing but the ebony flow of notes would let him see his temptress, this succubus of the water. She was not to emerge for sometime through the mist surrounding him, and he was not to move while he waited, for it would not be polite to stir without permission. She would come, she always did. The cuts from his last scars still burned him, his eyes still sore from the passionate evil that unfolded its fury upon him.
He sat, waiting for her to come from the spring, the glistening water of the depths that led down to who knows where. Hell? It was his best guess. He was a lover, not a philosopher, and so the question did not concern him, but his concern was coming, he heard the voice around him, the voice circling him, seducing him, beckoning him, daring him to move, to run or to come, to hide or to die. There would not be any mercy in the words, even if sung with a loving voice and beautiful lips he knew the creature behind it. That wondrous mystery, the beauty that consumed him and ate his soul, fed on his sorrow and his regret he could hear the pools around him stirring, the willow trees rustling. He could reminisce of his first seduction, when he was first enchanted by his mistress of the deep.
He was but a lad, brash, arrogant, self-absorbed, and his hunt for a woman was never anything but lewd. A search to find not his beloved but his mistress drove him forward. Armed with but a single rifle, he set off to places he didn’t belong, the land that wasn’t his for searching. It was there he found her, the mermaid of land.
It was the mist. It surrounded him and demanded him to surrender his arms and give up his quest for intercourse. Respond he did not, and was luck that drove him to this choice, he continued down the swampy path he had wandered onto. The willows cried to him, reached out with their vines to caress the flesh that wasn’t theirs but they so longed for. His boots sank into the mud, and he removed them for easier passage. A branch ripped his shirt and so he removed it. The mud began to shallow and seemed to end.
Then, onward he journeyed, his rifle still casually held in a sling that lay on his back. Then was the water. The marsh, glittering and gorgeous in the light of the full moon. The gun would not make it across, but he must cross!
It was then he saw her. Dressed in nothing was she, and beauty beyond anything could she be described. Her hair was black and long and even from the distance of the swamp did he see that her breasts were large and succulent, untouched by plague.
Delicious lust swept through his body, that thing of beauty made to match the wondrous woman across the lake! His journey must be completed! He knew that he had to cross the lake to take hold of the shining woman perched at the end of the bank, smiling at him.
It was then she sang. The words coming out in grace and the voice carrying them was of more value than gold. This lady of youth and sex was calling to him with her song;
“In sweetness I follow, through shadows I run. But here I am with you, our blood shall not run. But one must suffer for this creed, now come, my lover come to me.”
And he came. First his left foot, and then his right entered the clear water. Were his eyes not mesmerized by the unburdened lady, he would have noticed the creature coming to the surface.
Scaled and lightly colored, the creature did not emerge, but simply grabbed him. The claws of the grotesque creature dragged him down into the reflective lake. Without a glance at what was pulling him down into the abyss, he still fought the claws that were grinding the flesh of his ankle as it tugged him deeper into the breathless deep. The rifle still strapped around him began to ride up his body and he realized a chance for survival. With an odd conclusion to his revelation, the monster released the young man’s ankle from its confinement, and turned to face his captive. The man saw a creature out of no lore had he read. Mounted with a head that seemed to fuse a handsome man and a serpent with a mouth of lips red but succulent, the monster had an aesthetic quality both gorgeous and hideous. Of great yellow eyes with deceptive intelligence perched above the great mouth and soon began trace the man’s body. The body was (to an odd confession) finely sculpted but riddled with odd breathing gills on both sides of his muscular chest of flesh. On the shoulder however, it appeared that scales traced only the back of the monsters body, like a shell. Of feet it had none but simply a long tail of scales and flesh mingling in inconsistent places. At the waist, there was a long, smooth penis that thrust jealousy into the mind the man.
It was within the mouth that shattered the man’s idea of escape. Inside were dozens of sharp teeth, made to rip him to shreds. Hope, a small candle was for a moment dimmed by creeping water around him. His breath, was ungracefully escaping him, as he could not move but only gaze, stunned at the face of the myth glaring at him. The rifle however, was still at his disposal.
The powder was damp and firing underwater would have no prevail, the strap was of thick leather, and the rifle itself was of strong wood. The chance was slight, but survival requires risk. As the monster prepared to push himself with that mighty tail towards him, the man lifted the strap from his back. When the monster came, speeding faster than expected, the man used what strength of his that was not dampened by the water and stabbed the rifle into the large gill that opened and closed the sides of the creature. He could hear some kind of croak from the grotesque half-man, as the claws recoiled to remove the weapon, but the man was able to utilize the rifle as a point to move himself behind the monster.
When at its back, he pulled the leather strap to its neck and squeezed, the monsters hands when to its throat, trying to remove the leather, but the man found its weak point, and used his foot to wound ht monster. The means was rather disgusting for the man, but by sliding his foot into the gill that rode the body of his rival, he could block its breathing completely. Unfortunately, his own breath was shortening.
The creature snapped and seizure, for having a body meant for constant breath, holding its own was a new challenge. With an unexpected swiftness, the monster writhed more and more, clawing, trying to reach the face or any part of the creature riding it.
Finally it stopped moving, and he relinquished his grasp. The man, his gaze dying, fell into the abyss below.
He awoke to the beautiful woman, the creature at the end of the lake who had sung to him. He was hers forever, for he had fallen into the abyss, and she had fetched him from it, saved him from hell. She asked him how he felt, and when he answered, she changed.
Her form writhed with fury, and she struck him with her hand, her nails causing him to bleed. She then continued to scratch him and destroy him, until his voice was hoarse with screaming. Then she laid her body on his, and slept with him weeping with blood.
When he awoke, he saw that he was in a very large, dried up sinkhole, with the lake nowhere in sight and the woman was also nowhere; only a hole, spewing with water, a fountain. He climbed out of the ditch, collapsing and falling as he tried to ascend to the ground above. He would return, he swore it on his soul. He would come back to her, she had saved him and he loved her. There would be no stopping him from returning to the place, he would remember the path.
He never gave a thought to the lake or her mate that lurked in it. Never gave a thought to what he would always, inevitably become.