A giant air bubble broke the surface of the clear blue lake. Somehow, it’s “bloop” was audible among the endless gunfire and explosions. The sound caught the attention of every single soldier on both sides of the narrow part of the lake. The silence happened immediately as if it was a pre-determined cease-fire. All eyes focused on the water.
“What’s going on?” Chip asked the field nurse that was bandaging his leg. The nurse stopped and faced the lake right when Chip heard the bloop. Then, he noticed everything went quiet. The nurse didn’t answer, he ignored Chip and started walking toward the lake.
“Hey!” Chip called. He looked around to get help from someone else, but all the soldiers were walking to the lake. Chip grabbed a nearby crutch and managed to use his one working leg to stand. “Guys!” he called again, his voice was loud in the unnatural silence but no one turned around. “Damnit, what the Hell,” he grumbled and decided to see what was so exciting about the lake.
After several minutes he managed to limp his way close enough to get a view of the water. He noticed hundreds of enemy soldiers on the other side also lined the water’s edge, staring. Chip saw something dark moving through the clear water. It rushed upward and broke through the surface. Soldiers on both sides cheered like an enthusiastic sports crowd. Chip saw the creature through the raised, flailing arms of his fellow soldiers.
A dark-skinned mermaid with pitch-black scales below the waist backflipped in the air like a dolphin before plunging into the water again. Soldiers applauded and happily smacked each other on the back. After a moment, the mermaid broke the surface and launched into the air again, this time the water went with her. The lithe creature did not perform a backflip again; instead, she hovered in the air supported by a waterspout.
“It’s so WONDERFUL to be free!” she said. Chip heard her voice in his head as clearly as if she was standing next to him. It had a pleasant, almost enchanting quality to it. “I’m so hungry, who’s going to feed me?” she asked.
“ME!!! ME ME MEME!” One of the soldiers on Chip’s side yelled and dove into the water; soldiers on both sides continued to cheer.
“Just one of you?” the mermaid asked; In his mind, Chip felt her pout.
“ME TOO!” a soldier from the other side shouted and jumped into the water. Chip gave his head a firm shake then grabbed a gun from the floor. He aimed and took a shot without hesitation; the bullet hit her square in the chest and went through it. The shot passed through her body as if he fired at the lake itself. She was not damaged at all; but, he did draw her attention.
“Bring him,” she said. Chip’s fellow soldiers grabbed him by the arms and legs and carried him to the shore. They tossed him on to the sandy edge as the mermaid drifted closer. Chip’s eyes went wide when she reached the shore and walked onto it. Her scaley bottom half emerged as muscular, perfect legs. She reached Chip, then knelt down beside him and looked into his eyes. Her eyes were obsidian, with countless flecks of gold that looked like stars in the night sky.
“Hello,” she said. Her voice caressed Chip’s mind. He lost himself in her eyes the moment he heard her voice. He felt the world melt away leaving just the two of them alone forever; it was all he wanted. He felt burning guilt and shame for not volunteering to feed her earlier. He decided then and there that the only way to apologize was to do anything she asked. She leaned closer and whispered into his ear. Her breath felt like a chilly breeze against his ear and neck, it sent tingles down his spine.
“Do you have a favorite number?” she asked in the lightest whisper imaginable.
“35,” Chip said with a broad grin. He didn’t know he had a favorite number, but he was ecstatic he had an answer for her.
“Perfect,” she replied, then stood. She turned and walked back into the lake. “After I eat, you’re taking me to pick up our Master.” She sank below the surface. The clear blue water immediately turned blood red while Chip and the rest of the soldiers cheered for her.