Fiona heard Roger come home, recognized the soft thud of his suitcase tossed on the bed.
“Fiona? Where are you, Darling?” He joined her on their bedroom balcony, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of her head. “Of course. Out here listening to the whispers of the sea again?”
“Yes,” she said.
“I’ve brought you something back from Ireland.” He kneeled down in front of her.
Fiona pulled her watery green eyes from the ocean to stare at his outstretched hand. Surprise reshaped her mouth.
“It’s sea glass. I thought of you the moment I saw it.”
Fiona reached out and carefully lifted a piece from his palm. A tiny vibration tickled her fingertips. “Oh,” she whispered, the surprise deepening.
“It’s good to see you smile.” He took her hand and slipped the remaining pieces of smooth, cool glass into her palm. “Like emeralds, aren’t they? The same color as your eyes.” He closed her palm around them and kissed her fingers.
Fiona gasped as a more intense vibration moved through her hand, her arm and then branched out to consume her body, warming it from the inside out. The whispers she usually had to struggle to hear were whisked into her mind by the vibrations, suddenly as clear as a bell: Hoooommmmeeee.
“Home,” she repeated.
“Yes, Darling. I’m home.”
Over the next few weeks, Roger watched as his wife blossomed. She stopped spending her days as a lost, sad soul on the balcony and began haunting their marble mansion restlessly. Her voice echoed through the rooms as she sang strange and mystical tunes with a voice so sweet, it made his heart swell, his eyes tear.
‘By fire and wind and sea and rain,
Beloved, he made me
With hands of light,
And feathers of flight
Come close, come close to thee’
He began to find more and more sea glass; in jars on the kitchen counter, on her nightstand, glittering in the potted plants and even around her neck.
She looked up from making a salad as he stood staring at her on the other side of the kitchen island.
“Yes?” she said, the corner of her mouth pushing up in a seductive smile.
Roger’s heart skipped. “Wow, Fiona, you look amazing.” And she did. Her skin glowed like a pearl, her red hair lay in waves cascading around the curves of her shoulders and her eyes…he could get lost in her eyes. They glittered with ancient secrets and the light of a million stars. Who was this woman? He moved his gaze to the sea glass necklace.
“I’m glad you liked my gift so much, Darling. Where did you get more?”
“Ebay.” Her smile widened and she moved her attention back to slicing cucumbers.
He shivered as he thought about the old village woman he had bought the sea glass from and her broken English warning:
‘In the wrong hands, it will bring out one’s true nature. Connect that person to their imprisoned soul.’
Well, if this was his wife’s true nature, he thought as he looked lovingly upon the gorgeous creature in front of him, then he could live with the old lady’s warning coming to fruition.
Or so he thought.
“Fiona?” he called, peeling off his wet tie and dress shirt. “I’m home. That’s some storm out there, huh?” No answer. Steam was seeping from beneath the bathroom door. “Fiona?” He opened the door cautiously. Through the steam, he could see his wife stretched out in the spa tub, unmoving. His heart did a back flip in his chest. It seemed he was moving in slow motion as he crossed the white tiled floor, tripping over emptied cans of sea salt to stand above her body.
Her eyes were closed, her hair fanned out around her like fire, her skin an eerie green glow. It took him a moment to realize the color was coming from all the sea glass she was laying on. The tub was half full with it. And then he noticed something that horrified him. He could barely take in a breath. His mind struggled to grasp what he was seeing. Falling to his knees, he peered through the water at the large cuts in her abdomen, beneath her ribs. Open wounds so deep he could see the pink of her organs.
“Oh my god, Fiona,” he cried, his hands moving helplessly in the air. Shock giving way to grief. Should he try to lift her? Should he try CPR? Where was the blood?
“What did you do?” And then he cocked his head and leaned closer, his face inches from the water. There was slight movement. The cuts were opening and closing. Almost like she was breathing…
He glanced at her face as her eyes popped opened. Her lips parted in a grotesque smile that exposed a mouth full of pointy teeth.
Roger screamed and thrashed as she tore flesh from bone, feasting until the twitching stopped and the only sound was the storm still raging outside.
And then she began to sing.
This starts so innocently, and then… you give new meaning to “fiercely beautiful” Shannon. I will never look at sea glass in the same way again.
Wow, very capturing and completely unexpected.
Oh, nice! Sea glass eh? I must get some….
Wow! Her true nature was, um, not a good one, hehe!
Wow – what an ending. . . he should have stayed in Ireland! 🙂
I loved it! At first I thought she might be a mermaid, but she was something much more sinister and deadly. Great piece!
And there I was, halfway through expecting a happy story!
good stuff, now excuse me while i go and lock up my collection of sea glass.
Put a little bit of yourself in the story, huh?
Careful, your writing could become your sea glass.
Yeah, a bit of the artist is always present in the art, as you know. Or…is it the artist’s family? 😛 (And writing is definitely my sea glass…mwhaha)
totally creepy and wickedly evil. talk about unrequited love! nice write!
Stunning story and descriptions. I know it’s flash but I want to know what happens next. Love it.
Wicked! I love stories about the mysteries of the sea, and I have always been enchanted by sea glass. This story was a winner. Excellent job!
Nicely done. I really liked the ending. The part in the middle about how she “blossomed” and then talked about her haunting the mansion threw me. The two didn’t seem to go together, but otherwise an excellent piece. Thanks!
A great twist and excellent build-up!
I also had thoughts of a mermaid come to mind.
Actually I did see an old movie where the mermaids were taken on board a ship and ate the sailors…maybe it was a twilight zone episode, can’t remember now. I think they are a different breed of mermaid…sirens.
Excellent piece. I felt lured into the same trap as Rodger. In other words, I didn’t see it coming either. Great work!
Awesome. Love it ! Some beautiful prose too ‘Surprise reshaped her mouth’
Wow, this is such a peaceful piece of writing. I love how you keep that flow even when it gets so eerie
Damn, but that’s a good read! “The cuts were opening and closing” – made me shudder. I’ve never seen a siren before. Awesome. No doubt her next move will be to slither to the open sea.
What an ending! Loved the pace and imagery of this. The use of sea glass as a metaphor was also deliciously wicked.
This wins my favorite flash for the week- maybe for the month! I love sea glass, I have jars of it. And this is so beautifully written. Enchanting with an evil twist. Reminds me of a Grimm fairy tale. Beautiful and well done, Shannon!
Thank you Jodi, everyone’s taste are different, it’s nice when a story connects with the right reader 🙂
Oh my! You can’t trust those Irish! 🙂 (I can say that, I’m Irish).
What a wonderful tale. There’s a beautiful rhythm to the telling, the words. What wonderful lyricism to your language. Horrifically beautiful.
Very well done.
Oopps – I notice, above, that my blogspot address is incorrect (a “t” just before the “b” of blogspot. Hold-over from typepad I’m guessing).
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment everyone! Appreciate it greatly.
I loved how this story unfolded. The end completely slapped me in the face!
Reading it again, I think I this could be even more satisfying as a longer piece — a modern version of a combination of old folktales.
this is indeed a wonderful, horrifying story. but i wanted to comment also on the words that you use – your description of the setting and action is very nice – not overdone and not underdone. as i learn more about writing craft, i’m beginning to recognize it when i see it – well done!
Excellent twist! I was expecting a suicide or an escape, not for the guy to get eaten.
I loved the song she sings. But Roger shouldn’t have listened and come closer…
Fabulous job! I could see aquagreen throughout the story, even when it became red. Your prose is beautiful, so mesmerizing that the ending is a complete surprise. I expected her to swirl down the drain into the sea!
I look forward to reading more of your work.
That’s no way to show gratitude for such a thoughtful gift! Wickedly fun story.
Was the song a S. original, or something you borrowed from folklore, etc.? That one I’m dying to know, and, of course, you know why, i.e., whether it was the inner poet unleashed or not. lol
I do have one complaint though, and that would be your dating the piece with “eBay.” It sort of brought me out of a story that I was melting on my tongue and savory besides.
And I will be writing you to probe the metaphysical you’re delving into so much here with our alternate selves soon, too… as a friend, I am as much captivated by the possible backstory on all of this as anything… you were the alternate you until the move home… and so much more, maybe.
Kudos. Sounds like many of my ex-g/f’s. lol
I did write the song, but I still have no idea what you’re talking about with the inner poet. 😛
I wondered if the modern word Ebay would be too jolting. I was going for humor. Humor fail?
As far as the metaphysical aspect. I do think we get tangled up in the physical world/pain so much we lose our real selves/nature. I also think that we can use the energy of physical places/objects to resonate and stregnthen our true selves. That’s the background on this.
Woah — so I’ve learned never to buy souvenirs 0.o
Oh My Goodness…one of my favorite reads. Ever.
I love those “at the last moment” moments! Told with enticing skill. The ending made me feel like I was watching one of those “Watch this YouTube video to see Michael Jackson dancing” videos and at the last second —
—you get the bejeezus shocked out of you from the screamy-face!
I WILL be back!
Thanks for reading, Jon. I’m glad you enjoyed the ending. That’s actually what I was going for when I moved his face closer to the water. (I was a victim of the screamy-face…so much fun!)
Yeah well, I rarely pee a little from reading a story. In this case young lady, mission accomplished.
LOL. Okay, that’s got to be my favorite comment ever!
I snuck over here to read your latest flash piece and couldn’t resist reading this one again. It’s truly excellent.
How did I miss this one last week? It’s great, fantastic, luminous. Loved it. A bit freaky too – good for Halloween, which it is for me 🙂