The stars dazzled. They dazzled like Brooklyn on the fourth of July. They dazzled like the Hudson at night. They dazzled like the local bar on New Years Eve. The dazzled like a happy child’s eyes. God do they dazzle! Thought Anda, then she cried it aloud and tossed back her head, throwing her long hair in a glittering moonlit wake in the breaking waves. Lyn broke through the water and dove again with a thundering splash a few yards away from her, immediately she began to spin in circles. Lyn came crashing up to the surface again with a great wake sending Anda tumbling through the water. She ﬂipped then sprang into the February air, landing with incredible accuracy in a dive by Lyn’s side.
“Four spins!” She sang above the raging storm around them. “Thats a record. Or your getting slow.” She grabbed his face and held it away from her in outstretched arms, then turned it from side to side. She gasped. “Lyn! Your getting slow and FAT!” Lyn gave a great roar and wrenched his head away from her, then dove forward so that she rolled along the underside of his body and popped up behind his wake. She laughed. “Oh come on, I didn’t mean it.” She said and lept through the waves after him. When she caught up she swam around his large body twice, twisting against his fur like seaweed and tickling his sides, then settled against his back with her arms around his neck.
“I love you Lyn.” she said. “Your the best polar bear this little mermaid could ever ask for.”
“Mmmp!” said Lyn and tossed his head with a splash that nearly sent her beneath the waves again. Anda laughed and splashed him back. Suddenly a large swell rolled beneath them and for moment they hung suspended on its crest. The stars danced behind fast moving clouds and great waves stretched out through inﬁnity. Somewhere in the distance the running lights of a large ship blinked.
Anda felt like she was on top of the world. That great big world that ﬂoated above her, built of warnings and reprimands from her parents and the tales the elders used to teach. They angered her. How could you tell me, that a world you’ve never seen is so dangerous and cruel, she used to scream. The sea is dangerous and cruel. That’s what is. I’ve seen it. Not some world you know nothing of so you make up stories that it is to soothe your weak psyche. So you can sleep at night without thinking about how really your life is shit and you live in a sadistic toilet bowl. The elders said she was disruptive and asked her to leave. But to where? They told her to go but nobody suggested to her where. She wondered if they had even thought about it, they must have known. But then, once she left she wasn’t their problem anymore. Not realizing that was one of Anda’s worst mistakes. That was so long ago. Like that ﬂoating world, time, too, made Anda feel so small. But for a moment Anda and Lyn hung there. And Anda was on top of it. So vast and forbidden, always looming above her, above her all alone, except for Lyn of course. Anda felt small and alone, but she’d never admit that. For a moment, though, she didn’t. For a moment her smallness became connected to it, the howling wind and breaking waves, the stars that dazzled. It connected to her smallness like the colors of the sunrise connect the clouds to the horizon, and she was inﬁnite. For a moment the world was all hers and it she, for her heart was captivated. She wanted to throw her arms to the stars but she knew she needed to hold on, so instead she tightened her grip on Lyn’s neck, and smiled with a sigh as they began to swirl down the back of a great mountain of ocean and fall into the next trough.
“Oh Lyn,” she hummed into is fur as they fell. “I just love an easterly gale.” Like on the crest of the wave, another moment swelled up and held her. It was a moment of complete peace. She wished it could last forever as she held Lyn’s fur tighter and felt her little chest rise and fall with little cold breaths. Suddenly a dark thought hit her and she remembered the last ship she’d been tasked to condemn was sailing through a particularly rough easterly. She shook her head, as if her eyes where search beams looking for the peace that slipped overboard off her back, back into the sea. She found it, and took a long sweet breath again with her cheek pressed to Lyn’s side. The memory of the ship forgotten as suddenly as it had arrived in her mind. They stayed like that for a long time. Hanging from the top of one world, then swirling down its slopes to another. Just before a faint twilight lit the horizon, the most they’d see of day, Anda began to drift away into a calm and gentle sleep. As a pleasant dream began, a strange sound woke her, like old music begining to ring, barely audible above the wind.
“No!” Anda gasped coming to consciousness with violent force “No no no no no no no no, no…..” A bitter metallic taste like blood ﬁlled her mouth. She spat, unable to breath, choked and dove her face underwater taking a long draw of seawater into her lungs. The sound grew stronger, and the winds began to harmonize with it so that the gale and music became there own strange symphony. “No!” Anda screamed. “You stop it!” She cried. “Stop! Just stop it!” But the storm grew stronger still and the taste in her mouth became an unbearable burning pain with each curse she lashed out at the sky. The same sky that hours ago held her in sweet reverie. “STOP” She wailed, beating at the sea with her ﬁsts. “I won’t do it. I hate you! I HATE YOU!” But the storm continued, and with it the song of death. Defeated she clung to Lyn’s neck, the twilight making the white of his fur glow blue against the waves. She held on as he continued to swim, seamingly unphased by the sound or her outburst.
“Its time to go home.” She said quietly after awhile. "Lyn?"
“I don’t think I like easterlies anymore.”
She did not realize that he had heard the sound long before her, and the moment he did, had started to head towards their home. Lyn knew Anda didn’t take her responsibilities very well. She never had really.