*This Short Story—in its entirety—was written and is copyrighted, by Jae Lei Nyght.
The ocean was a mysterious place. Her water loving, yet simultaneously predatory.
The dark liquid danced around Eryn’s fins as she joined the front lines, the sea whispering sultry promises and alerting her senses of easy prey nearby.
Stay focused Eryn, she told herself, frustrated at her lack of self-control. She squeezed past her platoon’s newest sergeant, Kerri Barns, her armor jostling as she slid it into place. Kerri tossed her an agitated glance and Eryn ignored her. Take that for stealing my promotion Kerri, she thought murderously.
The sea hummed with the electricity of a hundred Syreni bodies packed close together.
Syreni were born with the same ability as sharks, the ability to sense the presence of other sea life by its body’s unique electric frequency. For Eryn, being so close to so many Syreni was suffocating. She grew tired of standing still when the sea called to her, begging her to swim free. Besides, shouldn’t the sharks have appeared by now?
The water pulsed.
At first it was so subtle, Eryn mistook it for a school of fish passing by, but then the vibration grew. The sensation sending uncomfortable shockwaves shooting up her toes and across her skin like livewire. She shivered, unaccustomed to so much raw power.
The Megalodon shark was a story of legend when Eryn was a merling.
The human’s believed they’d died off millenniums ago, much like the Pliosaur, but Syreni knew better. Megalodon Sharks migrated deep into the oceans depths at the dawn of the ice age, and have lived there ever since.
They tended to hunt in deeper waters, even traveling so far as the oceans in Antarctica, keeping them well away from human eyes. They tended to keep away from Syreni altogether, preferring easier prey. Not today, Eryn thought. Today, for the first time, she’d see one face to face.
The pulsating heat-waves grew unbearable, so thick and coiled Eryn wanted to scream in agony. The pressure increased, like a weight held against your chest. Eryn’s breath caught, the underwater waves flattening in the abnormal surge of electricity . . . and then . . .
. . . ! . . .
They were in front of her.
Five Megalodon sharks floated before them, their silver sandpaper skin glittering in the lightless sea, beady black eyes seeing but not seeing the world around them. It wasn’t a secret that sharks had terrible vision, but what they lacked in sight they made up for in predatory senses. “State your business, Karcharious,” snarled the tracker Syrena in the front of the line. He was the Mer who’d felt the sharks in the distance and sounded the alarm. Tracker Syreni were special in that their senses were highly refined, in the way that an average Syreni would feel a Shark at a distance of a hundred miles, a tracker could feel that same Shark, millions of miles away.
The leader of the Karcharious squad grinned, exposing all three rows of pristinely white, knife-like teeth. “Just passing through,” the squad leader replied, his husky voice grating across each of their minds like sandpaper. It was an uncomfortable feeling, talking with a shark. “I’m afraid we have to ask you to take a path that doesn’t involve passing through our city,” the tracker continued, obviously feeling powerful with a Syreni army at his back.
We should be afraid, Eryn thought, catching the eye of a Megalodon off to her left. He was closer than she’d like him to be, his snout almost brushing her chest and sending ripples of shockwaves, like molten lava, coursing through her torso uncomfortably. What you are looking at Gorgona? Keep staring and I might get offended, the shark taunted. Eryn snorted, earning her a stern glare from her captain. That’s right, listen to your captain merling, the shark continued to taunt, snorting bubbles in Eryn’s face.
Eryn glared at the vermin who dared call her a merling; a child. She was a Corporal in Trident’s Royal Army, the most powerful army in all of the Fey realm, land or sea, and she was next in line to be a Sergeant (if she could prove to her captain that she wasn’t reckless and uncontrollable).
Eryn snarled before she could fully process the repercussions of taunting a Megalodon shark. Her snarl exposed her own pearly-whites and was rewarded by the Shark’s momentary look of fear. Come on Karcharias, afraid a merling could best you in a fight? Eryn taunted back, giving in to the sharks game, and was rewarded by the bristling of his gills. His eyes took on a feral look, his alpha complex getting the better of him. One more trash talk would put him over the edge.
“. . . We need you to turn around or we’ll have to use force,” the tracker continued. “Time to turn around pup,” Eryn continued. “Game ov—.”
The shark unhinged his jaws, letting loose a sound equivalent to a cheetahs roar and lunged at her.
The hundreds of Syreni at her back saw one shark move and attacked in unison, bodies glowing with bioluminescence as their fins sliced through the squad shark’s rough flesh, the oceans waters bleeding a deep . . . dark . . . red.
-Short Story written by Jae Lei Nyght. Excerpt from “TRIDENT” A Jae Lei Nyght Novel.