I’m still working on this one.
It is a thorn in my side that I can’t quite reach. I have delved into reading and listening audiobooks like my life depends on it. Hoping that I’ll absorb them and be able to get this thorn worked into shape. I was supposed to start Camp Nano today but my mental struggles with this monster keep me from moving on.
I wonder if I should just abandon it for a few months. Maybe we both need some air. I feel like I’m making progress overtime I begin edits on this 45k beast that has grown by 20k since it was ‘finished’.
Maybe I should tackle it as my Camp Nano until new inspiration strikes. My November NaNo came to me in a dream. How do your ideas come to you?
Here are the links to previous revisions of the monster. And the below them you’ll find the latest version of the beginning. Find my personal links on the side if you want to chat about your writing endeavors.
Out of the Blue February 23
Out of the Blue January 19
Out of the Blue December 8
Out of the Blue December 1
Out of the Blue September 29
Out of the Blue
16 years ago.
Callie’s heart beats against her chest, she knows by the end of the day, she might be a widow left to care for four little girls alone in an unfamiliar world. She clings to her husband as the sun sets across the ocean, her instincts telling her his pride has already decided his part in the events about to unfold.
“I should go.” Finn informs her as he pulls away from their embrace. “Remember, no matter what happens, I love you and our girls.”
Callie hits his chest with a balled up fist. “This is not your fight. You are not even a merperson. Why do you need to get involved?”
Finn face locks into a stoic expression, he grabs her shoulders causing the salty sea air to stir across her face. “But my girls are; my whole world is.”
Callie cries out, her salty tears cascading down her face. “Damn it! I do not want you to be a part of this.”
15 years ago.
One year later on a much different beach Callie finds herself pleading with her binding partner on the cool sandy beach outside of A Sea Life, surrounded by protective rocky shores. “Cyrus, please let the children play in the surf.”
Cyrus acknowledges her with a flick of his eyes before he proceeds up the beach. He declares, to no one in particular, “Someone might see them.”
Callie rushes up behind him, arguing her case. Suddenly stopping realizing her mistake to late but continues on for her courage was strong when her girls were involved. “Not here. We are sheltered.”
Cyrus’s stops but doesn’t turn around. His anger is always close to the surface and Callie fears she may have pushed him to far this time. “The children need to be taught their duties instead of playing, especially girls. Later, you won’t have time to teach them when you’re fulfilling your obligations to my family. They’ll learn the expectations on them when they become binded from watching you. They don’t have time for playing.”
Callie eyes narrow. “Only if they choose this life. Only if they choose to stay.”
He dismisses her with the wave of his hand. “Hush woman. You know they’re all already promised as binding partners to other families. Payment for looking the other way when my family took you back in from the outside, back from the human world.”
Chapter One-Friday, November 14, 2014
Callisto races through the darkness that only the deep ocean can provide. She’s racing away from her home, away from the life she has known. She’s heading to a new life, one she can stand to live.
She slides through the currents as graceful as a ballerina her small breasts the only part of her body creating any drag. She twirls and glides around obstacles in her path as she makes her way to an unfamiliar beach. Knots of uncertainty have afflicted her taut stomach through her whole journey almost causing her to stop and turn back a few times. But her anticipation for a better life away from the repugnant pods her fellow merpeople call home continues to push her forward.
Upon waking that day her underwater home seemed more sullied than normal. Callisto knew she needed to change the course her life was on. The darkness of the cavern they lived in and the way of life of her people was crushing the life from her heart, the bleakness of it all suffocating her soul and its stench had absorbed into her skin causing her stomach to constantly churn. She felt only disgust for it, and them. If she stayed here much longer she would be broken and empty inside. She knew there was another way to live, a better way. One that didn’t require her to become less than she was to live it. She needed to escape this place, even if it meant giving up life as a mermaid to do it.
All mermaids of age must choose to stay or leave—a decision must be made by their twenty-second birth moon. Only a short time remained before Callisto’s twenty-second birth moon rose. Its approach towards her was unrelenting, it had no mercy it could offer her as time stops for no one.
Callisto’s decision to leave today once made seemed smiled on by destiny. Her mother urged her to leave now and not wait since her father had departured to another pod for business. Providing her the perfect opportunity to slip away unnoticed. Her father fought against the idea of any ever leaving the pods. But Callisto couldn’t live this life. If she stayed it would kill her soul, she would be nothing more than a shell of herself, empty and devoid of character. Images of her mother popped into her head, of her sadness caused by this life.
I can’t stay here. I can’t be like you, mother. I won’t stay and be assigned to who ever father thinks best for me to bind with. I want more. I want to be wanted.
Callisto’s thoughts have propelled her through her nerves and before she knows it she has reached the sandy shores of her destination. She stumbles up onto the beach, looking more like a drunkard than a ballerina. Her long sleek legs still wobbly from their transformation. In an attempt to steady herself, she reaches out for one of the posts from the pier, but misses. Her unsteady legs give out completely under her weight, crashing her into the gritty sand below. She lands with a “Ugh!” Why does that wear me out so much? I transform all the time hoping it will get easier but it never does.
The smell of salt mixed with a slight fishy odor invades her nostrils. She lays face down, tired and spent, until she wills herself to roll over. Sand covers her curves, its abrasive nature something her tender flesh isn’t used to. Mermaids hated sand and avoided it with a passion. She sighs, staring up at the moon, wishing on it for what feels like an eternity as she wonders if it will keep her secret. I did it! I am here. I am going to live as a human now! I wonder if father will be mad that I chose this route or if he will even notice I left. She shivers as a cool breeze blows over her causing her nipples to harden and her skin to become covered in goose-bumps.
The light from her only witness to her true-identity becomes blocked. It takes Callisto a moment to focus on the obstruction thats blocked her view. Surprise overwhelms her when she does.
It is a man! A human man.
To get a better look she raises to her elbows and squints. Her witness backlights him, making fine details impossible to extract at this angle. He appears large and imposing, which should inspire dread in her, but, instead, kicks Callisto’s female instincts into gear. Heat begins spreading from below her navel to the rest of her body, warming her from the inside out. She had only felt something similar once before but not this strong. Her body likes this stranger, a lot.
He appears startled by her presence. “Are you okay?”
She nods. Trying to take in as much of his body as the low lighting would allow. Oh, my!
“Do you need help?”
Callisto shakes her head, her wet hair flinging all around her causing tiny droplets to rain down on her naked body making it glow.
He chuckles. “Well, as long as you’re okay. I’ll leave you to your … adventurous swim.” But he hesitates a moment, staring at her.
Callisto tries to stand, but is still too feeble and can’t quite get her footing. He catches her before she can fall back onto the beach. His musky, scent reaches out to her, luring her feminine desires to the surface even more. His rough hands on her supple skin remind her of her nakedness and make her glad she is. His touch is like coming home. It feels right like this is where she belongs. Passion begins to radiate out from her body triggered by his intoxicating nature and adds to her instability. Surely he can feel that. It feels so good! She wonders if she can survive him and the spell he casts on her. Clarity takes over her lust filled mind for a brief second, Funny, I am the one legended to be related to the Sirens, and he is the one casting spells. Too much of him and I may lose all control. But is that so bad?
“Easy! Guess you’re not as okay as you thought. The currents out there can wear out even the best swimmers,” he says while keeping his arm around her bare waist.
The sweet timbre of his voice lulls her farther into a state of arousal, distancing him further from an image of inspired dread that he should be. Her remaining strength spent and on the verge of swooning, Callisto collapses back down on the beach with the strangers assistance.
“I am Callisto Blue.”
He doesn’t speak as he grabs his shirt by the bottom, raises his arms above his head, and removes it in one swift motion. He hands it to her before her protests can even reach her lips. In a deep voice, he instructs, “Here; put this on.” Looking at the ground he mutters, “I should have offered it sooner.”
It is probably best you had not but I wish you had. I give anything to touch you without it. Callisto thinks as she stares in amazement at his muscular body glistening in the moonlight., A bit mesmerized by the sight before her she struggles to put on his shirt causing his scent to surround her. She revels in it as it covers her body and soaks into her damp skin, his musk overpowering the stench of her home.
“It’s more than a pleasure to meet you, Callisto Blue.” His eyes darken and his eyelids appear heavy. He takes her hand, and closes his eyes as he kisses the back of it. “I’m Drake Banning. If I may ask, where are you staying? I’ll drive you there.”
Chocolate pools full of what Callisto can only hope is desire stare at her from beneath his lashes. She has to look away. Focusing on her fight to adjust his shirt on her body, her damp skin causing it to stick to her as she ponders his question. She wonders where she needs to go. Leaving had been her only prerogative, she had never thought past that. Maybe I needed a plan? “Thank you for your shirt and concern, but I have nowhere to go. I am not from here, and do not know anyone—well, except you.”
Drake nods before he reaches out and straightens his shirt across her body, accidently brushing his fingertips across the side of her breast. “I see. Fresh off the bus, huh? Let me guess: your clothes are somewhere in the surf, where you threw them as you ran into the ocean?”
Callisto tilts her head. “Bus?” What is that? Callisto’s experiences with the human world weren’t many. They consisted of some children’s books her mother taught her to read; these fueled her imagination, making her believe there was a better way to live life. And a few visits to a small store called A Sea Life, but it was owned by a merman who preferred to live as a human so it might not be a good example.
“Don’t tell me you hitchhiked here!” Drake pauses, looks up and then down the beach, before asking, “Where’s your stuff? Surely you have a suitcase or duffle bag, maybe a shopping bag crammed with clothes?”
“Stuff?” In her sea home with her family, Callisto needed nothing—just a bathing suit to wear to the small store in case they ran into humans. Now, looking back her decision to not bring it might not have been a good one.
“Swimming at night in the ocean, hitchhiking…” Drake exclaims, throwing up his hands. “…you’re lucky to be alive! I bet you’ve never swam in the ocean before, have you? And yet, when you got here, the first thing you decide to do is enjoy a nude swim.” He shakes his head.
Callisto remains silent, willing to allow him to make all the assumptions he wants to about her, hoping her silence keeps him from learning her secret but at the same time wishing he knew the truth. If only I could tell you what I was. We could stop all this unnecessary conversation and get back to the touching.
“Well, I guess you’ll come home with me and sleep in the guest room tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll see about getting you settled.” Drake reaches his hand out for Callisto to take.
Shaking her head, Callisto is adamant. “Oh, I cannot ask that of you! We just met.”
“I don’t recall you asking. I offered.” Thrusting his hand towards her again, he says, “Now, I think we need to get you some clothes and a shower.”
Clothes! Is your shirt not enough clothes? Callisto face puffs out into a pout. I do not want either of us to put on any more clothes.