The wind blew at the sails, the cloth obviously straining as the waves crashed against his ship. A salty spray of it came over the side, some of it coming into his open mouth. He spat it on the deck, ignoring the sting on his lower lip, a remnant from the morning shave. It had been dangerous doing that, with the ship rocking back and forth; but Jarren intended to die clean shaven.
His wife would protest him talking like that. His wife had protested a lot of things he said, though, and then she had died. The one had nothing to do with the other; he hadn't killed her. But he'd seen her blood on the hard floor, and had done nothing; had been capable of doing nothing, as the life ran from her veins, losing itself between the cracks even as he bent down to her, scraping at it as if he could somehow get it back inside of her.
Everyone had thought he'd done it, too; the arguments they always had were whispered about when no one thought he could hear them. He'd seen old lady Gabel shooting him glances, now and again, her eyebrows pulled down in thought as she considered his fate. But he'd been let free. She'd been dead for too long; he'd been gone at the sea. That's what proved his alibi, that and the harbor ticket.
The fact that she had died while he was out at sea; he wondered that they didn't just lock him away for that, instead; she'd protest his blames too, if she was still alive. But she was dead; her blood was a stain on the floor, and the salty air was what surrounded him, while the waves crashed against his boat; and he was going to die. That's why he'd come to the Triangle, after all. Where no boats left alive.
There was a crack above his head; he didn't need to turn to know the wood had snapped, the sail was flying free. He stood still as the boom came flying around, as well; taking the blow that knocked him from his ship, lifting his feet from the deck that creaked beneath him. For half a heartbeat he flew through the air, the ocean spray stinging his flesh as the salt embedded itself in his body. He took it, waiting for that moment to end, where gravity's suspension dissipated and the choppy waves beneath him rose up to make him theirs. It took a moment longer than he'd anticipated, but the ocean made up for it with its fierce and icy pull, like little hands suckling at his flesh. His skin burned as if his entire body was a wound for the salt to cleanse. His foot gave an involuntary twitch, kicking out against the current. His other foot responded, both moving in tandem after. He didn't move forward, however, just falling deeper into the muck. He let his body do as it would in its final moments.
He could see shapes swimming around him, but little more. The water was clearer below, but darker as well, and his eyes stung from the water. If he was crying, he couldn't tell beneath the waves. It hurt, but death was supposed to. His lungs weren't as bad as he would have imagined, however, though the water was horridly cold as it filled them. He could actually feel the salt water coming in and out, biting the inside of his body like it did the rest of him. He swallowed some of it, wanting to speed up the process of death. It was inevitability, at that point; had been from the start. No one returned from the triangle.
His feet gave another twitch, though, and then slammed against each other. They themselves in that position, his legs buckling and then knocking each other. The bones felt almost rubbery, meshing together when he'd have expected them to bounce apart, feeling good instead of painful. He wanted the pain; he'd felt it since she'd died, burning in his heart. He wanted to feel it in the rest of his body before it was extinguished.
The pain came. It burned through his body, his legs, his bones cracking and shifting. He felt something pierce the skin of both legs, as they drew further together; a horrible burn as his legs shifted against each other, until he could no longer feel separate limbs but one massive entity. But then the pain faded, a pleasant tingle spreading through him instead.
It continued to grow, making him almost twitch as it spread through his legs and reached his groin, a pressure spreading through it as he slid down. He told himself it was the water. But he felt it press harder, the flesh of his groin pushing against him until it slipped inside, and faded, and the press of salter water against something new. His fingers reached down to touch the area, pulling back in surprise as long nail scratched the sensitive flesh. His nails had always been short.
As had his hair; it no longer followed reason, however, flowing behind him as long as his legs. His tail, he realized, as he followed the path of it. Its weight dragged at him, but not as much as it might on land. He could almost feel through it, moving left and right as stray strands touched upon fish. Other fish, perhaps.
He looked down at his body without surprise as the tingle began to gather beneath his nipples. His arms were slender; his hips had widened. His waist seemed so tiny that a man could wrap his hands around it; a nice and strong man. She licked her lips, and then ducked her head down again to watch the breasts grow, countering the weight of her tail.
For a moment she floated in midair, enjoying the sensations that spread through her. The pumping blood, the tingles, and more; the desire rising through her. She wanted something; she wanted someone. A man. A man to touch and be touched by, before she tossed him away; and she would toss him away. She needed no companions; that's what she enjoyed the most.
There was a feeling spreading through her, as she swam; that it was alright to be alone. A coldness that gripped her heart, spreading apathy through her until she knew that she needed no wife. No love. Just a touch upon her flesh, and she would be fine. If she got lonely she would get a companion; but that was unlikely; so long as she could have a touch. And she had the whole sea.