'The Sea Witch' by Danny Beusch

My mother refused to sing lullabies or nursery rhymes. ‘Our lives are not that simple’, she said. Her preference was arias, laced with revenge.
Waves will carry
The boats of men
Who love me
Waves will crash
Over the tyrants
Who use me.
Wave goodbye.
I am the sea.
Mother taught me that love can last a lifetime or a night-time. But it was a mortal who showed me that love can turn like the tide, leaving you stranded and helpless and alone.
He has humiliated me. Never again.
Beneath the full moon I watch him race to the shore, hand-in-hand with another, giggling with anticipation. As they enter the icy water I feel their bodies caress, merge, become one. I could do it now – knock them from their feet, crush them – but that’s too easy. I dip through the shadows to his fishing boat and drop a rope on the deck, innocuous but for three small knots; each a spell, born of a broken heart, passed down for generations.
The next morning, after casting off, he unpicks the first knot. Sunlight bursts through the clouds, waking the sluggish shoals. He undoes the second, and light rain ripples the surface, hiding him from the creatures below. Perfect conditions for my fisherman, but that won’t satisfy him. Right on cue, there goes the third, summoning the freak gust of wind that smashes the bow, breaks the keel, and snaps his neck.
Our daughter kicks. Not long, my child.
Wave goodbye.
We are the sea.
You and me.


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