They would tell strange tales of pale shadows gliding beneath the waves. On some nights the wails of the lost could be heard even on the shore, just barely concealed by the thundering sound of waves hitting the rocky coastline.
The crew of the ship was exhausted, they hadn't had a good night’s sleep in a long time, the sea was stormy, and each moment was spent trying to keep the ship on the right course. The men fought against the force of the howling wind and the waves that threatened to spill over the hull of the ship and overturn it at any time. The captains' hectic commands were almost drowned out by the cacophony of the angry dark ocean below. When a particularly big upsurge hit the side of the ship, almost capsizing it, it seemed as if the storm was not to be overcome and as the waves turned larger and larger the sailors began to despair.
Suddenly, everything went still, eerily so. It almost seemed like time had frozen. The angry waves had disappeared, and the surface of the ocean had become smooth and undisturbed. Like a giant silver mirror, it reflected the cold light of the stars glowing in the clear night sky above. The air seemed to have gotten much colder too. Small white clouds of condensation formed at the sailors’ mouths and rose up into the cold night, before dissolving into the darkness. The abrupt change startled the men, with some of the older ones being particularly unnerved by the sudden stillness.
Everyone knew the tales that often made the rounds in dimly lit taverns over one too many kegs of watery grog. Tales of entire ships being lost at sea, and dark creatures lingering below the waves. Of course, most of the time, those stories turned out to be false, made up by charlatans wanting to sell protective amulets or charms with the supposed power to ward off such creatures in the hopes of making quick coin on anyone gullible enough to fall for their wild tales. Sailors were quite the superstitious bunch after all. Every once in a while though, there would be an odd figure with wild eyes spewing garbled words of unimaginable horrors and entire crews lost at sea. Contemplating this, the captain felt a shiver go through him.
A call from the side of the ship ripped through the unnatural silence. One of the sailors had spotted a pale figure in the distance. Soon the other men joined him at the side of the ship, trying to catch a glimpse. What they saw made their blood run cold.Sitting to a rock, just barely piercing the surface of the unnaturally still ocean, was what at first glance looked like a young woman. Looking closer, though, one would notice the unnatural paleness of the creatures’ skin which likened it more to a drowned corpse than a human. The ghostly light of the waning moon made its pale skin, which seemed to be littered with tiny lights, look almost translucent. Below the waist, the mostly human torso was melting into what looked like the tail of a large serpent or moray.The blood in their veins ran cold as the creature turned to face them, staring at them with unblinking, milky eyes. It opened its mouth, but instead of a screech, which some of the sailors seemed to be expecting given the creatures unnerving appearance, a haunting tune replaced the eerie silence. Slowly, the ship moved towards the apparition, as if being pulled by an unknown force. The men, wanting to steer away from the creature, found that they could not move anymore, the sirens’ song paralyzing them.
Soon, more of the pale creatures appeared, rising up from the black waters. Some of them had hair the color of stripped bone, others, wispy strands so dark, they were indiscernible from the inky depths below. Still, all of them had the same pallid, iridescent skin and serpentine tails. The pale, webbed spikes protruding from their backs were the only thing visible above the ocean’s surface as the creatures slowly made their way toward the ship. Like sharks, they started circling the paralyzed men.
One of the sailors, a young man who had just recently joined the crew, suddenly started moving towards the edge of the ship. His feet seemed to move on their own accord, taking step after step closer to the side of the ship, where one of the creatures had pulled itself up on the fiddle, unblinkingly staring at the man walking towards it. Unable to stop, the man finally came to a halt with his face just inches from that of the creature. At a closer range, the bioluminescent lights running over its skin were more prominent, forming intricate patterns. It was almost beautiful, but the colorless eyes were just a little too large and the blue-lipped mouth just a little too wide. The creature smiled, showing off multiple rows of small, needle-like teeth.
Background taken from Wallpaperset | Overlay, Profile and Story by Raggdoll