The ugly fish man creature surged toward me through the eerie green water, a sharp coral knife in each hand. The portal, my only hope for returning home, stood on the other side of him. I pushed against the water to propel myself backwards in a vain attempt to dodge the bite of his weapon. He moved like the viper of my homeland, quick and without mercy. Time slowed as he loomed closer, his right hand arcing toward my chest. My heart thundered in my ears as my thoughts splintered. Part of me wondered how it was I breathed under water, another part wondered that mermen weren’t as handsome as I’d always imagined, and still another part continued to watch the knife move closer. My mind gathered itself as the tip of the knife sliced through the odd seaweed shirt I wore. Just as I braced to feel the sting of its bite, I woke up.
I sat up in my bed, breathing hard. My hand shook as I pushed the hair out of my face. My husband lay next to me, the soft rhythm of his breathing reassuring me that my death was only part of the dream. I reached over to the notebook lying on my bedside table and began to write.