United Arab Emirates

Heyo! I’m Lauren, a high school sophomore who loves reading too many fantasy novel series, listening to music, and eating a probably unhealthy amount of ice cream.

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Salt Sprite

July 6, 2020


The afternoon sun spills in golden rectangles across the floor, illuminating the cracks and crannies that riddle it. From the lighthouse window, I hear the sea crash against the black rocks in deep howls and roars of whitest foam. The smell of salt is in the air, tantalizingly crisp and bright, reminding me of what I am. 

I am a salt sprite, born of the sea. My mother was the delicate foam on the crests of waves, and my father was the sharp salt air drifting across the water. I used to cavort beneath the surface, dive amongst strands of wavy seaweed, skim the edges of submerged cliffs, sing with my sisters of salt, foam, and wind. I was carefree, but careless.

Out of my six sisters, I was the bravest, yet stupidly so. Though I loved the wind and the waves, I longed to dance on the sandy beach, longed to feel soft grass, longed to stand upon the prow of a boat, watch the blueness from above. So reckless was I that I dreamt of walking amongst men, the scale-less creatures of the land. 

My sisters cautioned me. 

"Sofiel, the land creatures are not of wind, salt, and foam, like we." they said, their pale faces twisted with worry, their pale hair undulating erratically in waves of their own creation. "They are of flesh and blood, ignorant of the terror they reap, the pain they inflict upon us. To leave the ocean, Sofiel, is to die."

They told me of barbed nets, filled with fishes heaving their last breath, lashing their tails in anguish. They told me of days when the sea was awash with red, echoing with the screams of harpooned whales. They told me of corals, scooped up, cracked, and destroyed. But unlike them, I was too young to have seen these horrors. I did not listen.

And so, on the nights when the sea was lulled and quiet, when the full moon shone brightly on the beach, I swam to the shore. I would gaze upon the dark beach, with its scattered seashells and silver-tinged sand, and I would admire the faint glow from the town above, and hear the bustle of the people on late escapades. My sisters knew nothing of these trips, and I grew bolder yet. 

Soon, I was not content to lie hidden in the shadowed, shallow waters. Instead, I perched upon the barnacle-clad rocks against the cliff, thrilled by the slimy, rough-hewn stairs cut into it. Naively, I believed that I remained unseen, my iridescent scales well-camouflaged against the faint glimmers of moonlight. 

But alas, I was mistaken, for a young fisherman had glimpsed me. He had heard of the sea sprites, with their long pale hair and bright jewel eyes. He had heard our songs out on the water, seen flashes of crystal scales and laughing mouths. He longed to prove our existence, but had no opportunity. Until me. 

One night, as I sat spellbound beneath the moonlight, he threw a net over my head and dragged me into town. I became a novelty display, chained in the lighthouse with nothing but coarse salt and muddy water to sustain me. The fisherman became rich and famous. His sea-stained rags became bright silks, and in his once missing tooth sparked with solid gold. But as he and his pockets bulged fatter, I grew thinner. 

I used to scream for help, but no one understood me. The people would shuffle up and stare at me. They would jostle for a space against the barrier, the air awash with shouts and screams of shock and consternation, disgust even. Sometimes, I would be pelted with pebbles, thrown by red-cheeked, chubby children whose screeching laughter hurt my ears. 

My only solace was nighttime, when the lighthouse was locked up at dark, quiet at last. My sisters had found me, but they could do nothing but sing sweet songs among the waves beneath the window. Bony, skinned, and wasting away, I could only lie on the splintered floor and listen, until the day dawned and they vanished into the water. 

And so I lie in the lighthouse, waiting to die. I know my time is soon. My webbed fingers have long lost all feeling, my eyes lost their sight. My hair has disintegrated, my scales dried and crumbled. I listen to the wind and sea, and smile. 
Bring on the mermaids! 


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  • July 6, 2020 - 5:46am (Now Viewing)

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