The Fisherman’s Wife

AUTHOR’S NOTE; This is a work of fiction, any similiarities between people living or dead isn’t intentional.  This is also part four of my taking a strange picture from the Internet and writing a story about it.

The Fisherman’s Wife

            Keely Gordon stood in front of the plate glass door and watched as her husband Ben lounged in the hot tub.  With the faint trace of a smile spreading leisurely across her beautiful face she admired his handsome face, strong chin and thick shoulders and arms.  Ben was gorgeous.  The darkness of the night also allowed her to see her own reflection in the tall pane.  It pleased her as well. 

            Keely was tall for a woman, just over six feet in height.  Her hair, straight and blonde fell just shy of the back of her neck and was currently combed back by her hands.  Those tresses were darker blonde since they were wet, deepening their hue.  The clear framed round glasses perched on her elegant nose with bottle-thick lens due to her poor eyesight marred the image slightly.  But as if nature had intended to compensate her for the vision problem she was slender, shapely and tan.  Blinking at her reflection she turned this way and that to admire her body. 

            Slight in the bosom a bit but then Ben doesn’t complain, she mused with a smile.  I remember when we first met he said something about loving how streamlined my figure was—and still is!  I think it’s funny when people call me Mrs. Gordon since I married a fisherman and it sounds like they’re talking about that brand of frozen fish.

            Warm welling feelings coursed through her when she thought about her husband.  His dark haired and deeply tanned face turned her way as if knowing she was thinking about him.  He raised a beer bottle in salute.  She waved at him in return and watched him drink from it, a leering wink the only acknowledgement he saw her actions. 

            I am so lucky—but how long can it last?

            Keely turned in place and began pouting.  Her icy fingered fears were climbing like mutant spiders up her arched back and into her brain.  The ever consistent dread filling her up and washing away her love for this man she had married.  Stuffing a finger into her mouth she nipped at it trying to concentrate on the pain so she could ignore her thoughts.  

            We were wed six years ago so why do I feel like it’s not going to last?  Ben has never given me even the slightest inkling he’s bored with me.  Yet I constantly wait in terror one day he’ll come home from a fishing trip and toss me out the door.

            Recollections of how they met appeared in her mind.  She had been out for a swim in the harbor, just another dreary summer day like any other.  Without realizing it she had gone out too far and found herself caught up in a net.  The trawler was reeling it in and like a blind dolphin Keely had swam right into it.  Remembering the horror of being violently lifted out of the sea, dangling in mid-air while the taut, coarse rope cut into her tender flesh.  She had panicked.  Her body went into wild convulsions as she thrashed against the bindings.  She started screaming at the top of her lungs while the cold, wet flopping fish in the net pressed against her, curtailing any efforts to win free.  The dead unblinking looks in the aquatic animals’ eyes, their twitching and spastic jerks only hastened her descent into utter madness. 

            Then there was the sensation of being dumped onto the deck and rough hands grabbing and pulling at me, Keely mused.  I remember lashing out with my limbs trying to hurt them so I could leap back into the ocean and swim away.

            Even though it had been years since it happened, only Ben told the story with any fondness.  People at parties smiled and laughed, commenting it was the biggest fish story they had ever heard.  Or other comical remarks designed to indicate their disbelief. 

            If they only knew—if Ben only knew why I was out there in the first place.

            Only Keely knew she was hoping to die.

            But instead of finding death’s release I found Ben!

            Warmth returned as her love for her spouse pushed aside the fear of the memory and the nagging doubts plaguing her.  She saw him waving at her.  Opening the door she leaned seductively against it and oozed as much sexy charm as she could.  The black one-piece bathing suit swelled while she did so. 

            “Hey there beautiful would ya get yer husband another cold one?” he drawled in his Maine accent. 

            “Coming right up,” she said with a smile.  “Anything else you need?”

            “Just you darling—just you.”

            Her laughter tinkled like wind chimes at his flirtatious quip.  Dancing away deliberately she gave him a show of her bouncing backside while she scampered into the kitchen.  Flinging the refrigerator door open she snagged a bottle of beer and closed the appliance.  Popping the cap off with a quick twist she tossed it into the garbage can. 

            He’s been back only five hours and I’m doing all I can to keep from jumping his bones in the hot tub.  I don’t give a damn who sees it either! She said with a naughty grin.  Ben’s been gone a week out to sea leaving me alone and frustrated.  But that’s the life of a fisherman’s wife I suppose.

            Skipping back the way she came she spied the tall stainless steel rack of freshly caught fish.  This was the best perk of being married to who she was.  For a moment she felt terror at those dead things, remembering her accidental capture.  Hunger rumbled through her belly, a gurgling tremor she fought to ignore.

            I must not give in to this—but the hunger needs to be blunted or I’ll lose control, she stated.

            Her mouth began to water, her tongue recalled the taste of fish and she licked her lips several times without knowing it.

            Just one, he’ll never know!

            Setting the bottle on the nearby counter she opened the rack and took out a fine, plump one.  Unconsciously she began petting it across its dorsal fin and brought it up to her quivering lips.  The dead pike’s eyes just stared at her without blinking.

            So hungry, I’m so hungry.

            Looking into the living room she could sit see Ben sitting in the hot tub soaking up the heat with his eyes closed.  With a sly grin she opened her mouth, her teeth transforming from their normal pearly perfection into triangular razor sharp objects.  She bit into its side.  Her taste buds singing from the cold white meat, her gullet working quickly to swallow it after a few seconds of chewing.  The second, third and forth mouthful soon quelled the rampant demands of her stomach. 

            Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand she rushed over to the sink and stuffed the remains into the garbage disposal.  Keely turned the water on and flicked the switch.  The grinding and popping noises made her grimace a bit, but the fact it was hiding her indiscretion made her calm down.  Seconds later she shut it off.

            “Hey where’s that beer darlin’?” he shouted from outside.

            “Coming!” she answered.

            Daintily running through the kitchen, across the living room carpet and out the door Keely held out the sweating bottle of beer to her husband.

            “Here you go,” she said demurely. 

            “Get in here you sexy thing,” he quipped.

            Climbing into the heated, bubbling water she squirmed up against his firm body.  Ben’s arm went around her shoulders and she leaned further into his embrace.

            “Didja have to brew it?” he joked.

            “Sorry I got distracted,” she smiled lazily.

            “Why?”

            “Couldn’t take my eyes off of you.”

            “Me?  You still find me attractive?”

            “You’re the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.  Plus you’ve been gone a week and left me here all alone, you neglectful man.”

            “Sorry m’love that’s the way it is with fishermen.”

            He leaned over and kissed her, Keely started to enjoy it when he reared back with a gasping cry.  Horrified she saw the piece of fishy membrane hanging out between his lips.

            “What have you done?!” he demanded, pulling away even further.

            “I-I’m sorry!” she wailed.  “I can’t help it!  When the hunger takes over I just can’t stop myself!”

            “Keely you have to be careful!  What would happen if you lost control in public?”

            She began to cry. Hot tears rolling down her perfect cheeks as her legs morphed into a single scaly, fish-like tail.  The reddish gold color of it shone from the moon’s light like an Oriental carp in some park’s pond.  She removed her thick glasses, cursing their necessity because her eyes couldn’t focus without being underwater.  Setting them aside she wiped away her tears and sobbed quietly.

            “I’m sorry I ask too much of you,” Ben said softly.

            He slid up against her, his arm going around her shoulders and holding her tight. 

            “I am what I am Ben,” she blubbered.  “No amount of love will ever change that.”

            “I know.”

            She missed hunting in the deep blue waters, swimming with her sisters and mother while the hunger overtook them.  Flashing through the under currents while dodging sharks that also were looking for a quick meal and didn’t care if a stray mermaid got served up.  Her tongue played over her serrated teeth as the hunger grew even more.

            “I guess that’s what I get for falling in love with a mermaid,” he sighed contently.  “I’m just glad you managed to hide your fins before my crewmates saw them.  I was shocked enough as it was, but they would’ve freaked.”

            “Well it does have its benefits I hope,” she mumbled.

            “My competition is always amazed we find the best places to fish—but if my secret ever got out I’d be ruined.  You’d swim away and I’d be back to being lonely and broke.  Ever since we got married we’ve prospered since I don’t spend weeks out there with nothing to show for it.  My ship’s hauls are the envy of the town.”

            “I will never leave you.”

            “I know.”

            Ben kissed her and for a while the hunger, the loneliness and the desire to swim far out to sea faded from the warmth of his lips.  But somewhere in the back of her mind the taste of raw fish reminded her she still wasn’t human.

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