Officer Marcie Callahan patrolled the beach in the pickup, stopping every so often to scan the area with the searchlight for any couples making out.
At least spring break keeps me occupied, she thought as she pulled up to the pier. It amazed her even after four years of this that there were so many kids that showed up for these ten days. Generally they didn't behave too badly; but they did behave badly enough to keep the town's small police department busy.
She got out and pulled a stray strand of her shoulder-length blond hair back from her face. Even keeping it in a ponytail couldn't keep the stray tress from occasionally falling down. The shapely young officer turned on her flashlight and searched for any signs of recent activity. She kicked something and stopped. Pointing her light down, she saw a bunch of empty beer bottles.
"Sheesh," she muttered. "Why do they have to screw and litter?" No sign of anybody here now; they must be long gone. Usually the beach was completely deserted by one in the morning. She heard a quiet splash in the distance and turned her light in the direction of the sound, her ice-blue eyes straining in the darkness.
Someone was in the water! "Oh for -- " she muttered. Just when she thought these kids couldn't do anything more stupid, someone always went and proved her wrong.
"Hey!" she yelled, cupping her hand to her mouth. "Get out of the water! It's dangerous to swim around here at night!"
"Don't worry about me," she heard a female voice playfully respond. "I'm fine."
Stupid drunk kids, she thought. She'll drown out there and I'll have to make one of those horrible calls a parent never wants to get. And get stuck with a whole damn day's worth of paperwork. "All right, enough playing around! This is Officer Callahan, Oceanside police. Come out of the water now, miss!"
"Maybe you should come in," came the woman's seductive reply. "Don't you want to join me out here? I'd love to hold you in my arms, to kiss you…come in, Marcie."
What, does she think I'm a dyke just because I'm a cop? Marcie thought -- wait a minute! "How do you know my name?"
"Look at the moonlight on the water, Marcie. Isn't it beautiful? So relaxing and restful…peaceful. The water's so calm…so calm. You're growing calmer watching it. You want to come and join me. Join me, Marcie…" The voice seemed to swim inside her head, Marcie thought. Such a wonderful, lilting voice, so…sweet.
Marcie gazed at the entrancing reflections as the light from the full moon hanging low in the sky played off the calm water. The woman was right. It was so…peaceful. Marcie felt herself relax, her arms dropping to her sides as she released the light. It fell to the ground; Marcie was oblivious. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered but that lovely voice. "Join…you…" she mumbled.
"That's right, Marcie," she continued enticingly. "Come to me, Marcie. Come, please. I need to hold you in my arms. To kiss your soft lips. Stroke your beautiful blond hair. Come, Marcie. You so want to join me in the cool, calm waters…"
Marcie began slowly walking into the water.
The young woman met her where the water reached Marcie's shoulders. She knew it should feel chilly, but despite that Marcie felt so warm. The woman took her in her arms and kissed her. Marcie responded as soft, warm lips met her own…
"What happened to you?" Dave asked as Marcie walked into the station dripping wet.
"Argh," she grumbled. "Slipped and fell off the damn jetty."
Dave folded his arms and smiled. "What were you doing out there?"
"Thought I saw someone. Turned out nobody was there. Got soaked for nothing." Not really for nothing, she thought with a sly smile she hid from him, but I won't be telling anyone that part.
Dave stifled a laugh as he left and Marcie headed for the locker room to change as she remembered. He was obviously going to enjoy this, but Marcie really didn't care at this point. She had her instructions from Arianne, instructions she would happily obey. After all, Arianne had promised Marcie she would be able to join her…forever. And they were depending on her; she didn't want to let them down. Arianne explained why they needed Marcie -- too many people at the beach during the day and nothing but couples at night. She would find and send them promising candidates while spring break continued, then afterwards, she would at last be able to join Arianne.
She smiled as she felt the moisture between her legs increase again. She was actually grateful her uniform was wet; the stains from her orgasms with Arianne would've been impossible to hide if it wasn't. She changed into her spare uniform, dreamily recalling her new lover's parting words.
"Soon, my love. Soon…"
Marcie noticed her sitting off to the side of the outdoor food court, at a table by herself, tears streaming down her delicate cheeks. Pretty little thing, Marcie thought. Just right for…
Marcie walked up and sat next to the petite black woman. "Are you all right, miss?" she inquired as she placed a hand on the girl's arm.
"No," the girl sobbed. "Stupid bastard! I hate men!"
Marcie stroked her arm. "I'm Marcie. Wanna talk about it?"
"That jerk I stupidly daydreamed about marrying just broke up with me! You believe that?! Right in the middle of spring break! Oooh! I…" She looked up at Marcie. "Why are men such jerks?"
Marcie gazed at her and their eyes locked as the girl's tears slowed. "What's your name?" she softly asked as she continued staring.
The girl didn't move. "Eden," she softly replied, not taking her brown eyes off Marcie's.
"Why would you even bother with men, Eden?" Marcie questioned as she began stroking the young woman's arm.
Eden struggled to speak. "I…don't know…"
"Shhh," Marcie soothed. "What you want to do is go down to the beach. Don't you, Eden?"
The girl smiled a faraway smile. "Yes…beach…"
"Someone's waiting there for you. Go to her."
"Yes…of course…" Eden answered. She stood, smiled at Marcie and went off. Marcie watched Eden's beautiful lithe form with a grin as she left, then stood and walked away. There were other young girls to take care of this night.
"Hmph," the Chief grumbled as the entire department gathered in his office, staring down at another report. He ran a hand through his graying hair and looked up at the assembled officers. "All right, three missing women is three too many! I've got the mayor and entire town council breathing down my neck to solve these disappearances before people start realizing what's going on. We can't afford to have mass panic on our hands. Aside from the fact that spring break accounts for a third of the season's business. Marcie, anything to add to your report?"
Marcie pushed another of those stray locks from her face. "No, chief. It's just the way it says there. Girl came up to me looking for her friend last night; we went all over the arcade looking for her. Back-up arrived and we all searched. All over the place, arcade, plaza, mall, Baker Street. Nothing, sir." Marcie didn't add the rest of it; that she'd wanted to entrance this girl as well and send her off to the beach, but that would have roused too much suspicion.
"Hmph," he repeated. He looked up over his half-glasses. "Dan?"
The fit young man sighed. "Nothing else to offer. Wish we'd found something, anything to go on. Not a trace."
"Hmph," the chief repeated. "Well, I want everyone to keep a sharp lookout. Anything or anyone the least out of the ordinary, you stop 'em and find out what they're up to. I want this stopped. No more disappearances for the rest of break! Got it?"
Everyone gathered murmured agreement. As the meeting broke up, Dan approached Marcie. He smiled. They'd graduated from the academy together and Dan continued asking her out despite her many 'no's'. "Any ideas about what's going on?"
"Nope," Marcie replied distractedly as she shook her head.
A puzzled expression appeared on his face. "Hey, what's up with you? You've really been preoccupied for the last couple of days."
"Oh, nothing," Marcie casually answered. "Just thinking. Suppose we should go over the scene again? Just in case we missed anything?" She looked at him expectantly. She licked her lips despite an effort not to. The tightrope she walked made her a bit nervous. While she knew there wasn't any physical evidence, Dan was sharp, and if he began to suspect anything…
"Guess so. Hey, I wanted to ask you. Wanna go see a movie with me on Friday?"
If she wasn't interested before, she was even less now. She sighed and grimaced. "Dan, we've been through this. I don't want to date other cops. Okay?"
"It's not a date," he scoffed quietly. "Well, not exactly. Oh, come on. Just a movie?"
"Nope," she replied as she walked out of the room. "Besides, I already have plans." Of course, she didn't tell him her plans were with Arianne.
Marcie was patrolling the arcade, usually packed with visitors playing video games, but tonight empty; everyone must be at the free concert at the mall. "Yes?"
Marcie turned to see a young woman standing before her. The woman from the plaza. Her hazel eyes were red and swollen, her auburn hair disheveled. She still sniffled as she held the tissue to her pert little nose. Poor kid, she thought, she probably hasn't slept since I sent her friend to the beach. Well, Marcie could fix that.
The woman spoke, rousing Marcie from her reverie. "I -- just wanted to thank you. For all you did to try and find Vanessa."
Marcie smiled. "You look terrible, Cassie. Here, sit down for a minute and we can talk."
She walked Cassie over to the bench behind the wall; she sat with another sniffle. Marcie sighed. "You know, you shouldn't be so upset. I'm sure your friend Vanessa's fine."
"God I hope so," Cassie replied and put her head down as her tears began flowing again.
Marcie reached out and put a finger to her chin, lifting her head so her eyes met the young woman's. "Cassie, I know your friend's fine."
She sniffled again. "How? How do you know?"
Marcie put her hand on Cassie's arm and began slowly stroking it. "Because I know where she is. She's so happy, Cassie. Wouldn't you like to be with her?"
Cassie's pupils dilated as she gazed into Marcie's eyes. "With…Vanessa?"
"Yes, you can be with Vanessa. And you can be happy, Cassie. So very happy."
Her eyes vacant, Cassie echoed, "…happy…"
"Go down to the beach Cassie. Vanessa's waiting for you there."
Cassie smiled. "Vanessa…"
"Yes, Cassie. Go to her. Go to Vanessa at the beach."
"Yes…go…" Cassie rose and walked off in the direction of the shore as Marcie watched, happy she could reunite the two friends.
"Where is it?! Jesus, Liv, we were supposed to meet them an hour and a half ago!" Leslie repeated as she pointed at the dashboard clock, now for the fourth time. Her friend Olivia gripped the steering wheel even harder; it was either that or wrap her hands around Leslie's slim throat. She craned her neck looking at street signs in the dim light of the streetlamps.
"Would you stop being so impatient?" Olivia replied as she rolled her green eyes. "What, are you on a time-clock or something? Sheesh! If you hadn't been late in the first place…"
"Well, you're acting like a guy!" Leslie countered, fussing with her curly chestnut hair for the umpteenth time. "Look, there's a cop. She must know. Just stop and ask her for directions for Christ's sake!"
"Okay, okay! Hold on." The willowy blond stopped the car and parked, getting out to talk to the police officer. Leslie fussed with her hair again in frustration, too upset to really pay attention; if she had she would've been the only person to see Olivia stiffen slightly, then relax as the officer gazed into her eyes, quietly spoke to her and stroked her arm. Only a couple of minutes went by and Olivia got back into the sedan. "Okay," she quietly said as she turned the ignition. "I know where to go now."
Leslie squinted as she stared at her friend. Olivia seemed…off somehow. Distant. "Hey, you okay?"
"I'm fine," Olivia answered with a broad dreamy smile. "Perfectly fine."
She grew more confident with each one. Even walking in protective groups couldn't safeguard them from Marcie's intrusion into their minds; Marcie discovered she could entrance women from ten or even fifteen feet away and plant a suggestion in their minds to go down to the water at two or three in the morning, keeping any suspicion from her, a good thing considering the level of scrutiny the disappearances now commanded. Some students were already leaving Oceanside. State police now patrolled the streets. The media circus each day became more intense. Still Marcie found she was able to compel four more women into the surf, sending them over to the beach in Seaside Heights.
She did feel a great deal of regret for the chief and the other officers, as well as the town in general. Oceanside didn't need that kind of publicity and it would hurt the town for a while. Still, she thought, it would blow over eventually. And she smiled at the thought that soon it would be her turn to follow the others into the water.
Marcie saw her running up. "You're all out of breath, miss. What's wrong?"
The young Hispanic woman sighed with visible relief as she came to a stop in front of Marcie, puffing with her exertion as she stood before her on the deserted street. Marcie noticed her curvy form and luscious lips, and thought her an excellent candidate. "Oh, thank God. Down by the beach -- I -- I just saw this red-headed girl walk right into the water! You have to help her. She'll drown out there!"
Marcie chuckled. "You mean Annette." She gazed into the girl's lovely brown eyes. "Don't worry about her. She's fine. What's your name, my lovely little flower?"
The girl's eyelids fluttered. "P-Paloma. My name…is…Paloma."
"Such a pretty name," Marcie responded with a sultry grin as she stroked the light brown skin of Paloma's arm. "Wouldn't you like to join Annette in the water, Paloma? It's so nice to be in the water."
"Water…" Paloma repeated, her eyes blank as she stared at Marcie.
"Yes, Paloma. Go to the water. It's so nice. Don't you want to go in the water too? Just like Annette."
"Yes…like…Annette…" Paloma smiled, turned and walked back to the water. Marcie sighed with relief. What were the chances anyone would be on the beach at this hour? Thank goodness that witness was taken care of; she would definitely need to be more careful.
The town was emptying out pretty quickly, Marcie thought with disappointment; almost at the level of an emergency evacuation. Couldn't really blame them, especially the girls. The chief was practically pulling out his hair and working everyone around the clock; Marcie felt particularly guilty about that. Four more women gone missing in the last week. Well, missing to everybody else. Marcie knew where they were. Where she longed to be. Where she would hopefully be soon. Oh, why couldn't she go now? But Arianne gently counseled her to be patient; her time would come soon enough.
When she'd met with Arianne late last night, Marcie told her she would have to stop, at least for a few days. But Arianne only smiled and shook her head slowly in disagreement. "You just have to be more careful, my love. Don't forget your reward for a job well done."
"I'll try my best, Arianne. I promise. But it's getting so hard with all the attention…"
She gave Marcie another of her sultry smiles, sending a chill down her spine, leaned in and kissed her slowly and gently on her lips, causing another pleasant buzz through her. Arianne slipped her webbed hand between Marcie's legs and Marcie moaned quietly in bliss as she parted them for her lover again, lying back in the shallow water. Arianne smiled and leaned down. "Let me take care of you."
Marcie beamed a blissful smile, wrapping her arms around her lover. She slid them down to where Arianne's skin changed to scales and shivered, closing her eyes. "Oh yes. Please…"
"Marcie, I need to see you in my office. Now."
She followed the chief into his drab, small office. He sat and rubbed his bleary eyes as he rumbled, "Close the door."
Marcie complied. She turned to face him as the broad-shouldered man sternly said, "Sit."
Marcie fidgeted slightly as she waited for the chief to speak.
He folded his hands as he looked down. "I've been -- told by more than one source that you were seen with three of the missing girls." He picked up a manila folder and thumbed through it. "One Gina Roman, a Danielle Stahl and Elizabeth Meyers. Any reason you neglected to mention this?"
Damn. Marcie gulped and furtively rubbed her hands on her trousers. She thought she'd been as careful as possible when she'd entranced all the girls.
The chief placed his large hands palm down on the desk. "And I've also been told someone not only saw you speak to this Meyers but noticed her behaving oddly immediately afterward. I want to know exactly what's going on."
She quickly decided the best way to go. "Chief, don't you think I would've told you if -- "
He banged his fists on the desk, making her jump. "You better tell me the truth, Callahan! I could place you under arrest right now! You know how serious this is!" He looked away and then stood and walked over to the window. "Marcie, until I'm satisfied you're not implicated in -- whatever the hell this is -- somehow, I'll need your gun and shield. As of this moment, you're on administrative leave pending a full investigation."
Marcie gasped. "But sir -- "
He turned to face her, an angry frown on his face. "Now, Callahan."
She looked down. Pulled out her badge and placed it on the desk, followed by her sidearm, still in its holster. The chief picked them up and put them in the drawer. Marcie sat, silent and still. "Consider yourself lucky you're not under arrest, Marcie."
She looked up. "Yes, sir. I'll be all right."
She stood and walked out, closing the door behind her as he scratched his head with suspicious puzzlement over her reaction.
Marcie walked with no place to go, finally winding up at the plaza. The plaza wasn't really that large, and actually was more of a town square. The grass had been freshly cut that morning and she could still detect the scent as she sat on one of the numerous iron benches. She looked up at the stars in the sky and sighed.
It was late; the place was deserted, not a soul in sight. Students would normally flood the plaza, even at this hour, crowding the coffeehouse, billiard room and pizza parlor, but almost all were gone, even the young men, scared away by the rash of disappearances. All the businesses, normally full of activity, were closed for the night.
She heard a car pull up and someone sit next to her. Marcie turned to see Jackie, the only other woman on the force, sitting there. Even though Jackie was nine years older than her, Marcie thought she was still quite an attractive woman; cute black hair cut short and a trim figure she worked hard to keep that way.
Jackie looked intently with a questioning expression at her fellow officer. "Hey," she quietly offered.
"How are you doing?"
Marcie looked down and shrugged. "I'm fine."
Jackie's eyebrows went up. "After being put on leave? I don't think so. What's going on, Marcie? Were you really with any of those girls before they disappeared? You can tell me."
Marcie turned to face her colleague. She smiled. "Yes, I was, Jackie. Do you want to know where they went?"
Jackie's eyes widened as she leaned in and asked, "You were? What happened?"
Marcie gazed into Jackie's gray eyes…
Jackie stood and got back into her patrol car as Marcie watched. Marcie knew where she was headed -- she smiled as Jackie's car pulled away.
It was time. Thank God the questioning was finally over, after almost fourteen straight hours. She came close but didn't crack, and they released her for lack of any real hard evidence. All they had were eyewitnesses to Marcie talking with the three women; forensics hadn't gotten anything from the two cars. Marcie hoped the chief wasn't having her followed. She'd kept a careful eye out for a tail, but there were one or two of her former colleagues she knew could do it without her detecting them. But soon that wouldn't matter anyway; at least she hoped it wouldn't. She hadn't been able to entrance any more women after Jackie. The night breeze off the shore rustled her hair as Marcie waited on the beach, nervously pacing back and forth.
At that moment she heard Arianne's melodic voice. She turned and saw her treading water. Marcie splashed into the surf and swam up beside her. "Oh Arianne, I was so worried you wouldn't come!"
"Of course I was coming for you," Arianne replied as she beamed a smile. She reached out and Marcie took her webbed hand, pulling her into a passionate kiss. "You've done wonderfully, my love," Arianne said after they finally broke it. Hearing that sent a thrill through Marcie. "All your sisters you sent to us are waiting for you to thank you."
Marcie couldn't wait to see her new sisters: Jackie, Eden, Gina, Leigh Anne, Saundra, Olivia, Vanessa and all the others she'd mesmerized and sent into the sea.
Arianne broke her pleasant reverie. "And now it's time for you to come home with me."
Arianne kissed Marcie again as they both moaned softly. Arianne pulled her lover down into the water as her long mermaid's tail wrapped around Marcie's legs, and Marcie quietly sighed in happiness knowing she would soon have a tail of her own.
© 2005 by Joe Arechavala
Bio: Joe Arechavala says, "I am a forty-three year old, married father of two boys, living a dull, boring life in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area and seeking fame and fortune (or at least fortune) as a writer. I have been writing seriously for eight years and have had several essays, short stories and poems published online as well as in local publications (under my real name)."
E-mail: Joe Arechavala
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