The day I drowned was overcast, bled of colour. The air fluttered like bird’s wings against my skin as I ran across the island, ducking the dark pools, my feet sinking in the soft sand.
Then the shore slipped from under me. I only broke the surface of the green water twice, until the nixies held me tight and sang me to my death. Sculpted me anew from clay and river-weed, while my sisters cried on the land above.
Murky water runs through my veins, now. At night I hear rivers burbling from my heart, around my body, back again. Endless streams of song and sorrow.
Shhh. Don't struggle. I won’t let you go. When the last of the air leaves you, I will reshape you from my own clay ribs and the tremulous blue we have stolen from the sky.
He draws her in charcoal on parchment; a woman of shade and light, smudged and reformed under calloused hands. The room is filled with her image.
Exhausted, he sleeps. She climbs from the pages and tiptoes through the house, away from him forever, footsteps rustling like a book left open in the breeze.