Black water glimmered, the moonlight reflecting off of the crests of the gentle waves. The stars had not come out to play. Clouds kept them in place, hidden in the night sky. The little salt water cove was nearly silent. An eerie peace had settled over the gateway to the sea.
A shark's fin rose in the water, then dipped once more beneath the surface.
"Did you see that?" Melanie exclaimed. "There's a shark. I'm not going swimming with you."
Her boyfriend, Tank, pulled on her arm. He was already knee deep in the cove. Little ripples moved out from his calves. "I didn't see anything. Come on!"
"Tank, there's a shark in the cove. I'm not going in." Melanie backed her toes out of the water, crossing her arms over her chest. "Not happening."
"I'm sure you just saw a dolphin or something." Tank protested. He splashed Melanie, and she yelped. "Don't be so afraid."
"This far north?" she asked, skeptically, turning around. "I'm going back to the car."
Something seized her, yanking her into the water. She screamed as she fell, the cold water quickly soaking through her denim shorts. Waist deep in the water, every sharp rock colliding against her skin felt like the biting teeth of the shark. "You jerk!" Melanie shoved Tank back. He fell beneath the surface only to come up sputtering and laughing.
"You liked it!" he grinned. "You look cute. Come on, let's go swimming."
"I'm going home."
"Can't without my keys."
His pants were on the bench on the sand. With a satisfied smirk, Melanie reached into his pockets, extracting the jingling keys. "Got 'em. Have a nice walk home." She gave a little wave before taking his pants with her.
That would teach him.
As Melanie vanished, Tank gritted his teeth. There would be a fight tomorrow. She'd have to realize what she did was wrong. He was prepared to show her the error of her ways. He knew how to make her understand. All he'd wanted was a bit of fun. There was nothing wrong with that, now, was there?
Launching himself farther into the chilly water, Tank floated on his back. Staring up at the blank sky, he found himself relaxing. He could hear music drifting on the breeze. Someone was playing a very beautifully sung song.
Something grasped his ankle. Sharp, thin spikes dug into his skin. Dragged beneath the surface before he could even scream, Tank vanished without a trace.
Above water, all was calm and still.