Tanned but Blue


Chapter one: Hallucinations...maybe?

Winter has always been white. White and dark. The birds don't chirp at all, I mean they're not around, and the days are so incredibly short. All you see outside is a bunch of people in heavy coats and hats.

Spring gets better when everything melts away. The birds mostly come back and grass and green stuff can be seen growing. I guess I'm not one to enjoy the sun very much, though when the days start to lengthen in hours it makes everyone happier.

Summers better. It's warmer and you can be outside in shorts. The grass grows green and although the famous beaches are cool it's pleasant to go on a walk.

Lastly, Autumn, where the sky turns dark one day and then cloudless the next. As it progresses, the leaves on all but the pines crumble and fall, and the air around our heads turns white when we breathe.

It all happened in the middle of Summer, when I was taking a walk on one of my days off.

I walked along the sand and rocks by the ocean, trying hard not to think about depressing stuff. I usually walk along the shoreline, but that day I was built up of pressure and steam. Family troubles...school. That one can make anyone shake. Just the word...school...

I kicked off my shoes and socks and dipped my toes into the water, taking a seat on the driest rock close enough to the lapping water. Grudgingly, I picked up a few pebbles in my hand and swirled them together. There were four, each different and special looking. My fist closed around them and I drew out the largest rock. I threw it into the air, seeing how far my annoyance could blow it.

"One for my stupid family." I watched it splash into the dark water. "One for my stupid school." Another was thrown. "One for my stupid brother." I raised my voice, chucking the pebble as far as I could. I watched the last one sail, making a satisfying plop in the waters. Sighing, I brought my knees up to my chest and looked closely at the last rock. It was white with flecks of something reflective and rainbow like when in the sun. I stared at it, then tossed it carelessly into the water by my bare feet. "And one for my stupid self." The ripples continued on out before slapped away by a small wave. I sat on the rock a little while longer, hugging my knees and resting my chin on the bone. I continued to fume inside. I don't want to get into any sob story, maybe for some other time.

I glared at the grey-blue sky where seagulls had been flying in circles. Their squawking grew annoying after I began to hear it constantly from my right. They seemed to be flying particularity over an area about 50 yards over, on the beach. It struck me as odd. Congregations like this are normal, but not of this size. Slowly and curiously, I stood to my feet and brushed off my brown pants, placing my socks and boots back onto my feet. I reached the area of the beach where the sand slowly transformed into more rocky terrain. By boots clicked every time I made a jump, and only once was my footing lost. I waved my arms back and forth until I felt my feet regain their composure.

"Hey! Lâcher!" I stopped moving. I stared at a rather large boulder in my way between the seagulls and that voice. To my ears, it was certainly feminine. The language I kept hearing was familiar, but I didn't understand it. I felt my heart pounding, and I wondered why. Surely I wasn't out of shape? Impossible.

I climbed up to the boulder and looked over the rugged top. There was a small tide pool, about only 2.5 yards wide. The seagulls were going nuts here, and I saw a girl at last. I could only really see her head and shoulders from my poor view and choice of position on the stupid rock.

"Get ég hjálpað þér?" I spoke to the girl, only to get her reaction of shock. She looked up at me with a kind of fear I hadn't seen before, while multitasking and shooing away birds.

"U-Uhh…" She stared at me and then at the ocean and back and forth and back and forth. It looked like she was pressing her back against the boulder as much as possible. It seemed as though she were searching for the right words and trying to hide. I asked her again, maybe she hadn't quite heard the first time. "Get ég hjálpað þér?" I pulled myself higher onto the boulder and turned my body backwards, to climb down the other side. I jumped the last yard, and scared away a few gulls. When my boots hit the sand, I turned and heard the girl stuttering and sputting. My breath hitched and my heart beat faster than when I run. I had no words; no formation at my tongue and all I could do was stare at her. What I saw made me lose my footing just as on black ice at midnight.

What sat upright, back against the boulder, I couldn't say was the girl I had been expecting. There she sat, human torso and legs of a fish. The girl was well tanned and her long soaked brown hair was pulled into two ponies with ribbon. She wore a blue top that showed her stomach and shoulder, and golden wristlets and earrings that glinted. Her dark skin melted into these bright blue scales around her waist. I couldn't pull my eyes away from the unreal color. I huffed out the breath I didn't know I had been holding. It was the stuff of folklore and fairytales.

As I stared, my hands started sweating and I lost control of my legs. I stumbled back and let my ass hit the sand of the tide pool, never taking my eyes off of her. She mirrored my reaction (minus the falling part). Her mouth was agape and her brown eyes wide in terror. 'Wake up idiot. You're dreaming. You're hallucinating. This isn't real.' I thought to myself, never moving. 'Lukas's fairy tales are getting to you. This isn't real. It's a prank or something.' Everything was quiet while the two of us stared at each other in disbelief. All I could hear was the pounding of my blood in my ears and the now distant birds.

"No no no no" Everything hit me at once and I held my face in my hands. Something was wrong with me. Seriously wrong with me. I couldn't be drugged I ate dinner three hours ago. I could be blinded by anger? Probably not; I couldn't remember why I was mad. When I removed my face from my hands, she was gone. I smiled on the inside in relief but my mouth still hung open. I sighed and let my legs fall to the side, almost in a cross-legged position. The ocean lapped a few yards in front of me, and sand was getting all over my pants and in my boots.

I thought long and hard, or whatever that seemed like. My mind came up with every possible explanation for hallucinating. I saw movement from one of the rocks at the water's edge to the tide pool, and stared at the spot. I heard a small voice come from the area.

"Qui êtes-vous?" From behind the rock, the girl's head emerged, and she gripped the rock until her knuckles were white. She repeated what she had said in a louder voice.

"Qui êtes-vous?"

I almost choked.

Sorry about author's notes but this IS the rewriting of "Paint it any other color." Yes it's gone, but this is now here and I will be continuing it this time..yayy? Thanks guys for sticking with it.