2 The Undine Queen

Getting up to 'get more food', Serenity headed over by the buffet table while Matthew followed after her. His short, dark-brown hair swayed slightly as he walked towards her. They were nearly the same height with him being about half an inch taller than her.

 Working out three times a week with Michael and Layla kept him fit without being overly muscular like Mike. His skin was naturally a light-tan shade, and his brown eyes had specks of gold and amber in them whenever the light hit them.

Serenity almost didn't hear Matthew when he spoke, she was so hypnotized; "It is just me, or did he sound like the ominous idiot at the beginning of most disaster movies? I'm getting a freaky 'Poseidon' vibe right now, and I don't like it.."

Serenity gripped her stomach as the ship began to rock more and more; "I thought the same thing.. What the hell?! It's not like tropical depressions come out of no where! Did they set sail Knowing what we were sailing into?"

Matthew rubbed his chin as he thought, then said; "No, the port authorities wouldn't have let us if the storm was on the radar. Our weather apps showed clear skies, too. I think this storm really is appearing out of no where."

Looking around, Matthew saw a lone life jacket sitting on the side of the buffet table. You were supposed to keep yours with you at all times, but hardly anyone listened to the rule. Now, everyone was scrambling for them.

 He didn't know who it belonged to, but if they came looking for it, he would give it back. Until then, he felt ten times better holding it.

Pulling her phone out, Serenity went to a weather radar website to see what was on the doppler. Nothing was showing. According to the app, the storm that was currently raging outside the windows of the cruise ship didn't exist. The rain turned to golf ball sized hail, and the ship began to rock so hard that plates and glasses began to slip from the tables.

"I think that's real, how about you?" Serenity said nervously.

A piece of hail the size of a basketball hit one of the skylight windows, cracking it as Matthew replied; "Yes, real. Very Real. Whoa! Time to go!"

They rushed over to their table, but the ship began to rock so hard that Serenity and Matthew fell over. They landed side by side and held onto each other as the ship sent them rolling all over the floor. Broken glass and fallen utensils jabbed and cut at them as they were tossed about helplessly.

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 Matthew was barely able to hold onto the life jacket.. 'I should've had Serenity put it on when I had the chance..'

Serenity looked up as the ship found a moment of stability. She saw Maria and Taylor, but not Layla and Michael. Taylor had a steak knife sticking out of his chest while Maria screamed and cried.

 People were screaming out in pain and yelling for help, but it was all suddenly silenced by the eerie, thunderous sound of rushing water. The dim light that was coming in through the shattered skylights was blacken out by a monstrous wave that seemly stretched into the clouds.

"Matt.." Serenity spoke with unrestrained terror in her voice.

Matthew wrapped his arms around her as they laid on their sides, and said; "Don't let go of me!"

Right as the words left his lips, the ocean came pouring in through the now-completely shattered skylights. The ship turned on it's side and completely flipped over. Freezing ocean water quickly began to fill the banquet room..

Serenity couldn't breath as the cold water knocked her and Matthew about into tables and other people. Someone who was panicking tried to claw and kick off of them to reach some unknown place with air.

 It was human instinct to 'swim for the top', but there was no where to swim to; at least inside the ship. When he tried to grab the life jacket from his hand, Matthew had to kick him away, or be taken down by the force of the sinking ship.

Matt had been on the swim team on and off throughout his high school years, so he could hold his breath for extended periods of time. The water had filled the room, so there wasn't any pressure firing them back in anymore.

 Seeing his only chance for survival just a few feet away, Matthew began to kick furiously towards the broken skylights, and out into the pitch-black ocean.

 The life jacket was steadily pulling them up, but the strap he was gripping for dear life suddenly snapped. The life vest floated off as the ship began to pull them deeper and deeper into the darkness below..

It was an alarming feeling to be seemingly swimming forever, and getting nowhere. No matter how hard Matt kicked, the sinking cruise ship was pulling them down with it. There was no escaping for them. They were going to die no matter what he did.. As the realization hit him, he instinctively squeezed Serenity tighter.

As she was about to lose the battle to keep her breath in, Serenity's mind raced. 'I can't believe we're going to die; we've barely lived! How could this have happened?! Where the Hell did that storm come from?! Why do we have to die like this?! Matthew! He's trying so hard to save us.. Matthew.. I wish I could've told him how I felt. That's probably my biggest regret..'

As the darkness tugged at the edges of her vision, Serenity removed her arms from Matthew's sides to grab his face. The pressure was so intense as the cruise ship pulled them down, she wasn't sure she could keep conscious long enough to do what she wanted.

 'It WILL be the last thing I do before I die!'

Forcing his eyes to meet hers, Serenity mouthed 'I love you' to Matt, then used the last of her willpower and breath to kiss him. He was shocked for the first second, then embraced her back passionately as they sank into the darkness together..

A loud, large clap of lightning struck the water right as the bubbles escaped Serenity. A blinding flash of light cut through to the depths, and lit up the descending couple. The last thing Serenity remembered before the darkness overtook her was a hot, burning sensation all over, and the sweet and salty taste of her first kiss from her first and only love...

Gasping for air, Serenity shot up in bed. She was breathing rapidly, but didn't really feel air filling her lungs. She felt dizzy and woozy, so much so that she didn't see the person sitting next to her right away. Or what she thought was a person.

Focusing her eyes, Serenity saw a beautiful pale woman with vibrant purple hair pulled back into a long, intricate braid sitting next to her with a relieved expression. It took a moment for Serenity to realize that her long braid was FLOATING. Upon the realization, she tried to stand up and move away from the unrealistic woman.

Getting out of bed was easy enough; seeing the mermaid-like tail where her legs should've been sent her into a long, barely coherent rant. After flailing about a few minutes as she yelled, she realized that she too, was floating in what she assumed was air: then it hit her.

'I have a mermaid tail, and I'm floating.. HOLY SHIT, I'M IN WATER! I'm a freaking Mermaid?!'

"I'm a freaking mermaid?! How the HELL did I become a Mermaid?! Do I have gills or fins?! No, thank god.. Wait, how am I supposed to pee like this?! And where?! I'm in Water! Won't it go everywhere?! I can't handle this! It HAS to be a dream!" Serenity screamed indignantly.

The woman who was sitting at her side swam over to her with grace and ease as Serenity continued to flail. She now had a slightly irritated look on her face as she grabbed Serenity's arms, and righted her. She exhaled as deeply as she could to calm herself, then motioned to the oversized clamshell that Serenity had thought was a normal bed.

The woman gently pulled Serenity over, and helped her to sit down properly. It was odd to sit with a fish tail, but she managed. If they hadn't been in water, the woman would be seeing tears streaming down her cheeks. Her sniffles still got her sentiments across, though.

 Gently taking her hand, the woman asked; "Do you understand what I'm saying dear?"

 After Serenity nodded in the positive, the woman's expression went dower; "I'm sorry for all of this. It must be quite traumatic for you, but we're desperate.. That's why she.."

 The woman's voice cracked like she was crying as well before she continued; "The body in which you reside is the Queen of the Undines. She sacrificed her essence to bring you here."

Serenity's head was spinning as she asked; "Why did you bring me here?"

The woman sniffled loudly; "To save us.. To save The Undines, and the rest of the Aquarian Kingdoms.. We're no Merfolk, my Queen. We're most likely going to go to war with them.."

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