This is the fifteenth part of a fiction serial, in 757 words.
Someone was knocking on the office door, and not taking no for an answer. Mel closed the lid of the laptop, and shouted for them to come in. It was Tamara.
“I know you are do not disturb, but Ruben is on the phone, saying he must speak to you about Darius, and you’re not answering your mobile. And we are still getting calls from various reporters, as well as Mister Mayhew in Australia. I don’t know what to tell them, Mel”. Sighing and shaking his head, he told the girl to tell anyone who called he was not available to speak to anyone, and leave it at that. She closed the door heavily, obviously unhappy with his answer.
Before restarting the video, Mel sat back and lit a cigarette. Yes, he did owe Ruben from the early days, but this project was going to turn into the biggest thing since they discovered lost tribes in the Amazon Forests. Even bigger. Ruben would earn well out of it, and if he wanted to pull his investment because of his useless son, more fool him. Taking a deep breath, Mel pressed play.
The scene was still lit by the camera light, but the angle was wrong. It took him a while to realise that Glen had put it down onto the rock, so he wouldn’t be holding anything obscuring his face. The next moment, three of the creatures appeared in the pool, their heads above the waterline. Then four more, two of them much smaller. When one turned to the other and made a chattering noise that was obviously language, Mel dropped his cigarette on the floor.
Anita could be heard speaking. “Show your hands, Glen. Don’t smile too wide so you show your teeth, don’t lean forward, or move suddenly. Speak softly, they are not likely to be deaf, and it echoes in here”.
The camera moved back slightly, allowing a wider angle. Definitely seven of the things in the water, even the smaller ones larger than most teenage humans. The three at the front had reared up and looked very tall, even with half their bodies still in the pool. They had small but muscular arms, and hands not unlike human hands but wider, with large curved claws glinting in the light.
Two of the smaller creatures made a noise something like whistling. No, not whistling, more like the coo of a pigeon, but higher pitched. All of the seven had huge eyes with large eyelashes fringed around them. Their heads were turning from side to side as they looked at Anita, and then back at Glen. He suddenly spoke to them, and it sounded rather silly.
“Hello. We are Glen and Anita. We mean you no harm. Friends”.
Mel was cursing the pair for not holding the camera so at least one of them could be seen. He had no idea how close the creatures were to them, but as Glen was speaking very quietly, he presumed they were near. Then one emerged from the water, sliding onto the rock shelf with the ease of a snake gliding over sand. Mel leant forward, staring at the monitor screen as if that would show him more detail.
The animal was covered in coarse fur, and it had very short back legs that ended in some kind of webbed feet, though more like a Swan than a human. These things seemed to be a hybrid of anything that was at home under water. The camera moved again, and now Mel could see Anita. The creature was no more than three feet from where she was sitting, and the other six were still floating in the sea pool below. Anita was smiling as she spoke.
“Oh, you’re beautiful. Do you understand anything I say? I doubt that. But we will not hurt you”. Given the size of the creature she was talking to, and its teeth and claws, mel thought she should have been asking it not to hurt them. Then one of the smaller ones came out of the water, moving close to Anita. She turned to the camera.
“I think they are young ones, maybe the children of the big one”.
Making a purring sound, the smaller animal slid toward Anita on its belly. Extending an arm, it pointed to something on the diving belt she wore around her waist. Fascinated by the proximity of this unknown species, Anita’s face was glowing with excitement as she turned to her husband.
“It wants my diving knife, Glen.”