[Author’s note: So, it’s May. Which, on the internet, seems to mean mermaids, merrow, and all manner of aquatic finfolk. Separately, I’ve been running on empty for a while and needed to get my brain back in gear – which, for me, means allowing myself space to play with my writing and not care overmuch about plot, quality, or anything other than just putting words on the page and rediscovering my joy in my craft. Given one of my favourite ways of playing is writing AUs… well, this was always going to happen]
In the shadows under the hull of the Arrow, something moved.
At first, Archer almost didn’t realise what he was looking at. The dark shape was too deep in the water for him to make out details, and what he could see of it might just as easily have been a porpoise or a young orca – white patched sides, a white belly, a shadowy wide-fluked tail. In fact, he’d realise some days later that if it had stayed that deep, he might have come away never having realised he’d seen anything other than one of the more ordinary denizens of that part of the ocean.
Fortunately, however, it didn’t.
As the creature slowly emerged from the darkness, his first thought was that it must be injured in some way. The whole front of its body seemed distorted and misshapen, with dark tendrils of something trailing from where its head should be, and, as it climbed towards the light, it moved like no orca or porpoise that he’d ever seen. But it was moving fast, and with purpose and, as he watched, it lifted its head and the tendrils streamed back behind it, and-
And Archer very nearly fell over backwards in shock. Because what he was seeing wasn’t – couldn’t be real.(more…)