“You’ve come to my home. Why?”
The cool waters lap at my naked feet, their thick tongues converging, then pulling away, the slick remnants sending a shiver up my spine.
“I’ve asked you a question, dear. Answer me.”
The beads of sand wedge themselves into the soles, digging deep until the grit scrapes bone. Nails lift from their beds in greeting of the briny waters, the raw flesh recoiling from the forced meeting. Still, I hold fast.
“To see,” I say, my eyes shut tight.
“To see what exactly?”
She is closer now, her nearness puckering my skin into tiny little bumps as the rampant cold grips me tight. My fingers curl into the meat of my palms and my jaws snap hard against one another.
She laughs derisively. And I know why.
The excuse is absurd, considering my current state, but I do little to change it. Except stand.
“This place will kill you,” she says, slowly circling me as if I’m her prey.
In a way, I am.
The lace of her shift drags sand behind. Like faithful servants, they continue their momentum, building and heightening until there is a wall surrounding us both, encapsulating us. The heat of the moon no longer pries at my eyelids and I dare to open them.
“I know,” I say.
It is still painful to be here, still against my very nature, but the ocean can no longer reach me and the moonlight cannot peel away my skin. Tears of blood race down my cheeks and her hungry gaze watches their descent with mild concern.
“Sister mine,” she whispers. “Your love knows no bounds. And I fear it is wasted.”
I smile, the grit of my jaw coming apart, my teeth loosening.
“Never,” I say.
She stops her patrol and stares me directly in the eye. With no moonlight to capture, the opalescence of her irises is dead and dark, much like mine. We resemble each other only in death.
She whimpers as she leans forward, her cold, salty lips ghost over mine and my mouth fills with blood.
“Always,” she says, then falls to her knees before me, the sand reclaiming her body, grain by grain.