Fungal Halo

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Cigarettes And Brine

My tits ache, pressed against the hard wood of the pier I lie on. The irregular splash of salt water leaves my clothes just damp enough to unpleasantly stick to me.

Physical discomfort fades into the background. It’s high tide, and the thing kissing me grips my attention.

Claws like shark teeth dig into the back of my neck, threatening to—but never quite—breaking the skin, as I let the one I’m here to visit pull my head lower to meet its hungry mouth with my own.

Sometimes I still think of it as “her.” That’s how it revealed itself to me the first time, all rosy cheeks and pouty lips and hair falling in luscious ringlets over bare, feminine shoulders. Some days it still likes to greet me that way, but not today.

Today the scales cover every inch. Dagger-sharp teeth hide behind a lipless slit of a mouth until that mouth opens to taste me. It kisses me with such feral intensity I’d almost call it violent but for the way it keeps those teeth in check to avoid tearing my mouth to shreds.

I break off the kiss to catch my breath. It releases me with only a small whine, permitting me to roll to my side and take another long drag off my soggy, struggling cigarette before returning to it, exhaling tobacco into the pretty thing’s mouth.

It doesn’t even cough anymore. Cute as that was, I think I like this greedy begging better. No smoking underwater, so I’m its only fix, and with fitting eagerness it drinks the smoke from my lips. It’s an addiction I’m all too happy to feed.

I know it’s doing something similar to me, the way I ache for these moonlit meetings too. Whether by undersea witchcraft or some drug it secretes from a gland in its tongue, I grow dizzy and delirious with every kiss.

Perhaps that’s why it waited so long to reveal its true form to me; it wanted me to be hooked too, until the point I was no longer capable of caring that its mouth is cold and clammy and inhuman, hair a seaweed tangle in my hands.

Maybe it becomes a little more human when it crawls up onto the pier to mount me, and maybe I become a little less when it pulls me under the water for our secret trysts. It feels like I don’t even need to breathe when we’re together beneath the waves.

So easy to lose track of time with limbs tangled together, hands gliding over soft, fish-like flesh, feeling so different from any human I’ve ever touched—so smooth and yielding, thin ridges demarking every little scale and making a rich texture to explore with lustful hands.

Each intoxicating visit lasts a little longer than the one before. Maybe one day I’ll take it home with me to share my cigarettes and my bed, or maybe one day it will drag me down to wherever it returns at the bottom of the sea, and I’ll never be seen again.

I don’t think I care which, anymore.