Currents that Adriannea does not recognize push against her as she blindly swims across the cold waters of the Pacific. Animals that do not know her rudely complain about the furious wake her fins leave. She is not used to such deep waters, and clings to the surface, shaking with every furious beat of her tail. Tears that meld instantaneously with the salt water peel from her dark eyes. From time to time she leaps from the water, not caring if she is seen by the human eye. What bad could that do her now?

Time passes. Night rises and falls and rises again around Adriannea without much notice from her. Finally, she hits the western coast, and nearly spins into a land mass known commonly as the Queen Charlotte islands. She finds refuge under a rather large rock, and twists herself among some seaweed until she warms up a bit. Then she lies her head upon a sandy floor, and tries to rest.

Further down along the coast, a creature stirs with the arrival of the night. It wanders along the ocean floor, gathering hot pieces of porous rock, and glowing fish. It places them in a bag made from an old fishing net, fastened together with a large piece of bone.

This creature might look like a fish, at first glance. It's wide tail, and sideways way of moving through the water. But then, one would notice that its form changes at the waist. Scales scatter along a smooth, sickly looking surface that might have once been skin. Sores and cuts cover what isn't already taken over by scale, and what isn't an open wound is a ghastly green color. From its' head escapes long strands of wire-like hair, black and tangled. It's face has two eyes, and a nose, almost human, but not quite. The nose has seemed to decompose over time, and only the cartilage remains of the appendage. And of the eyes, they are wide, and translucent looking, like that of a deep water fish. It has arms, bony, with clawing fingers, and razor sharp fingernails.

If Adriannea had paid attention in her schooling, she might be able to match a name to such a creature. For the creature in question was once a human. And at one time it had a name; Wakanda.

Wakanda had grown up on the shores of the West Coast, a part of the Kwakiutl tribe. It was widely known that she had an affinity for the water. She bathed constantly, and knew the waters better than her own father before she hit puberty. If she wasn't helping her father fish, she was swimming, diving down as far as she could before she needed air. Her mother had always joked that in naming her daughter 'water baby' she was to be blamed for Wakanda's affinity to the ocean.

It wasn't long before Wakanda was old enough to be married. She did not take too well to this idea, and although her mother was dead set against choosing a partner for her eldest child, her father thought differently. She was partnered with a man her age named Mingan from the interior, and when he came to meet her, they seemed to get along. If things had gone differently, maybe they would have grown into a happy couple. But when Wakanda learned that she had to leave the ocean for the forest, she refused to go. There was a struggle. She was forced to submission, and taken into the forest.

Time passed. She succumbed to Mingan's desires and gave him two beautiful boys, Chelan and Shilah. She cares for them, taking pleasure only in telling them stories about the ocean, and teaching them to swim in the nearby rivers.

Legends passed down from generation to generation tell of Wakanda's fate as mystical and romantic. It is said that Mingan saw the longing in his dear wifes' eyes to return to the sea, and takes her back, in hopes to restore their love. But the moment she steps into the old waters' of her people, she transforms into a fish, and swims away.

But in reality, a much more sad and deranged story followed the marriage. It came to be that Wakanda makes friends with a local woman from one of the small towns. This woman, although she does not know the true extent of its power, is well versed in witch-craft. Wakanda soon learns of a ritual she might perform, which might return her to the ocean. She steals the book from her friend, and gathers the pieces to create the spell; the body of a fish, a stone of the ocean, a sprig of pine, etc. In the middle of the night, next to the river nearest to her village, she fingers designs in the sand.

Knowing only a little bit of english, she believes that the spell says that she will return to the water, thinking that indicated her village might relocate, or her husband will desire to see her family. But when she utters the mystic words, and places the artifacts among the circles that she had carefully drawn, a great pain erupted from her body. In the sand she twisted, unable to scream. She watched in the moonlight as her body deformed, and escaped her entirely. It wasn't long before her lungs no longer took in air, and her legs no longer moved as separate entities. She just makes it too the water before losing all of her breath, and then watches the world change around her. She remains in the river to watch her husband grow frail, and to see her sons succeed. She keeps the book, and reads it over and over until the pages, wiped clean by the salt and the water, remain strong in her memory. Time passes like nothing to her, for she does not age, or dither away with time. She only grows more grotesque with the passing ages, experimenting with ancient spells in the deep waters of the Pacific.

The End

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