Niylah slipped the tool into the pocket of her jeans before anyone else could see. She didn't know why, but she felt like she needed to keep it quiet for now. Besides, her father had enough to deal with.

"Turn her around, Harris!" Tom ordered Oliver. He looked up at the sky as the clouds rumbled overhead."We'll just have to go out whenever this storm is over!"

They hadn't caught much fish, but their options seemed limited. Especially as the waves rolling towards the Ne Hwas grew bigger.

The storm seemed to come in a lot quicker than initially thought. A torrential downpour hit them so quickly, that Niylah had hardly any time to react. She could see the concern forcing wrinkles into Tom's forehead.

"Help me with the net, Niy. Then, we'll head inside. I don't want you out here." Tom had to yell so she could hear him. He unhooked the net from the crane and began gathering it up. Niylah began to help him but it was a lot heavier than it appeared and she was struggling to even lift it.

"Where do you want it?" She groaned as she tried to keep her balance. The waves buffeted the fishing boat, making it difficult to hold herself upright.

"It's torn so we'll just have to replace it. We'll scrap it over here." He nodded towards the base of the crane."I just want it out of the way."

Niylah nodded her head as she followed him. There was more dragging on her end and she had to keep looking down to make sure she wasn't tripping over anything. The way the boat was rocking against the waves was enough to make her feel nauseous. It didn't help whenever the waves crashed against the Ne Hwas and sent seawater spraying in her direction and the rain made the deck even slipperier.

They dumped the net against the crane and Tom pushed it against the side. Niylah took a step back, catching her breath with a satisfied look. She was glad to be able to even help.

"Good job, Niy! Let's get dry!" Tom began heading towards the cabin where Oliver was safely steering the NeHwas through the storm.

Niylah went to follow him when a rough wave buffeted the boat and she stumbled, catching herself against the guard railing. She gripped onto the railing and looked at Tom, scared.

"It's okay!" She could hardly hear him over the heavy rain and the threatening waves. Thunder rumbled the skies again. 

Tom reached out his hand and Niylah went to grab it, but a rogue wave hit the Ne Hwas. It was rougher than the last. The wave crashed over the side of the ship and Niylah felt her hand slip off the guard rail. She couldn't tell what was happening as she was swept over the edge of the boat. Niylah flailed beneath the waves, struggling to find her way to the surface. Her lungs were screaming for air. She kicked her legs out, her arms clawed at the water as she tried to propel herself upwards. Finally, she broke the surface, breathing in as much air as she could before she was pulled under by another wave. She coughed and spluttered as she choked on water. She was struggling to hold her breath. She couldn't fight it any longer, she knew that. This was it. This was where she was going to die.


It was dark. The deafening storm was muffled by the water, but she could see a few feet in front of her whenever lightning lit up the sky. A strange melody penetrated the waters, something that felt alien but all too familiar at the same time. Was this what dying felt like? She wasn't sure she was afraid to die now that she was faced with it. There was an odd sense of comfort that engulfed her, wrapping around her like a safety blanket. It reminded her of the first night she had spent in Siren's Bay. Was it the same sound? Niylah's eyes searched the dark depths for the source, but she could hardly see anything. She hardly had enough energy left to even look.

Then, as her eyes began to close, she spotted a figure coming closer. She struggled to keep her eyes open as she felt her limbs give up fighting. The figure grew close enough to see the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen. Porcelain skin was a stark contrast to the shadowy head of hair floating around her like the most ethereal being. Her lids grew too heavy to stay awake. This washer angel of death.


For the second time that day, Niylah woke on the beach. A firm grip held onto her arms, hauling her body across the sand out of the freezing waves. She felt cold, numb. Her eyes fought to stay awake again, but she was tired. Very tired.

"Help," she called out softly. Whoever was dragging her stopped as soon as she spoke. Niylah turned her head, trying to see her savior. She followed the pale hands on her arms, up to the face that had saved her from drowning. A beautiful woman was staring back at her, her hair was black, her skin, pale. Her eyes were a startling teal, a colour she had never seen before. This washer angel of death, but she wasn't dead. Maybe this was just an angel.

Niylah fought to stay awake, but it was a losing battle.

"Thank you," she whispered, her voice heavy with exhaustion. She felt the girl let go of her and she tried to open her eyes to see her disappear. The girl was already disappearing into the ocean, but, as Niylah's eyes struggled to stay awake, she spotted something in the water. For a brief moment, a tailfin breached the surface before disappearing behind the girl. She was about to call out to her angel when she heard her name in the distance.


She knew that voice. It was Tom!


 She tried to prop herself up to return his call, but collapsed back in the sand. Though she fought with all her might, she could do nothing but succumb to her exhaustion. Her struggles were futile as her eyes fluttered shut and a wave of shadows washed over her, pulling her into unconsciousness.


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