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Table of Contents
Breathing by Julie Cox
Extremiad by Nisi Shawl
Helios and Ceto by Pepper Espinoza
To the Sea,To the Sea by Marie Carlson
Wet Medium by Beryl Falls
A Requiem for Poseidon by S. C. Mitchell
Silk Skin by Elias A. St. James
How Much Water, How Much Air by M.E. Comstock
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt!
from Extremiad by Nisi Shawl:
Almost without a ripple, a dark, round shape rose from the water, not a wingspan from where the gryphon sat. Cascades of water quickly dwindled to bright drops caught sparkling in the shape’s sleek fur, like the stars surprised in the heavens when she flew above the day’s blue dome. Eyes blinked in the round head, eyes as deep and dark as the mysteries beyond those stars.
Neither moved for many long moments. Only a tiny breeze stirred, a breeze too insignificant to trouble the gryphon’s feathers or her fur. Her nostrils flared as it carried to her the strange scent of the creature, which rang through her flesh like the summons to sleep, to dreams unencompassable in this, the waking world.
For her part, the mermaid looked upon a glory greater than any she had ever sought. The flashing skins of fishes never glowed so, never put forth so fabulous a light. Amazed, she ceased her song, and basked in golden silence.
But soon enough, she came back into her nature; that is, she wished to encompass what she found to be unfamiliar. And in the tongue of those who cry to one another across the changing depths of the sea, she asked the gryphon how she was to call her, and whether they two might tarry here a while, in happy consort.
The gryphon understood not one word the mermaid spoke. Yet she knew the burden of her song, seeing in the sea creature’s eyes the same wonder and longing that, hunting, she had ofttimes struck from her prey. She rose, stalking to a nearby boulder on foreclaws and hindfeet, and leapt its green-mossed sides, landing neatly poised on top. In the tongue of those whose keen eyes pierce the heavens, with gesture and stance, the gryphon proclaimed herself, thusly:
“I am the Queen of Air and Brightness, ruler of all that I survey. From the moment of my fledging–” (she mantled her light-metalled wings) “–I have extended my domain, in height and breadth and depth, by my ceaseless circling, by soaring more effortlessly than my most inconsequential thought, by beating through contrarious and blunt-browed storms.
“Though young and beautiful–” (she strutted two steps, reared and arched her proud-feathered neck) “–I am wise with experience. But never–” (sinking now into a tense and curiously humble crouch) “–never have I seen your match. Your darkness engulfs my gaze, your subtle movements fascinate me, your sublime scent fills my nostrils with unendurable poignancy.
“I cannot contain myself.” (Her arms folding themselves tight across her breast) “I cannot. I must–”
The gryphon’s powerful haunches thrust her into the air, and her magnificent wings spread to grip the sun-laden warmth. The mermaid watched in uncomprehending sorrow as her newfound love flew so high as to become lost in the dazzling heights. With aching eyes, the mermaid turned to traverse the lake, the first stage of her long journey home.
In the center of the water, she surfaced for one last look. There was the beach where she had sung to the wondrous being, and there the high rock where that wonder had perched before its sudden, wounding departure.
And there, above her, the bright arrow, falling, of her wonder’s return.
The gryphon dove, maddened by desire. Her sharp eyes had been trained all along on the water, easily tracing the mermaid’s wake, allowing her to adjust her trajectory accordingly. Upon the mysterious creature’s emergence, the gryphon uttered one short shriek of joy and plunged into the lake.
What she intended, she knew not. The mid-flight couplings of her own kind, translated somehow to this strange, liquid medium? Perhaps. She nudged her powerful beak gently against the silken-smoothness of her obsession’s fine-scaled side, luxuriating in that all-pervading, all-persuading aroma. And she came, by some sweet chance, to stroke her claws, tips retracted, up along the nerve-rich channel that split the mermaid’s tail.
Higher, higher–like billowing lava, the heat of the gryphon’s touch glided up along the mermaid’s tail. A string of undersea volcanoes surged beneath her skin, activated by this searing probe. The mermaid hissed, and sank beneath the rippling waters. Again, and yet again, the blooming fire rose coursing up her channel, and brought in its train a moistness, a thickening, and a longing to tangle in sisterly embrace. Her patch, the anemone-like triangle whose inverted apex topped her channel, pulsed with excitement. Its short, plum-colored tentacles moved slowly, seeking mates.
As the mermaid sank, the gryphon gave her own air-light bones leave to lift her back to the surface. The mermaid’s narrowing groove had defeated her perplexed seekings. In great, shuddering gasps, the gryphon breathed the breath her desire had denied her. Her shining limbs stirred the lake, pulsing in time to her pounding heart.
Hardly had the gryphon’s laboring lungs subsided to their usual levels of effort when a submerged caress quickened them again. She lowered her head between her wet-feathered forelegs. The dark face swam up to her, the dark arms enwrapped her and pulled her down into an embrace of cunning delight. Drowning in the scent of the sea, the gryphon sank willingly, clasping her lower limbs around the mermaid’s waist. She seated herself so that her sensitive belly, rowed with tender, pink-tipped nipples, rubbed against the satiny scales of her lover’s stomach in a most satisfying manner. And beneath her wildly lashing tail, her taut slit fluttered open to receive a multitudinous touch, unlike anything she had ever imagined could exist.
All was strange, and passing strange. The mermaid gripped the darling sky creature tightly, and felt with her patch an odd, closed channel, angled in rather than up. And she found but one, lone tentacle, thick, and far too long to mesh with her own. Still, she fondled it, and bent it round, pulling it, stroking it, till she felt the marvelous, tufted tip. And then, how lightly, with what exceedingly distinct gradations of pressure she inserted that tip into the tightest portion of her channel. Each delicate hair made its own separate impression on the thinly sheathed nerves embedded there.
As the exquisite rush of stimuli whelmed through her, branching infinitely along the infinite corridors of her pleasure, the mermaid managed still, somehow, to maintain her contact with the sides of the gryphon’s slit, and even to increase the rate of her palpations. The gryphon purred a deep, growling purr and kneaded instinctively the soft black breasts beneath her paws. And so discovered, in the mermaid’s milk, the source and essence of that ambrosial odor.
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The ocean is a vast playground of creatures real and imagined, rife with power and depth. In LIKE A COMING WAVE eight of fantasy's best writers explore the erotic potential in the world of water. Mermaids and -men, selkies, Greek Gods, and even kraken cavort in these pages.