Starla Intro

Well...after changing the back story and driving force behind Starla, I'm currently left with an unfinished product.  I started this story after reading "The Monster's Corner" anthology edited by Christopher Golden. I'm pretty set on the first 400 words (looking like 2500 is the goal) so here it is...and I'll have the rest up by mid-week.


When lightning struck the island for the third time, sundering the remaining wall of Winchester Light and tearing her chains from its crumbling foundation, Starla bit her tongue, severing the end.  Her mouth contorted into a crimson grin and she savored the metallic tang of blood and algae and freedom.  The storm raged overhead, whipping the sea around the ruined lighthouse into a fury, crashing waves salting the rain.  She roared back at the hurricane with lungs full of hatred for her past, the sea and for Him. One hundred years chained to that cursed rock.  Ninety-nine ships led by her damned voice to be devoured by Him, the ever-thirsting drain, a whirlpool in the deep darkness of the sea.  She’d filed the tips of her webbed claws into sharp points and chiseled deep lines into the volcanic rock to mark the passing of ship and season.  The carvings were a wasted attempt to calm her mind and maintain some kind of order.  Over the years hope dwindled and her sanity seemed to come and go as it pleased, burying itself deep within some hidden corner of Starla’s fragile mind and leaving her to wander alone through haunting dreams.  On those nights, she relived the horrors of her capture and expedition across the Atlantic aboard the Negro Marie.  She would wake with a start, choking herself on the collar as she thrashed about reaching for her brother Martin as he burned in the wreckage of her father’s Irish cutter, her eyes wet from the memory of the black smoke.

“This ends tonight,” thought Starla.  Another bolt lit the charcoal sky, reflecting her grotesque image in a puddle of brine.  Her long braided hair hung brackish and tangled, flecked with bits of broken shell.  Milk white cockle shells adorned her gray-green breasts, chipped and cracked yet permanent, an extension of her weather beaten skin and the dark, mottled scales that formed her tail.  Starla grimaced, tearing her eyes from the image.  She’d been beautiful once.  But that was before she had become broken and lost.  Betrayed and discarded to the sea.  Behind her, at the base of the lighthouse, the broken chain attached to her neck glowed white hot in a charred crater.  Starla took the tarnished ring around her throat in her webbed fingers and gripped until her knuckles turned bone white.  Tiny barnacles encrusting the back of her gray-green hands stirred in their shells from the warmth of the collar.  Wind whistled through holes in the base of the rock, chorus spiraling in gusts ranging from bass to soprano.