Before that golden eyed woman met him on the open sea, the old mariner decided to brace himself for death. His gloves gave his clenched fists an additional tightness equal to his resolve, if somewhat doused by the sea spray crashing against his small skiff. A small number of fishing spears would hardly be sufficient to stop the deep lurker who awaited those who traveled too far into the horizon. He was going to die.
But no one ever dies now, he thought, as he unfurled the sails. That's why my wife…
He could not decide what brought him to the ocean. It was well known among the very few people that Jonathan had met that the ocean signified death. The wind never changed, the weather never changed, even the time of day, a concept from Jonathan's youth before he himself had stopped aging, never changed. Only about fifty years past, death had stopped happening to people. The lack of fish, the silence in the sea, and the eyes of that creature proved this--the ocean was no friend nor tool of man any longer.
It was the way she would chop onions in the kitchen, eyes watering, but there were no onions, nor cutting board, nor knife- only her hand, jerking up and down, tightly curled around air while tears streamed down her vacant face. It was the way she had left doors open before and now silently closed them. It was the way she returned, mute and expressionless, living with her old husband--probably for several years, but who can say for certain--existing and living as if she was dead. Every morning, even as early as Jonathan could wake, he would see her standing at window staring inland, showing the only true expression he could remember from her now- a broad grinning, wide eyed stare, completely without context.
The water splashing against the boat seemed colder now.
Everything about her after he had lost her to the surf and pulled her out again, everything was wrong. She used to noisily trudge exhausted up the stairs towards bed, but, after being rescued several hours after falling into the water and being carried by that ever consistent outward wind and riptides, she moved with no sound when her husband called for her. And she always attempted to climb one more step than the stairs had.
Stumbling only slightly and yet soundless, her face made no attempt to register this mistake on any of the hundreds of times Jonathan had watched it happen.
It should have been no surprise to him, then, finding that note yesterday morning--always hard to determine the day when it is always dark--on the table. Only six words. Words that made no sense to a old man who had lived in a tall but narrow cottage with his old wife ever since the day the world had ended and aging had become obsolete. An old wife who had died and lived but never returned; this time, she was truly gone.
He wished he could understand what the note meant when it said-
a deep howl filled his ears and the sea split, just as it had the day his wife went missing. She was coming. Her golden hair and golden eyes on pale skin were all he had seen that day, her attention directed elsewhere. He could see her now, an enormous shadow darkening the black waves underneath his boat. The head began to peek above the waves in front of his skiff- before long, a woman who would have been beautiful were she normal size floated in front of the boat. She was many times larger than Jonathan's house, with skin so pale that it blinded him to the rest of the universe. Desiring an end, Jonathan hefted one spear in his hand and prepared to strike, when the eyes, as large and radiant as the sun he had once seen and vaguely remembered, wiped his mind clear.
He fell to his knees as the great maw of razors opened and began to drag seawater inside.
-"Find me in the silent city."