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When she reached the end of the dock, Sadie waited for the boat like a penitent child. Watching the water lap against the sides of the wood that was green with moss and other sea life gave Sadie the chills. Long strands of dark seaweed flowed alongside, like the hair of a mermaid from some long-ago fairy tale. Sadie watched it move, fluid and graceful, and tried to draw calmness from its easy motion.
After a few seconds, however, she realized the seaweed was black, not green. Despite her misgivings, she bent down to get a closer look into the water and was soon on her knees, peering at the underside of the dock where what she thought was seaweed was actually hair connected to a human head.
Scrambling to her feet as fresh panic descended like a hammer, she screamed for help at the same moment that she lost her balance, dropped the flippers, and plunged headlong into the sea that had already claimed one victim.