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The sand hurt, every grain of it sharp, vindictive. It was asking why she would choose to leave; she had given her tongue in exchange for the feet and could not answer. Fair exchange? She supposed the feet were fair enough if somewhat strange, wobbling at the end of her newly split tail. Fair enough to let her seek what she needed. She didn't need speech, just somehow the ability to walk inland, to find him. She would adapt.

"A promises made under duress is no promise at all," he shouted from the safety of the boat.

"A promise is a promise," she screamed back, unsure whether the wind stole her cries.

Perhaps it had been an impossible promise, perhaps she should have saved him without extracting it, perhaps... but breach of contract was a serious thing under the sea.

Would earth hurt, too? She dropped her gauzy silks, emerald against the sand, and wove a cloak of thick weed to warm and cover her.

She had brought nothing except her need, and return might be impossible. But need was need, promises were promises, and here she was, on the beach, sure revenge would be even sweeter than twice-filtered whelks.