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The Haunted Mermaid

(So Fridays have sort of evolved into a free for all on this blog. I pretty much just write whatever for Friday's if I write at all... I've been a short story writing kick so I've decided to put one on here. It's the first one I wrote that has no connection to my Tales of the Lonely world that I've created so give it lots of grace. Also no one checked my grammar so... please give the grammar lots of grace too because despite being a writer I suck big time at grammar (especially commas). But I was inspired by Mariella Hunt's blog where she puts her short stories on there and I want to give it a try so I hope you guys like it!)

The Haunted Mermaid

Sometimes if you sit on the beach long enough and wait until the moon is at its peak you can hear the sorrowful keen of a mermaid.

There are some stories that will tell you mermaids are frivolous, vane things. They sit on rocks all day and comb their hair and sing, preening tails.

Others will spin tales of murderous and vengeful goddesses of the sea. Beautiful in outward appearance but blood thirsty in nature. They cull ships of their sailors, summon storms, and dance with sharks.

But none of those stories are true. Not a single one. There are mermaids who are vane and careless and there are those who seek revenge and death. But most mermaids are sorrowful and faded. They grieve because they have only their sisters for company. Mermaids love their sisters. Love them more than the moon, more than a perfect melody, but sometimes sisters aren’t enough. They wail at the night sky because they have no one to hold them with strong arms or to kiss them goodnight or tell them how much they are loved.

Mermaids have sisters but they do not have lovers.

All except for the one who haunts Coral Beach. This particular mermaid was the most beautiful of all her sisters. Her laugh filled hearts with joy. Her eyes never ceased to dance with life. The mermaid of Coral Beach would spend all day tending to her coral garden, exploring ship wrecks and playing with dolphins. When the moon came up she would spend all night singing enchanting songs that some could hear on the shore if they were quiet enough. She would sit upon Mermaid Rock and brush her hair and close her eyes, her head tipped back toward the sky and let her grief and delights poor out through her voice.

At one point she had been as lonely and loveless as her sisters. Until one fated night when a brave young man ventured across the sharp rocks off the shore. Her voice had enraptured him. At first his presence had scared her and she’d darted into the water. But then he came back the next night and the night after that, and the night after that. And so did she. She knew not why she felt so drawn to him but she couldn’t resist the pull to see him every night. He would sit on a rock adjacent to hers and she would sing just for him.

This brave young man would bring her gifts of seashells and vibrant cloths from the shore and in return she would sing for him time and time again until they were inseparable. Until their hearts became one and the Coral Beach mermaid could not remember a time without him. She had found love, a rare gift none of her other sisters had.

And for a time the Coral Beach mermaid and her lover were happy together. She sang and he told her stories. She would tell him of her life under the sea and he would kiss her palms, her forehead and her mouth. They thought of each other night and day and despite the impossibility of their love they didn’t care. They were content with what little time they got to have with each other.

One night though as the two lovers shared a moment on their rocks (that side of the beach had been dubbed Lover’s Shore where the young and old couples alike often spent time together) one of the Coral Beach mermaid’s sisters followed her. The sister became jealous of the love her sister had found and plotted to thwart it, for if the rest of them couldn’t find love than none of them could.

Oblivious, the Coral Beach mermaid and her lover spent the rest of the night together, singing, talking and kissing until the sun rose and they separated. The sun came and went and soon the mermaid’s lover returned to the rock, early this time and equipped with a ring in his pocket. He was ready to throw caution to the sea salty wind and spend the rest of his life with his beautiful, enchanting mermaid. He would buy a boat and live out at sea where he and his mermaid could never be separated. But when he got there the Coral Beach mermaid’s sister waited for him and lured him toward her with a bewitching song.

The lover could not resist. He sank down into the depths of the sea. The witchy mermaid took her face in her hands crooning to him. His heart, his mind, his very soul swelled with her song as his lungs filled with water. The last thought he had before the water overtook him was how much the voice sounded like his lover.

The Coral Beach mermaid got there in time to watch the last bit of life fade from her lover’s eyes. Some say they could hear her scream from across town. Her wicked and jealous sister swam away, never to be seen again, leaving the Coral Beach mermaid to grieve over the loss of her love. She found the ring in her lover’s pocket and she still wears it on her finger to this day. Made of pearl with a simple silver band. As stunning and simple as her. Her kinder sisters helped her grieve, gave her comfort and space and time to heal but she never did. After she laid him down on the beach, blessing him with one last tear soaked song the mermaid disappeared and never returned to the shore.

Instead locals say she sits on Mermaid Rock, far enough from the shore to not be seen but close enough to be heard. She comes every full moon, sometimes keening for her lost love and sometimes singing of grief and vengeful sisters.

If you arrive at Coral Beach on a full moon night and if you are very still, and very quiet, and your heart is in just the right place you can hear her haunting melodies and maybe even catch a glimpse of a glimmering tail or flick of silken blue hair.

(Hope you all have a great weekend!)


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