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October 25, 2021 Fiction

The Mermaid

Libby Copa

The Mermaid photo

The water witch said that if I cut my hair and killed the prince and his new bride she would turn my legs back into fins and I could go home. I didn’t have to think about it very hard. The prince didn’t love me. He was willing to take a different bride after just a few days of getting to know her. He was a rather foolish man. I wasn’t going to sacrifice my happiness for his. No one should do that. So I cut all my hair and threw it in the sea. I took a dagger and put the blade through their throats. It was rather gory, but it was me or them.

When I got home my family made fun of me. Saying how stupid I had been to join the land people and they knew all along I couldn’t hack it there. We told you so, they said, repeatedly. It was really hard at first, all the teasing, but then two mermen from opposing tribes wanted to wed and I was off the hook. All eyes were on them and everyone forgot about my brush with legs.

I don’t regret my time above water. It didn’t make a huge dent in the long life I will have. What would I say I miss most from my time there? Being allowed to be still. My body ceasing to move. No tide pulling me silently along.


image: Chelsea Martin