The Merman


The Merman (315 Words)

It’s a fact that you don’t see many mermen. I wonder if it isn’t because the merwomen keep them hard at work in the weeds under the sea. Of course merpeople are real. There isn’t any question about that.

Perhaps mermen are shy. Maybe they would rather be tending coral or scrubbing manatees than spying on ships. I think they must be smooth-cheeked—otherwise their hair would always be floating up in their faces—or else, they must be careful to tie their beards down. I know for a fact that one of them was clean-shaven, because I saw him.

The storm washed him in. I found him half-curled with shells, crushed cans and other litter around him. The sun was rising but the tide was out. I thought at first he was just a man, until I saw his tail. I blinked. It was still there–a fish tail, long and green. The battered tail fin was drying out.

I was afraid, but I felt sorry for him. I dragged him to the sea, and when the first wave touched him his eyes opened. They were very large eyes, dark and arresting, and I was so surprised I dropped him. With startling speed, he struggled the rest of the way, and I watched the green waves swallow him.

I was turning to go when I heard a call. I looked around and saw him in the light surf. He held out his hand to me. I rolled up my pants’ legs and went to see what he held.

It was a necklace, a strange ornament made of shells and fish bone. He had worn it around his own neck. I took it and I still have it. I’d be more than happy to show it to you if you don’t believe me. Maybe you won’t believe me anyway. But every word of this is true.


This post is written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt, “Blink,” and CYW 2018’s prompt for January 19, “Manatee.”

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