The Mermaid-03

“There is a particular kind of suffering when you love something greater than yourself. A tender sacrifice. Like the pained silence felt in the lost song of a mermaid, or the bent and broken feet of a dancing ballerina.” ― Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure

mermaid_3

Dark Eyes and Deadly Sins

   “Fever, like deadly sin, took her from me. I hear that mournful voice and see once black pearls alive under long lashes turn dull and dry. Selfish fear of loss grips my soul. A dagger pushes into my heart and tears fall on her inflamed skin while I try to tend to her.”

   Derek’s dark tale grips me. His blue-green eyes are bright and moist like a young man. Those eyes don’t see the bawdy crowd in front of him submerged in the art of sin and degradation. He only sees into the past and feels the sharp pains of his lost love. My chest tightens and strangles my breath. For a moment, I consider that I’m looking directly at my future in the old man’s face. I hear the stuttered breath as Derek continued his far-fetched tale.

   “Meera lies on her back, turns her head, and looks away to some place only she knows. I wonder what I have done, and guilt weighs on me with the knowledge, I’ve brought harm to this beautiful and pure creature of my dreams.

   It’s at this point, I see her skin bright and pink where my selfish tears have soiled her. Then it comes to me as if a thought put in my head by Meera’s distant stare. Saltwater. She needs the essence of her life from which I’ve removed her.  I hauled water from the sea. I removed my tattered shirt and began a nightlong ritual of keeping her skin moist with sea water.

   I soaked her bandage, her hair, and skin until a light sheen rose from her in the starlight. Her pale white skin with the dappled gray tones glitter in the light from a million tiny crystals of salt and bioluminescent plankton in the water. I watch as the tags of skin on her nose that close off the water while she swims flare and collapse with her quickening breath.

   My hands move from pail to fevered skin caressing every tortured inch of her body. She is soothed and I find pleasure in her gaze at my face as wet hands glide over her. The fever burned her then chilled her, and in the heat of the morning, it released her as she slept in peace glistening like the first time I saw her.

   In three days she was able to clench her long toes like a fist and walk on tip-toes in the sand in a swaying motion first leading with a slight toss of the head, lean of the shoulder followed by her hips. Meera rocked in a gentle motion like the long grasses in the ocean current until she made her way to the rocks. She rested in the sun under blue skies and wisps of smoky clouds. I watched as she scooped water with her webbed feet and flung it over her body like buckets of rain.  

   The desire to love her burned in my mind as she sat on the rocks. The scene captivated me and my thoughts drifted across my mermaid’s slender features. She rose and stretched out her arms then arched into the air and disappeared into the water. I screamed without thinking and ran to the widening circle of ripples. God Damn my soul, she was gone again. I dove into the water to catch a glimpse that would never come. Destroyed again, I returned to the sand and worried for her, worried for myself, worried for us.”

   “Shit, dude. How do you hold on to a wild creature like that? It’s one thing to love them. It’s quite another thing to keep them.” I’m almost hurt by the old man’s confession of his weakness for his mermaid.

   “The answer, young man, is you don’t hold on to them. They come and go as they please, and if you are lucky enough to taste their love, it suspends your life forever. You never move forward even as your life fades in age and sickness. Life remains locked in the memory of her sweet and succulent love,” the old sailor whispered as his mug moved toward his thirsty lips.

   “Tell me about it, old man. I have to know.”

   “One evening, I sat next to fire on the beach. I don’t know what I wanted more, to see Meera or see my rescue from this island that tempted me to stay to the end of my days with my mermaid.

   Splashing in the surf broke my spell, and I looked up at the shadow rocking toward me from the surf in that long sensuous sway. My mermaid sat next to me. Meera’s eyes reflecting the dancing flames and the yellow-orange reflection on her face and golden breasts took my breath as my need for her rose like mercury in the glass.

   She held up a fish and offered it to me. Excited, I jumped up chattering and laughing with a renewed joy. I ran to the shelter and brought a pan, knife, and a few spices rescued from the ship’s galley with a small amount of pressed coconut oil. Meera enjoyed her first cooked meal as a child with her face buried in a bucket of ice cream. Oh, the sounds we made as we shared this meal.

   That night, we swam in the water to freshen up and returned to the shelter together. She sat with her legs folded and those fanlike feet covering her naked bottom. Leaning on her left arm with her right folded across her lap, she stared out to the Milky Way as it slashed across the sky and dove into the wet horizon beyond us. The inky night flickered from our fire and shadows stretched across the sand. She looked back at me as my hand found her back and played a soft melody of sensation on welcoming skin. In her eyes, I saw questions under the currents of desire. Her lips intimated a smile. Whispers like song drifted from her lips to mine, and I felt drawn to her. I’ll never forget how her lips tasted and the sweetness of her breath. I go to sleep each night in the firm mattress of her embrace. Her hands cloak me in that first gentle love. We share the heat of our bodies as the sound of surf and wind play over us like an approving audience to our love scene on the screen of some classic movie.

   She was elegant in my arms and true to her wild nature with her lust. No man has loved until he has loved a mermaid. The best we can pray for is to love a woman with the wild and free spirit of a mermaid. To love a woman one can never possess is an aching and hypnotic love. That’s what we had. That’s what I wish to hold onto.”

   “What happened to the two of you?  Why did you leave her for this shit hole of a bar and these bastards for friends?” I had to know. I couldn’t rest until I heard what happened.

   “It was a cruel fate that separated us, my friend. We spent our days together. I helped her master the earth, and she helped me learn the sea. Together, we mastered each other in new and free ways of pleasure and love. Like wicked sin, we could not break away from our addiction to each other.

   One day, Meera grew anxious and tearful. She tried to voice her concern and in time, I understood she sensed something I couldn’t see. Her stress was caused by her unwillingness to leave me and knowing our survival was the sea which in any duration was forbidden to me. She opted to stay on land with me and in a few days, I understood what troubled her.

   A violent storm began to brew, and by the time I realized what Meera had known for days, it was too late to do anything but try to wait it out. The storm raged and water beat against the shelter as the tide surged and the wind carried it to us in an angry fist that battered our shelter. A great wave burst through, and the riptide that returned to the sea twisted us like rags. I lost my grip on Meera and was struck by rock or debris, I don’t know which.

   I awoke on a freighter in calm seas, delirious and crying for my Meera. In time they ignored my pleas to go back to the island. The captain refused. They told me they found me floating with the wreckage of my ship, alone. They think my Meera was a dream while I was unconscious from trauma, hunger, and dehydration.

   “What do you say, old man?” I asked incredulous that such a tale could end in the sweep of a wave on a stormy night.

   “I don’t think anymore, Hyperion. I dream and soak my sorrow in the beer good samaritans like you provide. But since you ask, I think Meera took me to the wreckage and left me there. She may even have steered the loose tangle of wood and fiberglass to the shipping lanes. I’ll never know for sure.

   “What do you say we go get something to eat and discuss finding your island and your mermaid. Maybe she has a friend,” I insist on helping the old man. We ate at a noodle stand then I took Derek back to the hotel so he could clean up and have a safe place to sleep. I planned on renting a boat after a quick recon of satellite images of the area he described. With any luck, no one would ever see Derek and me again.

*The End*


Image source: pinterest.com

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21 thoughts on “The Mermaid-03

    1. I will be working on it today and tomorrow. Hopefully, it won’t be an insurmountable problem. Amazon’s publishing is not friendly at all. Apple’s iBooks gives you a free authoring tool that makes beautiful ebooks in their format which you simply upload with graphics and everything embedded. It’s a shame with so many people using Amazon, you would think they could come up with an easier and more elegant solution.

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  1. Oh, my dearest, Daniel … I would say, I fall in love in your Dragon tales and yet, this Mermaid made it the more of a very powerful Story you had ever written. I felt the pain of this Kind of love. As I, myself, yearned for the lost love I cannot have no more and we tried, we failed miserably, and we tried for more, and yet the Tide took either one of us, brought us back to whence we came and perhaps never to return again … It hurts, truly.

    What an awful Thing for any creature to find some love are distant, a mere dream of a dream and nothing more, but a glimpse of hope from afar, almost unreachable and yet it is still lingers there. It lingers there where thoughts make the miracle of memories of the past, created a new world from an old times that could never be the same and yet, it is still there, those love that are lost and waiting to be embrace. And then, it is lost forever in the sea of time and we left just with the memories of it all …

    I felt this Story more deepen in me than any stories I ever read before. Not even the nocturnal stories on their millenia love that goes on forever. To go on forever can be possible, but not knowing what has become of the love you had lost are harder because you live in on only in memories and it is the more frightening when you cannot remember many … Memory are fickle … it Plays like fire in the mind and yet it diminished faster than we thought …

    I love this Story the best, Daniel. You simply nailed it!

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    1. I agree with your sentiments exactly, Sherrie.

      For some reason, I liked Daniel’s Mermaid stories way better than his Dragon stories and I couldn’t really express why.

      But when it comes to explaining matters of love and loss, Sherrie, you’re simply the best at explaining and expressing it.

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      1. True.
        Daniel at his best.
        But still, he wrote any stories with intense emotions that one can feel it even on your very Skin.

        I felt, yet, this Mermaid Story are the more intense and I can feel the old man’s strong love for it (or she).

        An authentic Story, comfortably blends with mystery with unflinching contemporary suspence, surrounded by strange love unexpected. Brilliantly written …

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        1. You are too kind, Sherrie but I do love how you understand my writing so well. In this story I put my current spirit in the old man as he recounts his past and my past spirit in Hyperion as the younger man imagining his future. Our dreams do become our future if we are determined enough to live our dreams. But, in many cases love sought and love found is a fire that consumes the heart and mind. It leaves our spirit tarnished like that favorite kettle that has made a thousand cups of tea in the flames of the cooking fire. Life must savor the tea and appreciate the old kettle for the pleasures it has wrought.

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      2. Sadly, I have to agree. It’s time to send the Dragons home. Perhaps as far as literary undertakings go, one can’t miss with a good mermaid tale. They are so elemental to our psyche it’s nearly impossible to turn them away from our fantasy.

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    2. Thank you so much, Sherrie for these beautiful words in your comment. I could never express it better. Maybe it’s exactly as you say that makes the mermaid so universally magic and alluring to men and women. It’s the love between the sea bound mermaid and her land bound man that ultimately means they must be separated to only live in the memory of that intense love that can never last. Love with all it’s power brings us together like the tide against the shore and then the insurmountable differences pull the couple apart. I wonder if it is better to live alone with one’s pure memories or live to see one’s greatest love murdered a thousand times by the harshness of life. I really don’t know. What I do know is the tide will come and the tide will go leaving the shore changed each time but it always returns, sometimes gentle, sometimes with fury.

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  2. Truly a beautiful tale, Dan! I’m really impressed and you certainly added on to the initial descriptions of her. I’m happy you left it open-ended so we can one day hear about their quest to find Meera and a friend, haha.

    I just love this quote: “No man has loved until he has loved a mermaid. The best we can pray for is to love a woman with a wild and free spirit of a mermaid.”

    And of course the perfect amount of humor, “Why did you leave her for this shit hole of a bar and these bastards for friends?” 😀

    The imagery is on point! Thanks for dazzling us with your writing yet again.

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren. I can’t get over how you and Natasha have enlightened me to the world of mermaids. And, it happened at the same time. Fate, no doubt. I could never have come up with this on my own. I’m thrilled you liked it and if I ever am able to pick it up again, I am positive our two love-struck boys will not rest until they have found their mermaids. I’m sure all the underwater filming will be spectacular. 😀

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  3. Noooo!!! The end?!!!! This can be just the beginning!!! It is such a beautiful tale Dan, I almost cried! So touching. One of the most beautiful short stories I’ve ever read. And even though I wish there was more, I do think it is a perfect ending because it leaves us to guess what could be. Beautiful job my friend, you showed a different side of your writing talent. And talent it is indeed…:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Natasha! Wow, I’m really happy you connected with it. I love your comment. This is really what keeps me going, when I can write something the reader can feel, especially someone with your talent. I really felt this story too. I left it open because I may develop it into a full story but I need some time to set up the plot and develop the characters. I do think it has potential. And really it started when I saw your drawing and I just starting thinking about how captivating mermaids are. It just grew from there and I had to do it. Don’t be surprised if another chapter pops up later 😉

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  4. The way you’ve written this tale reminds me of a black and white Japanese film adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novel The Fool that was made back in the 1950s and that I saw on TCM earlier this year (it’s become one of my 5 favourite movies of all time).

    It conveys the same feeling of dark pathos and sense of loss and tragedy in love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that you mention it, I thought the Russian classical writers, even Nabokov’s Lolita had that dark pathos to it. It really seeps into the sub-conscious and captivates the imagination. It’s an honor to be even remotely connected to the great Russians. Add to that the interpretations of the Japanese and it could be masterfully rendered.

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