Thomas believes in myths and mythological creatures, and when he reads that a mermaid's kiss has the power to heal, he thinks of his bedridden Grandpa. Thomas sets out to catch a mermaid to heal his Grandpa--if they really exist.
Elise swam up to the large rock and pulled
herself up on top. She enjoyed lying across the rock and sunning herself in the
afternoons. As she twisted her long, dark hair to wring the water out, her
scales sparkled in the sunlight, creating a kaleidoscope of colors.
After wringing her hair dry, she swung it
behind her, relaxing on her tummy and watching a boy on the far bank reading
under a tree. Elise sighed. “I wonder what you’re reading. If only I could read
their language, I’d—"
“You’d what?” Delpha lit on a branch hanging
over the rock.
Elise almost slipped back into the water. “You
“You don’t want anything to do with those,
those humans! They bring their nets and hooks and catch sea
creatures, dining on them or mounting them on their walls.”
Elise rolled over to her side, propping
herself up with her elbow. “Well, good thing for you that you are a seagull and
not an ocean dweller.” She teased, smirking.
“Go ahead, make a joke, but you don’t leave
these waters. You don’t see what I see…humans eating crabs and fish, catching
them by the hundreds—no thousands in nets.” Delpha shook her wing at Elise.
“You steer clear of them, you hear?”
Elise smiled and nodded. “Yes, your highness,
seagull.” She rolled over to her tummy and propped herself up on her elbows,
watching the human again. What is must be like to walk around and not
swim. Not all humans can be bad, can they?
Thomas sat with his back up against a tree
reading about mermaids and their mystical powers. His cousin Dane walked up and
sat down beside him. “You still reading that unicorn book, squirt?”
Thomas slammed his book on his lap. “Not
“Whatever, ones just as real as the other, I
suppose.” He stretched his legs and leaned against the tree.
“If I could find a mermaid, then all I’d need
is for her to kiss Grandpa and he’d be cured.” He flipped through the pages of
his book and ran his finger half-way down a page. “It also says here that
mermaid’s tears are like the fountain of youth.”
“Grandpa’s old, he’s going to die. It happens
Thomas jumped up and stomped away. He strolled
alone along the water’s edge looking for the best area to place his net. “The
book says to place the nets near patches of seaweed,” he mumbled.
Thomas rolled up his pant legs and waded out
into the water a few feet. He couldn't see far enough out, so he decided to
come back tomorrow with his raft. Then he could place his nets further out.
Elise watched the boy walk along the water’s
edge. “I wonder what he’s looking for.” She sighed.
“A big fish to catch and eat up, I’d
suppose," said Delpha.
Elise sat up flipping her tail in the water.
"No, I don't think so, Del. He looks as though he's searching for
something…he's lost or sad." She slid off the rock and sank down under the
water and swam over to the water's edge. Looking up, she saw Thomas walking
away, with his book tucked under his arm.
Delpha flew overhead, squawking and skimming
the water looking for Elise.
Elise swam to the middle of the water and jump
up flipped her tail and laughing. "I hear you, Del. Don’t worry. I'm not
going to let him see me."
"Do you know what humans do to merpeople?
They'll catch you, stuff you, and mount you on a wall for show, but not before
they cut you open and study you inside and out."
"Don't worry, Del. I'm heading home now,
and I'll be careful…I promise."
Thomas returned to the water's edge early the
next morning, carrying his make-shift raft. The rays of sun shone through the
fog, creating beams of light that reached down and glistened on the water.
Sitting on the bank, he rolled up his pant legs and waded out a few feet before
putting his raft into the water. He sat on his knees, bent forward and used his
hands to paddle out further where he thought he'd find seaweed.
He continued paddling out to the middle of the
water and swished the water as he looked for the flow of seaweed. Several areas
were thick with it, so he chose the area where it grew the thickest. He pulled
the netting from his back pocket and untangled it before spreading it out and
lowering it near the seaweed.
The make-shift raft teetered as he reached
over to tie the netting to a low, crooked branch hanging out over the water.
Thomas secured the net by tying each corner to other low-hanging branches, and
then lay back on his raft to wait for his mermaid.
Lying there, staring up at the sky, Thomas
smiled remembering how he and Grandpa used to go fishing and played Frisbee in
the back yard. But, that was before he got sick, and now he can't even walk to
the backyard without struggling to breathe. Thomas yawned, and watched the
clouds separate into smaller cloudlets drifting across the sky. He drifted off
to sleep, snoring.
"Elise, would you pick some fresh seaweed
to eat for breakfast?" Her mother asked.
"Sure, be back in a few minutes."
She swam off fluttering her tail softly as she glided through the water. She
loved to look for starfish as she swam. As she came upon a lush growth of
seaweed, she noticed something shiny dangling in the water. A bait! She thought.
Elise jumped back, her heart raced. But, the
shiny thing was attached to white string, not fishing line. She swam a bit
closer to get a better look. "It's a weight for a net." She mumbled.
Elise swam up to the surface and quickly took a look around. She noticed the
human lying a raft. His eyes were closed. He was making an awful noise.
Elise dunked under the water and hit the edge
of the raft with her tailfin. It flipped, rolling Thomas off into the net.
"Help!" Thomas screamed. Panicking,
he pulled at the net, but he legs and arms were tangled. Elise grabbed it and
swam quickly across the water to her sunning rock and helped Thomas untangle
Coughing and gasping, he pulled himself onto
the rock and began untangling his feet. "What are you trying to do, kill
me?" He looked up and into Elise's emerald-green eyes. "You're
real... a real mermaid."
Elise pulled herself up onto the rock beside
Thomas. "I'm warning you...stay away and don't try to catch us for
trophies. We merpeople are too clever for you humans."
"I wasn't going to hurt you. I just need
a favor, that's all."
"Sure you do. There is nothing I can do
for you, so go back to your raft and forget you saw me." Elise slid off
the rock and plunged into the water.
"Wait!" Thomas's eyes glistened with
tears. "It's my grandpa, he's real sick, and I need you to kiss him,
Elise stopped. She realized he was the troubled
boy she saw strolling along the bank. "I'm sorry. I can't trust you."
She started to swim away, but Thomas yelled
out, sobbing. "He's gonna die...please. I don't want to hurt you. Please
come back." Thomas pressed his face into his hands and sat alone on the
Elise stopped, and swished her tail to turn
around. She popped up beside the rock. "Wait here, I'll be back. I have to
take the seaweed to my mother."
Thomas continued to sob.
Elise rubbed his back. "Just wait
Elise swam home and gave her mom the seaweed.
"I'll be back, Mother."
"Wait, you haven't had breakfast."
Elise grabbed a seaweed cake. "I'll eat
it on the way." She kissed her mother's cheek.
As she swam back to the rock, she hesitated.
What if that boy did want to hurt her? Was she walking into a trap? But, he looked so sad, and she was curious about humans.
As she swam closer, she heard Thomas yelling
and Delpha squawking.
Thomas swatted at the seagull. "Ouch, go
Delpha continued squawking and pecking at
Elise popped up out of the water, chuckling.
"Delpha, it's okay. He's not going to hurt me."
"And just how do you that?" Delpha
stopped pecking and flew up to her usual perching branch.
Thomas sat rubbing a red welt on his cheek.
"You can understand what that bird is saying?"
"Yes, can't you?" Elise asked.
"No, it just flew over here and attacked
me, making that awful squawking sound."
"Delpha is just a bit over protective, I
suppose." Elise pulled herself up onto the rock beside Thomas and wrung
out her hair. "I feel bad for you, human..."
"Thomas, my name is Thomas."
"Thomas, I don't know how I can help you.
I mean, I can't leave the water, and I don't have any special powers."
"Maybe you just don't know you do. I read
in my book that mermaids have special powers, and all it takes is one kiss to
cure someone...one little kiss on the cheek."
"What are plans? Bring your Grandpa
"No, he can't get out of bed. My book
says you can leave the water for a while without getting hurt. I got it all
planned out. I'll use a wheel barrow to get you to the house, we can cover your
legs in wet cloth, and you kiss grandpa. I'll bring you right back. I
"I wouldn't trust him, Elise. He looks
sneaky, and the whole thing sounds suspicious." Delpha squawked.
Elise looked at Thomas sitting there with
tears glistening in his eyes and red welts on his face and arms, and she couldn't
say no. "I'll trust him."
Well, it's been three years since I had my first book published, Tales from Imagination's Closet. This means my contract is up with Melange Books, and I decided to have the rights come back to me. I am not going self-publish it as it is, instead, I'm going to include some of the stories in my Flashes of Fiction volumes, and I do have plans for some of the longer stories as well. I believe it's time for a change. :)
In other news...
I now have a Tumblr, so feel free to follow me there if you would like. I'll be posting all things freelance writing and fiction writing.
I've added more creative writing to my Yahoo Contributor page, and there is more to come in the new few weeks, so stop by if you are in the mood to read.
I'll working hard to edit and make sure all formatting is ready for Mermaid's Kiss to go live on April 30th. It will be a Kindle Single for 99 cents. I'll have an excerpt and blurb up on the blog Monday.
Flashes of Fiction (Volume 2) Will be out June 1st.
Finder's Weepers: Leonard get caught up in his own web of lies.
Remain Calm: The insane never question their own sanity.
Punctilious: Being on time just may be a matter of life and death
Assailant: A strange rash of burglaries occur ahead of a warm front.
Laugh Like a Baby: A story of mixed up emotions--Literally!