Things I Tell the Mermaid by Keith J. Powell
I wasn’t drowning when you heard me calling out, I was swimming. Those were yawps of exhilaration. My ex didn’t throw me overboard, we mutually agreed I’d dive into the Pacific. Personally, I find swimming alone under the moonlight invigorating.
I’m curious to hear more about you. Your collection of flotsams and jetsam scavenged from sea wrecks sounds fascinating. Maybe you could show me sometime? Your friends the flounder and the crab sound like a riot. I’d love to play Cards Against Humanity with you all. I’ve also got a sea sponge allergy!
In my heart, that relationship ended a long time ago. When we finally parted ways on the deck of the catamaran, it felt more like an escape than a goodbye. I guess you could say I have some experience with sea witches myself. Ha ha ha. No, but seriously, I’m just at a place in my life where I’m looking for something more real, you know?
Yes, I’ve heard what people say about mermaids, but I’ve never put much stock in the scuttlebutt of sailors. Sure, a seashell bikini and scales are kind of exotic to someone who hasn’t lived much, but do you know what I think is sexy? Fearless honesty.
Sex is important, sure, I mean, who doesn’t like a good shiver me timbers, but it’s not what’s most important. This isn’t just some salty fling to me. I think I might be ready to drop anchor and stay. We can go at whatever speed you’re comfortable with because you’re special to me. Girls on the land let me. They say it feels good.
No, I’m not planning to toss you back when we reach land. Yes, I’ll text you. I just need to go ashore and return some calls for work. I literally don’t know what you mean by rebound. I’m just not sure you were honest about what you expected from me. This was special for me too. You’re still special to me.
Keith J. Powell writes fiction, CNF, reviews, and plays. He is a founding editor of Your Impossible Voice and occasionally tweets @KeithJ_Powell. He has recent or forthcoming work in Rejection Letters, Cloves Literary, The Ekphrastic Review, Bending Genres, and New World Writing.