The Tears Call

I had always been obsessed with mermaids. When I was a little girl I would imagine their tiny bodies swimming up from my bath drain to keep me company. I could practically see their glimmering scales, soft fins and flowing colorful hair. I would pretend to pick them up in my cupped hands and watch them swim in circles. 

The safety of my bathtub changed to the safety of a lake about a mile from my house. I would go there when I needed alone time, through a small area of brush that led to a clearing with the calming waters of that lake. I would strip my socks and dip my toes in the frigid water; it made me feel safe. I would listen to the soft movements of the water, as if the lake was breathing. I imagined my bathtub mermaids followed me to the lake, and as I grew older they grew with me.

It was a windy day, and miniscule rain droplets felt like icicles slicing through my fair skin. I remember needing my lake that day, I didn’t care how cold it was. I dipped my toes in like I always did, and let the emotions flow through me. I couldn’t help it when I began to cry, warm salty tears plopped into the water below me, causing tiny ripples through my lake. 

I could have sworn I saw movement in the water below me, but it was gone in an instant. I imagined it was one of my mermaids, and that she could sense I was upset. 

“I’m getting too old to be seeing mermaids…” I said out loud to myself. I sighed and rubbed my watery eyes. 

“Need a friend?” I heard an angelic voice. 

It startled me out of my self deprecating thoughts. I glanced up from my hands and the first thing I saw was impossibly long blue hair, flowing in different directions with the water. I rubbed my eyes again, I was fairly used to imagining things.

“You’re not crazy, you know.” I heard the voice again.

I opened my eyes and saw her, I mean really saw her. A mermaid. She was even more glorious than I ever imagined. Her eyes were pale, her skin shimmered like it was about to burst with water, and her scales seemed to shift from green to blue as her tail bobbed up and down.

“You’re… You’re a mermaid?” I foolishly asked.

She perked one eyebrow up and effortlessly floated close to me. “Yes.” The word rolled off of her tongue like a music note.

“I swam here from your tub!” She sang.

“What?” I stammered. There was no fucking way, I thought to myself.

“I’m just kidding,” she laughed. “I’ve always been in this lake,” she said as the gills on her neck flexed. I hadn’t noticed them until now.

“How did you know about my bathtub?” I asked cautiously. 

“Like I said, I’ve always been in this lake. I’ve heard you talk to yourself many times, that’s why I thought it was safe to reveal myself.” she cocked her head at me. “It is safe, isn’t it?”

“Of course!” I almost choked on my words. “I would never tell anyone!” 

“Good.” She let her pale blue lips stretch into a smile. 

I saw her teeth behind those pale lips, they were sharp, and there were many rows of them. I began to feel slightly uneasy. But I pushed it down, I had always imagined mermaids but never let myself believe they could actually exist. 

“Why are you crying?” she asked gently. 

“I… I’m not sure I want to talk about it.” I laughed nervously.

“Mermaids are called by tears, you know,” she said casually as if that was common knowledge. 

“So you only came to me because I was crying?” I asked.

“Yes,” a single music note escaped from her lips. 

She swam right up to where my feet were still bobbing in the water. One side of her lips lifted slightly into a mischievous smile. I was about to ask what she was smiling about when she yanked on my toes. 

“Ow! What the hell was that for!” I exclaimed, pulling my feet out of the water.

“Don’t be a wuss!” she said “Come swim with me for a bit!” There was that mischievous smile again. 

Something in my gut told me not to, and to go home. But I’d always dreamed of mermaids, what if I never saw her again? What if this was my one chance to swim with a mermaid? As if she knew I was conflicted, she spoke, interrupting my thoughts. 

“Just dip your toes in, the water is warmer now.” 

“How could it be warmer? It was freezing fifteen seconds ago!” But to my dismay it was warmer; it sent a chill down my spine. “How did you do that?” I was baffled.

She laughed at me and said “Mermaids have plenty of magical abilities, want me to show you what else we can do?” This time she was grinning, and her rows of sharp teeth were completely exposed. They looked more pale than before, and her mouth seemed to grow wider. 

That uneasy feeling crept up again, but before I could react to my intuition she grabbed me by my forearms and dragged me into the water. Her hands were cold, and clammy. I began to protest, but it was too late. Her eyes grew more pale under the water, almost as if they were glowing. The last thing I saw was her mischievous grin growing wider and wider. I couldn’t breath, I began to panic. I saw her raise one of her arms towards me, her nails stretching into talons. In one quick motion she slashed my neck with one of those sharp talons. It stung, and my blood began to cloud the water around us. I tried to wriggle out of her grasp, but I was weak. She cocked her head at me and watched with her pale eyes.  The one thing that had always brought me peace transformed into a horrifying nightmare right before my eyes.

I felt like I was going to faint, not entirely sure if it was from the blood loss or the lack of air. My vision began to tunnel. I weakly reached for her as if she would save me, even though she did this to me. 

Was this what dying felt like? 

My body must have gone into some sort of survival mode because without thinking I tried to suck in a breath, even though I was under water. But when I did, I felt air seep in. I took a breath! I was in shock, too in shock to notice at first my blood had stopped. I looked at my mermaid, and she was grinning. But not an evil grin, a joyous grin. I reached up to my wound and I felt a flap of slimy flesh. I had a gill! I laughed and air bubbles floated from my mouth up to the surface of the water. 

We swam back up to the surface together so we could speak clearly. 

“Sorry if I scared you.” She chuckled, “All part of the fun!”

“I thought you were going to slaughter me.” I laughed, slightly nervous still. 

“I told you we had magical abilities, now you can swim with me whenever you want to!” 

And I did, every day I went to my lake to swim with her.

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1 thought on “The Tears Call

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      This story was.magical,I have always liked mermaids and this gave them a new perspective for me and I’m glad it ended happy.Know a little girl and boy who went swimming with the dolphins, maybe mermaids are next.

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