Mermaid

Last time she came to the surface, Meryl found what seemed like a man, but his fins were all divided and strange. For some reason, he’d resisted as she pulled him down beneath the waves, as though his gills worked in reverse, like a dolphin’s.

This time seemed less eventful. Though the sun was drying and oppressive, she was the only creature in its path. The way it dissolved her skin should have compelled her back home, but it felt right today, like atonement. She stuck her face out of the water, where she couldn’t breathe. The quiet desperation of it gave her a strange kind of pleasure. The sweet ennui soon turned to fascinating terror, and when it turned entirely dire, she turned her face down and swam in circles, slowly regaining herself.

Voices from the beach called out to her. They were standing, looking in her direction. They were yelling, pointing, beckoning. She swam closer to them, though she couldn’t understand them or their language or their physical form. She imagined they were looking for the man she’d found. He’d died in her arms as she tried to help him. At his last breath, he had clung to her like a lover or a remora. She had been there for him.

She let them watch the empty surface. She left them. The pressure of fathoms separated her from them, and she slipped into her cave. Water flowed through her, and with water air, and with air life. She breathed it into him. Someday he would accept.

#asphyxiation, #denial, #invasive-thoughts, #loneliness, #murder, #mythical-creatures, #obsession, #water

Ogre (masochism)

Though the caravan was lined with lights in all manner of color and size, they did little to clarify the evening. Glorn could not see far, and he could not hold his hand over his eyes to find the balance between glare and dim. His hands were secured over his head. He could break the rope at any time, and he took comfort in the thought, but it was just a thought. A number of baseballs struck him in the chest from where he could not see.

“This brute comes from a race that doesn’t feel pain, so throw as hard as you can!” Edgar announced. The balls seemed to come in a quicker rhythm. Their impact was not precise enough to be a massage, but Glorn was not uncomfortable.

“Eight hundred years ago, these monsters were employed by the great Genghis Khan in his takeover of The Far East, until they threatened to take over themselves. Your abuse, ladies and gentlemen, is all that is keeping this one docile. Three balls for just one dollar! Five swings of the the whip for ten!”

A child stood on the platform behind him, with his father. Glorn heard the three of them talking — Edgar and the customers — about the proper technique and protocol for whip swinging.

“The follow-through is important. Think about where the tip is headed.”

Edgar demonstrated with a strike of his own, well-practiced. No one would hit hard enough if he didn’t show them that they could.

The boy’s attempts were sloppy and soft. Edgar told him to try a few more times.

“I think that’s enough.”

“No, Dad, he likes it!”

The whip snapped just once more, and the baseballs stopped coming. Glorn snarled at the empty fairground.

“Pervert!” someone shouted.

It kept him docile.

#abuse, #fairground, #microfiction, #mythical-creatures, #paraphilia, #the-fetishists

Witch

As the judge passed his verdict, the accused, then the convicted, now the deceased, breathed a sigh of what looked like relief. She had seemed bored all through the proceedings, even as various men of the community recalled with torrid detail her seduction tactics. Goodman Jonas wept as he recounted the spell that compelled him to lock his children in the barn and expose himself to everyone he met.

Hers had been the only relaxed face, and when asked to verify the troubled man’s testimony, she replied with a smile and a quick, “Who am I to deny the word of a man?”

Other stories piled up. She was hollow inside, her opening a beehive, her breasts filled not with milk, but honey, which she force-fed to young boys who strayed from their homes. She was four thousand years old, occasionally a dragon, occasionally a monster made of cobbled-together human flesh, which she tailored using snake-tooth needles.

No one had ever caught her in an immoral act, but that was part of her treachery. She altered the memories of her victims, making their personal problems seem like their own faults. Alive, her skin seemed white and pure, but when it burned, it revealed her true colors as of the race descended from Cain.

The men who grabbed her later complained that they enjoyed the feeling of her body. The evil was sucking them in. Those who lit the flame were soon made to feel regret, the last of her inhuman insubordinations. We in the community must remember, she needed to go. She was the cause of our suffering, and though we may be no longer capable of future progeny, at least we are safe.

#doom, #groupthink, #microfiction, #misogyny, #mythical-creatures, #racism, #sexism, #stopgamergate

Tiny Dragons

His phone was ringing. Gerry didn’t mind calls, especially on a Friday night at home, but Fjorik’s nostrils flared, and it was best not to challenge Fjorik. Bjornhard and Thuumbrig were more agreeable, but Gerry doubted he would challenge them either.

The phone rang again. Somehow it sounded more urgent this time. Gerry picked it up and looked at the display. Holding his breath, he accepted the call. Fjorik rolled over onto his knee.

“Hey, Nancy. What’s going on?” She had nothing prepared. She had called just to talk. He had nothing prepared either, but now they were talking.

“How’s your mother? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Lots of people go through worse though, so I wouldn’t worry too much.” Bjornhard lifted an eyebrow. Thuumbrig turned his head. “Yeah, I’m great. I couldn’t complain if I tried, not that I’m going to try.”

Fjorik was squinting. Every word Gerry said irritated him more.

Gerry wanted to end the conversation, but it hadn’t really begun. He couldn’t well hang up until the call had been justified.

“So do you have any plans tonight?” he heard himself say. He couldn’t believe he said it. The three ancient beasts lifted their eyes and stared Gerry straight in the throat. Thuumbrig sharpened his claws against the scales on his opposite forearms. Fjorik spit a tiny flame that Gerry swatted out with his free hand. He swallowed. “That sounds nice. I’d love to come, I really would. But I’m afraid I have other plans tonight.”

Some other time.

Together, the wyrms closed their eyes, and curled their necks downward, at peace. Gerry reached out to pet them, but they didn’t like to be touched.

He crossed his arms and held himself close.

#absurd, #agoraphobia, #awkward, #dragons, #microfiction, #mythical-creatures, #social-anxiety, #social-phobia