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

Romantic Comedy

His sorrow was treading water, and no more alcohol could improve his life. He was at the point of oblivion. Andre was buying, and Andre insisted that all Rupert needed was a few drinks and his obsessions would seem meaningless.

“Your problem is that you’re too nice. Women like a man who will take control. You can’t even buy your own drink. Two more Dewar’s.”

Rupert was reaching his limit, but once the copper fluid was in front of him, he took a sip. The flavor of scotch seemed more subtle the further gone he was, and he wanted to savor it while he could. Andre downed his in a single gulp.

“You’ve been thinking about her too long, but she’s not the one for you. You’re just going to have to accept it. She’s seen the weak part of you, and you’re never going to overcome that. No one wants to fuck a boy. Why don’t you try acting like a man for once?”

Andre demonstrated by starting a conversation with a stranger. “Hey beautiful, do you have a defibrillator? Because I’m dying to meet you.”

Rupert was shocked when she laughed. After an initial, “That’s terrible,” she seemed receptive to whatever came out of Andre’s mouth. A little later, when he threw up on the bar, she took care of him and led him out, to her place.

Alone, Rupert finished his drink, and tried tapping the shoulder of a woman next to him. She turned toward him and held her hand to the spot he had touched like it was bleeding.

“Hello,” he said. “I’m dying.”

As he fell over onto her lap, she leapt to her feet and let him hit the wet ground. He rolled around in Andre’s vomit, his manly secretions, and obsessed.

#bros, #culture, #macho, #male-power, #media, #microfiction, #misogyny, #obsession, #ugly