Tag Archives: short fiction

I Literally Turned Into a Mermaid With Dragonfly Wings

I

Something about the the orange Creamsicle colored sky reflecting off the dark blue water made me want to go for a swim. It was like I was hypnotized. Without even thinking, I took off my dress and stepped into the crashing waves. The salt from the cool ocean spray hit my naked body, making my pores contract and my skin glisten.

I released my hair from the top knot I had it in and the smell of my gardenia perfume added a floral note to the smell of seaweed mixed with wet sand. The setting sun made it look more silver than platinum blonde and it was just long enough to graze my nipples. Once the water reached my thighs, I turned around to face the rocky shore and let myself fall into the surf.

The cold water enveloped my body and I became weightless. My hair took on a life of its own, moving with the current in a fluid motion. I stretched out my arms and my legs like a starfish, letting the water caress my thighs and flood my belly button. My face was the last part to go under. I took one last breath before my nose dipped below the surface.

I could hear the buzz of the ocean floor and the waves crashing into the sand when I was fully submerged. That’s when my body began to transform. As if prompted by the seawater, the skin below my hips turned into turquoise scales. My legs were fused together, becoming a tail that propelled me deeper into the ocean than I had ever been before.

Before I knew it, I was a mile offshore. I came up for a breath and the strength of my fin propelled me into the air. That’s when I realized that I had also grown emerald green dragonlfy wings. I flew high into the sky and dove back into the water at a velocity that shot me deep into the dark water. The vastness of the ocean was terrifying at first, but my eyes suddenly began to radiate golden light, illuminating my surroundings.

There wasn’t any life to be seen around me, but I could hear the conversation of a pod of humpback whales in the distance. I followed their calls until they were visible by the light of my golden eyes. It was a mother with her calf and three more family members swimming alongside one another. Before I knew it, the mother was swimming underneath me.

I was brought back up to the surface on her back as she continued her journey. I couldn’t see land anymore when I was riding on her slimy skin. I let my hand hang off her side, just behind one of her fins. My long, indigo-colored nails sliced into the water while we chased the last seconds of sun on the horizon.

If I were brave, I would have swam with them forever. I never felt more alive. The ocean always seemed lonely to me, but that’s only because I hadn’t experienced it like this before. It felt like I had been gone for hours before I decided to head back to shore.

I thanked my friends for the company and flew up to the darkening gray sky to find land. I enjoyed every minute that I was able to soar, with the wind flowing through my hair and between my bare breasts. I knew it wouldn’t last, though. Once I was close enough to see the green canopy of the island, lit with the incandescent lights of the seaside village, I went back underwater to conceal my transformed body.

I swam backwards, peeking my head up every once in a while to catch the final dance of the sun. As soon as I reached the shore, my body was back to normal again. I could feel the weight of gravity on my hips as I got back on my feet. It took me a while to find my dress, but I couldn’t bring myself to put it back on. I wanted to enjoy every last second of freedom before becoming part of civilization again.

II

“I found her!” Liz yells as she walks onto the rocky beach to find her friend Ally lying naked on the shore.

“What the fuck, Ally? We thought you drowned or got kidnapped or something,” she barks as she picks up her friend’s white linen dress, stained with sand and seawater.

Liz walks over to help Ally get dressed before the rest of their friends get to the beach.

“Where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

“You’re not gonna believe me if I tell you,” Ally says as Liz throws the dress over her head and tries to make her messy beach hair look somewhat presentable.

“Alright, get up and tell me on the way back to the hotel. We’re already late for dinner and you need to sober up.”

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Walks of Life

My lips have become bark, my saliva a thick paste. My joints feel like those of an arthritic man in his early seventies. I’ve grown accustomed to the cramps that have lodged themselves into my ribcage. I feel the blisters on my feet with each step I take, like someone is rubbing sandpaper on an open wound every time my foot hits the ground.

I’m about to give up on my quest when I see the tree-lined street that leads to the houses with the white picket fences. The hope of one day reaching this paved road is what got me through the days and nights that I walked alone through the desert.

I want to cry when my feet first hit pavement, but there isn’t enough fluid left in me to fill a single tear duct. After walking on the scorching sand, the smooth black asphalt makes me feel human again.

Once I’m close enough to the neighborhood, I notice a man exiting his home followed by his wife and daughter. He gives them both a kiss goodbye before walking down to his car on the driveway, a briefcase and coffee tumbler in his hands.

The man is blond with blue eyes and a medium build. He sets his coffee on the roof of his car and scrambles for his keys. Then he catches a glimpse of me as I slowly make my way down the street.

I attempt to smile, but my lips are so parched they break apart instead. Warm blood drips down my chin as I come closer to the family. The man quickly ushers them back into the house, his tumbler and briefcase forgotten atop his sedan. I decide to keep walking.

Before I make it past his house, the man re-emerges holding an assault rifle. He is still wearing his work clothes, a red and blue striped tie tucked into a white wrinkle-free shirt. He cocks his weapon and points it directly at me.

It feels like my blood has been instantly replaced with ice water. All of the hair on my body stands in terror. The shock paralyzes my jaw and my bloody mouth hangs open. My lungs fill with a numbness that almost suffocates me before I can take another step.

I peel my eyes off of the gun for a few seconds to look for help. I see a man in a white lab coat and light blue scrubs outside of the house across the street. I remember the Hippocratic Oath and I am filled with hope again. But my hope for humanity quickly fizzles as he gets down on one knee and pull back a crossbow aimed directly at my heart.

The way that they have positioned their weapons gives me the feeling that they want me to turn around and walk right back to where I came from, but that’s not an option for me. I can only move forward. I would rather die than go back into the desert. In fact, I will die if I go back there.

The thought alone gives me the impulse to continue my journey. Every step I take might be my last, but I am okay with that as long as my last step is in this direction.

After a few steps, the blond guy with the striped tie warns me not to step onto his property.

I slowly make my way past his yard and inch closer to the doctor with the crossbow. I see a stethoscope thrown on the driveway next to a small carton of orange juice that has emptied itself onto the stamped concrete.

When I reach the doctor’s house I find him calmer than the blond guy, but this could only mean that he is more comfortable with his finger on the trigger. I am terrified to look into his eyes, so I look into the window of his house. His wife is standing by the window in the kitchen rinsing his breakfast off their dishes without a care in the world.

The confusion makes me want to scream until my throat is swollen shut. I barely make it past the doctor and his wife before the entire neighborhood has been alerted of my presence. Every property owner is on his or her lawn with some form of armament: bats, whips, maces, guns, swords and crossbows.

The more I walk, the more narrow the street becomes. At first I think it must be an optical illusion created by my fear, but before long the street is two feet wide. It’s almost as if they’ve designed it in a way that would give them a reason to kill me.

I begin to experience vertigo and feel like throwing up. As much as I want to stop, I realize that I have nowhere to go.

Soon, my journey becomes a tightrope walk. My ankles are wobbly and my feet tremble, begging me to give in and just fall to my fate. Right before my knees begin to buckle, I reach the end of the road.

To my horror, the narrow street ends on a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff I see the desert. I look down at where I came from and try to decide my fate. If I let myself fall, I will die before I hit the ground. That seems like the most humane option.

Although I am ready to die, there is a question in my head that keeps my battered body from giving in.

Before accepting my fate, I turn around and look at the people with their weapons. Their apathetic faces incite a fury in me that I have never felt before. They are ready to push me over the edge without hesitation, but I refuse to make it so easy for them. My desperation turns into a hurricane that rips through my lungs. I open my mouth to scream and a gale force wind rushes through me.

WHY?!

As soon as the word escapes my mouth, my body begins to disintegrate. I become part of the sound waves pushing through the white picket fences and trees, past all of the people outside of their single family homes who wish to do me harm.

Gravity has no effect on me anymore. Like an eagle who has finally been set free, I soar toward the sea because there is nothing stopping me anymore.