Forget about the Disney film. And the fairytale. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between.
Our colony was near Lundy. The sea was grey, pinpricked with rain, and when I made my yearly pilgrimage to the surface, it was all seals and birds. I longed for excitement; bright lights and bustle, not grit and granite.
The next year I swam inland, until I saw the twinkling lights of the Grand Pier at what turned out to be Weston-super-Mare. And Norm, fishing off the end of it. I was hooked.
Like hundreds before me, I swapped my tail for a man. Norm and I ran a boarding house overlooking the wide flat sand. I never tired of watching the holidaymakers. Building castles, riding donkeys, running shrieking towards the sea and back when it touched them.
Twenty wonderful years, until Norm passed away. The stories never talk about what comes next. I had pushed the sea to the back of my mind for so long, but then the tide turned. My feet shriek when they meet the ground, so I use a bike for errands. My ears are shells filled with waves.
Soon I’ll give in.
But I don’t know if the sea will have me back.
First published on Flash Friday Fiction
FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words). So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.