Fiction | Short Story

To be a Mermaid

Cryptozoological DreamGirl.

This is all true.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mermaid.

I rolled like a sleek, fat brown little otter in the apartment complex
pool; I daydreamed about swimming in the Mariana Trench. I taught myself to sit at the bottom of the deep end and meditate.

I wanted to be the unseen terror in the depths.

I didn’t want to the White Disney mermaid. She was too White and pretty.

I wanted to be a dangerous mermaid. I wanted men to write harrowing epics about barely escaping the Black Mermaid of Puget Sound.

I wanted to be a Sasquatch; a blurry photo in a book about unsolved mysteries. Argued about on the Internet, searched for by Cryptozoologists.

I am an adult now, a real grown up lady.

I never did grow up to be a mermaid.

Sometimes I still stare at the cold water as it roils and whispers. I mourn my human face.

And then I catch my reflection in windows and on the faces of people on the street. I understand as I smile-

I am terrifying.