by Melany Johnson
Just kill him. Just open your mouth and sing the toxic note that will bring him to his murky death. Don’t look into his eyes, I remembered as I noticed the cool breeze ruffling his curly, light brown hair. So I focused on the sharp edge of the rock under my hand that gave me enough leverage to pull my upper body out of the cold, dark water. The rough edge against my grey, smooth, scaly flesh. I knew that if I looked into his eyes I couldn’t bring myself to kill him.
I recalled the memories that all mer-children have of watching our elders bringing down large land prey such as wild horses, humans, or the rare young urgle that might wonder upon our shores. I thought of how good a fresh kill tasted. I imagined myself killing; I saw a flash of color. Red. Blood. Not its blood, but my blood. I panicked. There were so many ways a hunt could go wrong. I looked away trying to run from the thought and found myself looking into his eyes. Comfort. Friendliness. Warmth.
He has full lips that curve into the most beautiful crooked smile, a rounded nose that suggests his goat-like descendants, and pointed ears that curve back and disappear into his hair. His pupils, of course, are like all Satyr’s, small and square.
The memories of us lying by the shore for hours in the shade talking and laughing or playing together in the water flooded my mind. I realized, as I glanced back at the expectant faces of my family with their grey eyes bright in the fading light, that I didn’t want to be a killer or a mermaid. I pulled the rest of my body out of the water and as he wrapped a blanket around me, I watched my fins, scales, and tail wash away in the tide, leaving me with two human legs.
I looked up at the moon and thought of the legend of the first mermaid to use the energy the moon gives to the ocean to shed her undersea life. I glanced back at him and he helped me to stand. Then we made our way into the forest and lived happily ever after.
Melany Johnson is a student in Write Local’s Academy for Writers and Entrepreneurs program at the Ligonier Valley YMCA. She is entering 10th grade at Ligonier Valley High School.
Kid’s Corner shares student writing from Write Local’s K-12 programs. Write Local is a non-profit located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania that inspires young writers to think creatively and innovate locally. To see more student writing, please visit writelocal.org.