Welcome to the Attic!

Terse Tales: Into the Deep

Theme: When you looked inside, you knew things would never be the same.


The water lapped against the boat, and I leaned back, letting the salt bake onto my body. It was time to head back to shore, but my boat was lighter than I had hoped. A little longer, a few more casts.

Then, there was a new sound.  I shook off the afternoon doldrums and leaned my ears toward the sound, a steady tapping coming from the side of the boat.

It was some detritus caught in the tides. A mundane explanation, certainly. I started to settle back and lose myself in thought again. But the sound changed. A tap, then a splash, then more taps repeating a pattern. As if the ocean were playing a rhyming game from my youth.

I stood, shaking off fatigue and the inertia of a long day. As I leaned over the edge and gazed down into the water, I froze.

Events that change the way you view the world should come with some sort of fanfare. I got nothing besides a still day on the ocean and the traditional melancholy of my thoughts. Yet my world was reeling. For in that water was a face.

It was mostly human, I reasoned. A swimmer, here, far from shore, I irrationally reasoned. But that did not account for the graceful swoop of its lower body, the tail splashing water at my boat. The face smiled, golden eyes reflecting familiar friendliness. I had no way to understand what I was seeing, but I knew it was beautiful.

The creature tapped on the side of the boat with a playful twist of its head. Those were human hands, but for the webbing. One hand reached out to me, warm, inviting, and kind.  I accepted.

If only I had known I could never go back.

One response

  1. A mermaid and treachery. Well written. 🙂

    July 10, 2021 at 7:45 am

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