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A Short Piece for The Sea
this is a story...
They let him go on Sunday.
His scales had been flaking off for a while now, and left a small trail wherever he went.
Though he never really went anywhere.
They had confined him to the house and left him in attic in a old ceramic bathtub that had cracks in it. Left there by their grandmother from way back.The had patched up the cracks were tape then glue before lifting him into the shallow body of water, The water never stayed a certain temperature. It was always either too cold or too hot. And the water was hard to move, meaning him would be left in his won filth for days before they managed to remove most of the water.And still he would be left alone, his skin drying out, his breathe becoming shallow.
It was a very bad place to put a merboy.
After a while it became too small a place for him. His fins would rub against the tub uncomfortably, and his every efforts to move around would meant will a painful sensation of his cold slimy skin against aged rock. The had to fill the tub to the brim to keep him from dying up,and they replaced the water more frequently now. But he could tell it had become more of a nuisance than ever. And he knew that.
They never considered moving him to the regular bathtub downstairs. They told him it was smaller than the one he was in now. But they had lied to him.
They never dumped the waste-water anywhere near their home. They thought it would be safer to dump it into the ocean.
They thought he was contaminated. But they knew he was a freak.
In the end, this is simply the story of a merboy, with scales and fins and a fishy tail that glinted a sliver-green in the sun. This is the tale of how this strange new creature left all he ever knew;his dad, his sister, the photographs of his dead mother, behind to dip his body into the chilled warmth of the sea.
This is a memory of how he looked, fish tail and all, like an angel. Gliding and swimming in the water, laughter like the waves hitting the beach, his eyes full moons in the round sockets of his face. He was strange, that’s for sure. But he was also very beautiful, at least from a distant.
The merboy swam away form the port where his aged and dying father sat next to his sister. Both of their faces glistening with tears that may or may not be the result of the sea-salt, that somehow managed to get stuck in their eyes. The sun dipped low in the sky.
“Like a cracker in some soup!” the boy had said when he was two,the first time he had ever seen the sunset in his attic bedroom. And now, at the end of the day, their little fish boy had left to do what all fishboys must do eventually.
Swim and Live.
They stood their watching him, a hole in their lives that had been punched open. A secret that had finally been revealed, relief.
They sat and watched.
And they prayed that he would never return.