I had spent all my life enamored by the myths of mermaids and sought every avenue I could to prove they were real.
They had to be real, the world and the tales made no sense otherwise.
It couldn't simply have been the fancies of lonely sailors unable to differentiate maiden from dugong.
Then one day my persistence paid off - my vessel was almost capsized as she climbed aboard.
At first I was confused by what I saw.
For starters, she was the size of an elephant seal, or at least those were the rough dimensions of her lengthy scaled tail; where the seal's head would be was where her human upper half started... and it was scaled to fit. Strong, thick arms, powerful curves and a surprisingly silky head of coral pink curls. Her dark eyes pierced my own; even reclining she towered over me.
"Why your face? Expecting someone more Danish?" she asked brusquely, in a thick accent (Atlantean, I later found out).
I nodded meekly. Most records described human-sized torsos with fish-like tails that were longer in proportion than legs; some hinted they were much smaller, some described them as Amazonian.
But she was positively massive compared to those descriptions. Human-based politeness kept my eyes on hers and not on the bosoms that her long curls barely concealed... granted at this scale it was tough to avoid. She had almost bowled me over with just one and she edged closer!
I steadied myself.
"Hrm," she lurched back towards the sea.
"Wait!" I cried, sliding right into her hip as the boat tilted sharply. She smelled like sand, salt and beargrass.
She glared down, "What?"
"You just arrived! Why would you suddenly reveal yourself and depart just as quickly?"
She barked, "These days humans are disgusted after one disappointed glance. Your face implied the same."
"I've dedicated my life to finding evidence and I never thought I'd find such," I gestured up to her, "Magnificence."
She tilted her head back and laughed, every soft part of her wobbling from the force of it.
"You flatter me with lies."
I wasn't lying, but I could see her previous interactions had made it hard for her to trust humans, so I didn't push the matter.
"I'm sorry to offend. Please, may I learn more about you, your people and culture? I just want to set the records straight," I scrambled over to my cabin and pulled the door open; every surface was overflowing with research, both old and new.
The mermaid ducked her head down, peering in with poorly hidden intrigue. I started with the oldest records...
I later learned she was, in her youth, a human-enthusiast, and had tried to befriend humans a number of times, but was usually met with, to put it simply, revulsion. She had a scar from a harpoon that had taken several scales off and they had never grown back properly. Her efforts had waned as a result.
Eventually she introduced me to her family. And that's how I met my partner.
@Teryl_Pacieco hey I'm shhhhh literally in love with every one of your stories????
@Ellteo Thank you very much and welcome. 😊
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