Unrestrained and Untrained Creative Deviance

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I started thinking about mermaids the other day.  Maybe it was the sculpture of a mermaid I saw a few years ago in a little Mexican coastal town.  Or maybe it was a neural misfire, triggering a disconnected recollection of the pictures I’ve seen of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.  Whatever the genesis, mermaids were on my mind.

And when mermaids are on one’s mind, one pays heed.  And one thinks about mermaids. And if one happens to be me, one begins to craft a story about mermaids.  This, I have done.  “One begins” is the operative phrase; my story has just begun.  But let me tell you what I know so far.

A young mermaid, whose name has yet to come to me, was listening to her mother’s lessons one morning.  The lesson of the morning related to the absolute prohibition of fraternizing with humans. “If you see a human, you must instantly swim away, just as fast as you can,” her mother instructed. “You are never to have any interaction with humans, and that is especially true of male humans. ”

The unnamed mermaid wondered silently what, exactly, was so forbidden about humans and especially male humans.  As youngsters so often do, the unnamed mermaid decided the admonition provided too much intrigue to be ignored.  She had to find out more about humans and, especially, male humans.  Her mother’s stern comments, though, carried a specific and awful warning that should have kept her from doing as she was thinking of doing. “Remember, my sweet, that if you ever leave the sea to join a human on dry land, your tail will disappear and will be replaced with dry, ugly, legs…and those legs cannot be traded again for your tail…it will be gone forever, as will your ability to live happily in the sea.”


From there, the story resides only in pieces in my head.  I’m thinking the young mermaid somehow comes across a young man and falls deeply in lust with him.  She knows her destiny if she acts on it, but her curiosity and the unfamiliar feelings of attachment conspire toward the unthinkable.

All right.  Maybe this needs more thought.  Maybe it needs a replacement idea.  Perhaps a murder mystery involving trained falcons and lecherous old men.  Or, maybe, a thriller in which the prime minister of Canada, a woman in her late forties, takes the lead in attempting to thwart the ruinous impact of a cataclysmic drop in the availability of petroleum, globally.

Maybe the prime minister of Canada is the erstwhile mermaid.  Perhaps her ex-husband, the subject of her mermaid teen lust, is involved in homicidal falconry.

I write better at times other than this.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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