The Mermaid of Zennor

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8.

Saturday night, she tore through the rocks and over hills. The door was unlocked, as usual. Jaimie, who was fully grown by now, whimpered and whined at her arrival. Morveren shushed her and set the seaweed wrapped gems on the table. She pulled his jacket over her head and cried herself out on the couch, breathing in his scent.

He woke early, escaping a nightmare. He found Jaimie had abandoned his room, which was a sure sign a mermaid crept in, bringing the scent of the ocean in her hair. Sure enough, his canine parked herself at the foot of the couch, looking like a seraph in her sleep. Morveren burrowed in deeply, clutching to the cushions for life.

Llyr in a fit, not of anger but of deep remorse, cooked up a morning rain. Winds would soon pick up the droplets and pelt the coastline. Clouds laid a thick veneer over the blue. Thunder accompanied those practicing hymns.

Matthew remained quiet, snatched a plum from a bowl, and fed Jaimie. He departed into the drizzle, finding unexpected tranquility in the weather. Despite the desolate dream, which he could barely remember, the plum was syrupy and his mood was elevated.

Charlie met him in the front pew, sprawled out and yawning. People shuffled in. The preacher shook hands with the drowsy churchgoers. After a good crowd settled in, the minister started his good morning announcements. People greeted each other for a minute as the musicians gathered. When all were seated, the choir began their echoing rounds.

Not two minutes into the first song, Morveren’s chest clenched and she trembled. The church rattled with a basslike rumble of thunder. She raced out into the onslaught of rain. His graceful vibrato cut off to everyone’s astonishment.

Matthew in a caprice of youthful dissatisfaction scampered out of the chapel. He rushed downhill to Pendour cove, not once losing sight of Morveren. The churchgoers followed his trail in horror. Some who were privy to mermaid’s existence gazed in familiar wonder. Others beheld her in confoundment.

The gown that fashioned itself to her melted and her legs fastened together. Her boots sank to the sandy bottom. Bewilderment and consternation fizzled into white hot anger. Green water gushed upshore as the Brits stormed down to meet it. Matthew understood she was a sea creature, only half human and unable to live on land. She spun to see him advancing towards her. Ashamed at the disorder she’d caused, tears brimmed her eyes.

He waded in behind her. As if by magic, she comprehended his thoughts, which were, “If you cannot live here with me, then I’ll live with you.” She had nothing to give, except a mermaid’s kiss, and then left the decision to him. The kiss was like a shock, so jolting he thought his heart stopped. She twisted and descended beneath an oncoming wave, her tail slapping the surface. Matthew, undaunted, began to sink below jade tides.

In seconds, the Trewella’s beloved son was swallowed by lapping waves. People cried and clamored out, but none harder than his parents.

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