Sunday, 7 February 2016

The mermaid
is not resting
on the rock.

The mermaid is not serenading from the rock.

The mermaid is chained to the rock. She is chained and she is lamenting for the depths which are now lost to her.


The mermaid combs her hair. She is searching for the pin. In amongst the thick tumble of these locks there is a pin, and with this she intends to pick the lock and loose the chain.

Even so, eventually, it is not her determined worrying at the lock but a great storm which breaks the chain. She is able to swim free and deep.

Her freedom is weighed down by the residue of this long captivity. The chain was affixed to her being, pierced through her flesh. It is a persistent, rusting wound in her tail, and it drags behind her to the length of one metre. It keeps her down deep, it catches on rock. Her freedom is difficult, the swimming is hard, and she has not swam in the full liberty of a current for many years. Aggressive eels come out of hiding specifically to mock. After the initial exhilaration, all that seems to be left to her is exhaustion. 

The dead weight, wrapped into her very muscle, pulls and pulls and pulls, and eventually the mermaid slips over a precipice, falling into a dim and alien world. The eels she meets now are all blind. They do not mock, they simply try to eat. Thrashing this way and that with the last dregs of her energy, the mermaid falls into the influence of a volcanic forest. A fierce array of burning trees. White eyeless crustaceans hurry from between the sulphuric slurry and attach themselves to her body. From head to tail she is now smothered in armoured shrimps. 

As the ravaging heat makes the waters flow in violent circles, so is the mermaid buffeted. The albino crustaceans form a thermal armour around her body and, although they are beginning to devour her, as she slips into the volcano mouth, they also save her. She is pulled through the earth's broken mantle, trapped in vortices, and tumbles deeper and deeper, beyond anything she ever imagined possible.

Now she is splashing around in a new sea, a sea of magma. The mermaid dressed in white slips through molten rock. Her chain dissolves. 

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