when you belong to her, she knows.
this is the second mermaid-based horror story i’ve read that quotes The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. mcallister’s was first, but mira grant’s (in Into the Drowning Deep) was funnier. that’s just a cocktail party fact for you.*
this one is not at all funny; it’s a study in resolute melancholy, as a man looks back on the events of his youth that made him what he is. the events and ALSO the ancient and terrifying/beautiful lady who lives in the sea. like many ancient and terrifying/beautiful ladies, she does not like it when you sit under the apple tree with anyone else. nor when you even think about doing so.
it’s not really scary either, even though i glibly genre-d it as horror above. it’s dark fantasy with a folklore vibe and some lovely undulating writing, but you probably won’t be up all night twitching in fear unless you already have a mermaid-phobia. which is called serenephobia and is another cocktail party fact for you, free of charge.
the perfect tor short for a rainy day: lovely, sad, timeless.
also, there’s a shark.
short review for a short story!
read it for yourself here: