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Rated: E · Short Story · Fantasy · #1341658
Two mermaids get what's coming to them.

Sandy and Shelly giggled, while they ate their early morning crabmeat. Their day had been fun as always, teasing the sailors and fishermen by swimming around the ships and small watercraft. Some of the men had binoculars, trying to hone in on the two girls. It was hard to believe there were really mermaids in the sea.

“Those are sea lions!” The captain said on a fishing boat, “You men are getting a bit too restless, being away from your women so long.”

One fisherman had thrown out a large net, thinking that he could catch one but they were too fast.

One sailor, Bobby, stretching his legs over the side of a large aircraft carrier, strained his neck to see them. Nelson, the cook, saw what he was looking at, walked up and sat down by his side.

“I always wanted a little tail from a woman, didn’t you? Too bad I didn’t bring my rifle.”

“That’s not funny! What would you do with the rest of their body if you did have the tail?” the sailor asked
“Mount them. Get the taxidermist to stuff them, nude to the waist, and mount them the way you would mount a deer’s head from a hunting trip,” smiled the cook.

“Oh, I bet that would make a big hit with your wife now, wouldn’t it?”

As they conversed, Shelly had poked her head out of the water at the two men. The navy vessel was so big that there wasn’t anything the two men could do but look. Both men hung their mouths open in shock. Bob and Nelson were too surprised to yell for anyone to be a witness, so they just sat there. They watched her as she dove down into the water, splashing her large tail and disappearing into the drink.

“Gee, Nelson, isn’t there anything we can do to prove to everyone on this ship we saw those mermaids?”

“Well, you could get one of those life rafts you blow up and go after them. I don’t think you would have much luck catching them, though.”

“Go with me in a dingy! We can take some of that heavy fishnet and maybe capture at least one. I am a pretty good at deep sea fishing.”

“After you do that, then what?” the cook asked.

“Just let her go. You know…just to prove we saw one and caught her."

The two men noticed it was getting dark so they decided not to pursue that idea and went to bed.

The two mermaids finished eating and saw that it was becoming daylight again so they pushed themselves up towards the surface of the water. They were still feeling mischievous so they decided to swim around the islands near their home. Over the past week Sandy and Shelly had counted around ten different men they spotted while swimming around these islands. Some had called out to them and some had even tried to snag their tails with fishing hooks but still, the girls were too fast.

On one island, there was this little cottage that stood in the midst of several palm trees. Shelly and Sandy hadn’t noticed it before. One lone, handsome young man sat in a metal chair by the water, fishing for his supper. They thought they would surprise him by swimming around the man and showing off their tails. He just sat there, ignoring them.

“Wouldn’t you like to meet us?” asked Sandy, flipping her tail around the place where the bobber moved up and down.

“You really ought to move away. You are scaring the fish!” he said.

“Don’t you think it strange to see two mermaids in the water by your fishing place?” asked Shelly, while she floated on her back.

“No, not really…I saw Bigfoot and it didn’t surprise me. I saw the Loch Ness monster and it didn’t surprise me. I have seen UFOs in the sky and that didn’t surprise me.” He reeled in his line and replaced the bait. A fish, apparently, had eaten off the shrimp he put on the hook.

“I never heard of those other things you saw, but I thought humans didn’t believe in mermaids,” said Sandy.

“Well, I believe everything is possible. Shhh…you will scare away the fish,” he whispered.

Not worrying about being sought after, the two girls came closer to the man. He still ignored them.

“How come you are using shrimp? Don’t you eat shrimp?” asked Shelly now sitting in the sand, close to the man’s chair.

“Yes, but not this kind of shrimp. I like a different kind. I use this kind for bait.”

“I have eaten that kind before and it’s good,” said Sandy.

“Well, you are part fish, aren’t you? Maybe that’s why. Here have some of this and tell me what you think,” he said while offering the girls the bait shrimp.

Shelly tried it and liked it. She moved closer to the man’s chair and looked into the cooler he brought with him, holding many kinds of food to catch fish with. He didn’t look at her or move, but just flung out his line again.

“May I try that too?” asked Sandy, moving closer as well.

“Sure. But don’t eat all of it! I need to catch a big fish for my dinner. I haven’t eaten very well in a couple of days. I could have eaten the bait but then, what would I have caught the fish with?”

“How true… how true,” answered Shelly. By this time both mermaids were quite close to the man. He continued to watch the bobber in the water and ignore the girls. They became quite tired and stretched out on the sand, near the fisherman, where the water flowed over them in small waves. He offered them towels to prop up their heads to be more comfortable. They accepted, feeling quite safe. Sleep overcame them.

The first one to open her eyes was Sandy. The place where she fell asleep wasn’t the same place where she woke up. Shelly was wrapped around her and both were lying in some hot steaming, spicy water. Sandy tried to lift her body up but the way she was positioned, she couldn’t move. There was a tight lid on the large flat tub they laid in and she couldn’t lift it. Her skin was becoming very uncomfortable. She tried to wake up Shelly but she couldn’t. Sandy was becoming relaxed. There were large leaves in the bed, as well, with a spicy odor to them. When she touched her tail, it became flaky; some of the scales fell off onto the water. Her eyes tried to stay open, but couldn’t. Slowly, smelling the strong fishy odor, she succumbed to her body’s need for sleep.

The fisherman ate with zeal.

“These fish tails are the best I have even eaten,” he thought.

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