My mother and I. We never really got along, but she understood my love of the ocean. I used to believe she used to be a mermaid. I know better now, because mermaids never die. And she did.

We were at the pier, I laying on my stomach peering into the somewhat murky water, her standing over me smoking. I would have sworn on my life that day that I saw, what I thought I saw. Dark hair knotted with fairy locks and shells, dark eyes that were bottomless and without boundaries, sharp teeth bared in a smile that made my skin crawl but made me smile back. Flick of a long, emerald-grey tail and nothing but water.

I sat up with as much excitement as a little girl could possibly possess. “Momma?”

“Yes sweetie?” I hated when she called me that, I was 11 not 5.

“What do mermaids eat?” She turned towards me and smiled, much like the mermaid had.

“Why, honey. They eat sailors.”

My eyes got wide and I peered back into the ocean’s waves lapping against the dock’s long legs. I wanted to see the mermaid again.

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