>end up in the far north
>late spring, ice finally gone mid May
>got a litle jon boat for fishing
>best part of the week, get to ease the cabin fever
>find a little lake on an even smaller river
>this boat bussiness is pretty great
>first time out, already got two rainbows
>reeling in third when a pair of hands grabs the side and a mermaid hoists her head above the rail
>not the cute cuckfish normally associated with mermaids
>she looks pissed
>"You asshooooooole!" she yells "Who the fuck do you think you are!"
>that's it, she's like a mershark
>might just be the teeth though
>this is apperently her lake, her fish, and I can go die
>she's worked up into a frenzy, her golden sclera and black iris' glazed as she gnaws on the side
>"Give it baaack!"
>reach into the cooler and grab a cheese filled smokey as a peace offering
>"You think you can bribe me with shitty hotdogs??" she's trying to lunge for the rainbows in the pail
>she's gonna flip the boat if she keeps this up
>stuff the hotdog into her mouth and she reflexively bites down before sliding back down into the water
>she's eyeing me up over the side as she chews
>she's got some sharp teeth, my blood is dripping from a nick to the finger
>"You deserve that!" she yells through a mouthful of smokey "Gimme back my fish!"
>ask her if she wants the rest of the smokey along with the rainbow
>she snactches it away along with the fish and dissapears back into the black
>at the local diner next day
>ask the local old guys if they know anything about her
>turns out she's a troublemaker and the other mermaids ran her out of the area
>she's a little different than the rest, being a Pike marmaid, so she never really fit in either
>there were some fights and she got kicked out of both school and work
>one of the guys felt some simpathy for her and tried to help her out but she was already gone
>back on the lake, tempting another encounter
>honestly, the fishing here is worth it
>as soon as the hook hits the water she appears
>"Get the fuck off my lake!!"
>came prepared this time
>pull out a whole package of cheesy smokies
>"No damnit! I don't want your hotdogs, I want you to leave!"
>offer her a deal: if she allows me to fish, she'll get half of what I catch
>we'll share the smokies
>she submerges up to her eyes and stares at me for the longest time
>finally get a mumbled "fine"
>eventually catch two and head into shore for lunch
>sitting next to the fire when a clump of black hair appears in the grass beside the boat
>she's staring again
>invite her up for lunch
>she reaches into the boat and pulls out the biggest of the two fish
>most mermaids have difficulty moving up onto land but she's having fewer problems than typical
>water's flying, soaking everything around her including me as she flops her way up the bank
>she's rather fetching for a fish, long black hair, green mottled scales, and those golden eyes
>a long green wrap around her lower half and another wrap around her flat unmonster-like chest
>even if she's dressed modestly for a mermaid, it's hard to conceal her ribs sticking out
>she angerly turns down the offer of help as she crawls up to the fire
>she stabs the fish with the proffered willow stick and sets about roasting
>impaling a couple of smokies and tossing a couple sticks on the fire sets a more civilized lunch
>her fish is only getting warm when the weiners are done
>a hungry glance at them catches my attention across the fire
>the second one remains speared over the fire while making a great show of eating the first
>she's looking longingly at the weiner
>after puttering through the cooler for a beer, I find the stick empty
>her face is pure ecstacy as she tries to act nonchalant
>the drink must have settled lunch, better roast another couple
>like last time, the first hotdog is "too filling", while the second mysteriously disappears
>she seems more relaxed as she rolls her fish over
>trying to not smile at the giggle and slight tail slap beside you as she peels handfuls of flesh off her prize
>a muted sigh and "so good" drifts over the crackle of the fire
>tell her that it's time to head back across the lake
>while repacking the boat, a beer and the second fish accidently get left behind
>might have accidently left the fire burning too
>being part time has the benefit of getting to go fishing a lot
>don't really fish much anymore, just catch one and then share it and a fire with the hatefish
>as the summer wears on, she talks a little more and the occasional smile leaks through
>at first it seemed like pride and anger were her downfalls but it became clear one day that it wasn't the whole story
>with mid-summer the heat finally caught up
>too hot to cook we lay in the grass on our usual bank, drinking and staring at the sky
>far too many beers coursed through us and she was drunk enough to talk about her past
>she had a crush on a boy, but when she had confessed to him, he called her ugly
>laughing, I told her that he was an idiot for telling the prettest mermaid that
>she flushed pink at that "But I'm NOT pretty, you 'tard"
>no amount of protest is gonna stop a drunk guy on a roll
>proceeded lecture her at length about how mermaids couldn't even compare and how she surpassed even mersharks
>"Bullshit, now I know your lying" she's deeper red now
>"It's true! Wanna know why I know?"
>"Why, you drunken idiot?"
>pointing a thumb at myself "Because I fucking said so!"
>she dissolves into a fit of laughter
>the rest of the afternoon is spent getting to know a slightly different fish
>guess what they say is true, you get to see the real person when they're drunk
>she has a giggly laugh and a wide smile that shows off her impressive collection of teeth
>"You're alright for an asshole fish thief..." she suddenly turns serious and stares into nothing
>without a word she flips over and flops back down the bank, dissapearing back into the water
>she didn't reappear for the rest of day
>or the rest of the week, even when when the little boat took a few too many or the hook was bated with cheesy smokey
>a few weeks ago her absence would have been welcome, but now it's getting a bit concirning
>maybe she took off for a better lake
>maybe she found someone who would give her that tragic love mermaids apperently want
>good for her, she deserves some happiness
>might be a few drinks in, but another in a toast to her future won't hurt
>hook catches on something but a good reef on it should dislodge it
>As the boat flips the cold water sucks your breath out
>can't swim in rubber boots
>water floods into your lungs as you scream into the black water
>hurts to breathe
>a hiss from ventilator beside the bed timed to the pain
>blink a couple of times and the world is less blurry
>your arms and chest are deep purple
>the head of the hatefish is just visble over the foot of the bed, fast asleep against the wall.
>the duty nurse notices you're awake and bustles in to check you over
>the mermaid snaps awake at the commotion, at first snarling at the nurse before noticing that you're awake
>leaning against the handles of a utlity trolly and pushing herself with her tail, she scootches over to the side of the bed
>her face falls as your eyes meet
>"I'm sorry..." she starts
>the nurse interrupts her "don't say it you foolish girl!"
>the mermaid looks mortified while the nurse continues
>turning to you "before she says something stupid, you should know that she nearly killed you saving your life."
>pointing at your chest "She cracked every rib and very nearly both arms trying to restart your heart."
>"not only that, she swam from wherever, crossed town using her tail and dropped you infront of the duty nurse."
>the mermaid is trying to melt into the floor
>"We offered her a wheelchair but she told us that filthy garbage cart was 'good enough'"
>glancing at the cowering mermaid you ask the nurse to bring her a wheelchair
>she smiles back and dissapears
>"god damn it hurts to breathe, much less talk" you mumble at the girl
>"sorry" she whispers back
>"for what? saving my sorry ass? That's a rude thing to say"
>her jaw pumps but nothing is coming out
>"Thanks for saving me. I owe you one."
>"You're welcome" she nods at the floor, "the nurses say that you'll be here for a few weeks"
>silence hangs in the air
>the silence finally gets to her "Im gonna leave. Do you need anything?"
>"Yeah. I wanna know why you dissapeared."
>you know the answer. The question is wether she knows it herself
>"I... I had things to do"
>supreme bullshit, but she's likely not lying
>"I gotta go. I'll see you around."
>she suddenly bustles out the door on her cart, looking very much like a one-legged grasshopper
>"Hey!" the nurse cries out of your vision "Get in the damn chair! I brought it just for you!"
>"Get away from me you harpy!" the mermaid cries in response as she speeds, apparently away, from the nurse
>the shuffling sounds speed up just before the clatter of a collision
>"Stop thrashing, I'm trying to help you!"
>more tail slapping sounds and a gurgle
>"Get in the damn chair!"
>"You're not my mom!"
>"Don't make me act like it then!"
>"Some people are trying to sleep, get in the damn chair fish!" another voice calls from a room down the hall
>"Fuck you gramps!"
>she's so endearing
>"Ellen, please use the chair. You're better than a garbage cart." you call from your bed
>hurts to yell too