Henrietta-Hellberg-by-Harley-Weir-Lovely-Creature-Test-Winter-2012-8-1024x694

A desert mermaid

Another story I dreamt up

“Who are you?” the teacher asked. “A mermaid” she whispered knowingly. The room around her shook with giggles. Sniggers spat at her spitefully. She couldn’t see them but she could feel the vicious thoughts sweep over her like a wave. Not the type of wave she was wishing for. While the eyes around her saw a foreign face of delusional, she knew her meaning. Her skin may not sport scales nor her legs, flippers, but she still saw herself as an ocean siren. A metaphorical mermaid. One that was out of her depths, far  away from home. ‘A fish out of water’ seemed somewhat understated for her situation. The drastic concept of a mermaid in the middle of the desert made much more sense. So while the room of youths rolled their eyes and stared unmercifully, she breathed deeply and imagined herself in the deep and peaceful blue.

Time passed but things remained the same. Life in new surrounds can be hard to adjust to, particularly if you’re not ready for the change. Dragged against her will, this mermaid was taken into the mid west, where people looked at her differently. Like she was an outsider. And she was. In order to escape the soul-draining stares, she found solace by the lake. It was no beach, and the wind blew cold, but it would have to do for now. There she lay like the Lady of Shallot. She gazed at flowers like Alice in her wonderland. She listened to songs from home. She soaked up the sun. She was alone, but she was happy.

On the other side of the lake was a desert dreamer. She kicked up dust and threw sticks at the sunset. There was angst in her eyes and ruin in her heart. After years of love letters and jealous glances, she was now an outcast. A girl who had pinned all of her thoughts and dreams into one sole boy, only to be abandoned by him. By everyone. She was foolish to rely on someone so much, and to get so comfortable. Sadly she had learnt to pay the price. After falling down the ladder of love, the desert dreamer found peace in the open spaces. She liked that there were no eyes on her, no whispers. No place to hide but a million places to run. 

One day, a very special day, the mermaid and the desert dreamer met. On the side of the lake where the grass grew tall and the sunset was pink. Given any other circumstance and they would have had no chance. A beach born rebel and a naive country girl. But united by their isolation and disdain for the mainstream, the girls united and found light in each others company. It’s amazing what an ‘us vs them’ mentality can do. A friendship based on a common enemy grew from necessity and into blissful golden moments. They had survived the desert storm and now the sun shone on both of them. One day they plan to catch a ride on the wind but for now, for the mermaid and the desert dreamer, it’s halcyon days at last.