Flash Fiction Day 14, by Lisa Ankrah

The explosion rocked the ship, sending her flying into the freezing water. She struggled to stay above the churning waves, only to be hit with a wooden plank–

Miranda jolted awake, quickly sitting upright. She was surrounded by water…and could breathe.

How? How can I breathe down here? How did I survive? She ran a webbed hand through her hair…wait, webbed?

The brunette looked at her hands. Sure enough, they were amphibian-like and blue at the sides and between her fingers. Horrified, she shook them, hoping that there was just something stuck on them, to no avail. Miranda looked down, only to find her dress torn at the waist and a blue tail where her lower half was supposed to be.

What happened to me?! How could she possibly be a mermaid? Neither of her parents was; hell, no one on the ship was. Mermaids were capricious, malicious beings that loved nothing more than dragging poor sailors to their deaths. No one would actually mate with them…right?

Suddenly, her mother’s words echoed through her mind:

To the water, Mira! Hurry!

Had she known? Or was she just crying out in desperation? No, the intent didn’t matter. What did was whether or not Miranda’s parents or any of the crew had survived the incident. What had been the incident?

Miranda sighed. She needed answers, but judging by the lack of civilizations in the algae and coral-rich fields, there was no one for miles. And even if there was, how could she trust one of the mer to help her? Or change her back to normal–if she had ever been normal?

The brunette felt her face contort and her eyes tighten, but no tears fell as she crumpled onto the field.

-Lisa Ankrah