Thursday, January 19, 2023

Mermaid Needs New Legs

UPDATE: now includes link to the poem Never in anger, never in fear as part of the story.

What on Earth is Nick wearing? A ridiculous puffed shirt, long brown vest, can’t see the britches because he’s sitting down on the couch. It’s not the fisherman costume that I bought, it’s the pirate costume from the Pirate and the Duchess, that we both hated. The pirate costume, not the Duchess, of course. Nick loved the Duchess and showered her with all his attention Nick-style; first, the way the I like it, rough and hard, ahem, the way any typical everyman’s Pirate would treat a captured Duchess, warming the way to her heart by thoroughly warming her bottom, and then the way Nick likes it, as gentle as ever, that is.

Nick is furiously typing away on his laptop. It always amazes me how fast he types, how fast he talks, how fast he moves. Always. Except when he is with me, the world stands to a halt, like he has all the time in the world. And I blew it, again. 

Nick raises his index finger without turning his head, not stopping to type for one millisecond. Do not disturb or else. And then the left hand just goes back and joins the right one. I still hold my gloves that stink of the wet dog, Bear was sitting on my lap in the car, so the coat is wet and stinks too. The suffocating smell is everywhere, and I cough. Damn it! 

“I can smell that retched dog on you from here. Take off all your clothes and get rid of them, or you will be coughing the whole night.” That index finger again, and he is back to work. I silently nod and do what I’m told, a good girl that I am, yeah, like it’s going to change anything. “Go take a hot shower, while you are at it,” comes the next command from the couch.

When I open the bathroom door, all squeaky clean, wrapped in his favourite fluffy robe with pink flowers and a towel turban on my head, Nick is still working. He has some sixth sense, because without turning around he says, “Dry your hair, will you? You have time.”

I try not to think of what ‘you have time’ means and with a vengeance flip the hairdryer on the loudest setting while standing in the doorway, in a last-minute sudden spurt of brattiness. Nick clears his throat loud enough for me to squirm and shut the door quickly. Hair dry and tied in a high ponytail, I reach for the body lotion and stop. An eternal dilemma, to put the lotion on or not, I weigh all the pros and cons. Nick likes the smell a lot, but it will hurt so much more, and I don’t remember, if Nick remembers it. What if he does and goes easy on me, then the lotion will do its silent job. Right, lotion it is.

Nick stands by the window with the thick and wide leather belt he just took off, the fisherman’s belt I got for today’s play on Etsy. “Where did you buy this monstrosity and for what purpose?” He smacks the back of the couch with a deafening crack. “It can break bones, you know. To strangle you with it? Or better, hang myself?” Nick quickly sheds off the vest, the puffed shirt, and the britches, down to the black boxer briefs and barefoot. “Itchy!” He disappears in the closet, but the tirade continues. “May I remind, I haven’t seen you for three days? All I wanted is to come home, make sweet love to you, have a nice quiet dinner, just the two of us, watch some TV, and, if we are both in the mood, have another go. Is it too much to ask?” Ah-sk. Mad as a hatter, red as a beet. No, he’s not mad, frustrated, yes.

“I’m sorry, Nick.”

“That’s how fishermen dress up in my village, deal with it.” He comes out tucking the dress shirt into dark dress pants and puts on one of his regular belts. I wince but mentally thank him for not changing into the sweatpants. At least I know what’s in the store tonight.

“Are we still doing it?”

“Of course. The mermaid needs new legs, isn’t she? What’s her name?”


“Muriel the Mermaid. And the fisherman’s?”


“I don’t like Frank. I will be Flynn.”

“Why Flynn?”

“It’s a good name for a fisherman, Flynn the Fisherman,” he repeats. “A big, rough fisherman, is that what you want?” he riles up, and I decide to pretend that the question was rhetorical, maybe it was, because Nick has no trouble to rant on. “You said, you are sorry. For which part are you sorry, Iz? The mermaid and the fisherman part, or you getting lost alone with this retched dog part, or me, losing my mind over it, thankfully, only for twenty minutes? Where is your mermaid costume?”

“I thought that…" 

“Don’t think. Chop-chop, I’m starving.”

“But what about this afternoon?”

“You wanted your bottom red, you’re getting one. You think the fisherman can’t deal with a wayward mermaid? She’ll get more than she signed up for, that’s for sure. He is not a gentle guy, like me, you know. It seems like you do not appreciate me, is that right, Izzie? Or, shall I say, Muriel?” His voice goes up another notch.

“Nick, you’re mad at me.”

“Damn right, I am.”

“You’re scaring me!” 

That’s stops him right in his tracks. “Never in anger, never in fear,” he recites from the poem we wrote together. Hands in his hair, he combs it through back and forth with open fingers. “Alright, I’m going to grab a quick bite. Do you want anything?”

“I ate.” I lie quickly, and Nick raises an eyebrow. “I had late lunch. Nick, I can’t eat now, I will eat after.”

“After,” he shudders, “that’s the word. The story of my life, feeding you after.”

“Can you please go already and come back quickly?” I plead.

“When I come back, Muriel,” he enunciates, “I expect to see a mermaid here, wig on, tail and all, bum in the air. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Flynn,” I whisper. Thank you.”

“For what??” he snaps.

“For not backing out.”

For part 2 called Legs Up! click hereFor all other stories in order click on My Stories or Almond Croissant on the right.


  1. Great anticipation in this snippet. Makes me want to know what's going to happen later. Well done.

    1. Thank you, PK, for stopping by and for your warm words. I have the next part ready.

  2. I agree with PK. She seems to be caught between the fantasy and the reality of what she's asked for. Not always a very comfortable place to be. Love your tagline as well. "Vanilla imposter," eh? Welcome to Saturday Spankings.

    1. Thank you for a warm welcome, Kathryn! It's part of the novel, for the full list of stories I posted so far please click on the Almond Croissant on the right or on Keep Calm logo. Yep, vanilla imposter, that's me. Read my very first post called Dear Bonnie, i explained it all there.

      I will reply more to your other comment you posted in Personal.