Friday, 18 November 2011
Twenty-Ninth Friday Flash: Mermaid Tale
John was feeling down. He just got another contract to work out on an oil rig for a few months. The pay was good, and he appreciated the work, it was just that it got so lonely being surrounded by so many guys. Wanting to drown his sorrows before leaving the next day he went to Rusty Steve's to knock back a few.
The place seemed remarkably busy for a change, but he was still able to find a nice quiet spot near the kitchen. Ordering his usual John nursed his beer and tried to think of as little as possible.
There was some sports game on and everyone was paying attention to the big screen, even the bartender had to be snapped out of it from time to time.
John was just about to start his next beer when he heard some water sploshing sounds, it sounded like someone moving around in an overfill bath. The sound was coming from the kitchen. John looked over at the crowd, most of the kitchen staff seemed to be watching the game, maybe someone had left a tap on, with nothing better to do John went over to investigate.
The kitchen was brightly lit, but in desperate need of a clean. John told himself to stick to beer if he ever went back there again. The sloshing sound seemed to be coming from a side storage room. Taking another swig from his beer John pulled back a dirty looking curtain that separated the two rooms. It was dark inside. He felt around and found a pull string switch.
John yanked it.
Overhead lights burst into life. There was a massive glass tank in front of him, what was inside thrashed around crazily. John couldn't believe his eyes. It was a mermaid, a real life Ariel. She had a large pearly-pink tale, and scales that steadily got lighter and smaller as they reached the top of her body, but that's where the beauty stopped, her face was haggard and weather beaten, the skin of her upper body wrinkled like a prune, her eyes red, and her teeth sharp and yellow. The creature hadn't been thrashing because it was scared of him, it was thrashing because it wanted to escape. It was tethered to the wall with a chain, a steel collar around its neck.
John made the mistake of looking into its eyes. The mermaid transformed before him into the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, enchanted he walked closer and climbed up the steps that were next to the tank. The vision of beauty's arms were beckoning him closer. Grabbing a hold of the thick glass he leaped in. The freezing cold water brought him to his senses, but it was too late, the evil Ariel had him around the neck.
John struggled and kicked, whacking the glass with his steel cap boot. It began to crack, but it would do him little good, the darkness was already engulfing him.
The tank burst, the mermaid and John's lifeless body flowing onto the tiled floor.
The chef ran in. “Damn it, Steve!” shouted the man. “It's just killed another.”
Pulling the chain to its limit the mermaid scrambled forward, clawing away towards the doorway. The chef got out a broom and kept it back. “And bring the tranquillizer gun will you!”