Dedicated to Fairytail-cedes, my loyal, wonderful reader, unless she says otherwise.

The Scientist and His Fish

by LoweFantasy


"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."

Anaïs Nin

Even though she could breathe and move about the water as good as any fish, the vast open sea before her returned to her the childish fear of the deep end of the pool. Past her little shelf of land, she wouldn't be able to see the bottom, and at the same time, she was afraid of seeing just how far down it went.

Depth. Far down to the depths, where who knew what waited.

The copper scaled mermaid shivered and watched bubbles rise as she took a deep breath and felt the cool water rush past the gills on her sides. Those had been the most painful to grow, and even now she refused to look down in fear of seeing the fleshy slits open and close with each breath. Even now, it was all too surreal to her.

Despite it being night, the silver moon lit up the water ahead of her until the water grew too murky to see.

"Okay," she said, hoping to distract herself with how weirdly clear her voice sounded under water. "You're a freaking mermaid now, this should be your natural habitat. Besides, it's not like you have to go all the way out there, right?"

The quiet murmur of the ocean currents pressed in on her eardrums in answer. She clenched the strings of her sportsnet bag, where the bare, waterproof essentials floated about.

Who the hell was she kidding? She had no idea where she was going.

But she couldn't stay here much longer. Her parents would be searching for her soon, and if she didn't get going soon, she'd lose whatever courage she had left and just go back.

Taking another deep inhale of salty water, she tipped forward and swam out to the edge of the land shelf. There, she followed it, not daring once to take a peek over the edge.