Some thoughts about mermaids
I’ve always loved mermaids. I don’t know why. They’re mysterious. They’re sexy (maybe because they’re mysterious?). And there’s something romantic about them. I think every little girl has pretended to be a mermaid in a swimming pool, has wanted mermaids to be real at some point. Hell, for a long time, I would’ve rather been a mermaid than a human girl.
So I guess through writing The Mermaid Scale, I’m finally living out that dream.
What initially inspired this story was my friend’s love life. Or lack thereof, rather. There’s nothing wrong with her. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and SMART. She has no shortage of dates, but for some reason the guys want flings, while she wants a relationship.
Some women just seem to have more luck than others when it comes to love, but to me, my friend’s situation was very clear. She’s too cautious. Too guarded. Sure, it can be scary to let your guard down, especially if your dating life is like my friend’s…but that’s what finding love is all about. You’re supposed to feel vulnerable around that person. That’s what distinguishes that person from everyone else in your life.
I mean, I’m still not a relationship expert. But what I can do is write a story, so that’s what I did. The main character, Nicole, is based off of this friend I mentioned. Nicole’s best friend is based off of another close friend of mine, somebody who tries hard to make Nicole feel better about herself.
But all that mushiness aside, I had a ton of fun writing this story. Like I mentioned earlier, mermaids are like…my favorite thing ever. And a lot of my readers seem to agree. The Mermaid Scale is live and available for sale for 99 cents (limited time) at the following links:
Broken-hearted and fed up, Nicole agrees to an impromptu beach vacation proposed by her best friend, but she has no idea what she’s in for when she accepts a gift from a psychic at a pop-up stand. Somehow, she wakes up later in the body of Kyrie, a mermaid with a tangled past. Kyrie is everything Nicole isn’t: determined, outspoken, gorgeous, and…missing. To return to her human realm, Nicole must solve the mystery surrounding her host’s disappearance, and the only available help is Kyrie’s old lover, Nereus. Too bad he’s nursing a broken heart of his own and can barely even look at her. But when it becomes apparent that somebody wanted Kyrie gone, the two must work together to retrace Kyrie’s last moments…or Nicole may be next.
You can read an excerpt after the cut!
“Nicole, look! A palm reader!” Dominica suddenly squealed. She pointed ahead toward an old, frail woman sitting under an umbrella on a fold-out chair. The wooden board beside her was painted with the image of a hand and the words, Madame Silvia. Readings $3. Two palms $5. “We should do it together.”
“Sure, why not?” I flashed Dominica a reassuring smile, glad for the distraction.
We strolled toward Madam Silvia’s kiosk. The closer we got, the older she appeared. A maze of fine lines crinkled over her leathery, tan arms, and a long, white braid was tossed over one thin shoulder. The contours of her mouth and eyes were indistinguishable from the rest of her dark face. I wasn’t even sure that she saw us coming until our shadows fell across the card table in front of her. Then, her eyes snapped open, and she regarded us with a pair of lucid, sparkling blue eyes.
“How can I help you?” she asked in a deep, slightly accented voice.
“We’d both like readings, please,” Dominica said, motioning to me.
The woman nodded. “Of course. Who will go first?”
We settled into the two plastic chairs that had been set out for customers. Dominica looked at me and parted her lips slightly.
“You can go first,” I said.
Madame Silvia leaned forward and opened her hands. They were unexpectedly deft, the fingers strong and graceful under her papery skin. The way she held Dominica’s right hand made me think about how many women’s hands she must’ve held before, guiding them through heartbreaks or uncertainties. Dominica’s face didn’t reflect my sudden reverence, only glee, as she awaited her fate.
“You’re an artist,” Madame Silvia began, “with a taste for adventure. You’re a romantic. You’ve had many lovers, and you’ve loved them all.”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Anybody who looked at Dominica could tell that much. She was a slim, dark-eyed exotic beauty. With my unruly, coppery hair and lily-white skin, it was no wonder I faded into the background any time she was around. But despite all of this, Dominica swelled with pride at Madame Silvia’s words.
“That’s true,” she said, her eyes widening. “What do you see in my future? Rich husband? Lots of children?”
Madame Silvia smiled wryly at the lines in Dominica’s palm. “I see that you will come into money very soon via an inheritance.”
Dominica brightened. “And how soon will that be?”
“Within the year.”
“I see.” She pulled her hand away without being prompted. “Thank you,” she said, looking conflicted. “You’re next, Nicole.”
I exhaled slowly through my nostrils, imagining how my morose expression might’ve looked to Madame Silvia. You’re constantly unlucky in love, I imagined her saying. No man has loved you, and no man ever will.
“I see that there is a man in your life…”
“Uh-huh,” I said half-heartedly. I did have a man in my life. He just wanted nothing to do with me.
“No, wait—there will be a man. Soon.”
Dominica grabbed my leg. “Ooh!”
I tried my best to look dignified in a bored way, not daring to feel even a sliver of optimism, but my heart began ticking faster. “Who? Where?” I stretched my fingers wide, pulling my skin taut.
Madame Silvia bent her head, squinting. “It’s somebody mysterious. He will treat you like a queen. You will hardly believe it.” With a satisfied nod, she folded up my hand and gently pushed it back to me.
“That’s it?” I sputtered before I could stop myself.
“Here,” Dominica said as she dug around her purse. She pulled out a few wrinkled bills. “Do her other hand.”
A blush rose to my cheeks. “No, it’s okay—”
“Come on, Nicole. It’s for fun.”
My left hand floated off of my lap. “Well, if it’s for fun, I guess it’s okay.” I grinned at Dominica, feeling self-conscious and silly. It wasn’t like me to put faith in psychics or fortune tellers. It was all parlor tricks as far as I knew. But it was nice to hope.
Madame Silvia’s touch was rough this time, yanking my hand across the table so she could get a closer look. Her mouth disappeared into a pucker of wrinkles as she pursed her lips in concentration. “Oh, dear.”
“What is it?” Dominica asked.
All of my hope dissipated. I met Madame Silvia’s eyes. She was smiling, probably waiting for me to squeal in delight like Dominica had. I slid my hand out of her fingers. “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Her smile never wavered. “They will fight an epic battle to win your love.”
I snorted. How stupid did she think I was? “Let’s go, Dominica.”
Madame Silvia followed our movements and rose to her feet. “That still counts as a reading.”
I shoved the cash across the table at her. “Here, take it.”
I could feel my heart contracting, retreating into me for protection, but something in her voice made me stop.
“Take this.” She extended a fist.
I looked to Dominica, who simply shrugged her shoulders. Reluctantly, I lifted my hand to her fist. Something light and cool fell into my palm when she opened her fingers, so small I hardly felt it. It was a thin, silver chain, barely long enough to fit around my wrist, with an unusual charm attached. I could only describe it as an iridescent disc, paper-thin and the size of a dime.
“It will bring you luck,” she explained plainly.
“Thanks,” I said. It was nothing but a piece of garbage, and I was tempted to flick it out into the sand. But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do it in front of Madame Silvia. I tucked it into the coin zipper of my purse instead. I felt it falling into place behind my lucky double-headed penny.