mermaid stories

"Freya, I really, really, want to kiss you," Matt said. The air was thick with alcohol. His spirit withered as he watched his words carve a faraway look in her eyes. She was a statue, beautifully motionless, and incapable of love.

Freya glanced to the spot where Ellie laid curled up in a ball beneath a blanket on the floor, facing the opposite direction, asleep in a drunken stupor. The evening had blurred into Ellie singing too many sappy love songs on her karaoke machine and drinking three too many shots of tequila. The rest of her party guests left her to pass out chilled and alone in her house. The karaoke machine remained plugged into the television set. A Vietnamese tune hummed through the speakers as the machine waited for no one to select another song.

"I can't betray Ellie like that," Freya said.

"What?"

"I brought up this idea with her before, and she told me no. She said she was worried about what would happen if we were to date and then break up. She doesn't want to risk losing one of us as a friend. She nearly cried."

"She's just being dramatic. Why would we date after just one kiss?" Matt laughed, resting his head on Freya's shoulder. She didn't flinch.

"Perhaps you're right. Why would we date."

Matt turned to face her. He searched the waves of flecks orbiting her iris for a message, but he couldn't read her. "I don't mind taking risks." He kissed her cheek. "What do you say?"

"I suppose I could indulge in one last request from you."

"Last?" Matt glanced at Freya's eyes again. Sea blue clouded grey.

There was an ocean in her eyes. She wanted him to drown in it, to collapse like a sinking ship so he would be forced to rebuild himself with his wreckage.

Freya gave in, sweet and candied at first. Matt's tongue squirmed like an eel as he shoved it down her throat. She wondered if the tears of battered men tasted bitter like the salt in her ocean. He wanted to chew her heart away but she fished for his first. As she bit his tongue, blood curled in his mouth.

From her place on the floor, Ellie overheard their verbal exchange, unmoving but awake. Fooling them felt like a silent victory trick of her own.

Ellie knew how this would go. Dried tears stained her cheeks. She loved the way Freya's tongue twirled over words. Ellie wanted music to swell in her throat, but karaoke would never be enough to match Freya. Sirens desired foul play, to eat the hearts of men. Perhaps balance would be restored between her and Freya once this one was gone. She had always loved mermaids, so she let them swim in the sea.

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