He admired his work. It didn’t quite work out as he intended, but he could still admire her this way. They say mermaids are not real, but Frank knew they were wrong. Frank was a lonely middle aged man who had suffered life’s disappointments, but now he had a reason to be proud.
He happened to be sitting on the shore of the bay when he glimpsed a reflection of sunlight bouncing off the waves. He often came to the bay by himself, getting away from the computer, his phone, and aconnection to anyone except the elements. His gaze shifted and then something drew his eyes back to the same spot. He couldn’t believe it, he thought it was a floating body. That wasn’t a completely incredible thought but never seeing one before, he was morbidly curious. He kept staring, wondering if it would float to shore, when he saw movement. It startled him and he decided he would try to help this person. He started swimming out toward the body and the closer he got, he realized it was a woman, obviously alive and needing help.
Frank wasn’t the best swimmer, but his adrenaline kicked in and he reached the woman fairly quickly. She was in need of help, but was resisting Frank’s arms. He noticed she was half naked, but his main focus was trying to get her to shore. After a minute or so of flailing, she seemed to faint, and Frank brought her out of the water. He looked admiringly at this beautiful body before him. She was still breathing, but seemed unconscious. Frank looked her over with surprise. Something had definitely harmed her legs. Perhaps she was caught in a rope or weeds. He had no idea, but they didn’t look right. She started choking and his attention was drawn to her face. Frank lifted her to sit up and she seemed to recover.
Panic and fright filled her eyes and she made a few odd noises. Frank thought he’d better get help. This was one of those times he wished he wasn’t such a loner. He didn’t know if he could carry her to his truck, but that was his only option. There was a hospital a few miles away and that’s where he decided to take her. She seemed to go in and out of a faint like state and he was worried she might not survive. Arriving at the hospital he checked her into the ER. Having no information to give, he relayed what happened. They took her in.
That night Frank received a call from the hospital saying she would be released in the morning. He would need a wheelchair transport. He knew it, that’s probably why she had so much trouble in the water. She must have been paralyzed. He went to sleep that night dreaming of how she would be grateful for him saving her, and maybe they could at least be friends.
He rented a chair and picked her up. He had no idea what her name was, where she lived, and how she got into such a predicament. She didn’t really speak, so he took her to his home, helped her inside and when they were settled, he started to ask questions. She only murmured. To Frank it seemed that she might still be in some sort of traumatized state, so didn’t think too much about it. He noticed she looked uncomfortable and brought her a drink of water. She drank it quickly and held it out to be refilled. After the second time, he saw her pour the third glass of water over her legs. They seemed to move a little. He thought maybe she wanted a bath so he carried her in and sat her down in the tub. He started the water and left her alone.
A half hour later she was still in the tub, so he knocked on the door and went in. The hospital pajamas were off and she was completely submersed in the tub. He went over immediately, thinking she might have fallen asleep, even drowned. He lifted her head and saw the most beautiful bright sea green eyes. Her hair was curly and beautiful, but the biggest surprise was her naked body was completely covered in iridescent blue and green scales. He was shocked of course, but her beauty was so magnificent, he just stared. She smiled and raised her legs. They were legs, but now joined with fins on the end.
Frank could hardly believe his eyes, could she be a mermaid? He’d read of such mystical creatures but like most sane people, knew it was just a myth, an old sea legend told by bored, retired seamen. There she was seemingly recuperated, and beautiful. He was in shock, his mind seemed to whirl, he couldn’t comprehend what was going on. He didn’t know what to do. She still didn’t speak, even though he started barraging her with questions. She just smiled.
He knew he had to hide her. He didn’t want to take her back to the bay. He was completely confused as to what he should do. This circumstance called for secrecy and he was thankful he was a true loner. No one would be coming over checking on him, but he knew he had to move her someplace safe. He should have taken her back to the bay. He just didn’t want her to go. He left her in the tub and decided to make preparations to take her to a safe place. It didn’t occur to him that he might be holding her captive, or that she might prefer going back to the sea.
Frank suddenly seemed obsessed with the idea of keeping her to himself. He built a glass case so he could see her and she could be in water without leaving him. He moved her into his truck. She was trapped, but unable to protest since he took her from the tub and her life giving water. The trip in the truck took longer than he expected and she was getting weaker by the minute. He had the area ready with a place for the wooden glass case. He prepared it, filling it half full with water.
He lifted her dry weakened body out of the truck and placed her in the case. By this time, the beautiful colored scales had almost disappeared. As he lifted her he couldn’t feel her heart beating. He thought he might have taken too long getting there. She wasn’t breathing. Frank talked to her as he laid her in the case. He spoke lovingly to her as he gently placed her hair around her neck. She was still beautiful, he thought to himself. She’s mine now, just mine. My mermaid.