Memories of a Mermaid
By Natascha Tallowin
A glittering sliver of something was glimpsed on the horizon today
bobbing slowly nearer
like a cork on a rough sea
Every now and then the beauty of it caught the eye of a turning sunbather
And a child even pointed once
declaring it a mermaid
But as the day drew on, interest waned and the beach began to clear.
The glimpse of glitter swelling with the drawing in of the tide
grazed the sand of the shore for the first time
shifting back and forth with the slow rhythmic pulse of lapping waves
Until finally coming to a halt
The snout of a spaniel snuffled loudly about its form
A dog walker stopped hesitantly
poking, prodding at it with the toe of her shoe
A naked body flopped back
A picture of sullied perfection
luminous skin a wonderful shade of pale,
blue eyes wide open with an expression of mild surprise
A mane of colourless hair lay spattered across the beach, encrusted with sparkling sand
Only the curl of a piece of paper held tight within his hand
With trembling finger tips the dog walker removed the page from his water logged hand.
"I told you not to drown."