Monday, 21 April 2014

My Mermaid Muse

My Mermaid Muse

by Rebecca Fyfe

I sat down to write but lately nothing came to me as I sat. My fingers tapped the keyboard absently. I almost had an idea of what to write, but it was useless. This was the worst bout of writer's block I had ever suffered through. Where was my muse when I needed her?

Closing my laptop, I made a decision; I was not going to spend today the same way I'd spent every day of the last two weeks, staring at a blank page on my computer screen until my eyes hurt with nothing to show for it.

The day was beautifully sunny and I was going to enjoy it. I dressed in shorts and a tank top, placing my floppy sunhat on my head at the last minute. It was sunny enough that, with my fairy skin, I'd be sunburned within minutes where I was going. The least I could do was shade my face with a hat. I hated wearing sunscreen because its oily feel and the scent always made me sneeze.

It only took me thirty minutes to drive to the beach. The plan was to go lay on the sandy beach and enjoy watching the sea before me. I loved everything about the beach, the sound of the waves as they tumbled to the shore, the salty smell from the ocean, the warmth of the sun on my skin and the cool breeze that counteracted it.

Once I walked down from my parking space to the beach, I realized that I didn't want to just lie on the beach. I wanted to go exploring for tide pools and climb up on the rocky outcropping to watch the waves crashing against the rocks. I was wearing flip-flops which weren't the best shoes for exploring along the rocks, but I knew I'd be careful. With one hand on my head to keep the breeze from blowing my sun hat away, and the other holding my flip-flops in my hand so I could walk barefoot, I picked my way up to the highest of the rocky outcroppings.

Up there, the breeze was stronger and the waves crashed so fiercely against the rocks below me that some of the water's spray reached up and splashed lightly against my skin. This felt like the perfect spot, so I found a rock that had a smooth enough surface to sit on, and I sat. I don't know how long I sat there watching the sea below. It could have been minutes or it could have been hours. I just know that the sea mesmerized me. A sea otter appeared every so often, floating on its back for a moment and then diving back under to come up somewhere else in the water.

That's when I saw her. Well, I didn't know what I was seeing at first. It was the tail of a massive fish, with gold, pink and green scales. I knew nothing like that existed, so I didn't believe what I was seeing at first, but then she came up for air and I realized, seeing the woman attached to the tail that I was seeing something even more incredible than a large fish.

When she dove under the water and didn't surface again, I knew she wouldn't be back. I drove home and sat down to write, full of new ideas, thanks to my mermaid muse.

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