|photo found at mermaidcastle.com|
The Mermaid Fountain
by Rebecca FyfeI carried my favorite tuna sub sandwich out of the café, deciding that sitting outdoors appealed more than spending my lunch break in a crowded cafeteria. The day was a little overcast, but it was warm enough and hopefully the rain would hold off long enough for me to enjoy my lunch.
I made my way to my favorite water fountain. It was in the middle of a public enclosure with entrances on either side. The stone walls surrounded an enchantingly lovely garden, full of a variety of flowers and plant life. The flowers drew butterflies, and the water fountain sat in the middle of the enclosure, a mermaid figuring pouring water from a large vase into the small surrounding pool of water. The sound of the water trickling was soothing, and between the butterflies flitting about the flowers and the koi fish in the fountain’s pond, there was plenty to look at while I sat and ate my sandwich.
I’d only eaten half my sandwich, savoring every bite, when I heard someone enter the garden. He had heavy steps, so it was hard to miss him. I looked up at the entrance to my right and the man had stopped. He was staring at me, a scowl on his face.
Something about his appearance frightened me, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Was it his massive size, all solid muscle and about 6 ½ feet tall? Or was it the scar across his face, running from just under his left eye and down past his lip? Whatever it was, I couldn’t help picking up on an aura of menace that seemed to surround him.
He started moving purposely toward me, continuing to stare me right in the face, and I panicked. Before he was close enough to touch me, I stood and stepped over the edge of the fountain, entering the water.
“What do you want?” I asked, remaining tense.
“You must die.” He drew a long serrated knife from a sheath on his belt that I hadn’t noticed until now.
“What?” I didn’t have to fake my surprise. I had never seen this man before, and never had my life threatened before. I stepped back a few more steps, grabbing onto the mermaid statue in the middle of the fountain. Should I shout for help? Would anyone hear me?
The man lunged forward again, his knife about to strike at me, when something odd happened. I wavy sort of haze fell over everything. The fountain grew warm under my hand and the man seemed to be moving as if in slow motion. My hands began to tingle.
The water rose from around my feet and surrounded the man, burying him in a wall of water. Then the air cleared and everything sped back up to normal speed. The water fell from around them man, but he only stood still for a moment, making soft gurgling, choking noises and then he collapsed at me feet, face down in the pond. I tentatively reached out to touch him. When he didn’t move, I rolled him over, so his face was no longer in the water. It didn’t matter though, because he was dead.
I looked at the fountain. I hadn’t imagined what had happened. Had the fountain performed some sort of magic to save me or I had I somehow done that myself? Did it matter? I was alive.