Thirteenth Mermaid


Myla hurried toward the double green doors, the ones she had come through last night. To the right of the path in a place that would have been in darkness last night was a fountain. No fish leaped from the water and spouted water. Instead an earth-colored mermaid seemed to float above the water, at the center of the fountain. She held her hands open at her sides—almost as though she was bestowing a blessing—and water poured from the palms of her hand.

Myla turned to the three women.

“Tell me about this place,” Myla said.

“Grandma Susannah came out here to work," Sister Beatrice said. "But she and Grandpa Juan fell in love. He was part Native and part Spanish. His father owned the land all around here. He bequeathed part of it to Juan, who was his illegitimate son, and he and your grandmother got married.”

“It was all very romantic,” Sissy Maggie said.

“And probably a little dangerous,” Sister Beatrice said. “He built this hacienda for Susannah. She sometimes missed Ireland and the sea, so they mixed the sea and the desert together here. You’ll see little sea creatures and mermaids all over the house.”

“The villagers used to tell stories about Susannah,” Sister Rose said. “They said she was a mermaid from Ireland. She was the thirteenth mermaid in her sisterhood of mermaids. A bad man captured her and took her away from her home to the United States. The story goes that she wreaked havoc on him and his family, and then she ran away and came here, where she fell in love with your grandfather.”

from Old Mermaid Sanctuary

The painting is Forbidden Universe by Magritte


Junie Moon said...

Great new story entry--there's something a bit special about being the thirteenth mermaid, isn't there?

Kim Antieau said...

Thanks, Junie. Absolutely! 13 is a magical number.