Eeareea smacked her tail against the rock she sat upon. That was the third human to pass by today without so much as glancing her way. What good was it to lounge around seductively topless if no one noticed?
Things had been so much easier back in her grandmother's day, before the invention of those blasted motors that made a sailor deaf to everything outside his boat.
A jet ski poked its nose around the corner of the cove, but Eeareea wasn't even tempted to go after it. She had a cousin who'd spent months in intensive care after trying to get someone off one those monsters.
She may just have to be under-quota this week. It wasn't like she wouldn't be able to make up the slack next week, when the spring break college crowd started showing up. Oh, yes, the time of drunken frat boys hanging off the sides of sailboats and virtually begging to be caught was nearly upon them!
Of course, pointing that out to Aalye wouldn't get her anywhere.
Sometimes thinking about her boss made her think that it wouldn't be so bad if one day she were the one to get caught. Living life in some human aquarium probably wouldn't be that bad. She had a dolphin friend whose sister was in Tampa and quite happy. All the humans seemed to expect from her was a small amount of gymnastics and in return they gave her a predator-free climate-controlled pool with all the fish she wanted. Really not bad at all. Not at all like the horror stories they told kids to scare them away from shore.
The sun was harsh today and Eeareea needed to get back underwater soon if she wasn't going to burn. It would be bad enough to go home without a catch, but going home with her skin bright red and ready to fall off would be even worse.
She was just about to dip under the the waves when she heard the sound of a lone human hiking over the rocks behind her. Finally a spot of luck!
She turned to smile her most dazzling smile at the young man, who stood gaping at her like... Well, like he was looking at a mythical being. It was a similar expression to the one most humans wore when seeing a mermaid, though not as filled with longing as she'd hoped.
Then the human held out his hand behind him. “Honey, you have to come see this!”
As another human male clambered into view to take his boyfriend's outstretched hand, Eeareea threw her head back and flopped into the water. Didn't that frigging figure?
Maybe she'd stop by the career center on her way home. Sirening just wasn't what it used to be.
Image is a piece called Storm Chaser by the lovely and talented Jasmine Beckett-Griffith and prints are available for sale on her website (http://www.strangeling.com).
Prompt for the story came from this random art generator and was to demonstrate a sense of anxiety with a mermaid. I think I was supposed to paint it, but I'm better with words than brush strokes. :)