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Cold and Salted

12th May, Story #134/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 10 days ago Updated 9 days ago 3 min read
13
The best AI could do

The woman looked through the glass at the man in the water.

She blinked slowly. There was something cold and dispassionate about her eyes, like a reptile, or a fish. She might as well have been watching seaweed float.

His struggles increased, eyes bulging, fists banging on the tank wall. She tilted her head, as if the seaweed were twisting in a slightly interesting way.

Red had bloomed on his white coat where she'd hooked him with her claws, pulling him in.

Now she'd escaped that glass prison, and hit the button they'd done so many times. This time, he was sealed inside, and she was free.

That watery gaol had confined her, but the ocean salt inside it had also restored her. The wounds they inflicted in their cruel curiosity faded quickly to pale tracks. They told of a trail of secrets that the men had chased between her pain and scales. Healing, longevity, transformation. Knowledge that fascinated them, that they sought with greedy fingers and poking scalpels.

Even the scar low on her abdomen, where the pup had been dragged from her... Even that had sealed uncommonly fast.

The man had no such luxury. His life bled generously from his wounds. The little that was left choked from him by water.

Out of the cage now, out of the salt, she was weakened. If they found her like this...

She dried the last droplets from her scales and skin, gritting her teeth as her gills closed. Willed her clumsy legs to obey, so separate, support her weight. Not try to behave like a tail.

Once her claws and webbing retracted, she switched on the computers and deleted the files. All the research they'd been compiling. Drawers opened, slides and petri dishes broken. Temperature turned up on the chilled samples. Every last bit destroyed. At last a smile glinted in her eyes like a shard of ice.

Shrugging into an oversized lab coat, she picked up piece of broken glass and left the lab.

The alarms, when they sounded, competed with yells and screams of the injured and dying. They were accompanied by lights that flashed over the sea of red in every room.

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Word count: (excluding author's note): 366


Submitted on: 12th May at 23:22


*Quick Author's Note*


First, and most importantly:
thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will pay me for your eyes will be well spent. I've been thinking of buying another golden yacht for my cat.


If you enjoyed this one, the best compliment you can give me is to
share it, or read another!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one continues my 134 day streak since 1st January!


Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!


Rachel Deeming


Gerard DiLeo


Leave a comment: Please do leave me a comment. It makes it easier to reciprocate the read.

[Edit: I've fixed the shocking amount of typos and redo the formatting. Sorry about that. Laptop on the blink, so I submitted using my phone and lost some edits.

The story behind the story: I've written about her before here:

I always felt bad about giving her such a gruesome fate, and no one in the story actually knowing what happened to her. So I decided to write her ending.]

Thank you

Thank you again, most especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you 😁


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Short StoryMicrofiction
13

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (11)

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  • Cathy holmes7 days ago

    This is excellent. I like it be continued. I'm curious how she'd continue to survive/thrive on terra firma.

  • Murali9 days ago

    Great story! Keep it up.

  • Well-wrought! The Mer would certainly not take kindly to such experimentation...

  • Another fantastic piece LC! Despite having to submit via phone (which is a major challenge), it's amazing that you kept your cool and still kept to the Goal! Well done!

  • John Cox10 days ago

    You submitted this with your phone! Your dedication is amazing! Loved the story too!

  • Thanks everyone for the comments! My laptop was in the blink yesterday so I had to submit this via my phone, which doesn't work great! It looks like I've lost several edits. As soon as I have access to a computer, I'll fix it 😁

  • Hannah Moore10 days ago

    It makes sense, doesn't it, that a mermaid might actually have a very different mind set. It might not just be vengeance, it might be that mermaids don't feel empathy. Can I be honest? I didn't feel this was you usual high standard. The story is great, there's typos but the writing is good, but the ending felt a little rushed, a little crammed in. There's nothing BAD about it but against your usual work it shows up as not quite hitting the mark I feel. That last paragraph.

  • Caroline Craven10 days ago

    Nice to see the tables turned. Hope she escapes. Great stuff.

  • Mark Gagnon10 days ago

    You did a great job of building suspense coupled with a feeling of vengeance. Also, there is another typo. Out of th cage

  • Christy Munson10 days ago

    Enjoyed it. Think there's a typo in the final lines: "The alarms, when they sounded, competed with yells and screamed of the injured and dting."

  • Thavien Yliaster10 days ago

    Was she preggers before capture or during capture? Like, was she artificially inseminated by her own kind or a human's, forced to mate, and/or had an aphrodisiac induced?

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