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Won't Cost You a Penny

9th February, Story #40/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 18 days ago 3 min read

People said if you went to the lagoon at midnight (or on a full moon, or with your true love, or, or...) that the merfolk could grant you a wish.

I couldn't go with my true love, because Ryan didn't know he was my true love yet. But I went when it was midnight and full moon.

I made my wish, then, drunk, stumbled back to my hotel.

The call clanged through my hangover next morning. I could hardly believe what he was saying. Is this a joke? Am I still drunk?

He urged me to visit his offices before I went home. When I asked what this would cost, he said, "Not a penny."

I took the ferry to the mainland, and a cab to the offices of Merman and Merman. The building was luxurious, rich wood and brass plaques all the way to my appointment on the top floor. He was waiting for me in an dark blue suit, damp blond curls perfectly styled. I squashed my surprise at his wheelchair.

Flashing his white teeth at me, like a shark, he gestured to the contract on the desk. Fancy pen poised, claw-like.

Sober in bald daylight, I didn't believe he could deliver on his promise. So I signed it. What the hell, right?

Ryan was waiting for me at the airport. Coincidence!

But I'd been right. We were perfect!

The next call came, again, when I was sick to my stomach. Not a hangover this time, but morning sickness.

"You cannot be serious," I stammered.

"It's the only way we can have a child," he answered.

"You can't do this!" I spat at the phone, actual spittle flying from my lips like sparks. "You said you'd do it for free!"

"I said it wouldn't cost you a penny," he said, "and it won't. We'll reimburse all doctor visits, lost wages et cetera."

I floundered, dumbfounded.

"You cannot outrun us," he continued. "Make the payment, or we'll take it. With interest."

How could I tell Ryan that I'd unwittingly signed away our child?


Word count (excluding note): 366

Submitted on 9th February at 20:32

*Quick Author's Note*

Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment so I can reciprocate. Your thoughtful engagement is appreciated. If you enjoyed this, the best compliment you can give is to share it, or read another.

The story behind the story: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one makes a 40 day streak. You can find all of them in my Index post. It's also pinned to the top of my profile.

If you're joining me on this "story every day" madne adventure, please leave a link to yours in the comments! Whether you're on a creative bent like me and writing fiction, or you have some other self-imposed criteria, I would love to see what you come up with.

If you'd like to buy the cow, (or get more free milk on Kindle Unlimited):

FantasyShort StorySeriesMicrofiction

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."

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Comments (15)

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  • The Dani Writer14 days ago

    This would sure make for an interesting TV series. *Thoughts*

  • Penelope Jane16 days ago

    Oh my god what a dark twist. So much feeling packed into a story so short and so easy to read. Daily reminder to read the fine print

  • Dana Crandell16 days ago

    I'll skip the "something fishy" joke, although it pains me. lol This is a great lead off, which is really no surprise. I do enjoy where your imagination goes. And I have to agree with Paul's assessment of the art. (Not a fan, so I find it fitting.)

  • Rachel Deeming16 days ago

    Bloody hell!

  • Fantastic writing as always. Great twist - I am so guilty of just signing stuff especially at work when I'm busy! Lesson learned!

  • Paul Stewart18 days ago

    That AI art looks like Justin Timberlake just a touch lol. Anyway,..this was brilliant. The fine print will get you in the end. Also, well done on 40 bloody days, I'm impressed and proud and stuff!

  • I want to know, if it's a girl will they name her Ethel?

  • Phil Flannery18 days ago

    When doing deals with the Devil, or Mermen, always read the fine print.

  • To answer her question, the only way for her to tell Ryan is with her mouth! Hahahahahahaahhahahahaa I know, that was so lame! Loved your story!

  • Caroline Craven18 days ago

    Ha! Always read the small print! 🙄 Cracking read - love the name of the offices!

  • Joe O’Connor18 days ago

    I like the twist at the end, and the idea of being careful what you wish for! “actual spittle flying from my lips like sparks” is a great line😊

  • This is why you ALWAYS check the terms!

  • Cathy holmes18 days ago

    Oh, that sneaky bugger.

  • Hannah Moore18 days ago

    Ah, tricksy wording.

  • Alexander McEvoy18 days ago

    This one really leaves me wondering What did the POV gain? Was it Ryan? I did very much enjoy this story :) love ones about Faustian Bargains

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