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.
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