Print Length: 68 pages
Doctor Craig Bo has everything: a perfect wife and children, a thriving dermatology practice, and a house in a lovely coastal town. Nobody is surprised when he is chosen to be the Sea King of Beachside in his hometown’s annual festival.
But after the festival Craig’s world turns upside down. Something starts growing on his skin. His son tells him a story about a sinister mermaid who lives in the attic of the local history museum. And his beautiful wife, Penelope, can no longer hide her dark connection to the sea.
As Craig grapples with his own secrets and misdeeds, he finally understands the woman he married and the plans she has for him.
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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
When you think of mermaids, your mind probably first goes to The Little Mermaid; sweet, singing, happy go lucky, under the sea people.
Jan (the author) DID NOT write a Disney tale. Instead, she wrote a story that would make the Grimm Brothers proud.
As a reader, Penelope was throwing up red flags all over the place. Certain phrases in conversations would lead any smart man to run for the hills. Example: Penelope wants him to “worship” only her.
Craig didn’t see or didn’t want to see the warning signs that something was off about his wife. Heck, if he looked hard enough, I bet he could see she had crazy eyes. That’s the problem, he didn’t stop to look. Craig thought with his little head, and Little Craig got him into a particularly sticky situation.
I didn’t feel compassion for Craig. I didn’t care about the outcome of anyone besides Dash.
While I did like the progression of Craig’s inevitable transformation, I wanted more horror, much like we glimpsed in the opening credits.
No doubt, this was an intriguing short story and one worth reading.
Jan Stinchcomb is the author of The Kelping (Unnerving), The Blood Trail (Red Bird Chapbooks) and Find the Girl (Main Street Rag). Her stories have recently appeared in Wigleaf, Hobart and Pithead Chapel. A Pushcart nominee, she is featured in Best Microfiction 2020 and The Best Small Fictions 2018. She lives in Southern California with her family. Visit her at janstinchcomb.com or on Twitter @janstinchcomb.