There was a mermaid at the pier. She’d pulled herself partially out of the water, her head resting on her crossed arms on the stone of the low pier, her tail waving lazily back and forth, half out of the water.
I blinked at her. I’d been sitting on the edge of the pier, reading my book, cooling my feet in the water, swinging my legs back and forth, when there’d been a splash of water and then she’d appeared.
“Hello,” I said stupidly, staring at her, my mouth gaping. She was very beautiful. Her hair was long and dark and wet, falling around her face and down her back. Her tail was a pale pink, iridescent and shiny, contrasting with the dark brown of her skin. Her smile was huge and happy and her eyes were green and I was still staring.
“Hello,” said the mermaid, looking up at me. “How are you?”
“I’m… I’m fine?” I said. A mermaid was talking to me. A beautiful mermaid was talking to me. “How are you?”
“I’m great,” she beamed, and then her face turned sad. “Actually, I was wondering if you could help me with something?”
“Yes, of course,” I said, way too quickly. I could feel my face flushing. Damnit.
“There’s just one thing I need, to get my tail to turn into legs.”
“What is it? I’ll help!” I said, eagerly.
“I need a kiss from a pretty girl.”
“Oh, okay,” I said, looking around, “I’ll just-”
I was interrupted by her laugh, and I glanced back down at her. She was smiling at me, and I realised.
“Oh. You mean me?” I asked, blushing, and she nodded. I smiled faintly, and then bent down to kiss her. Her lips were soft and salty and I was kissing a mermaid and it was lovely.
I pulled away, and looked down at her tail. It was still there. “Oh,” I said, disappointed. “It didn’t work.”
She laughed again. “I’m sorry,” she said, looking a little guilty. “I lied. I don’t need a kiss to make my legs appear, I just need to get fully out of the water.”
“Oh,” I said, and grabbed the hand she reached out, pulling her awkwardly up onto the pier, wishing I was stronger. Finally she was out the water, sitting beside me, as her tail dried in the sun and her legs appeared.
“Wow,” I said, unable to stop myself, and she grinned at me.
“Thank you,” she said gratefully, and I ducked my head, embarrassed.
“Umm,” I said, peeking up at her. She was looking at me. “You don’t need to lie to get me to kiss you,” I said, and she laughed, bringing her lips to mine again.