Landed Lover


Photo credit: Joel Filipe via Unsplash

With gentle hands, you yank me back and forth, laboring on stilted, grounded legs, and call it dance.

Me, who can glide and slide with the fish, propel myself through silky waters with an exhalation, swirl among sparkling visions beyond your ken.

How could you imagine I would stay?

Written for this week’s Three Line Tales prompt, over at Only 100 Words.  Click on the link to see the other stories and poems written in response to this photo.  Thanks for the inspiration, Sonya!

Eneana world-building note: so, who is this narrator?  Lynn has already guessed it’s a mermaid — which makes perfect sense — so I’d better clarify.  There are myths of merfolk in parts of Eneana, but (ssh, don’t tell anyone), they’re not real.  That doesn’t stop them from showing up in various myths and legends and poems, of course, but they couldn’t be the narrator of a story.

Water nymphs do exist, but again, the reality differs from the myth.  Nymphs are often perceived as female because of their slight form. But up close, they barely look human, and do not share the same primary or secondary sexual characteristics.  When Kakika designed them to be “like humans,” she misunderstood several key details.  Also, they’re Kakika’s Fey, so… Well, take my word for it and don’t try to dance with them, much less anything more intimate.

That leaves humans who are divines / clerics / priest(esses) of one of the true water religions.  The deity goes by many names, and is male in some cultures and female in others, but one common thread is that favored divines are granted the magical ability to breathe underwater, and some of them can take the form of various sea creatures.  And apparently for the narrator, once you go water, you never go back…


17 thoughts on “Landed Lover

  1. Thank you for that clarification, Joy. What a glorious thing, to be one of those chosen by a deity to breathe under water! Such a glorious idea. Are there others who are given the power of flight by deities of the air? Marvellous ideas and as always, the richness of your world comes through so vividly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely! 😍

    I’m writing a fantasy novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, and just did a bit of research on these, so my first guess of who the narrator is would have been either a nixie or a water elemental; before I read your note. 😅 I admire your ability to worldbuild! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The world-building is the best part for me, and yet I’m pretty disorganized about it, and nothing ever gets puts into a nice, finished form. A labor of both love and laziness, lol! Good luck with your fantasy novel, and thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, I’m the same way. 🙂 Except then I find out that two parts of the world clash and I have to fix it. But it’s so fun, especially doing the research to build with.

        Thank you so much! 😊 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • That can definitely happen — that two parts clash, even in one short story! I keep telling myself I’ll get it more organized, but for now, at least I have most of it in a few documents. Thank good for “search”!


  3. Your story was beautiful before I read your clarification note. I initially guessed you were writing about something like a water nymph or other water-bound, human-like being. Your explanation has cleared that up for me. Evocative writing, Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wanted to clarify that it was a choice: she can live on either water or land, but the water is so magical that once she tries it, how could she ever commit to living even mostly on land, with some regular human? Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

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