Flash Fiction No. 74


Salt Tears

“Don’t touch me.” She stood on the edge, eyes hard set on the drop below. “I can’t bear it if you touch me.”

He crept closer, nervous of the drop. The ocean clanged below, slamming against the cliff walls, dragging rocks to the depths. The cliff could go at any moment. They both knew that.

“Please, just come back inside and we can talk.”

“I never want to speak to you again.” She smudged away the tears, angry that her perfect wedding eye make-up was ruined. But so was everything else. How could he have done this to her? “I gave it all up for you,” she wept, staring out at the calling blue with pearls clamouring in her eyes.

“Darling, I… It was a mistake. Just a kiss. Nothing else–”

“Don’t lie to me!” Her hair flew up around her as she turned, caught in the tremulous wind. “How dare you try to lie to me! Do you think I’m stupid? Do you really?”

He stared back, lips locked in useless silence.

“Everything… I gave you everything. You have my heart. My soul–”

“Darling, I–”

“My crown!” She turned away, dashing at her tears. It was too much to let him see her cry. It was too much to let him see her. She should jump. She should dive off the side of the cliff. The rocks below crowed, thundered by the vehement sea.

“She meant nothing, Thalassa.”

Tears leaked. “Then why? Why would you do that to me? Why would you kiss her or do anything with her?” She shook her head and waved her hand. “No. In fact, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. I don’t ever want to know again.”

“Thalassa, please…” He stepped closer only to hear her shriek of anguish, forcing him to move back again to the relative safety of the undergrowth’s edge. “You don’t have to do this. I don’t want you to go–”

“Then why would you do it?!”

“I don’t know, but… that isn’t a good enough reason to call off the wedding. We can go back. We can still get married.”

“I’m not marrying you,” she whispered. “I’m marrying the sea.”

He snorted. “Thalassa, don’t be stupid. You can’t go back now. There’s no way they’d have you back. You’re not one of them any more.”

Something inside her chest crackled as if a glass heart had broken, smashed in two by his cruel words. She began to wonder how she had ever loved him. Her mother had warned her that this was not the way it was supposed to be. They were supposed to come to the women of the sea; not the other way around.

But she had loved him. She would have given him everything.

“Come on, darling. I want my little merprincess on my arm forever. We don’t have to make the statement to the press about what you are until after the honeymoon.”

What you are… The words still rang in her ears as she plummeted towards the waves, hopeful that the ocean would take her to its bosom.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction No. 74”

  1. I love the tension between her demanding and explanation and not wanting to hear it–and him not being able to give it.
    That'd be pretty cool if the sea took her back.

  2. Really loved this. I began reading completely convinced that it was another suicide story, and the twist at the end genuinely surprised me.


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