She loves to swim, he tells me. She loves to swim, as if that's all that matters. As if the only qualification to enter the castle is “loves roses”, as if the only reason to kiss the maiden is a spinning wheel fetish.
She loves to swim. You'll love this one, she loves to swim. You have a tail, and gills, and you've been waiting so long for someone that obviously you'll settle for the first girl who loves. To. Swim.
I have a tail, and gills. And I don't love to swim. I don't tell him You'll love this one, she loves to walk. I just swim. He walks. He rules his kingdom and I rule mine, and I don't tell him how to do his thing. I sort of wish he'd stop telling me how to do mine. I often wish he'd put half the effort into his kingdom that he puts into this relationship, and I really wish he'd stop trying to make it something I enjoy.
You'll love this one. She loves to swim.
He's standing on the balcony again, talking to me. Assuming I'll be there, listening. And I am and I'm not, but the curl of the waves carries his voice to me. It carries all the voices to me, all the voices in my kingdom. I lift a horned head, salt-crusted and ancient, and answer him back in the splash of the sea against the shore.
Give her to me.
I can't tell what she looks like, any more than I can see the king on his balcony, any more than I can appreciate the gold and jewels they use to weigh her down. But I can feel her, as they throw her off of the sacrificial stones, my arms reaching up to catch her, lithe and slender and all bones and heavy gold. Her hair waves and curls around my fingers, her arms spread out to embrace me, and she slips through my hands.
She glitters, I'm certain, as she falls drifting down and down and down. She glitters and shimmers and disappears into the dark depths of my disappointment.
She loves to swim.
She doesn't float.
Prompt: Nightmare Fuel, day 9