Are mermaids real? The story of the fisherman and the siren.
It was back in the old times when there were still sea monsters in the ocean that there lived a simple man earning his keep as a net fisherman by the name of Angus Hanson.
Angus was a strong, handsome man who lost his wife and child during childbirth. The baby was stillborn and his once beautiful wife died soon after giving birth. Her name was Maggie and they were to name their child Conner if he was a boy, and Mary if she was to be a wee lass. Angus’s heart was heavy after he lost his wife and the baby boy she bore to him. He nearly drank himself into death after it happened but finally pulled through the melancholy his life had become; more or less.
He dedicated his days to the hard work of net fishing because the physical exertion took his mind off the pain. When his body was exhausted and the nets full, he often drank himself into a stupor before he headed in for the evening.
The Fisherman’s Strange Catch
One day, Angus went out on the boat and began casting his net out into the dark waters of the sea to work on his quota of his catch of fish for the day. The memories of Maggie soon overtook him and he couldn’t resist the urge to drink himself oblivious again. The faster the memories came, the faster he drank until he drew straight from the bottle, wiping his face after each pull. He knew if he kept drinking as much as he was doing every day, that the drinking man’s disease would take him and he would eventually die, bloated and grotesque. He didn’t care and sought out the numbing elixir to make him wink out of his painful existence.
Drunk and staggering, he brought up the net filled with fish onto the deck of the boat. The net was full and there was something huge wriggling in the middle of it. He had caught huge squid in the net before and would sort them from the catch and throw them back in the water. Once he had even caught a sea serpent that measured seven meters! Hell of a brawl with that one, he thought it would end up tipping his boat. This was different, though, and the creature thrashed about in the suspended net like a wild thing. He caught a glimpse of it momentarily, fish-like with large scales–it was incredible large. Momentarily distracted from his pain, he looked forward to seeing what it was.
He dropped the net onto the inside of the boat and it opened. Slick, wet fish and other sea creatures wriggled on the wooden floor, and in the midst of it was…..a young woman! How he had ever mistaken her for a scaly fish, he didn’t know–it must have been the drink, he was sure of it.
He helped her out of the net and covered her with a large cloth to cover her nakedness. She was lovely, the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. She stepped forward, unsteady on her feet and looked around the boat in wonder.
“What is your name, where did you come from?” He asked her in wonder. She looked at him and blinked. She approached him and looked at his face with the same wonder that she looked around at the boat. Then she kissed him with the sweetest kiss, more deeply and wonderfully than his lovely Maggie ever gave to him.
The kiss was sweeter than honey and seemed to last for an eternity before she broke away and ran to the edge of the boat and jumped back in the water. He went to the edge and looked over. She was gone. Saddened, he returned home.
The Fisherman’s New Love
The next day Angus returned to the spot he had caught the young woman and worked to catch his fish as usual. By this time, he had convinced himself the drink had played him for a fool and he didn’t expect to see her again.
“Are mermaids real? I guess not!” Angus yelled out to the ocean.
When he was about ready to head back to the shore, he heard something. A strange melody which didn’t sound human, but it soothed him more than any whiskey ever did. He followed the sound and to his disbelief, there she was., calling to him, motioning to be pulled out of the water. He pulled her from the water into the boat, where she immediately embraced him with a kiss, again seeming to last an eternity. He was lost in the sweet darkness for a while and never wanted it to end but suddenly, without a word, she broke away from him and jumped into the depths of the ocean.
This went on for a while until one night, during their rendezvous, Angus worked up enough courage to ask the woman to go back with him to his cottage. She stayed there in the boat like she understood him and Angus headed inland. They arrived at his cottage, and she stayed there and loved him for several nights and days. She would always leave at night to go to the ocean and return to him in the morning.
The Fisherman’s Brother
Angus had stopped going out on his boat, and his brother, Jaime, who often met Angus on the docks, became concerned after a while. Jaime had always worried about Angus since the loss of Maggie and today he decided to pay a visit his bother’s cottage to check on him. As he approached the cottage, Jaime heard strange sounds so cautiously, he crept up to the window peered in.
What Jaime saw stole the breath from his throat and his voice fell silent as he tried to yell. Instinctively, he ran home to get his rifle and rushed back to the cottage; bursting in the front door.
Angus saw the girl rise up from their bed startled, and saw his brother raise the weapon and aim at his love. He raised his arm up, and as the words came out of his mouth to try and stop him, his brother discharged the weapon into her chest. Angus went and hit his brother to keep him from hurting her again.
“Look at it, ye damn fool,” he said to Angus. “She’s been feeding on you!”
“What?” Angus replied perplexed. His gaze caught the bedroom mirror and his reflection revealed the shape he was in. He was pale, thin, filthier than he’s ever been, and his neck was crisscrossed with raw, angry wounds that were festering and open. Blood ran down his neck and onto his chest.
He went to the girl and turned her over. Jaime, recovering and dusting himself off from the scuffle with his brother said, “See, she’s a fish, and she’s been drinking your blood, man!”
As Angus turned her over, the creature he originally saw in the net looked back up at him with its huge fish eyes as it gasped for breath, gills flaring, it’s needle-like teeth and cheeks still covered with his blood. How could he have ever imagined love in those dead, black orbs? Repulsed, he grabbed the gun from his brother and began to bash the creature’s head in with it. As much as he hated the creature, he felt a loss as it died.
Angus was never the same after that and drank until the drinking man’s disease took him. His brother buried him at sea as he had requested on his deathbed.