To the Ocean

I open my mouth beneath the water breathing tube. I’m not sure if the humans will be able to hear me talk through the gurgling of the water, but I feel like I need to at least say something before they pass me over to their human scientists and I never see my friends or family again. Enunciating as best as I can, I explain to them just how I feel at having been captured and express my concern for what they are about to do to me. I try to be as charming as possible, but it’s a little bit hard when I can’t move my hands and they can barely see my face. I even go so far as to tell them about the giant squid boat decal that has haunted the mermaids for centuries, to really make them feel a little bit of guilt. Although I’m not sure if humans are capable of such an emotion.

To my surprise, all five of them are silent throughout my entire speech. Two of them even shed a small tear. When I have finished speaking and slump back in my chair, the human to my left immediately rushes forward and unbinds my hands. She explains that they never meant to cause such a commotion, but they weren’t sure what I was, or if I was truly real at all, or if I would attack them if left to my own devices. The man to my right explains that fishing boat graphics with images are quite rare, since most people prefer to get them pre-printed. He says that although their giant squid ship has been passed down by their ancestors from hundreds of years ago, their current generation shares no personality traits with the hunters of the past. They are peaceful now, he says. I challenge them. I say that if they truly are peaceful, then they should let me go, back to the saltwater where I belong. They all glance at each other.


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