Saturday, April 12, 2014

Prompt: A Mermaid in Venice

Liliana swam in the wake of a crowded vaporetti, concealed in the darkness, despite the close quarters of Venice’s Grand Canal. A young boy leaned over the edge and peered down into the water. She considered splashing him, just a little play, but she had business to attend and little time. Regretfully, she swept her tail down to let the water bus pull ahead, and she turned toward the dock of the Palazzo Dario.

A boyish young figure stood on the corner, looking up at the emerging stars, studiously avoiding looking down and drawing any attention to the water. “Psst…Marcella?” Liliana spoke softly, letting her voice carry across the water in case anyone else were close enough to hear.

The boy stepped into the light, revealing curls escaping from under a concealing fisherman’s cap. Liliana stayed low in the water as her servant climbed down the steps with a dark blanket. In the moonlight, she noticed Marcella’s curves straining against her boy’s clothes. Others would surely notice too, if they hadn’t already. Marcella wouldn’t be safe for much longer.

Marcella leaned down, unfolding the blanket until it draped almost to the water. Liliana quickly ducked under and pulled herself up the first few steps of the ladder until she could draw her tail out of the water. It only took a few moments for her transformation, and a few more for her to recover, shallow breaths carrying her past the pain.

Her legs were still wobbly as she climbed up the ladder, concealed by Marcella’s cover. “Clever girl,” she praised and stroked Marcella’s chin as the girl draped the blanket around her. “Quickly now, you have my clothes?”

“Of course, milady,” Marcella answered in hushed tones. She led Liliana to the dark side of the palazzo and held the blanket high to shield them both as Liliana quickly dressed. Her hair shed water in the night air, and Marcella twisted it into a fashionable knot, loose curls framing her face. “There, you’re ready, milady. Where are we going tonight?”

Liliana grimaced. “The Palazzo Salviati,” she said, and held up slender fingers to stay Marcella’s protest. “I know, I know. He will be there. I will be quick. There is no other way. I promise I’ll be careful.”

She turned and walked quickly down the dock. Marcella sucked air between gritted teeth and followed with stomping steps. “You always say that,” she said in a voice barely above a whisper.

Liliana heard and smiled fiercely without looking back. It was true. She was careful. But trouble still found her. Still, she had no choice. La principessa del mare was honor bound to serve … both of her masters.


Dogs in House

Jesse Cook, Rumba Foundation

Time writing
40 minutes, including research

April word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, spot edits Ch26, 27. Contemplate Ch28.

    Time: ~20 min

  2. Oo, interesting! I wonder who 'he' is...