the little diveman

Eldin glimpsed his mermaid in the water, the one who stole his heart when he rescued her from the beach. He’d given up everything to find her.

He rushed across The Sea Witch and struggled into scuba gear.

“You sure know what you’re doin’?” asked the Captain.

“Of course.” Eldin flashed his forged dive ticket again.

The Captain cursed as the boy splashed into the water. “No deeper than 30m or the decompression’ll kill ya.”

Eldin found his mermaid waiting for him, smiling and holding out her hands.

She led him to an underwater village built of kelp and coral.

The regulator he needed for breath wouldn’t let him speak his promises of love, but he rejoiced at the warmth of her hand against his glove.

His depth gauge read 120m when his mask cracked. Eldin paid it little mind, his mind too full with the magic of first love.

She let go of Eldin’s hand as a school of merchildren swam to greet her. When she gestured to Eldin they rushed to hug him. He tried to smile but his stomach knotted up with doubts. A smiling merman shook his hand. Her family, Eldin realized, her children. Her husband.

Eldin turned, hoping they wouldn’t see the agony of his shattered heart. He needed to get away. To find somewhere alone to howl with this awful pain.

He released his dive weights, rushing to the surface, heedless of the Captain’s warning.

They never found his body. Some say he turned to sea foam, his sorrow clinging to the surface of her world and to his.



Submission Sundays: the gritty Grimm

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories and maybe inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

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This week, we’re tackling:

Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline: an anthology of dieselpunk and decopunk fairy tales

Eligibility: fairy tales and retellings in alternative histories between WWI and WWII, up to 7500 words.

Caveat: this particular call doesn’t OPEN until August 1. It’s a ways off but it gives you the chance to come up with a clever story, polish it, and send it through your critique groups before you submit. It also gives newer writers the chance to familiarize themselves with the styles of dieselpunk and decopunk before writing.

What makes this call stand out: Grimm as dieselpunk makes my imagination tingle

Payment: $0.01 per word, plus a contributor’s copy

Submit by: September 30th, 2018

Click here to got to the original call for details.

Good luck and happy writing!