by Megan Jauregui Eccles
When I sold my hair to save my sister, I thought she’d understand. A mermaid’s magic is in her hair. It was all I had to give.
I waited for her beneath the waves. The hull of her lover’s ship passed above and blotted out the moon.
When the bloody knife sliced through the water, I knew what she had done to herself.
Even before her body dropped like an anchor.
She does not look like me, in this body. She does not look like the sister with whom I shared my life. Legs instead of fin, skin instead of scales, girl instead of mermaid. This is not who she is. This is not who she was. This is a stranger.
And for what?
This fleeting infatuation, which slipped through her fingers like sand.
What did she know about love?
I was the one who bargained with the witch for her return.
I was the one who crossed the seas to bring her a way home.
I was the one who cradled her body in the moments before it dissolved into the sea.
Now, I wash myself in sea foam. I sing my lament to the moon. Scream it, until my voice is nothing but a whisper, lapping like the waves on the shore.
Megan Jauregui Eccles writes dark, speculative fiction for young adults. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside—Palm Desert. She is represented by Lauren Galit of LKG Agency. She lives in the foothills of San Diego with her husband, four sons, dogs, and various farm animals. When she’s not writing or rehoming rattlesnakes, she pairs lipstick to her favorite books on Instagram and plays Dungeons & Dragons with her husband and boys. She has been accused of owning too many books, but it simply isn't true.