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Murky Waters

Shannon Fay is a Clarion West graduate and writer living in Mi'kma'ki/Nova Scotia. Her first novel, Innate Magic, will be released later this year from 47North. She can be found online at @shannonlfay or on Patreon at patron.com/shannonfay

As the ruined ship settled on the ocean floor it sent eddies of silt swirling, creating a grimy underwater mist. The anglerfish swam through the cloud, curious as to what caused such a mighty ship to sink so deep. It found the answer when it spotted a siren watching from a nearby cave. It swam up to her.
"Why do you sing sailors to their doom?" the anglerfish asked the siren. The siren reached up to stroke the fish's stomach.
"Why do you use your light to lead other fish towards you?" she asked in reply.
"Because I am lonely," the anglerfish responded.
"And why do you devour them once they draw near?"
"Because I am hungry," the fish replied.
The siren smiled, showing her razor-sharp teeth. "I am the same. I am lonely but I am hungry, and we are fated to always be one at the expense of the other. We're monsters, you and I."
The truth of her words depressed the anglerfish, but also sparked an idea.
"Perhaps," the fish said, "rather than trying to be friends with our food, we should find friends with similar appetites."
The siren gave a surprised laugh. "I see. Become friends with fellow monsters?" She gestured towards the wreckage. "Then... care to join me for a meal?"
"Thank you," the anglerfish said. It had never shared a meal with another living being before. The siren and the anglerfish traded sharp smiles and swam towards the drowned bodies drifting with the ocean currents.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, March 4th, 2021


Author Comments

This story was inspired by a photo featuring a goth mermaid with an anglerfish, which got me thinking about the similarities between anglerfish and sirens.

- Shannon Fay
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