We’d gone down to the beach because there was nothing else to do. We threw rocks at seagulls. A couple of cans of own-brand cider made the rounds. The taste was revolting, but it had the right temperature. When the wind died down, the sun warmed us.

‘Funny footprints. Started out of nowhere.’

Everyone gathered for closer inspection. The tide was coming in, the starting point of the footprints had been washed away. But it looked like someone’d come walking out of the sea. The others lost interest.

But since that day, I’ve been looking for the runaway mermaid.


The picture is one of today’s Flash Fiction February writing prompts. Mermaid was the first thing that popped into my mind, so I went with it. I’m pleased with how it turned out (especially since I struggled with yesterday’s story for hours).