CHANNEL 17 EXCLUSIVE
It was another ordinary day for 27-year-old Kenz Callaghan. She ate her normal breakfast of an egg in an avocado before taking her dog for a walk on the beach. This was her every day routine, but what she encountered on this particular trip was anything but normal.
“My dog Stormy and I go for this walk each morning. We have seen our fair share of sea critters scurrying in and out of the ocean waves. We even saw a pod of dolphins leaping and doing flips in the air.
Of course an unfortunate mainstay on these beaches is also trash. People come in for picnics and leave their garbage behind. Before COVID-19 hit, Stormy and I would pick up the remnants of the parties as we walked along the sand. Since the novel virus has hit we do avoid picking up the trash as we do not want to touch anything that could possibly infect me or someone I love. This has been our rule in place since March up until yesterday when I saw a glass bottle with a note inside. It was corked to seal it shut.
It was fortunate timing to find it because I happened to have packed a pair of disposable gloves with me in the morning along with a travel bottle of Lysol. After putting the gloves on and spraying the bottle, I picked it up. The letter inside blew my mind. It was a letter from a mermaid. I could not believe my luck!
I immediately called the news station to share this once-in-a-lifetime find. After all, how often do messages in a bottle turn out to be from a mermaid? Usually they contain a letter from a child wanting to see how far their words will travel. Sometimes they even contain remnants of a cremation; someone’s last wish to be sent out to sea, I suppose.”
Ms. Callaghan turned over the letter to our news station and we have reporters on location trying to make contact with the author. For exclusive news and updates regarding this, please keep tuned in to Channel 17 News.
Included below is a verbatim transcription of the letter found:
To the person who finds this,
Greetings from the gorgeous bottom of the ocean floor. I hope this letter finds you well, although I highly doubt it will after everything I saw up there.
Let me tell you a little about myself first. I live with my father and six sisters. My hobbies include antiquing, finding lost items and giving them a new, loving home, and singing with my friends.
You know that expression “the seaweed is always greener”? Well, the same is true for the ocean and land. I fell in love with a man, a two-legged prince to be specific. I thought living up there with him would be the only way to spend the rest of my life; it was all I could think about. However, the obvious complication was how could I, a mermaid who lives in water, manage to live on land?
This next part is not something I’m proud of, to be honest. I’m young and naive- scratch that. I was young and naive. Now I know better. See, the promise of love on the land blinded me from reality. A sea witch, the same one who is making me write this letter to let all of you as a warning, promised me she could make my dreams come true. She would equip me with all I needed to survive up there with the caveat that the man of my dreams had to kiss me – a true love’s kiss- within three sunsets. In exchange for all of this, I signed over my voice. In hindsight, it was a pretty raw deal, but I was blinded by a chiseled jawline and eyes so blue that you’d swear you were staring into the sky.
My best friend, Sebastian, a crab, tried to warn me. He told me things had changed up on land. He told me it was a foolish exchange. His exact words were, “darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter. Take it from me.” He tried his hardest to stop me from signing the contract the witch gave me, but the witch’s henchmen silenced him. I should have listened.
My father, a king down here, also tried to stop me. He wanted me to have nothing to do with a human. So, I can tell you there are countless differences between living under the sea and living on land, but one commonality is if someone expressly forbids you from doing something, it just means you will absolutely follow through with doing the act. Again, I should have listened.
When I arrived on the surface things were…. different. Vastly different than I remembered. No one was around. Things were silent. It used to be hustle and bustle. Children laughing. People running around throwing a round disc, whatever they are called.
There was nothing. Silence.
When I wandered into town, I noticed a small place where people were gathered to eat. There were seats outside near a long plank of wood. The seats were all far apart. I sat on one to try and figure out where to go from there. This was when I finally stopped to look around.
People were using HAIR BRUSHES to put food into their mouth. It was shocking to say the very least, but it was probably the least shocking thing I witnessed.
A large moving picture was hanging on the wall. It kept being introduced as the news. It showed people discussing rats feasting on each other. The person said they were cannibal rats. Horrified, yet intrigued, I continued to watch.
The person went on to say cannibal rats weren’t even the worst of what was now on the land. There were also murder hornets, zombie cicadas, squirrels carrying the bubonic plague, and an overwhelming dust storm whipping around. Terrified, I stood up to leave, but then they said the most amazing thing ever, “after a short break, we will hear some words of encouragement from our very own Prince Eric.”
This was exactly what I needed to hear. My one true love would be on the big wall picture soon. His perfect smile. His dimples. Oh, those dimples!
Coming up next (words I learned from people on the news), find out the very moment my heart broke.
If I did not have his eyes memorized, I never would have believed the man speaking was the love of my life. His dimples and smile were covered by a piece of cloth. It was okay, because his warm, blue eyes made me feel better immediately.
“Hi! Thank you for having me on the show. I am always grateful for any chance to speak to the people I love. As you all know, I began my quarantine yesterday. For the next three weeks, I cannot see another person. There are guards stationed outside of my room to protect me, and it is to also protect all of you from transmitting COVID-19. I have even been instructed to keep my mouth covered until they release me from the quarantine.
I am in good spirits, feeling great, and I promise that once it is safe, I will be back out there to help with anything and everything I can. Take care. Stay safe. Please keep your mask on and stay away from anyone who has recently traveled.”
Me. That was me. I recently travelled from the literal depths of the ocean to come here and have Prince Eric fall in love with me. Now he is guarded and locked away AND his mouth is covered?! HOW IS HE SUPPOSED TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ME AND KISS ME WITHIN THREE SUNSETS IF HE CANNOT LEAVE HIS ROOM AND HIS MOUTH HAS TO REMAIN COVERED?!
My heart began pounding in my chest. Breathing became harder. The news continued on as though this was all normal.
“Thank you, Prince Eric for your kind words. We are wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to seeing you grace these streets again in 21 days.
Up next: demon sperm. What you need to know about it and how to avoid being impregnated by the devil.”
This is when I took my newly gifted legs and sprinted back to the ocean. I pleaded with Ursula, the sea witch, to bring me back. I wrote down that if she will let me explain myself quickly, she can keep my voice for the rest of eternity to undo the spell.
“I don’t want to be where the people are!” I told her. “They can keep their gadgets and gizmos aplenty. I thought they would be singing and dancing, not social distancing and wearing masks to cover their faces! There is no staying all day in the sun or wandering free. In fact they are all in a shelter in place and cannot leave their home. I DO NOT WANT TO BE WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE.”
She took actual pity on me and let me keep my voice. This is my punishment. I must write about all of the atrocities I witnessed to let all of you know that, darling, it really IS better down where it’s wetter. Take it from me.
PS: if a witch reads this and wants to turn Prince Eric into a merman, my father, the king, has agreed to grant him, and only him, asylum.