Today the photo prompt for the Flash Friday comp was this:

Photo courtesy of Johnny Berg

“The Little Mermaid,” sculpture by Evard Eriksen. Photo courtesy of John Nyberg

Here goes:

Gill peeked from out of his hiding spot like a hermit crab. The coast was clear, so he swam quietly towards home. He knew they were out there somewhere, waiting. If he could avoid them a little longer, just a few more months, he would be ready.

He rounded the last corner and saw them, shoaling together, waiting to pounce. He tucked behind some coral and prayed to Poseidon that they would leave him alone. They’d never bothered him before, but his recent growth spurt had caught their attention. Right on cue one of them spotted him and broke from the pack. Generations of instinct compelled the others to follow. Gill knew there was no sense in fleeing, they were much older and faster than him. He simply watched and waited, like bait on a hook.

As the first mermaid reached him she flicked her tail seductively, “Hey Gill, I’ve been looking all over for you.” He found himself staring at her seashell bra. The shells were getting smaller every day. They were getting desperate.

The rest caught up and surrounded him. They cooed and batted their eyelids. He held out his hands, “Ladies, how lovely to see you all again. I’m afraid I’m still not ready to choose a mate. If you’ll just give me a little longer to think about it…”
The closest one grabbed him by the arm, “You’ve been saying that for weeks. It is time. Choose.”
He twisted free, “Call me out fashioned, but I’m not ready to be pregnant yet. There’s still so much I want to do with my life.”
They swam closer, circling like sharks. They tasted blood in the water, he was almost a Merman and there just weren’t enough to go around. He thought quickly and shouted, “Scuba divers!” In the ensuing panic he manage to escape, safe for one more day.