Now for something completely different…
As I mentioned yesterday there are group of artists who are calling this month #MerMay, and are encouraging people–artists mostly–to draw mermaid picture every day. Now, I don’t draw, but I do write, which means I can be creative in my own way.
In the best way for me to be creative is to write a story.
This is going to be a most interesting story, because I am going to pants the hell out of this. Any of you who know me are aware that I usually plot things out in the most minute detail before he began writing anything. This time I’ve got a concept: writer mermaid story. And that’s it. Nothing else, nothing plotted out, nothing planned, nothing but sitting down and coming up with a story as it hits me.
And because MerMay is supposed to last every day through the month of May, this means that just like all those artists were drawing a picture of day, I need to write a scene a day and, in the end, produced thirty-one scenes that make a story. That again is something I’m not used to doing–as if you didn’t know, I tend to be a bit wordy.
I figure I’ll keep each scene to five or six hundred words, which will allow me to produce one scene a day. Or, if I get in a bind, I produced two or three scenes a day. At best I’ll probably double up and do two scenes a day on a few days, maybe even three to get ahead of the curve. Anyway you look at it, I’m setting myself up for some ambitious work, as I am also working on my novel and doing TV recaps.
But in a writer’s work is never done.
So here we go and as I write it you’ll see it. If nothing else, I hope you find it entertaining.
No one ever called Penelope Coffey by her given name: she was Penny to everyone. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d heard someone call her Penelope—it likely happened in school, probably back in the first grade. After that, after she made certain the teachers knew what she liked to be called, she was always Penny.
As far as nine-year-old girls went, Penny didn’t consider herself any different from her classmates and friends. She stood five foot four and had what the adults called an athletic build. Her strawberry blonde hair flowed over her shoulders and reached almost to her waist. Instead of blue eyes complimenting her hair, however, she possessed a pair that were a piercing slate gray, something people noticed immediately.
If there was anything that could be considered unusual about her, it was that she didn’t tan. She had so far lived her whole life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and like most children her age she spent a great deal of time outdoors. No matter how much time she spent outside with her friends she never returned with a tan. A few time she even went without sunscreen, knowing there was a possibility she could get a bad sunburn even then, she didn’t tan.
Her mother, Leigh Ann, said it was due to their Irish heritage, and when she looked at her mom Penny could believe that story. Her mom was tall with a full head of red hair and striking emerald green eyes. And just like her daughter she, too, never seem to tan even though she spent a great deal of time working outdoors. She owned a landscaping company and when she wasn’t in the office handling scheduling and finances, she could be found outdoors working on sites. Leigh told her daughter they should consider themselves lucky, because the alternative would be spending a fortune and sunscreen every month.
But there was one other thing that Penny thought might be unusual—not only about her, but about her mother as well…
She brought it up one night with summer vacation only a month away and the activities of some of her other friends already in mind. “Mama, are we ever going to get a swimming pool?”
Leigh set down her fork and looked to her right where her daughter sat. “You know how I feel about swimming pools, honey.”
“I know you said you don’t want one, but you never told me why.”
Leigh’s expression softened a bit. “When I was a teenager I had a bad experience with swimming. Ever since then I’ve been hesitant about getting near, well, any kind of deep water.” She reached over and touched her daughter’s hand lightly. “And it would scare me tremendously to think of you being in a pool where you couldn’t touch bottom.”
Penny looked down at her dinner and tried to keep from frowning. “All my friends go swimming; most of them have pools.” An idea suddenly came to mind. “What if I stayed in the shallow end and didn’t actually swim? Then I could be in the water and you wouldn’t have to worry.”
“Well, we’ll see.” Leigh returned to her meal. “Finish your dinner and get your homework.”
After picking at her Salisbury steak a couple of times, Penny finally began eating. She knew what Mama usually meant when she said “we’ll see”: it usually meant there would be no more discussion. But this time Penny didn’t want it to be the end of discussion—
And Penny was nothing if not a determined girl.