by Marcus Jonathan Chapman
The drums beat a steady rhythm like a soldiers march, like a heartbeat like the rhythms of men and women making life and love. The wailing song that emerged was born of terror, rage and sadness from the men lured into the ocean by mermaids.
Fishermen and hunters, beards long, skin rough and muscles taught, they would wander too close to the crags jutting like teeth from the mouth of the bay. Mermaids would sing their sweet songs and bare their full bosoms. The men didn’t stand a chance. As they waded in the water, eyes fixed to the breasts above them, they didn’t see or feel the mermaids pulling them below the surface. No suffering, just a gurgled sigh as they drowned in delight.
The women, looking for their men would kneel in front of the waters edge and submerge their heads under the waves. This is where they heard the steady beat of their loved ones hearts.
The Mermaids of since gone. Living deep below the waves as men became more beastly and developed tools that helped them get what they want without the sacrifice of death. After the ages of machines and convenience, the mermaids traded souls for legs of their own.
Sometimes, when men wander by themselves, walking along the beach, pier or harbor, they meet a mysterious woman with an ancient familiarity, an acquaintance to the DNA swimming around in all men. They’ll fall on their knees and beg to be held, their beards hitting the ground. The mermaids, mute, place their own hands on top of the kneeling men, smothering them in between their bosoms, stomachs or thighs.
No screams or tortured cries, just a soft sigh as the men pass from this world with awe and delight. A much preferred death to the violence of battle, tangles with machinery and the 1000 little cuts other women sometimes inflict on their victims without the pleasure.
Stick your head beneath the waves and you’ll hear Poseidon’s hymn, the heartbeats of satisfied men, tortured by delight.