Turquoise Tail

Before Aqua could answer, the sun dipped below the water, and in a glow of light that blinded Dawn, her legs transformed into a beautiful turquoise tail.

Gaping, the mafia boss stared at the large fish tail flicking on the rocks. Aqua took the opportunity to escape with a large splash.

Cold water rained over Dawn, and he covered his eyes to prevent salt from getting into them. Spluttering, the shocked man looked to the sea. He couldn’t see anything, as if the mermaid who saved him earlier was only his imagination.

He was still alive, and the gunshot wound from earlier had disappeared. There was no doubt about it. That wasn’t a dream. Dawn had been saved by a mythical creature with a turquoise tail.

“Dammit!” he cussed silently and looked up. That was the bridge he jumped from.

Without a way up or any hint of where his saviour had gone, Dawn weighed his options. His shirt was torn, and Ricardo was probably still trying to find his body. It was too risky to return. There was no saying if he would be shot upon sight by Ricardo’s dogs.


It had been a while since Dawn had felt hungry. There were only a few instances in his life when the mafia boss knew what hunger felt like. Under the care of his father and family, Dawn always had his meals on time. Today was an exception for many things.

Before the lost mafia boss could decide what to do, something rippled from beneath the sea.

Flinching in surprise, Dawn thought his heart would stop when a head floated just above the surface. He couldn’t see the colour of the hair in the dim lights, but something told him it was the same mermaid from earlier. She hadn’t completely left for some reason, even after he threatened to shoot her. What a strange creature. Are all mermaids like her?


The mermaid tossed some items onto the rocks beside him. He had no idea what to make of them, but when his fishy saviour did not move, he cautiously bent to pick them up.

There was an assortment of snacks, from biscuits and chips to soggy boxes of Twinkies. Dawn grimaced at the sugar overload, but he couldn’t complain. This wasn’t a five-star restaurant. It was better than starving. Besides, he wasn’t an ingrate.

Aqua watched in satisfaction as the human ate her offerings. They were food she salvaged over the week from her private stash near the pier. She often stole it from seagulls who stole it from unsuspecting young humans. They were things she enjoyed eating, but for the sake of this human under her care, she would share them with him.


This time, it wasn’t coming from Dawn’s stomach. The mafia boss paused and looked over at the drooling mermaid. When did she come up from the water?

Propped up with her arms on the rock near him, the mermaid stared at his snacks longingly. Although Dawn had no idea where she found these snacks, it was obvious she wanted some.

Offering the newly opened packet of Oreo cookies, Dawn waited for the mysterious creature to accept it. At the same time, he studied her curiously. There were so many questions to ask. But most importantly, he wanted to know why she chose to save him. He wasn’t a good person in the eyes of society. There was blood on his hands, and she obviously did not want to expose her existence to anyone.

Once a webbed hand reached over, Dawn quickly used his other hand to grab her wrist. Now that he had caught her, the mafia boss did not intend to let her swim away without answers.

Alarmed that the human had tricked her, Aqua began to struggle. However, the man who had recovered from a life-threatening injury was stronger than a mermaid like her. She should have listened to her mother’s advice. Now, he was going to rob her of her heart scale!

Protecting the rainbow scale in the middle of her chest, Aqua splashed water at Dawn with her tail and squirmed as hard as she could. When that did not work, she bit the hand that had a hold on her wrist.

Taken aback by the fierce struggle, Dawn yelped in pain as the mermaid clamped down on his hand with her sharp teeth. However, he did not release his hold on her. Instead, he grabbed a cookie and waved it in front of her. The trick worked on his German Shepard. Maybe it would do the same for mermaids.

“There, there… I promise I won’t do anything. It’s really for you. Stop biting me, will you? I just wanted to talk. If you promise not to swim away, I will let go of your hand.”

Thinking about it, the bite turned into a nibble as Aqua thought about it. The cookie was too tempting, and eventually, the naive mermaid caved to temptation. Besides, she was hungry. If he tried anything funny, she would splash water on him and swim away again.

Sighing in relief when the bribe worked, Dawn watched as the mermaid reached for the soggy cookie and crammed it into her mouth with a big smile. 

Well, that removed one of his worries. Mystical creature or not, this half-fish was only as smart as a rock. Only dogs and children could be bribed with an Oreo cookie. This mermaid was clearly not very smart if she was over the moon with a soggy biscuit. Besides, he still had his hand on her.

“More!” Aqua demanded after swallowing the first cookie. She was so hungry after a long night. One cookie wasn’t enough.

Dawn thought about it. He could give her the rest of the snacks. However, he needed answers.

“I’ll only give them to you if you answer my questions. No lying.”

Blinking in confusion, Aqua tilted her head and looked at Dawn as if he had eaten something strange.

“I’m not lying. I’m swimming.”

Was this mermaid for real? Dawn had never met anyone with such a strange understanding.

“That’s right. You’re swimming. Mermaids can’t lie, after all. They’ll turn to bubbles the next day if they do.”

When Aqua heard that, she laughed loudly and jumped out of the water onto the rocks beside Dawn. Then, she flipped to her side and lay her head on his lap, looking up at him with mischievous eyes.

“Human is wrong! Mermaids can lie. I won’t become bubbles.”

Ah… what was he thinking? Why was he trying to interrogate an overgrown goldfish? There was probably nothing else in her head apart from soggy biscuits at this point. However, he still needed answers before letting her go.

“Why did you save me?” he asked, loosening the grip on her wrist a little but not letting go completely.

Again, this question. Aqua frowned. This human must really be dull in the head. Maybe he drank too much seawater earlier and hurt his brain.

“When it is a full moon or new moon, mermaids can save someone with their tears. We can only do it three times in our lives, and it was my first time. I can still save two more people before I lose my tail forever. You should be more careful. Falling from the sky can hurt. You didn’t even bring the air rock or wear black clothes with funny fake tails.”

Huh? What was this mermaid talking about? He was wearing black when he tossed himself over the bridge. Also, air rock? Talking to her made his head hurt. For some reason, he felt like he was communicating with someone in the psych ward. However, her answer told him everything he needed to know. She wasn’t a threat to him. If anything, he was lucky that she was there. If not for her, he wouldn’t have a second chance at life to correct his mistakes.

“What’s your name?” he asked. Then, Dawn regretted it. Mermaids might not have names or know what it was.

Surprisingly, this was a question the overgrown goldfish knew how to answer.

“Aqua!” the mermaid beamed. “My name is Aqua! Nice to meet you. What about your name, human?”

Unsure what compelled him to answer, Dawn decided to give her his title instead of his name. They sounded the same anyway.

“Don,” he said. “You can call me Don.”

“Don…” Aqua repeated the name several times like a child tasting candy for the first time.

The mafia boss watched Aqua’s expression under the dim light from the bridge above with interest. She was quite the beauty, even if she was a little mad.

“Why did you fall from the sky, Don?” Aqua asked curiously. “Were you fighting with another human? You almost died.”

At the question, Dawn’s expression turned cold. That’s right. Thanks to the mermaid's existence, he had almost forgotten about the traitor. However, her question reminded her about the things he needed to do.

“You can say that,” Dawn chuckled coldly. “I have to repay the favour.”


Two stomachs growled in unison, and Dawn grimaced. Maybe revenge could wait.

“We should get food first. What do mermaids normally eat?”

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