And yesterday, I was visited by my muse. She gave me the perfect names for the two female leads. As I woke up, I heard a female voice whisper, "Magda. Delphine." I rushed to look up the meaning of both, knowing the former is a religious name, but discovered it also meant: One who comes down from the tower. Now this is absolutely perfect symbolism for a succubus, but completely unplanned. As is Delphine, which means "dolphin" in French and is the name of the lovely murdered mermaid. Splendid! Thank you, my muse! Thank you!
As promised, I'll share with you my work in progress, unedited. Here's an excerpt from my untitled short:
“There’s a dead mermaid in the bathtub. N-not in my apartment, but in the one above mine. I didn’t even know there were such things as mermaids, until today. And I-I’m still not sure what I really saw, but I took a picture of it with my phone.”He slid his phone to me across the desk, which is when I saw his perfectly manicured nails and that got me thinking about other things, but I didn’t have time for that now. I had a client to serve, not myself, though if I had my way, he’d end up in my bed before this investigation was over. I stared at the photo of the young mergirl curled up in a fetal position in a dirty white bathtub filled with water and what looked like sea salt, pounds of sea salt soaked in blood, but it wasn’t hers. There wasn’t a mark on her. Her dark brunette hair spun through with streaks of bright poppy, had been trimmed recently, it looked, from her blunt bangs. Though judging by how translucent her skin looked and the fact that I could see her veins and tendons and muscles, she’d been out of the sea for more than three days, so perhaps, her killer had cut her hair after abducting her.
"You say you took this photo today?”“Yes. She’s in the apartment above mine.”
I raised one arched eyebrow at him.
“I know what you’re thinking and I don’t normally go sneaking around my neighbors’ apartments, but she was special.”
“She had this voice. This amazing singing voice. And I heard her singing.”
“And you fell in love.” Typical story. Guy hears a little mermaid sing and instantly she becomes his paramour. I nodded my head and pinched my lips together, trying very hard not to focus on the intoxicating heat rolling off his body and the sound of his heartbeat in my ears. I needed an energy boost and soon. I shifted in my chair, tucking my tail tighter beneath me. It was almost undetectable in the skirt I wore. I don’t even think this delicious human recognized me as a succubus, he was so shocked at discovering a mermaid in a bathtub. Better to not reveal myself to him. This poor whelp had seen all he could handle for today.
“Yes, I can see that.” I set his phone down on my desk and took another sip from my mug. “I’d offer you some coffee, but as you can see, I can’t afford a secretary and there’s no coffee machine in my office. My apologies.” I flashed my best apologetic smile and uncrossed my legs. “Have you shown this photo to anyone else? Your friends? The police? Your girlfriend, perhaps?”
“No. No one. I live alone and I thought about going to the police, but I-I wasn’t sure they’d believe me. Since that mockumentary on television and everything …”
I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Tune in to see what happens. I'll be posting more excerpts as I continue. If you like what you've read here, please consider sponsoring me for the Clarion West fundraiser. It runs through August 1st. 100% of your donation goes to keeping these wonderful speculative fiction workshops by Clarion West going. Just to be clear, I am not participating in a workshop, this is just me plodding away at my keyboard and raising a little money for a foundation I believe in.
As always, happy writing and happy reading!