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A Girl Came From the Sea

by Baezel

A girl came from the sea, and people gave her shells and starfish and little bottles of sea water. They joked when she wore blue and suggested they all go to the pool.

But there are things people don’t consider when they think of the sea.

They don’t think of the overwhelming darkness on the floor.

If you were to spy on this girl in her room, you would see nothing unusual. She invested in some luminescent lipstick, and all you can see are two, three lips and a handful of children’s nightlights. It looks like those weird fish which live on the sea floor, the ones with two-hundred teeth and poisonous barbs.

When people think of the sea, they don’t think of the ice.

People give her weird looks when she goes out in winter in a vest and shorts, sporting that sun-starved skin and wrinkled fingers. She meets up with her friends, dressed in similar garb, and they waltz down to the beach arm in arm, sharing ice-cream between them. They laugh, and it sounds like burbling streams and crashing waves.

When people think of the sea, they don’t think of the food.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world down there, like any ecosystem untouched by man. The worms eat the smaller things, the fish eat those, and the bigger fish eat those and so on. The birds eat the fish, and the girls eat the birds when they can catch one. They eat whatever they can when they can catch it, apart from those stripy lionfish. They feed them to each another.

When people think of the sea, they don’t think of the girls who live there.

They don’t think of the bloody feuds over land, they don’t think of the salvaged metals wrapped with jellyfish. They don’t think of the caves filled with gems and gold and pieces of humanity collected over the years. They don’t think of those old stories told by those old sailors, the ones with the beautiful ladies singing sweet songs.

When people think of the girls from the sea, they think of the ones of the land.

They think of the girls they see, the one with glowing teeth and snow-soaked shorts and feathers stuck to lips. They think of miracles and scientific oddities and how much they look like their own daughter. They think of the photoshopped Vogue cover, the one where they made her cheeks fuller and her arms thinner and asked her if she preferred Liam Payne or Liam Hemsworth.

“Fried or boiled?” she asks, and they all laugh and put more shells in her hair.

When people think of the sea, they don’t think of the sea.

They don’t think of the girls with salt in their veins and iron in their stomachs and water in their minds. They’re girls of the land now, don’t be silly, look, they have legs and everything!

A girl came from the land, and people gave her rocks and necklaces and nets full of fish. They joked when they realised she was from the sea and suggested they all go to the pool.

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80 Reviews

Points: 2139
Reviews: 80

Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:08 pm
waywardxwallflower wrote a review...

Hello! Wallflower here with a quick review (:

This short story is incredibly creative and explores topics not often thought of when most people consider the ocean. Your writing is lovely, and the pacing is wonderfully done; very intriguing. The way you weave poetry into your writing is fantastic, and it doesn't come off as pretentious or hard to read: it works perfectly.

Overall, fantastic job on this!! Keep writing (:

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222 Reviews

Points: 408
Reviews: 222

Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:03 pm
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MissGangamash wrote a review...

Wow, very creative! I like how simple the story is and the repetition, it keeps it flowing. You also rounded it off well with the ending mirroring the beginning.

This piece is short and sweet and you've really captured the darkness of the sea. And I like how you are talking about mermaids but not actually pointing it out. The descriptions are simple but effective and I think you've filled out the piece well.

Good job :)

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Points: 234
Reviews: 8

Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:14 am
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Pencils77 says...

Wow, that was good. I loved that you brought out the darkness in the water that people don't usually think of. And I loved the characters that you created without really describing. I can see them clearly in my mind, and I like it. I like the hint of something deeper than just sea-shells and flowing hair. You did this really well.
I'm curious to see what you'll come up with in the future. Good job!

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86 Reviews

Points: 10071
Reviews: 86

Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:31 pm
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reikann wrote a review...

Personally, I enjoyed this piece. The theme and concept is wonderful. The structure to the work lends a poetic rhythm to the snapshot, and combined with the poetic language used, made it feel like a poem in prose.
Your imagery is wonderful, beautiful and unsettling in one. The topic, too, I adore - the sea is a wild and dangerous place, and sweet little Ariel is a far cry from even her predecessor. A girl truly made of her home would be terrifying, and this captures it well.

So, overall, pretty nice!
But I do have some areas to point out, because of course I do.
I love the symmetry of the final and first lines, however, the final line loses me.
This whole piece seems to be implying a mermaid or sea nymph or some other fantastic, humanoid girl of the sea. (Specifically, 'sweet songs' would imply Danish siren.) Then we come to the last one, where the distinction between land sea-girl and sea sea-girl is lost. We could conclude that the main character was born human and 'feels' like a siren, but a net full of fish is not a gift for a human, not really. It's pretty symmetry, but whatever's up loses me.
The word 'ladies' is used at one point. This line here is the only reference within the paragraph that refers to the sea-girls, but every other mention of them uses the term 'girl'! I would suggest changing that to 'girl', so that the subject stays as bright and shiny as possible.
The same paragraph offers 'salvaged' metals. Salvaged metals have been recovered by humanity. I dare to say that's rather the opposite of this short's theme.

Excellent work, excellent job. Please do post more. I'm excited for it!

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17 Reviews

Points: 18
Reviews: 17

Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:17 pm
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Lupin wrote a review...

Hey there! Lupin here for a review.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the ASOIAF (Game of Thrones) series, but there were a few lines from this that really reminded me of the ironborn, which is great!

Whilst I'm not totally sure who the "girl from the sea" (mermaid, right?) is or what she may be representative of, I found that understanding her character wasn't totally central to the piece - my enjoyment was primarily derived from the exquisite and poignant lyricism of the lines.

I like how the piece seemed to reference the struggles of someone from the sea and how naive the views of the people of the land were, and the repetition of the "When people think of the sea, they don't think.." etc. made this clear. To me, it's a metaphor showing how people might underestimate an attractive girl, not comprehending the struggles she's faced or just how tough the world is that she's come from. I particularly enjoyed the line about the people "joking when she wore blue" - blue's a defensive mechanism for her, since she'd be camouflaged underwater.

Favourite line from this piece: "They don’t think of the girls with salt in their veins and iron in their stomachs and water in their minds."

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7 Reviews

Points: 54
Reviews: 7

Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:14 pm
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Bluegirl135 wrote a review...

I really loved this story, you definitely tell how beautifully written it is. The story line was beautiful and is perfectly fitting. It is very well structured. Also, I loved the poetic ending and style. You also used fantastically poetic words to describe. I also really liked it because it was different, it is a very bold story. I love it, it drew me in with the first few lines, great work. This story is also very well written and very informative to the metaphor don't judge a book by it's cover

Anyway, I don't really have anything for you to improve on , as I think it is great the way it is. Just advice on not forgetting to proofread before uploading.

Lastly, I think you are a great writer with a lot of potential but i do think of this as more of a poem than a story. Love, this though. -Jade xoxo

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472 Reviews

Points: 25
Reviews: 472

Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:05 pm
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Lightsong says...


Please remind me to review this later.

The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
— Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest