St Ives – Museum Exhibit

 

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Jackie Tremayne scrambled down onto the rocky beach then tucked the holdall away in the usual place and perused the tide. Flick had called to him and would doubtless be out there somewhere, watching from the waves. After waiting for a few minutes he climbed back up to join Pris.

“Jacko, I thought we were going for a romantic walk to watch the sun set over the sea?”

“We are my lover, just had to drop something off for someone.”

“Who… smugglers?” she asked with a quizzical look on her face.

“My bleddy sister who do you think?”

“We’ve been going out for weeks now and you still haven’t introduced me, aren’t I good enough for her?” asked Priscilla with mock indignation. Since the disappearance of Crispin Smythe, along with her valuables, Jack had no rival for her affections.

“I told you, she’s odd. It runs in her family.”

“Ooh, are you odd too then Jack Tremayne?” joked Pris.

“No my lover and she’s actually my half-sister we have different dads.”

“It’s took you all this time to tell me this much, why all the mystery?”

“She comes from an old local family and they tend to be secretive types. I will introduce you when it’s the right time.”

They walked back towards Porthmeor Beach to watch the setting sun unaware they were being observed from the waves. Fliiik liked the look of her brother’s new girlfriend, she seemed nice, after making sure there was no-one around the mermaid swam in with the tide pulling herself onto the rocky beach and waited for it to happen. This was the part she hated the most, her fin split in two then the division moved along her tail to her crotch while Fliiik hissed in pain and lay there panting while limbs formed from her bisected lower half. Finally it was over and she stood shakily on long shapely legs, she retrieved the holdall Jack had left and after putting on the long loose dress he had provided looked at the boating pumps and decided only to wear them when she reached the hateful pavement that hurt her feet so. Climbing up the slope she walked on the grass alongside the path towards St Ives.

*****

At the Museum of Art and Sculpture David Tregeagle stopped to look at the latest exhibit. It was a strange thing to put on display, no-one had laid claim to making them but they had to have been created by someone with knowledge of the local mermaid legend. The glass case housed a comb and a mirror, both made of the same iridescent shell-like material, that shone with rainbow patterns in the light. Their handles were encrusted with sparkling stones and the mirror itself was of an unknown material that reflected a crystal clear image. A beachcomber had discovered them early one morning and with a true sense of social responsibility handed his find to the museum. The security man was due to finish his round shortly then he would go and check the museum’s sister establishment a short walk away when through the glass of the front doors he saw a young woman in the atrium that had been designed to reflect the noise of the tide.

Fliiik was quite taken by the way the ground-dwellers had built this and was sitting, listening to the echoing sounds. “Evening Miss.” Said Tregeagle peering out of the door and the girl jumped, she had been so enthralled she hadn’t heard it open.

The young woman looked at him with green eyes that seemed as deep as the sea. “Skrrrrk?” she said before rushing past him and into the museum.

He broke from his reverie and pursued her inside. “Wait, you can’t come in here its shut for the day.” Had he seen pointed teeth? The security man found her stood by the new exhibit gazing at it in obvious delight.

She looked at him with those deep green eyes again. “S’mine!” she hissed.

Perhaps she was the mysterious artist “Did you make them miss? If you see the office staff in the morning you could discuss it with them.”

“S’mine!” she clawed at the lock on the glass cabinet.

“Please miss I don’t want any trouble!”

Fliiik stood back and made a high pitched noise which made Tregeagle’s ears hurt, the glass cabinet shattered and she reached in grabbing both comb and mirror.

“Mine!” she said, holding them to her with a toothy grin.

“You’ve gone too far now I’m calling the police.” The girl gazed into his eyes once again and he could hear the sea crashing on the beach, imagining he was looking over the beautiful bay on a lovely sunny day.

She dashed past him breaking his dream once more and he gave chase. As luck would have it, Sergeant Morwenna Nance was driving past the museum and Fliiik ran straight across the front of the police car then with a wide eyed glance fled down to the beach.

“Morwenna stop her, she’s stolen the museums latest bleddy exhibit.” Tregeagle yelled.

The policewoman called for backup then raced down after her, tide was going out and the sand was hard and supportive making pursuit easier as she got closer to the water. The girl had stopped at the tide’s edge and having kicked off her pumps was pulling her loose dress over her head. Sergeant Nance noticed the comb and mirror on the sand and moved towards them but the girl, quite unashamed by her nudity, stood before the policewoman hissing through pointed teeth.

Taken aback Nance said. “Come on love there’s nowhere to go and more policemen are coming, put your clothes back on and stop being silly.”

Fliiik snatched up her precious things and strode painfully into the waves. Golden scales were blossoming on her legs as they began to fuse together. She fell to her knees her feet becoming webbed as they spread and joined to become a tail.

The security man had caught up to stand puffing while he and the policewoman watched agog as Fliiik transformed back into a mermaid then disappeared into the retreating tide with the flick of a golden tail.