A Port Emerald Merman Novella
by Megan Hussey
Release Date: September 23, 2012
Genre: Fantasy - Short
~ A Pink Satin Romance ~
She found freedom in flight.
For months Candace had walked in a haze, her mind trapped in a prism of pain that knew no ease or abatement.
Donald, her boyfriend of two years, had betrayed her; shattering the bond that had linked them for 24 months, prompting them to share a heart and a home. While she loved her work as a marine biologist at the University of Bingham, a small college located in northern Indiana, she still relished the time she could leave her office each day and join the cute, funny college professor at their campus loft.
To someone who devoted much of her time to the pursuit of science and academia, and who’d long resigned herself to playing the role of the ‘plain, chubby girl married to her career,’ Candace had taken great delight in her affair with the charming Donald; every night seemed like a chapter from a romance book (the kind she never bothered to read), one she always replayed in her mind the next day as she went about her duties.
As a self-sufficient professional woman, she didn’t need Donald to survive. Still he gave her new life, adding color and excitement to an accomplished existence.
Then the bastard had to go and ruin it all. Everything. And in one night.
One evening he just didn’t come home. Seized in a fit of panic, Candace almost called the campus police; that’s when the shadow of her lover walked—or, more accurately—stumbled into the house, hair ruffled, eyes weary and clothes wrinkled.
Not as ‘wrinkled’ as he’s going to be when I wring the truth out of him, she fumed.
At first, he declined to talk; she strongly suggested the reversal of that decision, and finally he admitted the worst. He admitted a one-night affair with his grad assistant; a skinny blonde that Candace called ‘Buffy McBimboton’ in secret.
Just didn’t know how right I was. She listened quietly as Donald spilled the details of their encounter.
Then she stopped being quiet.
During the five minutes that followed, she called him every name in the proverbial book, adding a few of her own creation before finally falling silent.
Immediately, she moved out of their house; a move that prompted about a week’s worth of imploring phone calls, desperate bouquets (one of which consisted of a rare type of floral that—aside from being damned ugly—managed to trigger spring allergies as well) and even a misbegotten serenade (“Imagine Celine Dion with a 5 o’clock shadow—and without any semblance of a good voice,” Candace rolled her eyes).
She told him that if he stopped singing, and now, she would give him one more chance. She moved back into their house; but her heart stood stock still, refusing to go with her.
Although she wouldn’t admit the fact, to Donald or to herself, she didn’t love him anymore. In fact, she hated him. She felt wracked with sadness, hate and indignation; emotions that weighed her down, making it difficult for her even to enjoy the job she dearly loved.
She turned a sour face to her boyfriend, and to the activities they once enjoyed. She worked herself to the point of exhaustion and escaped to her bedroom the moment she got home; a room she no longer shared with Donald, who was relegated to the guest room.
“Only don’t you usually have to be, I dunno, nice to guests or something?” She gritted her teeth for the 10th time that hour, braced against the chill of an Indiana morning as she boarded a plane to Florida.
She found her seat with little difficulty; fitting into said seat was a tad more difficult, and she was sure she heard some muffled laughter emanating from the even more emaciated version of Buffy McBimboton seated next to her.
She was about to make a response that involved the judicious use of one finger, when suddenly it happened; the plane launched into motion, speeding down the runway before launching headfirst into the wide blue atmosphere.
Her spirits lifted along with the plane, and she closed her eyes to savor the effects of her divine elevation.