She went mad, you know. The mermaid. They said it was cause of the magic, what it had to do to make her what she became. Her kind weren’t never made to be on land, not for long, and I guess it had to scramble her up inside pretty bad to keep her from wanderin’ back to the sea and gettin’ herself drowned. She didn’t remember bein’ a mermaid, least we were all pretty sure of that, but she didn’t much act like a human either. Batty, she was. It came down to you’d see her in the town square early in the mornin’ before any of the castle folks knew she’d wandered off, staring up at the sky and mutterin’ to herself. If it was clear out she’d be okay but if clouds had gathered overhead she’d start babblin’ about how the raindrops was watchin’ her and wanted to get her. Said the water fountain was tryin’ to tell her secrets, too, but she didn’t know what about and it spoke too loud. Eventually she’d start cryin’ or whatever and one of the ladies from the flower shop would take pity and walk her back up to the castle, and that would be that until the next mornin’. Then one day she just stopped comin’ into town and though everyone said she was prob’ly up in the castle where she was safe and taken care of, we all knew the truth.


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