Mermaid in Torn Jeans

(Excerpt from None So Distant, novel in progress)

Cherry steps out of the bathroom, soaking wet. She has just gotten out of the shower, having showered in her white bra and torn dungarees. She drips onto the floor, the urgent pap of water splashing hardwood.

I am a mermaid in torn jeans, comes the only line Cherry will speak during this dramatic skit. First she informed me how it would be—I will come out of the shower dripping wet and I will say to you I am a mermaid in torn jeans and you will say nothing and you will do nothing even when you see me on the floor writhing in agony and going through my death-throes … you will do nothing, which was how we rehearsed it, and now it was happening, the mermaid in torn jeans had fallen to the floor and was writhing convulsively, in the fever-grip of a seizure, and as rehearsed, I went over to the flopping mermaid and stood over her, wishing I could do something, doing nothing, I felt powerless, she was dying right in front of my eyes and I couldn’t help her, couldn’t even hold her hand or cradle her, nothing, I had to, as instructed, watch the life leave her body, and after the spasms ended, stillness, absolute stillness, the mermaid was dead, I felt useless, ashamed, and needless to say my favorite part of this skit was when she opened her eyes and said I was just playing dead and then I’d kiss her mouth as if it were the newest thing ever.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables, which were paired with the vintage illustrations of artist, Paul Bransom, for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ.
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