Monstrous Femme

The Truth About Mermaid Sex

The Truth About Mermaid Sex

Dr. Raphaël Gastaud stood in the sterile hallway of the Hôpital Princesse Grâce, his hands steady as he removed his surgical gloves.

“Great job today,” a young nurse said as she came close to him, the scent of antiseptic clinging to her. “This hospital is really lucky to have you.”

“Ah, yes. Thank you,” he nodded, feeling uneasy.

Even though he knew he was deserving the praise, as of late he couldn’t help but feel a lingering sense of insecurity every time someone said something positive about him.

“Raphaël!” a voice called out, pulling him away from his thoughts. He turned toward the hallway and saw Madeleine, his wife of fifteen years. The young nurse smiled at him before walking away.

“What are you doing here?” Raphaël asked, trying to mask both his surprise and discomfort.

“Did I interrupt something? You don’t seem happy to see me,” she said, glancing at the retreating nurse.

“Madeleine, please,” he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Please what? I don’t see you at home anymore. I’m starting to wonder why.”

Feeling attacked, Raphaël sighed and checked his watch. “Can we talk about this at home? I have meeting I need to—”

“Fine,” she said, turning on her heel.

“I’ll . . . see you tonight then?” he called.

But his wife didn’t reply. Watching her leave, Raphaël couldn’t help but feel the sour taste of guilt in his mouth, for her struggle with aging mirrored his own unsettling realization that she had become an older version of the woman he had loved, someone he didn’t want to be around anymore.

What happened to us? he wondered as he made his way to his office, his white tennis shoes squeaking on the vinyl flooring, his thoughts unwillingly going back to that young nurse and the admiration he thought he had seen in her eyes.


The December sun cast golden shadows across the marble floor of their apartment on Colonel Bellando de Castro street. Standing on his Juliet balcony, feeling the cool breeze coming from the horizon, Raphaël looked at the deep-blue Mediterranean Sea and the small fishing boats passing by. Even at this time of year, the air was alive with the call of the seagulls nesting under the Jardins Saint-Martin and the earthy, resinous scent of stone pine. He sighed deeply as he adjusted his cufflinks, trying to push away the heaviness that weighed on him.

“Raphaël!” Madeleine snapped her fingers in front of his face, pulling him from his thoughts. “You haven’t heard a single word I’ve said, have you?”

“Sorry, my mind was elsewhere,” he admitted, feeling suddenly nauseated by the scent of his wife’s perfume mingled with the cloying aroma of the champagne she had been drinking.

“Clearly,” she muttered. “Sometimes I wonder if you even care about what happens to us anymore.”

“Where does that come from? Of course I care,” Raphaël said, struggling to keep his voice steady.

“Then start showing it. Because right now, it feels like I’m the only one fighting for this marriage.”

“Madeleine, come on . . . don’t do this.”

“You don’t look at me anymore,” she snapped, her eyes flashing with anger.

“Of course I do.”

“Not like you used to.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way.”

“I miss us. I miss how we used to be together. When you didn’t have all those . . .” she continued, her voice trembling.

“Those what?”

“Never mind.”

Raphaël sighed. He knew that his wife had been working out diligently, determined to maintain her ballet dancer figure as age threatened to betray her, but he also knew that he’d failed to acknowledge it because, as horrible as it sounded, he didn’t feel like it.

“Madeleine, stop,” he implored, taking a step toward her. “You’re still the most beautiful woman I know.”

“Am I, Raphaël? Or are you just saying that because it’s what you think I want to hear?” She pulled away, teary-eyed. “It’s been months since you touched me.”

“Madeleine, I . . . love you,” he said, feeling a pang of guilt as he did.

“Words won’t save us. I need actions, Raphaël. I want you to want me.”

He flinched, knowing that she was right: as cliché as it sounded, he didn’t find her desirable anymore and he hated himself for it.

“I . . .” he hesitated, swallowing hard as he searched for the right words.

“Fine,” she whispered as she wiped away her tears. “Now I know where you stand.”

He tried to touch her again, but she pulled away, her shoulders stiff beneath the silk of her gown.

“Leave me alone,” she said. “I need to think.”

“What about the charity thing?”

“Fuck the charity.”

When Madeleine disappeared into their bedroom, slamming the door behind her, Raphaël found himself alone in the dimly lit living room, listening to the quieted cries of the gulls and the relentless pounding of the surf below.


As the evening drew over the water, turning the waves a deep shade of purple, Raphaël’s feet carried him swiftly from the harbor’s busy Christmas market to the Avenue Princesse Grâce and the edge of the city, where he entered the relative darkness of Roquebrune’s Cap Martin trail. The well-maintained mandarin trees of Monaco were replaced by raggedy trees full of fat, bursting persimmons. His breath came in ragged gasps as he pushed himself harder, avoiding the fallen fruit as he tried to outrun the pain and guilt that clawed at him. Once he reached the lower part of the trail, which snaked through gnarly black and white rocks in front of Russian billionaires’ mansions, he finally slowed his pace, allowing himself to be lulled by the rhythmic ebb and flow of the waves crashing into a gossamer spray. He was walking by an abandoned thalassotherapy hotel, its broken Art Nouveau windows opened on a darkness far deeper than the softly lit cityscape, when he heard a soft and melodious voice, drifting on the wind. He stopped walking, shivering slightly in the cool night.

Keeping silent, he scanned the darkness around him. Even in broad daylight, the decrepit building made him uncomfortable, a discomfort rooted in summer walks along the path with his grandmother, when the air was tainted with the lingering scent of evaporating urine and rotting figs and haunted by unsettling tales he had heard at school of drug addicts leaving condoms and needles in the ruined building.

He resumed his run and had just passed the hotel when a series of loud splashing sounds, distinct from the rhythmic crashing of waves, caught his attention. It seemed to come from the ruins of a sea-pool nestled among the rugged stones at the water’s edge, its waters murky and unwelcoming even during the day. Filled with a sudden sense of child-like curiosity, he decided to investigate whether the sound might have been caused by a sizable fish or even a stranded dolphin trapped within the pool. As he approached, squinting through the dim light, he heard the singing again, which seemed to come from the tidal pool itself. He stepped cautiously onto the rocks and, struggling to maintain his balance, started to crawl to avoid thick mats of fleshy griffes de sorcières, his heart pounding with both exertion and a growing curiosity. He was about to get up when he saw what looked like a naked woman wading in the middle of the rock pool. He stopped moving and, for a fleeting moment, wondered if he should stay hidden behind the rocks or stand up to reveal his presence.

The woman appeared to sense his presence, for she abruptly halted her song and dipped beneath the water’s surface, leaving only her eyes and the crown of her head visible in the inky darkness.

Shit! Raphaël thought.

He got up slowly and, as distractedly as he could, wiped his hands on his shorts. He then looked towards the pool and tried to look surprised.

“Oh, sorry, Mademoiselle! I thought there was an animal in the pool… trapped,” he said, shamingly aware that he looked like a leering, middle-aged man.

The woman tilted her head slightly, almost like a bird catching an unexpected sound, and rose to her shoulders. The rest of her seemed to glow beneath the surface.

“I guess you’re not a dolphin…sorry!  I’ll… let you go back to your swimming now.”

Finding it difficult to keep his eyes off the woman, Raphaël waved and felt a sudden, deep sense of longing as he turned around to leave.

“Oh? What kind of animal?” the woman said, her voice husky yet melodious.

Raphaël turned around, surprised, and saw her swim towards the edge of the pool closest to him. As she got closer to him, he saw that she was young, maybe in her early twenties, with large, expressive eyes. From what he could see in the darkness, she had high cheekbones, a slim build and seemed to be completely naked, her small breasts barely concealed by her dark, wet hair.

“The water. Isn’t it cold?” Raphaël stammered, unable to tear his gaze away from her.

He saw a glint of teeth, as if the woman was amused by his confusion. “No. Why would it be?” she replied.

Raphaël flushed at her blunt response, feeling foolish. “I’m sorry again, I didn’t want to disturb your night swim,” he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

“I am not here to swim,” the woman said.

“What do you mean?”

With a graceful push against the edges of the pool, the woman propelled herself backwards. As she swam back a few meters, her large eyes glinting with playfulness, the water revealed her small round breasts, pearlescent in the soft luminescence of the city. Then, with a flirtatious flick, she revealed a fish-like tail that, even in the orange city lights, shimmered with a silvery sheen. Raphaël felt his face flush deeper as the tail unfurled with sensuous elegance and flashes of opalescent blues and greens.

Without realizing it, Raphaël came closer to the edge of the water, his hands shaking, his palms clammy.

“It’s going to sound stupid but…are you a-a mermaid?” Raphaël asked, aware that it sounded like a bad pickup line.

The woman let out a soft laugh. “Yes, I suppose that’s what humans call people like me.”

Raphaël swallowed hard.

“Amazing,” he breathed, “I never thought I’d ever meet one.”

He immediately cursed himself for saying something that stupid, feeling as if he was role-playing with a stranger,

“Most humans haven’t,” she said, her eyes narrowing slightly. “Actual existence of my kin is not really common knowledge.”

She then pulled herself out of the water, resting her chin on her crossed arms, and Raphaël noticed clusters of bioluminescent spots tracing out delicate patterns across the skin of her face and arms, like underwater constellations. Entranced by the pattern, Raphaël started to wonder if she might be an actual deep-sea creature instead of a human in a costume.

“My name is Thalassa,” the woman said, her eyes meeting his with an intensity that sent shivers down Raphaël’s spine.

Raphaël came closer, resisting the urge to touch the mermaid’s skin, acutely aware of how absurd the entire situation was.

“Raphaël. My name is Raphaël.”

“I like that name. It sounds strong and sweet.”

“Thank you, Thalassa,” Raphaël said, suddenly feeling like playing along whatever that was. “How is it that nobody knows the truth about your kind?”

“Because our numbers have been dwindling for centuries, many of us now live among humans. In secret. And the people who know about us also want to keep us a secret,” she replied.

“But why are you here, Thalassa?”

Her large, dark eyes seemed to hold a depth of sadness that was almost too much for him to bear. “This is a place your kind enjoyed visiting a long time ago… I thought I might meet a human here like my ancestors did. I was sad to see it ruined.”

“Yes, this place has been abandoned for a long time… But why did you want to meet a human?”

“I am in trouble, Raphaël,” she confessed. “I had to escape my family because they needed me to mate with another of my kind, but I cannot. My heart longs for something else, something I can only find on land.”

“Is it possible for you to live on land?” Raphaël asked.

“My place is in the sea. I can only leave the water if I find someone who understands and accepts what I truly am. I would do anything for such a person,” she said.

Raphaël hesitated, feeling suddenly ill-at-ease. He thought about making a joke about Ariel and Prince Eric, but also didn’t want to offend the young woman, whoever or whatever she might be.

“Is there… anything I can do to help you?” he ventured, surprising even himself with the offer.

“Help me?” Thalassa echoed, her eyes suddenly intense. “Why would you want to help me?”

Raphaël paused, struggling with the realization that he felt aroused by the young mermaid and that he wanted to find a connection between them. “Because I know what it’s like to feel trapped and to want something different for yourself.”

Thalassa studied him for a moment.

“You’re an unusual human, Raphaël,” she said, her delicately webbed hand reaching out to his.

As Raphaël pondered her words, a strange noise echoed through the air – a primal, trumpet-like sound that sent chills down his spine. Thalassa’s eyes widened in alarm, and she quickly withdrew her hand before turning her head towards the waves breaking on the sea side of the ruined pool.

“I must go,” she said urgently. “But I will return. I promise.”

Before he could respond, Thalassa disappeared beneath the churning waves, leaving a dumbfounded Raphaël standing alone on the edge of the dark pool.

He waited for her to re-emerge, but she never did.


Over the next few days, and despite his resolve to forget about this experience, Raphaël found himself daydreaming about his encounter while he was in meetings, while he listened to his colleagues talking, and at home, where his wife’s attitude towards him was starting to grate on him more than ever. He had promised to make an effort in their relationship, but now, every word she spoke and every gesture she made somehow irritated him.

“Should we go eat at Le Café de Paris tonight? It’s been a while…” she asked as he was on the balcony, staring at the sea.

“No. Not really,” he replied.

As she turned towards him, he could see the hurt in her eyes but, somehow, couldn’t bring himself to care. It was as if Thalassa had awakened something within him, urging him to leave his mundane life behind and let the Mediterranean Sea embrace him.

“Fine,” his wife said, trying to hide her disappointment. “I’ll just order something, then.”

Raphaël nodded absentmindedly.

“Is everything alright?” his wife asked, her voice suddenly softer than usual.

“Yeah, everything’s fine,” he said, forcing himself to smile. “I just… ah… got a lot on my mind. Work stuff.”

“Okay,” she said unconvincingly. “Let me know if you want to talk about it.”

“I will,” he replied, his thoughts already drifting back to Thalassa.


Raphaël spent the next day thinking about ways to see Thalassa again without arousing suspicion, and decided to say that he wanted to take up jogging again, something he hadn’t done in years.

“I’ve put on some weight,” he told his wife. “I need to get back in shape.”

“Are you sure?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “You could just come to the gym with me, you know? That way we could spend some time together.”

“No, I prefer running outdoors. Besides, it’ll give me time to clear my head.”

“Alright,” she said with a shrug.

A few days later, Raphaël found himself at the tidal pool. Since it was empty, he looked around to make sure he was alone, took off his clothes, then clenched his jaw as he entered the cold water. He started swimming to warm himself up when the mermaid suddenly appeared on the other side of the pool, her large eyes looking happily at him.

“Hello again,” she said with a voice more melodic than in his memory.

“Hello Thalassa,” Raphaël replied breathlessly. “I’m so glad to see you again. I… couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

“Neither could I.”

As she swam through the water towards him, Raphaël marveled at how nimble and agile the mermaid was in her element.

“Come closer,” she beckoned, her eyes locked onto his.

Raphaël hesitated, his heart drumming through his entire body. He felt nervous and guilty about being there, but also as if he was experiencing everything anew. The sensation of the cold water against his naked skin, the perfume of the waves breaking, everything seemed more vivid and intense.

He took a deep breath and slowly swam towards her until they were mere inches apart and he could feel the warmth emanating from her.

So she’s not a fish… she’s warm blooded, he thought, feeling desire rise through him like a tide.

“May I . . . ?” he began to awkwardly say as their shoulders touched. “May I touch you?”

The mermaid turned towards him and looked deep into his eyes, as if assessing his intentions. Then, she nodded slowly. Raphaël then slowly reached out towards her shoulder, his hand trembling. Her skin was, indeed, warm to the touch and had a refined texture that gave it a sensation of youth that sent shivers down his spine.

“Your curiosity is endearing,” Thalassa said softly as she same closer, a mysterious smile playing on her lips.

“Well, everything about you is mesmerizing, so…” Raphaël heard himself whisper back.

She lifted her hand from the water and touched his chest with the tip of her fingers. As Raphaël floated in the dark, cold embrace of the sea, his thoughts began to churn. He was a grown man, with a wife and responsibilities, and yet here he was, mesmerized by a young woman or, as impossible as it sounded, a mermaid. Even though the pool was invisible from the main path, he took a deep breath and looked around, worried that there might be people watching. What if someone saw them together? What if his wife had followed him there?

“Is this . . . is this real?” he asked aloud, searching her eyes for answers.

“Real as the water we’re swimming in,” Thalassa she replied. “But I understand your doubts.”

“Have you ever taken… someone away?” he suddenly blurted out, unable think of anything else to say to draw her nearer to him. “There are a lot of stories about mermaids luring men to their deaths.”

She looked at him with what looked like a frown and Raphaël realized that he had yet to see her blink. “There are some among my kind who have done such things. But I am not one of them, Raphaël.’

“Can I trust you?” he whispered, his heart pounding in his chest, feeling the urge to take her in her arms and feel her body against his.

“Only you can answer that,” she said, moving closer to him.

Though his rational mind screamed at him to run, to leave this dangerous temptation behind, his longing for her touch grew unbearably stronger.

“I want to kiss you… badly,” he suddenly said, surprising himself with his boldness.

She hesitated only a moment before she came in physical contact with him, her nipples and wet hair brushing against his chest, her arms wrapping around his body torso and her tail wrapping around his legs. She then looked at him with dilated pupils and pressed her soft, wet lips against his.

“Raphaël,” she breathed against his lips, “do not fear me.”

As if on cue, the beatitude of this moment was broken by the same haunting, trumpet-like sound that sent a shiver down Thalassa’s body. She quickly untangled herself from him and gave him a light, salty kiss.

“I’m sorry, I must go again,” she said. “But I will meet you here. Tomorrow night.”

And with a flick of her glistening tail, she swam across the pool, dived over the crumbling driftwood and disappeared into the surf.

The cool salty sea breeze caressed Raphaël’s face as he jogged back home along the trail, his legs pumping with newfound strength, despite the cold. The memory of the mermaid’s soft lips and strong tail around his legs lingered in his mind, filling him with a wild mixture of desire and trepidation as he thought about the potential danger Thalassa posed and the undeniable pull he felt towards her, which called to something deep inside him that he had long believed to be lost.


Raphaël burst through the front door of his apartment, sweat dripping down his forehead and his chest heaving. Madeleine was standing by the living room couch, wearing a silky nightgown that clung to her sharp curves. Her face was flushed with surprise and expectation when she saw him come in.

“Raphaël, is everything all right?” she asked, her voice wavering with concern. “You look… pale.”

“Everything’s fine,” he replied hastily, avoiding her gaze. He didn’t want her to look into his eyes and see the remnants of what he had just experienced. “I just… I just need a shower.”

“Are you sure?” Madeleine said, opening her nightgown to reveal her tanned body. “I thought we could… spend some time together.”

“Well, I need a shower,” Raphaël said again, pretending he hadn’t noticed her gesture. “Meet you in the bedroom?”

He then retreated to the bathroom, locking the door behind him, and turned on the shower to its highest setting. As he took off his clothes, he caught his reflection in the large mirror above the sink. He could see that his skin wore the familiar signs of aging he could see on his wife but also that there was an ageless, refined charm about him, enhanced by the silvering hair and matured lines. He knew he was guilty of what Madeleine had recently said about the societal double standard that values women predominantly for their youth, but as steam started to fill the room and the hot water washed away the salt from the sea and his own sweat, his mind wandered away from the woman waiting in their bedroom to what he had just experienced with Thalassa, and he turned the water’s heat to the highest level he could bear, hoping to dispel the mermaid’s spell.

When he got out of the bathroom half an hour later, feeling exhausted yet elated, he found Madeleine asleep on their bed, wearing dark green, lacy lingerie. Feeling guilty, yet not wanting to wake her up, he tiptoed next to her and covered her with her nightgown before kissing her forehead.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered before slipping into his side of the bed and turning the lights off.


Raphaël found himself at the edge of the ruined pool again the following night, his heart pounding in his chest as he approached the cove again. The weather was slightly colder than the previous night and Raphaël felt himself shiver at the thought of getting in the water without any sun to warm him up.

“Here goes nothing,” he muttered under his breath, his eyes scanning the dark waters for any sign of Thalassa.

He started to enter the water slowly, but then his feet slipped on a slick patch of seaweed, and in a heart-pounding instant, he lost his balance, let out a yelp, and tumbled into the water, his back scraping against the rough edges.

“Hello again,” a melodic voice said as he emerged, his eyes stinging.

In a blur, Raphaël saw Thalassa slither from the sea and into the pool, her tail glinting as it emerged briefly behind her. As she came close to him, gazing at him with her large, unblinking eyes, and Raphaël noticed that her features were somewhat gaunter, and strangely more alluring, than the last time he had seen her.

“Hi,” Raphaël replied, his voice shaky. “I… I wanted to ask you something.”

“Is it about my tail?” she asked, tilting her head slightly to the side.

“Yes… how did you know?”

“Humans are fascinated by our tails.”

“Well, I was wondering…” he hesitated.

“If you could touch it?” she said with a strange smile.


“Sure. Go ahead,” she said as she lifted her tail out of the water and onto the rock beside her. “Touch it.”

Raphaël swam closer to Thalassa and reached out his hand, hesitating for just a moment before placing it on the scaly surface of her tail. It felt slimy and slightly warm to the touch, yet somehow alive beneath his fingers. The mermaid didn’t flinch or shy away, only watched him with an air of curiosity.

“So?” she said softly. “Is it real enough?”

Unable to restrain himself, Raphaël traced his fingers along its length, marveling at the way the scales shifted and rippled beneath his touch, until he reached the human side of her body, feeling the smoothness of her skin. He noticed there was a difference of temperature between her warm human-like skin and her cooler, fish-like tail.

“Yes. It is…” Raphaël said as his hand stopped above her breasts.

Thalassa came closer to him and grabbing him by the waist, brought him closer and kissed him deeply. The taste of her was an unexpected, intoxicating duality: briny like the sea but with an undercurrent of sweetness. At first, Raphael’s muscles instinctively tensed, but as the mermaid’s warm tongue delicately explored his mouth and his neck, he felt his body relax.

“My tail may be cool to the touch but inside, I am warm like you,” she whispered, her breath hot against his ear.

She then gently gave his neck little nibbles with teeth that felt small and pointy, but Raphaël barely noticed for, in that moment, he had completely surrendered to Thalassa’s physical presence.

“Who are you?” he breathed against her slender neck, before pulling away to stare into her dark eyes. He thought he saw silver, slanted pupil-led eyes, but then she blinked, and it was gone.

“I am a creature of the deep, looking for human… warmth” she replied, her voice barely more than a whisper. “And I’ve been waiting for you.”

“Have you?” Raphaël asked with a shiver, something telling him that he should return to his wife.

As if she could feel his hesitation, she turned around, drew her hands up to her breasts, and arched her back, pulling him towards a crease where her backside would have been if she were human.

“Of course,” she replied, throwing her head back and arching her neck, inviting him closer. “The sea is a vast and unending place. A cold, lonely place.”

“I… cannot imagine it,” Raphaël managed to mutter.

She turned around, allowing the cold water to flow between them and put her hands around his chest.

“Perhaps you could keep me company, then? Be my mate?” she said, putting her head against his chest.

The question hung in the air between them, heavy with the weight of the decision he had to make. As much as he tried to think about Madeleine, Thalassa’s offer was simply too tempting to ignore.

“Come to me, Raphaël,” she said as she pushed him against the side of the pool and pressed her body against his as she kissed him again, sending hot waves of desire through his whole body. This was the moment Raphaël realized that if Thalassa had wanted to pull him under and drown him, he would’ve been fine with it.

Then, just like the previous nights, Thalassa heard that mysterious sound and was gone with the promise of another encounter the next day, leaving him dizzy and wanting. This was the moment Raphaël realized that he was probably doomed, and that he didn’t care about it.


“Only one more visit,” Raphaël promised himself the very next day as he put on his running shoes, the moon casting strange shadows through the bedroom curtains. He knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he was betraying Madeleine, but he simply couldn’t help himself. The dark pool and its alluring inhabitant were pulling him to its cold waters and the promise of fulfilled desires.

“God help me,” Raphaël muttered under his breath as he left his apartment and started running.


“Raphaël,” Thalassa called from her cove as he scrambled over the rocks to reach her.

“Thalassa… I shouldn’t be here,” he said, trying to sound strong. “I have a wife, a life…”

“Yet you keep coming back to me,” she whispered, her tail flicking beneath the water, sending ripples across the surface.

“Because I can’t resist you,” he admitted. “But I’m afraid of what will happen if I give in to my desires for you.”

“Sometimes, we must take risks for love,” she murmured softly, reaching out a webbed hand to his face. “Do you not believe that our connection is worth the risk?”

The image of Madeleine’s face flashed in his mind, filled with sadness and disappointment. He knew he was betraying her and potentially throwing his life away, but the pull of the mermaid, and what she offered, was stronger than any force he had ever known.

“Alright,” he said finally, his voice barely audible above the crashing waves. “I accept your proposal. I’ll help you… I want to be your mate.”

Her eyes were wide, pupils dilated and, with a smile stretched across her face, Thalassa suddenly glide towards him, kissing him deeply.

“Thank you,” she said, her voice barely more than a whisper.

“Y-yes,” Raphaël stammered, feeling desire and fear intertwine within him as he started pressed himself against her cool, slippery skin. But Thalassa placed a hand on his chest, pushing him away gently with surprising strength.

“Wait,” she said softly. “It’s not so simple for us to be together.”

“Wh-what do you mean?” Raphaël asked.

“Sometimes, even the strongest desires can be thwarted by the limitations of our bodies.”

“Then what can we do?” he asked, desperate to make love to her.

“Let me show you,” Thalassa whispered, her eyes glinting with a faint sparkle.

She pushed him against the cool, slippery edge of the pool, grabbed his thighs, then slid down into the water, her warm mouth finding him. Raphaël’s frustration suddenly boiled over, replaced by an intense surge of pleasure, followed by an intense orgasm. Before he even had the time to exhale and moan, a sudden change in sensation caught him off guard when the cool water rushed against his penis, followed by a sharp sting, like a needle piercing the flesh of his penis.

Raphaël yelled then grabbed Thalassa by the hair, pulling her to the surface.

“Wh-what have you done?” Raphaël said, in disbelief.

Thalassa looked at him with strange, fish-like eyes. She was holding a vulva-like shellfish, a bivalve made of two pearlescent shells with plump folds of pink flesh within.

“Forgive me, my dear,” she replied, her strange gaze locked onto his. “This was the only way.”

And just like that, with a flick of her tail, Thalassa rushed to the opposite side of the sea pool, dived over the edge and disappeared beneath the surface of the sea, leaving Raphaël alone and stunned in the cool water. As he clambered out of the cove a few minutes later, the soft algae slipping beneath his feet, he couldn’t help but wonder if the mermaid had ever truly wanted him or if she had simply desired his seed for some unfathomable purpose.

One Year Later

The first light of dawn painted the sky in shades of pink and orange. Raphaël stood at his window, sipping black coffee from a chipped cup, looking at the dark-blue waves rushing towards the bottom of Le Rocher.

“Raphaël, I made breakfast,” Madeleine called from the kitchen, her voice sweet.

“Coming,” he said, setting down his cup and running a hand through his disheveled hair.

“Morning,” Madeleine cheerfully said as she placed a plate of scrambled eggs and a café au lait in front of him. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine”, Raphaël muttered, toying with the eggs with his fork.  “Just… tired.”

“Maybe you should take a break from your swimming and diving,” Madeleine suggested calmly. “You’ve been doing it every day for a year now…”

“Maybe,” Raphaël replied, sipping his coffee.

“You know you can talk to me, right?” Madeleine asked, her expression softening with concern.

If you only knew… he thought.

“Don’t worry. It’s nothing,” he said,

He pushed away his plate and stood up abruptly, his chair scraping against the floor.

“Where are you going?” Madeleine asked.

“Out for a run,” Raphaël replied, heading toward the door. “I think it’ll wake me up.”

“Please be careful,” Madeleine called after him.

He nodded without turning back, already on his way outside.

As he jogged on the Cap Martin trail, sweat dripping down his face, Raphaël couldn’t help but glance towards the shoreline. When he reached the rocky pool, he saw that it was empty, like it had been every day since the day Thalassa had left, almost a year ago.

Where are you? Where did you go?

“It’s been a year. It’s time for you to let her go,” he whispered to himself.


Raphaël found himself standing outside of Princess Grace Hospital before his shift, holding the phone to his ear, his wife’s voice soft and reassuring on the other end. They had been through a lot but, somehow, it finally felt like they had found each other again.

“See you later, I love you,” she said.

“Love you too,” he replied, feeling the weight of his past actions as he always did.

As he hung up, Raphaël turned to walk back to his office when he caught sight of something that made his heart skip a beat. There, sitting in a wheelchair pushed by a nurse towards the emergency entrance was Thalassa, now with human legs and a swollen belly, her beauty shivering with unmistakable signs of labor.

“What…” he whispered, eyes wide, feeling a sickening lurch in his stomach.

Raphaël followed them through the corridors, his desire to confront her mingled with a gnawing fear of being discovered. He watched as she struggled, frowning with pain, and realized that she had abandoned her own nature and had adopted a human form to give birth. He wondered, bitterly, if she could’ve done it at any time they had been together. He then remembered how she had gathered his sperm in that strange shell almost a year ago.

“Please,” he whispered, suddenly wondering about mermaid gestation. “Let this not be what I think it is…”

“Are you… are you alright?” he said, as he approached her cautiously once the nurse had left her.

Thalassa glanced at him before looking away.

“This is none of your concern,” she said.

“Can I… do anything to help?” Raphaël said, his voice quivering.

“Help?” She scoffed. “You’ve done enough already,” she said loudly.

Confused and taken aback by the reaction, Raphaël felt his face burn with shame. He then turned away and left her in a hurry, afraid of what his colleagues from the maternity ward might say if they saw him arguing with a young, pregnant woman.

Sleep eluded him that night, as he tossed and turned in his bed, haunted by the image of the Thalassa, naked in the rock pool and images of her, pregnant, at the hospital.

But it’s impossible that I got her pregnant, he thought. It was almost a year ago that I…

Maybe she used someone else like she used me?

But then why did she come to my hospital?

Maybe she wants to blackmail you.

Maybe she was not a mermaid after all.

Fuck. I need to do something about this.

Determined to assert control over the situation, or at least control the potential fallout of blackmail, Raphaël woke early the next morning and made his way back to the hospital.

He imagined confronting Thalassa, telling her that he couldn’t possibly be the father of her child. He even considered threatening her if she refused to hear him. But when he reached her room, he found it empty, the bed stripped and a nurse tidying up.

“Excuse me,” he said, trying to control his voice “Where is the woman who was in this room?”

The nurse looked up, her expression neutral. “Oh. She’s gone,” she replied simply.

“Gone?” Raphaël felt the ground fall from under him. “What do you mean?”

“She asked to be discharged. She left with her twins early this morning.”

“Twins?” Raphaël’s heart skipped a beat as he felt suddenly crushed by the enormity of the situation.

“Do… you know where she went?” he said as he looked into the nurse’s eyes.

But the nurse shook her head, looking confused.

“I’m sorry, Doctor” she said softly. “I can’t help you.”


Raphaël’s running shoes crunched on the gravel as he walked the familiar trail to the tidal pool where a few walkers still lingered. The sun had set behind the mountains but even in the darkening of the evening, the sea still had a calm grey-pink opalescent hue. Since he didn’t want anyone seeing him get to the cove, he sat on an old bench not far from the abandoned hotel and waited for darkness to come. The air was humid with an acrid smell of urine coming in whiffs from a nearby tunnel that bored through the rock.

As much as he tried to calm himself and breathe, Raphaël felt his heart pounding in his chest with anger as well as anticipation as he scanned the undulating swells, looking for a sign of Thalassa. It’s only when the darkness had truly settled upon the waves, having risen from the depths, that he heard a splash and thought he saw something, or someone, making their way towards the pool. His hands and legs shaking from exhaustion and anxiety, Raphaël scrambled over the jagged white rocks, almost losing his footing twice as he made his way to the water. He felt his heart jump when he saw Thalassa in the middle of the water, looking in his direction, her slender form was accentuated by fuller breasts. Raphaël felt a rush of anger and betrayal surge within him.

“Raphaël,” she called out, her voice sultry. “I hoped you’d come… I’m sorry for how I treated you before.”

“Apologies don’t change the fact that you lied to me,” he growled, resentful yet still feeling irresistibly drawn to her.

“Please, let me explain,” she said, her unblinking eyes captivating. “I needed you for something important for my people… for reproduction.”

“Reproduction?” Raphaël said, in disbelief. “So you just… used me?”

“Would you have said yes if I had asked you? If I had told you how mermaids really reproduce?”

“I don’t know. Probably not,” he admitted.

“You see? I didn’t have a choice…”

“But still. You used me. Without my consent.”

“For centuries humans have used my kin, you know. This is why there is so few of us left…”

“I’m sorry . . . but it doesn’t make it right.”

“Then let me make it up to you. Come in the water with me,” she said.

“I don’t know,” he said, thinking that now things were good with Madeleine, and he should just turn around and run back home.

“Look,” Thalassa said.

With a graceful movement of her arms, Thalassa swam on her back, revealing not her iridescent tail, but her knees, then her thighs.

“Legs? But I thought…” he stammered.

“I need legs to give birth,” she said. “But it doesn’t last long. I’ll soon have my tail again.”

She then came closer to him at the edge of the cove, looked up and smiled.

“Do you remember how I told you I was warm inside?” she said, her eyes unblinking.

Without a single word, Raphaël stripped off his clothes and waded into the cool water, his heart thumping heavily against his chest, his arms and legs shaking, as Thalassa swam back, licking the salt off her lips. He reached for her and she let him pull her towards him, their bodies drawing close in the water. With a soft motion, Thalassa looped a leg around Raphaël’s hip to create a secure anchor in the gently swaying water. Her embrace was tight yet tender, their chests pressed together, Thalassa’s nipples hard against his chest.

“I missed your touch. I missed… your taste,” Thalassa said, her lips brushing against his.

Raphaël’s fingers grazed her smooth skin, realizing how much he had also missed her. He then put his hands on her hips and tried to draw her closer to him, desperate to lose himself in her warmth.

“Wait,” she whispered with a smile. “I have something special to show you first. Just wait here.”

Raphaël hesitated, his body tense as he felt the rush of cool water rush between them as she moved away from him. Remembering the last time he had seen her, Thalassa’s sudden retreat unnerved him. He swallowed hard, his pulse quickening as he watched her swim gracefully away from him and dive over the rocks, revealing her buttocks.

“All right,” Raphaël called out after her, feeling both desire and trepidation. “But hurry back.”

“Trust me,” she called back to him, her voice carrying over the water. “You won’t be disappointed.”

Minutes crawled by like hours as Raphaël waited in the ever-darkening pool, the water slowly getting cooler, and doubt beginning to gnaw at him. What if she didn’t come back? What if this was yet another cruel trick she was playing on him?

“Raphaël,” her melodic voice suddenly broke through the sound of the waves crashing lazily against the rocks. She emerged from the depths, cradling two small, wriggling forms in her arms. She carefully passed over the edge and into the pool and emerged again a few feet from him. The two small creatures in the crooks of her arms didn’t look quite human or mermaid, their bodies an amalgamation of scales and skin, fins and arms. They had flat, snout-like noses and their eyes were large and silvery, with vertical pupils.

“Meet our beautiful daughters,” she said.

“Daughters?” Raphaël choked, his eyes widening in horror.

“Aren’t they wonderful?” Thalassa said with delight as she swam closer.

The babies’ mouths gaped open, revealing rows of tiny, pointy teeth that gleamed menacingly in the murky light. Ice-cold panic coursed through Raphaël’s body, drowning out any remnants of lust or passion.

“But they… they’re not…” he started.

“I know. They’re still human-like when they’re born. This is why I must give birth on land. But as soon as they are back into the sea, they slowly take on their true form.”

“True . . . form?” Raphaël stammered, his blood running cold.

He looked up from the babies to the mermaid and saw that her once-beautiful features had morphed into a pale imitation of humanity with scales, gills and unblinking, silvery eyes. Raphaël tried to swim away from her, but his feet slipped on the rocks below him.

“Don’t leave them, Raphaël…They need you to feed,” she said with a smile revealing her own shark-like teeth.

“Feed?” Raphaël heard himself say, feeling as if the water had turned to cold syrup.

“Of course,” Thalassa purred. “They need to learn how to hunt.”

“Wait, don’t…” Raphaël’s protest was cut short as the mermaid thrust one of the monstrous infants towards him. Its tiny hands grasped his arm, and its teeth sank into his flesh. It was soon joined by its equally ravenous twin that bit into his chest. Raphaël started to thrash and scream as the baby mermaids started to tear chunks of his flesh, but Thalassa grabbed him by the hair and pushed him under the surface, silencing him.

“Feed, my darlings,” she cooed, looking lovingly at the churning water as Raphael’s struggle slowly dwindled.

Once the water was still, the twins emerged and returned to their mother’s arms, anchoring themselves with their tiny, webbed hands. With her luminescent eyes reflecting the distant city lights, Thalassa briefly looked at the pale human shape at the bottom of the pool.

“Thank you Raphaël, you’ve been a great father,” she said.

With a final glance at the glittering lights of Monaco in the distance, she turned, dove over the edge of the rocky pool with her daughters in her arms and disappeared into the dark depths of the Mediterranean Sea.