This is the last in a sudden string of publications, I think, but I had a short story called “Marella” published in issue 3 of Lit Shark on Halloween as well. I wanted to give the two stories published on Halloween a little space in between, which is why I’m posting about this one now. You can read the story here.
I know I wrote earlier that at some point I would like to remember what songs I was obsessively listening to while writing each story, and I finally wrote down the song for this one. It was Placebo’s cover of “Running up that Hill.”
I’ve loved this song for years for the mood it gives while writing dark stories, and I honestly didn’t even know it was a cover until Stranger Things fans went nuts about the original a little while back to the point where I, who has never seen Stranger Things, knew about it. The lyrics for the song make me think Placebo’s chilling rendition is better than the original, but that’s just my humble opinion.
Anyway, if you feel so inclined, please listen to the cover song while reading the story.
I decided to write “Marella” because I feel like pop culture has moved mermaids firmly into the realm of being good creatures (I’m looking at you, my beloved “The Little Mermaid” movie). My understanding is they were actually feared creatures when tales of them first spread, I’m sure by sailors who wanted to have something to blame when things went wrong at sea. I thought it’d be nice to add another dark story about them to their lore.
I had fun writing this from the perspective of the mermaid, too, who doesn’t see what she’s doing as being necessarily wrong. For her, the drowning is a means to an end, and I’m not sure if that makes her a pure evil villain or not.
Marella, in case you’re interested, comes from Latin and means “star of the sea.” More often than not, I’m extremely careful about the names I choose for my characters.