Here are the stipulations he gave me.
Title: May, June, and Juliarmas
A Quote: "There is a dead mermaid in my bathdub, and you expect me to stay calm?"
A Character: May Pruitt- a ninety year old woman longing for adventure.
A Setting or Time Period: A two story home in a small seaside town- modern day.
It was tough to write, but once I was done with it, I liked it!
May, June and Juliarmas
By Clara Diane
For the first time in many years May Pruitt was excited. At ninety years of age, a lady finds herself lacking in exciting events, but today was breaking the mold of an otherwise uneventful cycle. June Harrison, May’s great-granddaughter, was coming to visit the seaside mansion that May called home, and there were quite a few things to do before she arrived. May sat up in bed with unusual speed and gasped when she felt, and heard, her back pop. “Oh, slow down May.” She scolded herself as she felt of her back. “You’re not as young as you once were.” Much more slowly, she swung her legs over the side of her bed and slipped her feet into her starfish bedroom slippers. May detested them, especially since they made squeaky noises when she walked; but her daughter had gotten them for her for Christmas last year, and she wanted to be able to say that she had been wearing them.
She hobbled over to her bathroom and washed her face; taking care not to look in the mirror at her wrinkled skin. May had just finished changing when she heard the door bell ring. Casting a frantic glance at her clock, she saw that it was only in the morning; surely June couldn’t be here yet. May creaked her way downstairs and opened the front door; a gust of salty wind hitting her face.
One of the most beautiful women she had ever seen was standing in front of her. Silky blonde hair cascaded down her slender back, and sea green eyes took in May’s humble appearance.
“Hello,” Her voice was light and melodious. “My name is Ju…”
“June! Of course. I knew my granddaughter was beautiful, but I didn’t think she was lovely enough to produce an angel like you! Come in, please!” May stepped aside to let her great-granddaughter in; ignoring the girl’s confused glance.
“If you wish.” She said as she stepped over the threshold.
“I thought for sure your mum would have come in for a cup of tea, but I suppose she is busy…too busy to say hello to her old Granny.” May sighed and allowed herself a moment of self-pity. After all, she hadn’t seen her granddaughter in years, and she comes all this way and deposits her daughter on the front of her doorstep without saying a word! Well, what was done, was done. “Would you like anything to drink, love?”
The stunning girl looked at May curiously. Then, as if remembering something, she shook her head. “No…I am rather tired, though. A bath would be nice.”
May nodded finding her request a bit strange, considering that she had only just arrived. But she only smiled and said, “Of course, my dear. Follow me.”
May lead her beauteous companion upstairs to her own private bathroom. “Here you go June, dear. I’m afraid that I don’t have a shower, merely a bathtub. But it serves its purpose.” May gave her a warm smile and paused just before leaving. “Don’t you have any luggage, dear?”
“What?” Her entrancing green eyes blinked twice and then she answered. “No. No I didn’t bring anything.”
“Oh.” May chewed at her lip and then smiled. “Well, no matter. We will go shopping tomorrow and buy you some new things.” She then pointed to a cabinet in the bathroom. “There are some bath salts in there if you should like to use any.”
The green eyed beauty gasped. “
salts?” She smiled, and if May had thought her beautiful before, she was twice that when she smiled. “I do love salt. I think I shall use them.” She giggled then, a bubbly giggle that chimed off of the bathroom walls. Bath
May laughed, too…although not quite as prettily. “Well then, I will leave you to it.” May left her mysterious great-granddaughter alone and creaked her way down the stairs. Busying herself with tidying up the kitchen, May wondered about June’s lack of baggage. Maybe she had forgotten it? The whole situation seemed odd to May, but perhaps that was just the way June was. She certainly was pretty…
The doorbell rang again, causing May to jump out of her thoughts. Who could that be? She made her way over to the front door rather slowly, and muttered, annoyed, when it rang again. It had rung three more times before May opened the door, ready to yell at whoever was on her doorstep. Her anger was quickly pacified when she saw that her visitor was Dr. Nicholas Kinkly; the young, handsome biologist who had shared many cups of tea with her over the years.
“Hullo, May!” He was yelling, and there was no reason for him to do so.
“Hello, Nicholas.” May said much more softly.
“I said, HELLO!”
“Oh,” Nicholas grinned boyishly, “Hello.” His voice softened, but he was still louder than he needed to be. “May I come in, Mrs. May?” He laughed at his joke as though he had never said it before and walked easily into May’s home.
“I say,” Nicholas turned around to face May as she closed the door. “Is now a good time for me to visit? I know you…never mind…and…well, I was in the area and in desperate need of some of that fantastic tea you make.” He tossed his head to the side, moving a clump of curly black hair out of his eye and looked at May. “You don’t mind…do you?” He looked like a little boy who had just done something wrong, but still wanted a cookie from his grandmother.
May did want him to stay, but there was the little problem of June up in her bathtub. Perhaps Nicholas would only stay a little bit…he was still yelling every word he spoke and it seemed like he had something to tell her. With her mind made up, May smiled and invited him to her kitchen. Nicholas sauntered after her, his hands in his pockets, and sat down on a bar stool while May heated the water and put tea bags in mugs.
She cringed at his loud voice.
“Have you had any visitors lately…other than me, of course.” He watched as May poured boiling water into their mugs.
“Now why would you ask a thing like that?”
“Oh, no reason…no reason at all.”
“Well, as a matter of fact, my great-granddaughter is here. Hand me the sugar, would you?”
“Hand me the sugar!”
“No, no. What did you say before that?”
“My great-granddaughter is here!”
Nicholas paled. “I thought that was what you said.”
“See here, Nicholas.” May leaned over the counter and gave him a grandmotherly look. “You’re acting strange, and if you don’t explain yourself this instant, I’m afraid I must ask you to leave.”
Nicholas swallowed loudly and played with his mug. “Well…I don’t believe that your granddaughter is here.”
“Whatever. Where is she?”
“I’m not telling you! What do you mean she isn’t here? I’m not crazy. She is here!”
“Someone is here, but that person isn’t your granddaughter.”
Nicholas ignored this last comment and sipped his tea. “Oh, this tea does me a world of good.” He smiled at May who glared at him in return. Nicholas cleared his throat as he set down his mug. “Dear Mrs. May…you must believe me when I tell you that…”
May raised her eyebrows. “Yes?”
Nicholas sucked in a deep breath and then let out his answer in a loud fury. “That the girl in your home right now is a mermaid.” Nicholas stared at May, wondering what her reaction would be, and she stared right back. They went on like that for a good while until May finally broke the silence with a noisy guffaw of laughter. Her companion turned a crimson color and sat up straighter.
“You don’t believe me?” Nicholas looked betrayed.
May was turning red herself, but from an entirely different reason than Nicholas. She covered her mouth with her hand and tried to compose herself. “Oh, you got me that time, Nicholas.” She chuckled some more, and sipped her tea. “You really are a superb actor. You had me going for a minute!” May slapped his arm and Nicholas rubbed it indignantly.
“I was most definitely not teasing!”
“Well you can’t tell me you were being serious.” May chuckled some more.
“I certainly can!”
May opened her mouth to say something more when she heard the most eerie wail she had ever heard. She jumped and put her hand over her heart.
“May, what’s the matter?” Indignity forgotten, Nicholas reached across and touched her hand.
“You didn’t here that?” She asked shakily.
Just then, splashing sounds emitted from upstairs and May rose as fast as she could to go help June.
She didn’t get far, however, because Nicholas grabbed her as gently as he could and said, “Whatever it is that you hear; it isn’t your great-granddaughter. It’s a mer- stop struggling, May!- it’s a mermaid.”
May began to cry as she struggled uselessly in Nicholas’s arms. “Stop, Nicholas! She needs me!”
“No she doesn’t! Trust me, May. If it was your great-granddaughter, I would help her!”
The wails and splashing stopped as quickly as they had started and May stopped struggling as soon as they did.
“Is it over with?” Nicholas let go of May and she hiccupped and nodded. “Oh thank Poseidon.” He then reached in his ear and pulled out something…a clear plug. He reached in the other one and did the same. “Ghastly things, these are. You can’t hear a bloody thing anyone says but…I s’pose that’s the purpose of them! They save your life when a siren’s after you.” He grinned at May and then sobered. “You alright, old girl? I promise you that wasn’t your granddaughter.”
“Great-granddaughter.” May frowned at him and Nicholas couldn’t help but laugh.
“Let’s go upstairs, shall we?”
May and Nicholas walked upstairs and stopped when they got to the bathroom.
“You let me go in first.” He told May. She started to protest, but Nicholas silenced her with a look. He opened the door very slowly and then she heard him gasp.
salts. It gets them every time.” He turned around and told May she could come in. May walked forward, afraid of what she might find. What she did see made her gasp. “Now stay calm, May.” Bath
“There’s a dead mermaid in my bathtub and you expect me to stay calm?”
Nicholas didn’t have an answer for that.
The first thing May saw was a huge green and blue tail draped over the side of her bathtub. Slender arms dangled over the side of the tub, and right beneath one perfectly shaped hand was an empty bottle of bath salts. “I’m sorry Nicholas.” It was the only thing May could think to say. She hadn’t believed him when he had told her that a mermaid was in her house. Well…who would have? But still, he had been right and deserved an apology.
Nicholas was opening the mermaid’s mouth and shining a flashlight down her throat. “Hmm? Oh, that’s quite alright.” He said distractedly. “No wonder they killed her so fast. She ate them. Most of the time the mermaids soak in the bath salts and something in them reacts with the mermaids’ skin…don’t know what exactly. The poison in the salts works its way through the mermaids’ pores…”
May tuned him out and thought about the lovely girl she had met only a little before. “What was her name?”
“It’s amazing, really. They…what?”
“What was her name?”
“I believe this one’s name was Juliarmas.” Nicholas turned around and looked at May. “She killed a man, May. She was a monster. A murderer. Don’t feel pity for her.”
May nodded. He was right…she wouldn’t feel pity for a normal, human murderer.
“You aren’t really a biologist, are you?”
Nicholas laughed. “No, I’m not.” He looked at May and smiled. “This is my job! Collecting sirens. Actually I’m funded by the mer-people themselves…they hate the sirens more than we do. What my job is, is to capture the siren that has been killing human men, and returning her to the sea to be judged by her sisters. It’s as simple as that.” Nicholas then turned around and picked up Juliarmas. He laid her down on the tiled floor and picked up a towel and dried her off. “She’s rather heavy, May. I usually don’t have to deal with them in their mer-state, but…”
May caught his drift. He needed help carrying her downstairs. “Alright. I’ll take her tail and you take her torso.”
They picked her up clumsily and began to make their treacherous way downstairs. “Careful, May!”
“I’m trying! I’m ninety for heaven’s sake.”
At last, they made it downstairs and into the living room.
“Almost…to…the door.” Grunted Nicholas.
Neither May, nor Nicholas had heard the doorbell ringing, however, and both froze when they saw May’s granddaughter, and the real June standing in the doorway. None of them said anything…May and Nicholas just stood there, looking guilty holding a dead mermaid. The only person who did move was Juliarmas. Her head lolled to the side and rested unattractively on the crook of Nicholas’s elbow.
“Yes…well.” It was the only thing Nicholas could think to say, given the circumstances, and he and May watched as June and May’s granddaughter moved out of their way. “Ah, thank you,” said Nicholas as he and May passed their sudden visitors and shuffled over to his van. They set Juliarmas down as Nicholas opened the back doors. He picked her up himself then, and laid her down in the back. Nicholas turned around and smiled. “Thank you, May. For everything.”
May smiled and gave Nicholas a quick hug. “Will you come back for tea tomorrow?”
Nicholas grinned. “I wouldn’t miss it. After all, I want to know how you explained this little escapade to your granddaughter.”
Nicholas smiled. “Whatever.” He turned to leave but then turned back around. “Say…now that you know about my little business, would you consider working with me?”
May grinned. “I most definitely would.”
Nicholas left then, leaving May to do some heavy explaining to June and her granddaughter. But May felt happier than she had at the beginning of the day. After all…who said a ninety year olds’ life couldn’t be exciting?
Anyway, it was a fun little story that I enjoyed writing. Y'all have a great Friday!