Flash-Fiction: Oskar and Harmony



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This is an unfinished piece written just before dinner last night. I was working on something different, but related, and this is what happened instead.


His arrival was always heralded by raindrops.

He would open with a tease, a tickle. Just a tiny hint of drizzle. If she didn’t immediately rise to meet him, he’d turn up the waterworks, make them into a soaking rain over the place in the sea where sirens dwelt between gigs.

Harmony would lift her face and arms into the cascade of bubbles, give a flick of her tail, and twist and turn in the newly oxygenated water. It was common knowledge that sea creatures got a little giddy during rainstorms, after all.

Spiraling upward through the frothy water, she would break the surface just in time to catch phase three of his greeting to her: a single arc of lightning that sent electricity humming through every fiber of her being.

And there he’d be, floating on a mattress of soft fog, just above the peaks and troughs of her beloved waves, her man. Her god. Oskar. Today he was sporting hair and a beard that matched the slate and granite colors of the rocks that formed her favorite jetty, and eyes that were the same bruised-purple as the sky before a storm.

They didn’t talk much, when they were above. His voice was the sound of a sledge-hammer, booming and forceful. It made the waves break far from shore and scattered fish in all directions.

As to her voice. Harmony was a mermaid. A siren. Her voice was meant to lure sailors to their watery deaths. When she used it on Oskar, she was never sure if he was staying with her because he wanted to, or because her voice was somehow compelling him.

Then again, when they were nested together on his bed of fog, they didn’t really need to speak to communicate, especially once they’d determined how thick the bed had to be before it was considered ‘land’ by the elemental magic that allowed her to split her tail into legs.

But when they were in her world, below the waves, then it was a different story. Her voice had no power over him when they were beneath the waves. And his…

Have you ever been swimming and been surprised by a thunderstorm, or been diving and felt a motorboat go by? That’s a taste of the way Harmony experienced Oskar’s voice underwater: feeling it more than hearing it. It was tangible, a physical grumble that was best appreciated when one of them was draped over the other.

Harmony had never planned to fall in love with a thunder god. The bird and fish who fell in love had it easy compared to Oskar and herself. But when they were together, when she was wrapped in his arms, and he rumbled sweet words to her or she felt his joyous laughter, she knew it was worth figuring out.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Flash-Fiction: Oskar and Harmony by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

One thought on “Flash-Fiction: Oskar and Harmony

  1. Pingback: TBM 1708.03 – DDOP-03: Oskar & Harmony | The Bathtub Mermaid

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