Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


July 13th 2017 in Microfiction

David discovered the manatee maiden (a teemaid) crying in the shallows. “Hey, hey!” he said softly. “I’m right here. What’s the matter?” She pointed with a flipper to a cut on her tail, her eyes blinking with tears and her lower lip twitching with misery. “Did a boat do that?” David asked, carefully taking a look at it. She nodded. “I’ll be right back; I have just the thing.” He sprinted back to the house and grabbed the first aid kit from the deck box on the lanai, then stopped in the kitchen and pilfered a head of lettuce from the fridge. Back on the sandy landing, she reached out to him and David gently hugged her. He held her head against his chest for a minute or so and then gently slid down to look at the wound. He apologized for the sting and disinfected it, giving her the lettuce to distract her, then treated it, dried it, and closed it with medical tape. “There we are,” David said, patting her. “Leave that out of the water for a few more minutes and you’ll be okay.” She flippered at him until he hugged her again. “You’re welcome,” he whispered, “but you have to be more careful. Promise me you’ll be careful.” “It’s the lettuce,” the teemaid sniffled. “I can’t resist it and you can’t get it out there, in deeper water. I try to forget about it; I try to put my mind on something else, but the lettuce … I dream about lettuce.” “Girl, I hear that,” David said softly. “We all have our lettuce.” He sighed. “Stay close to the house here; bring others. We’ll watch over you.” He left her splashing happily, barking a message to her best friends. “Honey, you know how we talked about volunteering – about being of service in the community?” David rehearsed, heading back into the house.

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