I’m rotating “free” short stories. So pick up “The Society of Secret Cats” ASAP, if you want a free copy (it’s $.99 Smashwords & B&N now, with the rest to follow). And expect to see “The Last Voyage of the Mermaid” flip free at other sites soon.
The Last Voyage of the Mermaid
by De Kenyon
Arnold had always wanted to know about a) pirates and b) death. But his mother would never let him find out. Now Arnold is grown up, old, and tired of being both…so he goes on an adventure to find out the things that he was always supposed to never find out about: Murder, mermaids, and the deep, dark sea.
When Arnold was a boy, he wondered about two things: what would it be like to be dead, and what would it be like to be a pirate. Being the kind of boy who first asked his mother about things, he received a lecture saying that a) being dead was something that would happen in its own time, and he was forbidden to try to find out early and b) being a pirate was not at all as nice as it seemed in Peter Pan, there being no such things as mermaids, pixies, or alligators with clocks in their stomachs. Whether he should have listened to his mother or not remains to be seen.
And so Arnold grew up, got a job, got married, and had kids. For the longest time, as a boy, he wondered whether he would do these ordinary things, as he was convinced that girls would always have a terrible antipathy (which is the opposite of understanding) of him, and that he would have to adopt children if he wanted to have them. As it turned out, a number of girls fell in love with him, although there was only one he truly loved back. And although her name was something else entirely, he always thought of her as his Wendy.
He did not think of himself as Peter Pan.
Instead, he secretly thought of himself as Captain Hook.