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The mermaid didn’t like to admit the moments that made her feel jealous. She lived a carefree, solitary life, swimming in an endless sea. Once or twice a year she might another of her kind, and often that was enough, but of late she found herself wishing for a friend.

The barnacles crusted together in their community upon the rock, dying together as the whelks feasted upon them. Mermaids tended to die alone, their hair matted with seaweed, their bodies adrift on the tide. Even the marauding whelks had companions in their feasting.

Ugh, these dark thoughts. She tried to shake them from her mind. Such things led to mermaid madness and falling in love with two-legged humans who lived in cities or villages, locked up in houses. She shuddered, grateful for the freedom of the sea once more.

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