Six Sentence Story: Three Lights (Blast-fishing mythological creatures, and other muses upon merfolk)

John William Waterhouse; A Mermaid. 1900.

Wikipedia tells us that:

“In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman. The male and the female collectively are sometimes referred to as merfolk or merpeople.

The Western concept of mermaids as beautiful, seductive singers may have been influenced by the Sirens of Greek mythology, which were originally half-birdlike, but came to be pictured as half-fishlike in the Christian era. Historical accounts of mermaids, such as those reported by Christopher Columbus during his exploration of the Caribbean, may have been sightings of manatees or similar aquatic mammals. While there is no evidence that mermaids exist outside folklore, reports of mermaid sightings continue to the present day.

The English word “mermaid” is not very old, with the earliest attestation in Middle English (Chaucer, Nun’s Priest’s Tale, c. 1390). The compound word is formed from “mere” (sea), and “maid”.”

Havfrue, by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann (1873)

The Little Mermaid’s Sisters by Anne Anderson (circa 1910)

Mermaids, by Jean Francis Aubertin (circa 1920)

What to do if you come across a mermaid:

be kind. be respectful. help her if she asks.

What not to do:

harm or exploit her. take photographs (a memory is more precious, and cannot be sold).

For this week’s Six Sentence Stories bloghop hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge, I wanted to write and draw about a mermaid. To my memory I have only attempted an art rendition of a mermaid once before; in a collage and acrylic paint I made for an imagined ‘missing chapter’ from the novel Life of Pi by Jann Martel. In the image below, you can see Pi and Richard Parker in the lifeboat as they behold the mermaid upon her rock.

Missing Mermaid Chapter From LIfe of Pi. By Ford Waight.

The following is my Six Sentence Story contribution for this week’s prompt word of: Blur and is accompanied by original artwork.


Words and art by Ford Waight

Three lights punch the surface of my sea, diffusing across the below and above of all which separates me.

Three lights come to puncture my realm – lights not unlike the incandescence of a fat pirate moon, or the boldest star of a constellation, or a lighthouse sentinel on shores I dare to submerge to when humankind sleeps its humankind sleep.

Three lights which aim to track me, the audacity to hunt me, to pinpoint my serpentine form as I pitch and twist, then BOOMBA-BA-BOOM! BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! explosions sear my sensitive soul, dynamite propelled into my watery home, shock-wave, evasive action, dive-dive-dive, thou shalt not stun me damn blast-fishermen!

Sticks fall as comets with furious tails, decorate my world like a sky aflame with New Year fireworks and meteor rain, alas, alas, the little fish around me succumb, and they swirl, lifeless, like toothbrushes and fast food unrottable cutlery and bags – ALAS – there is nothing I can do for them! 

My Norwegian sky is all a-raging fire, and at last I understand that the three lights are torches, each a-blur: one from the skipper, one from the bosun, and one from the vessel’s searchlight.

I flip my tail to make escape, set my eyes ‘cross the Nordic Seas realm, and I think – I think – those hunters above will ne’er claim their mythical catch this night nor no night other, and let it be I – Havfrue – who will one day be mermaid-enough to upend their vessel and tip them out, to drag them below where eternal sleep waits, upon the seabed where dreams are unmade, tucked up sweet in a barnacled grave.

Three Lights (ink and water colours)

Three Lights (ink and artist pencils)

Three Lights (digital colourisation)

Three Lights (digital colourisation)

Thank you for your visit today,

Ford 😎



  1. It looks as though the mermaid is plotting her revenge, Ford, but who can blame her after being hunted so?
    I like the variations of your three lights artwork. My favourite is the last one you’ve posted, the second digital colourisation. To me, it also looks like somebody peering into a crystal ball, and watching the mermaid scene being played out within!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tom. Yeah, she will get her revenge for sure.
      The second digital colourisation is also my favourite, and yes you’re right – it could look as if someone is peering into a crystal ball watching the scene played out within. Excellent!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mage, I’ve seen a lot of things around the galaxy on my travels but Merfolk certainly seem the most mystic. I have yet to see a Mermaid or Merman but on my secret mission I will be visiting (or I may be there already) places where I might find one or two….I hear my destination has whale activity so you never know “Thar may be Mermaids” too. I’ll let you know if I see some.
    Great six pack (I mean the story and artwork) especially liking the digital enhanced images….embossed and Neon outline FX I’m guessing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks FT. I hope you get to see some merfolk on your secret mission!

      Spot on for the first digital enhanced artwork – yes, you’re correct, it’s an embossed texture below a neon texture.

      The second enhanced artwork has about seven different textures laid over one another.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You submerge us in her world and her vision of those of humankind that pursue their curiosity for their pleasure without thought to the lives they may destroy. Wonderfully imaginative, both the story and the art!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Mermaids, and you took us right into her mind. I’ve written lots of stories about Mermaids – Mermen and Merbabes too.

    My seaside town held the annual Guinness world record for the largest number of Mermaids on a beach, 370 or so, until Covid came along. They can catch it too you know. Sadly ours were outnumbered by another resort when the competition resurfaced last year. Fancy dress by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Keith. Bet that was a sight to see so many fancy dress mermaids on a beach! I think the record you mention was broken once again by the crew of one of Richard Branson’s cruise ships recently.


  5. Mythical song, one that cannot be escaped! Bravo, Ford!
    I am glad our mermaid will return with a vengeance. She may want to have a talk with some older sisters of hers, like Gorgon or Alexander’s stepsister, Thessaloniki 🧜‍♂️🧜‍♀️

    Coupled with your art (dig.col 2 rocks!), fully submerged…and yeah ” to drag them below where eternal sleep waits, upon the seabed where dreams are unmade, tucked up sweet in a barnacled grave”…pure oceanic poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Nick. For sure I had Medusa and her friends in mind when I wrote this, however it ended up being somewhat Nordic in its setting. Whatever… merfolk of the world unite, I say, and if it means bloody vengeance, then so be it!
      The digital col 2 is my favourite too. You never quite know what will turn up when you mess about with filters and textures 😮😎

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your Missing Mermaid Chapter drawing is very cool, Ford!

    At least this prompt “Blur” got you thinking on a more positive creativity.
    It seems specific blog prompts are much better than the WP prompts.
    Although, your list of drinks in the next post is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

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