HH Com 436

Coral Anne Anthozoa is a mermaid princess with two problems: legs. She doesn't allow her genetic deformity to get her down, though. She lives in an airtight house, swims around using a prosthetic tail, and breathes through an air-filtering mouthpiece. Being unable to speak under water, Coral is quiet in social settings, but she's a master of sign language. She spends her days quietly running a center for deaf merchildren.

Coral's fiance Milo (a tall, dark, handsome two-legged doctor) is visiting from the world of "normies" above. She has to introduce him to his parents, play tour guide, plan a wedding, and fight off a big ASSE problem.

The Association for the Submerged Sub-human Extinction (ASSE) is an organization made up of two-legged humans that view merpeople as mutants and who want to wipe-out all of merkind. Coral and her legs are a threat to their mission, because she's a palpable link from merpeople to "normal" people.

Everybody knows that mermaids aren't real--everyone except for merfolk, certain governement officials, underwater contractors, and the odd scuba diver or sailor. Merpeople like it that way. But when Coral is ready to kick some ASSE butt, she may need help (and belief) from the world above in order to save all of mer-kind.

Miss Snark dons her wet suit, straps a tank of extra 02 on the poodle and dives in.

This works because it's funny, turns a trope on it's asse (ha) and makes me want to read more.


reader said...

This could be fun! :) BTW, it's SCUBA, not scuba. Just a detail. The writing is what matters more.

A Paperback Writer said...

It's a teeny bit Artemis Fowl, but I like it. Yup. I'd read this one. Good work, author. I can't wait to read your 750 words of this stuff.

Inkwolf said...

This one has potential! :) I like the combination of fairy-tale elements and real-world (sorta) situations.

Eileen said...

I like that it is a fresh twist on a fairy tale. It stands out.

xiqay said...

I didn't like this.

It didn't sound particularly unique or interesting to me, but Miss Snark liked it, so congrats to the author.

Good luck.

HawkOwl said...

I like. I just hope it's more focused on the "under the sea" thing and less on the "save merkind" thriller aspect. I'd definitely look at it.

Crystal Charee said...

Thanks everyone! I'm thrilled beyond belief that I made it through to the next round.

Reader, SCUBA, right. I knew that... I just noticed that I have her introducing him to his own parents in there too. *sigh*

I haven't read the Artemis Fowl stories yet, but I've heard of them.

Anyway, thanks again.

Anonymous said...

She's going to introduce Milo to his parents?

Bartholomew said...

Totally cute!

Anonymous said...

I liked this.

Two thoughts:

The use of "normies" to describe legged people took me out of the world of the mer-people; to them, tails are the norm, and I'd rather see them use a word for legged people that reflected the centrality of their own society to themselves.

ASSE is hilarious. I'd rather see her "kick some ASSE" rather than "kick some ASSE butt".

Angus Weeks said...

I am confused about the information in the first paragraph.

Clear - she is a merperson with legs.

Unclear - if she can or cannot naturally breathe underwater.

Possible clue - she is unable to speak underwater. Specifying this leads to the conclusion that it is normal for merpeople to speak underwater. The fact that Coral can't seems to be because she can't breathe underwater - at least, we assume so, since no other reason is given, except that she teaches deaf children which could imply that she doesn't talk because she's deaf, but if that is the case, you need to specify this.

Now, the reason I am so confused is because you mention her only genetic deformity is legs. But if the reason she can't speak underwater is that she can't breathe underwater - which would be significant if the ability to breathe underwater is normative for merpersons - shouldn't her deformity in fact be having both legs and lungs? Therefore, your first sentence doesn't make sense; it should be "two problems; legs and lungs".

The other reason I'm confused, you see, is because you say she lives in an airtight house. I would have thought, if she breathes air not water, that the house should be watertight (preventing water from entering), not airtight (preventing air from entering). Also, I'd have thought her filter would be more correctly called a water-filter (that which filters water), not an air-filter (that which filters air).

However, perhaps she actually normally breathes via water and yet lives above-ground - in which case airtight and air-filter would be correct. But the fact that she teaches deaf merchildren implies to me that she lives underwater.

Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't get my head around the information presented.

Luc2 said...

This made a splash, and rightfully so. I thought it's hilarious.
Nice job, author.

December Quinn said...

Sorry, I'm with Angus. Is the joke supposed to be that she's a non-water-breathing mermaid with no tail--in other words, she's just a human living underwater? Does her house have locking chambers like on a submarine so she can get in and out without bringing the ocean in with her? Don't the other mermaids find this a bit odd? How did they even discover all of this before she died as an infant because hey all assumed she could breath underwater?

The story is cute, I guess, but the writing didn't grab me. Sorry author, but best of luck in the next round!

skybluepinkrose said...

I'm with Angus and December. I also got hung up on introducing Milo to his own parents. The details don't dovetail, IMO.

Crystal Charee said...

M'kay. Reader, A Paperback Writer, Inkwolf, Eileen, Hawkowl, Bartholomew, anonymous (the second one), and Luc2, thanks so much. I'm glad you were hooked.

Anonymous (the first one), yeah. She's supposed to introduce him to HER parents. A lot of you caught that. I can't believe I didn't...

Anonymous (the second one), the book is called "Subs and Normies", although that didn't make it into the hook. I may change the title, and I'll definitely take your comments into consideration.

The sheer detail that some of you want included in a hook is astounding, but I'll see if I can make my wording more clear on some of those issues.

Thanks to everyone for commenting. Thanks especially to Miss Snark for liking the hook.

Virginia Miss said...

I liked the voice here, and how this turns the trope upside down, and of course the kick asse stuff is cute, too. (I agree with the previous commenter, delete the word "butt.")

However, I reacted the same way angus weeks did -- confused by the references to airtight house and air-filtering mouthpiece, and wondering if she was really human or mermaid. If she's marrying a two-legged normie, I figured human.