Fantasy Reviews Fantasy Short Stories

Overwintering Habits of the North American River Mermaid: A Shorts Review

Overwintering Habits of the North American River Mermaid is the kind of flash fiction that leaves you to create your own story from its brilliant bones. There’s a deep mystery to it, stripping away the mystical world of mermaids we were given as children and replacing it with a cold reality. Mermaids are winter visitors who can’t be tamed, women who live among us before following the path home as the ice melts. There’s so much in between the words. It beckons you to imagine the setting, to see these women wearing mismatched lost-and-found clothing as they mingle in dive bars. They might talk with local patrons who stare in awe at the auras they give off, or who know nothing of their origin stories. They might love deeply, leaving dozens of men behind who long to live in the depths of the ocean. A great storyteller enables the reader to write their own story, and Staffin-Wiebe has done that brilliantly.


by Abra Staffin-Wiebe
November/December 2018 Issue, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

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Photo by Sergei Akulich on Unsplash

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