Secrets and their purpose


Why did secrets turn up when a person was supposed to be concentrating on other things? Marty sat at his writing desk in the corner of the room and switched on his laptop. Once he had loaded up the internet, he searched for MERMAIDS and Scotland. There were numerous sightings, although, Gardenstown and Banff had their own listings.


‘The true information about sightings disappeared. It is rumoured that there was more than one sighting. When investigated, the sightings were denied – or covered up.’

 Marty let out a deflated sigh.

‘Humans and Mermaids,’ was the next listing.


          “It is said in legend that the two tribes cannot mix. Although, there are stories of women who fell for Mermen and Mermaid for men. Stories travelled with the Freak Circus popular in the mid to late 1800s. There was a webbed child kept in a water tank. She was rumoured to be the combination of mermaid and human. When removed from the tank she withered and disappeared.  Again nothing has been proven or correctly recorded.”

           Marty hit the print button.


Marty jolted.

          Shana slammed the front door, clomped into the kitchen and kicked off her shoes. Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! She made her way up the stairs and thundered into the studio.

          “Jeez I’m pissed off! What is it with old men who know nothing about cars? Telling me, ME it’s the fan belt when its obviously the distributor -e’diots the lot of them,” she said continuing her stomp.

Marty sat back in his chair and watched Shana pace in a circle muttering. 

          Once she had calmed she launched herself onto the worn, leather chair. Hoooooof!

Marty said nothing.

          “What?” demanded Shana.

          “Oh no Shana – I’m not falling for that! You’re trying to draw me into an argument.”

          “No I’m not Marty. Now what makes you say that anyway?”

          “Shana that would be the bait… So Shana, just chill or go somewhere else. If you’re that angry go and jump up and down in the lane,” said Marty.

          “Aah, you’re so rude! You know me too well!” she said folding her arms.

Marty sat silently watching Shana fidget.

          “Oh Marty… They just make me so angry! They think they know it all…”

          “You are there to learn. Now let it go… It’s just a job.”

Shana’s shoulders dropped, “Ah yer right. God I hate it when you’re right and all knowing… And all smug! Still it makes me angry… I was right yer know but they wouldn’t admit it now would they?” Shana fidgeted again. “Well, what have you been doing with yourself then Marty?”

He pointed at the sketches on the wall. They were gone. Looking confused, he picked up the printout and handed it to her. She read the pages and screwed her face up. “Marty, now why you readin’ that crap?”

          “It’s just research,” he replied.

          “Research for what?”

          “The sketches,” he said pointing at a neat pile in the middle of the room.

           “You’ll be needing a model then… You need to draw from life and not the computer,” she said posing.

          “May do,” said Marty, distracted.

          “Oh good,” she blurted.

          “I don’t get it. You want to model?” replied Marty with a look of surprise.

She nodded, “It would be fun.”

          “But Shana, don’t take this the wrong way… but…you’re more of a tomboy – let’s be honest you’re not a girly girl are you?”

          Shana flushed red, “Marty, it’s hard when you’re a girl amongst boys. You know I was brought up with all me brothers and there have never been girls in me family. Is it any wonder?”  

          “I just find it a conundrum. You dress like a guy, act like a guy but really you are quite a pretty girl.”

Shana fiddled with her necklace, tilted her chin and studied Marty.

          “Why thank you. It’s difficult Marty. Girls’ clothes aren’t practical. I could never fix a car in a dress now could I?”

Marty smirked, “No Shana, but that’s not the point. Girls generally don’t fix cars.”

Shana’s eyes clouded, “Ah you’re so sexist! Anyway… that’s the problem Marty… how does a girl do everything? I’m not one for wearing little clothing, sticking me boobs out and strutting around in high heels. So how does a girl look pretty and be active?”

Marty shrugged.

          “You know sometimes I want to be girly but I just don’t know how. So thank you Marty for pointing that out,” she said sinking back into the armchair and folding her arms.

          “Don’t get all moody about it.”

          “It’s not that Marty. Something else is on me mind,” she said.

          “Danny?” he asked.

          “Oh how did you know that? Is it that obvious? Has he said anything?” she said, pulling her legs to her chest. 

          “Yep it’s obvious – and yes, he has a thing for you too. I assume you wanted to know that,” he said walking over and poking her in the ribs.

She sat up, gave a little clap and grinned to herself.     “Well the problem now is… he’s shy and I’m a good girl.”

          “Well, it will never happen then. Unless one of you makes a move,” he said watching Shana’s reaction.

Shana smiled to herself, “I think I want him to hunt me. That will give him ‘man’ power. No use hunting the man. It stops him feeling like a man,” she said.

          Marty rolled his eyes; Shana was too impatient to wait. He glanced out of the window and smiled, “You know what – I’m going to go for a walk.”

          “Well it’s a beautiful evening Marty. Make sure you take a camera and a jacket.”

          “You sound like my mother,” he said, with a smirk.

          “Someone has to.” Shana shrugged. “You know what?”

          “No Shana I don’t.”

          “We should all go for a barbeque in the bay tonight,” she said thoughtfully. “Now that would be fun!”

          “Yeh… I like it. Can you text the others and we’ll go when I get back.”

          He turned past Shana, made his way to his desk in the corner and picked up the book Mermaids at Dawn. As he walked past Shana, he ruffled her hair. “Shana make it obvious for Danny, so he knows you like him. Girls can make it very difficult for guys and blokes hate rejection!”

          Shana smiled and followed him to the kitchen, “okay, I’ll get a t-shirt with I fancy you Danny written on it. Is that obvious enough?”

Marty smiled, “A sandwich-board might be better because he’ll probably miss the obvious,” he said walking to the cottage door.

          “Just kiss him when he comes home!” he said glancing at Shana and closing the door.

          “Ach Marty!” she said throwing a wet cloth.




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