Site Owner: MissMeliss
Site Name: MissMeliss - Bathtub Mermaid
Site URL: http://www.missmeliss.com
Articles Posted: 65
Bio: Bathtub mermaid, word ninja, voice actor, podcaster, writer of stuff. I make things up and collect hats and rescue dogs.

Posted Entries:

In Every Age Posted on Dec 5, 8:12 pm
Actually, the Goldberg twins had been born under the dome at Curiosity Village, on Mars, and little Rachel Levi had grown up at Luna Colony. Earth might be in their blood, in their DNA, but it wasn't where they were from. Not the way she was.


Elseblog: The Coming of the Cardinals Posted on Dec 3, 10:12 pm
We have a whole family of those bright red birds, and they return every year. The females are feathered grey and rust and red, and arrive with the first signs of being egg-heavy. The males are brilliant crimson and scarlet, and when they cock their heads and stare at me from their bright eyes, I’m convinced they’re appraising me in the same way I’m assessing them.


Cold as Ice Posted on Dec 3, 1:12 am
The winter ocean was dark blue and slate grey, and the waves were choppy and tipped with white, but Harmony didn’t feel the cold when she was swimming. And she was swimming, fast and purposefully, following the hiss of raindrops falling in the cold sea, and the rumbling voice she knew so well, except that this time, her thunder god, her Oskar, wasn’t merely calling her name. He was singing.


Only if it's Eartha Kitt Posted on Dec 2, 12:12 am
"If I hear one more remake of 'Santa Baby,' I swear I'll scream, Lena said as she poured hot water – just off the boil – over the hand-filled sachet of orange spice tea waiting in her mug. "Really, it's the most insipid song." "Except when Eartha Kitt sings it," her niece amended, in the sort of sing-songy tone that meant they'd had the same discussion more than once. "Well… Eartha. Eartha Kitt could do no wrong."


Undetermined Posted on Oct 30, 8:10 pm
“I know, but there’s something about her that… I feel like there’s something I’m meant to be seeing, or… comprehending… that I’m not.” “The informational brochure describes her merely as an unnamed saint.”


Star-Crossed? Posted on Oct 29, 3:10 pm
But all he ever did was flash his insouciant smile and turn away from her, walking into the forest until the sound of his hoofbeats was completely overwhelmed by the rushing of the falls.


Not Exactly Persephone Posted on Oct 29, 3:10 pm
She still cut through the forest, though, breathing in the scents of earth and leaves and growing things on her way to work every morning. She carried her laptop in a messenger bag slung across her body, and tucked her hair up into one of her many berets, a different color almost every day.


A Pinch of Stardust Posted on Oct 26, 10:10 am
Aunt Helen, for example, always baked the loveliest quilts, patchworks of strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry with squirts of lemon juice for a punch of color. Aunt Delia poured galloping horses out of her kettle, and Aunt Patricia blended the most amazing stories – you could taste the voices.


Gladiolas Posted on Oct 19, 8:10 pm
“No ribbons, babe,” he insisted. “You’re allowed to be reasonably worried. But no ribbons. No signs. If you must keep a vigil, do it quietly.” Well, I really wasn’t the ribbon type. But before he left, I myself in his arms and breathed in his scent – fresh flowers, speed stick deodorant, Old Spice aftershave. I memorized that smell.


The Tree Posted on Oct 19, 8:10 pm
Despite my long years of adulthood, they spoke to me as though I were a child. They never say it outright, but their tones all imply the same thing. I, who have never carried a growing fetus within my womb, who have never pushed a mewling infant into this cold world, am somehow less.


Accidental Posted on Oct 19, 8:10 pm
“So, what exactly were you doing with the dremel?” Detective Bloom had seen a lot of murder scenes before, but he’d before witnessed anything that was so gory and so pathetic at the same time.


Alas, Poor King George III Posted on Oct 16, 11:10 pm
Still, having one of the Previously Living (‘undead’ wasn’t PC) playing King George III had been an inspired choice.


I Am Scared Posted on Oct 16, 11:10 pm
But on the bus on the way home, Billy kept teasing her that werewolves could come out during Eclipses, just like they could on Full Moons, and Siobhan kept taunting her about how her Daddy must be one of the Dark Ones because they only ever saw him on Skype or Facetime, and that when Noon turned to Midnight they could walk on the earth and come back to claim their kin.


Itchy Posted on Oct 16, 11:10 pm
She’d roast him first, of course. Dragon-fire killed the pain and added a crispy outer shell that was just so… She was distracted from her search for the perfect word by another irritating itch. This time it was just above her left ear-slit.


Checking the Locks Posted on Oct 14, 12:10 am
Five times we hear the sound, until it reaches the laundry room door – the mud room, really, that leads to the garage. That pause is longer. We used to think it was because it was a double door, but one night when I was changing laundry loads so we’d have clean underwear the next morning, I thought I heard the tapping continuing across the garage floor.


The New Age of Plastics Posted on Oct 12, 10:10 pm
Jelly-fish had more mass, even the thinnest, palest of them. And yet this creature managed to retain its structure. She’d have to take it back to the lab to be certain, but she was pretty sure it was made of water, held together by a polymer membrane.


Wakanda the Great Posted on Oct 12, 12:10 am
“I’m Wakanda, and I have a message for you from Beyond. Will you come with me and hear it?”


Unwanted Roses Posted on Oct 11, 2:10 am
It wasn’t usual anymore, the burying of bodies, but I had insisted. “I want to bring him home. I want to bury him next to his grandfather.” And so, even though we live in an age when the dead are cremated and the ashes mixed into the gardens, or, if you had the resources, consigned to the heart of a star, we put the body of our stillborn son in stasis and carted him half way across the quadrant for an old-fashioned funeral.


Sphere Posted on Oct 9, 9:10 pm
“I knew those boys were more trouble than they were worth. Still, growing up in that high gravity makes them invaluable as hired muscle.” “There’s more.” “More?” Even with the static, Joanie could hear the annoyed disbelief in her supervisor’s tone. “Yes. The sphere they were using as a soccer ball? It’s… hovering. One might even say… suspended.”


Truth and Power Posted on Oct 9, 10:10 am
“Then, why is his face so dark?” Oh, child. That you must learn such things. “Because, precious girl, Truth is often obscured – that means hidden – by other things.” “You mean Lies?"


Forget Ophelia Posted on Oct 7, 8:10 pm
I, on the other hand, died in the prettiest way possible. No, not alcohol. Not pills either. Consumption. Oh, you call it tuberculosis these days, but when I was living, it was consumption.


A Murder of Crows Posted on Oct 6, 10:10 pm
“I know,” Ren repeated a third time, letting his anger out. “Look, I’m trying. I know they’re visible, but I can’t… the spell doesn’t work.” But the old woman was still chattering. Jays tended to do that. “All of us at risk, and then we’ll have to find a new planet, and this one’s so nice, with the plump worms and the tall trees and the skies with room to really fly, and then – what do you mean the spell doesn’t work?”


No Angel Posted on Oct 5, 5:10 pm
“Is this real?” he asked, and tickled her. “Or this?” he asked and kissed her. She giggled against his mouth. He swallowed her laughter. Then he spit out her soul.


It's Raining Men? Posted on Oct 5, 12:10 am
“Yes, come on. This kind of Rain comes only once, maybe twice, a lifetime. You go and catch one before his feet touch the soil, and he becomes the partner you always wanted.” “What if you miss?” I asked. Some of the forms coming down weren’t exactly compact. I’d noticed more than a couple beer guts beneath the nondescript suits.


Just Breathe Posted on Oct 3, 10:10 pm
I feel the gill-slits behind my ears opening and closing – it tickles a little. They pass their undulating movement down my neck, to the two other pairs there. With the bottom one responding to the pressure of the water, I can feel a sort of current in the back of my throat.


I Scream Posted on Oct 2, 9:10 pm
For the second go-round, I turn the nozzle face up, and scream into the roaring, rushing air. I let out my frustration with my husband’s conservative mid-western family, and my grief at the loss of his mother, a woman who went out of her way to learn my tastes and styles, to include me.


Be Careful What You Wish For Posted on Oct 2, 12:10 am
“I roll to disbelieve.” “Fail.” The room grows colder. The shadows take on form, and reach out to grab me. Across the table from me, the Other pushes back Her hood. “Silly boy,” She says, not quite flirting. Her voice is warm and seductive on the surface, but underneath it’s like She’s raking razor blades over my skin. “Even if you’d succeeded, I’d still be coming for you. Disbelieving in Me doesn’t negate My power, only your awareness.”


Counting the Days Posted on Dec 15, 6:12 pm
I started Holidailies wanting to write fun stories about holiday magic and everyday magic, and I haven’t written in over week. I wanted to do a podcast project with a bunch of other Doggies from The Dog Days of Podcasting, but I feel like there’s no point because I don’t have anything new or interesting to offer.


Flash-fiction: I'll Be Home For Christmas Posted on Dec 5, 1:12 am
Being a single mother was tough enough when she was home full time, but with her recent promotion, Rose was on the road nearly two weeks of every four. It was only temporary, of course. A new sales rep was coming on board after the holidays. Until then, there would be four more nights of hotel sheets and hotel shampoo and hotel food, and the knowledge that she was missing all the holiday traditions she and her seven-year-old daughter had established in their life together.


Once Upon a December Posted on Dec 3, 2:12 am
Because I like to challenge myself (or because I’m insane, possibly both) I’m doing a triple cocktail of Holiday Blog/Twitter/Instagram projects, and may (or may not) be combining them. (Actually, I may be doing a fourth project at the same time, but that will only be 12 days, and not 25 or 31)


Flash-fiction: They Grow Up So Fast Posted on Dec 3, 1:12 am
“Patrick, do not blame your sister for your own actions. The internet will reset in another minute or so. Please come back down here – and use the stairs. Samantha, tattling on people only makes people resentful.” “But you know the power glitches every time he does it.” Helen sighed. “I know. But your brother is starting puberty and his power is fluctuating.”


Flash-fiction: Poinsettias Posted on Dec 1, 4:12 am
The signs on the greenhouse doors warn against the use of magic in six different languages, but even so, it’s tempting to do just a tiny warming spell to ward off the chill. Inside, Ophelia knows, the air will be warm and humid, but outside it’s Deep Winter, and she resents having her fingers go numb on the walk from the main house to the greenhouse where the Work is done.


Shameless Self-Promotion – Volume II Posted on Oct 31, 1:10 am
Thanks to my friends Nuchtchas and Mark, and my husband (who kept the dogs quiet), there’s a special Halloween episode of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub. It’s an audio presentation of three of the stories I’ve written for HorrorDailies this month (Lips, Under Glass, and The Ghost Waltz), and the run-time is about half an hour.


The First Time Posted on Oct 29, 2:10 pm
“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked. “I’m sure,” she said. He wasn’t convinced. “If you’re not ready, we can wait.”


Flash-fiction: Whispers and Some Kind of Understanding Posted on Oct 25, 11:10 pm
But Mama never believed me when I told her that my invisible friends told me these things. She’d just tug on one of my braids and tell me I was lucky to have such a vivid imagination, and maybe I’d be a writer someday.


Just Like Us? Posted on Oct 25, 7:10 pm
“Mom! Harry’s chewing with his mouth open again!” “Harry, mind your manners. Becky, stop tattling on your brother.” “But Mom!” both children chorused, their voices utterly failing to harmonize. “I couldn’t help it,” Harry said. “I got a toe caught under my tongue.”


Flash-fiction: The Von Brunt of it All Posted on Oct 25, 3:10 am
You all know the story of the Horseman, but did you ever stop to wonder what happened to his head? It’s okay. I know how it is. Man riding around without a head – that’s a scary thing. Head rolling around without a man – that’s just unfortunate. At least the grin without a cat was still welcome at tea.


Flash-fiction: Blue Teardrops Posted on Oct 23, 3:10 am
And more and more clowns came out of the rings with blue teardrops on their cheeks. No one knew how the teardrops got there, but it happened with the younger clowns first, the kids who were new to the circuit, eager to put their juggling, tumbling, and mime skills to use. These kids didn’t come from the Clown College – that itself had closed over a decade before – not enough applicants to keep it open – but they had the bug – the drive – the need to entertain.


Flash-Fiction: The Eternal Question by Fran Hutchinson Posted on Oct 19, 4:10 pm
“Rest well, my love,” he whispered. After two hundred and fifty years, some habits would never be broken. Except this time… no reply. “Elvira? My love, I said ‘rest well.'” The customary reply, “And you, my dearest.” was not forthcoming. The silence was so jarring, so… disruptive… he could not let it remain. He sat up in his casket, gazing at the immobile face of his wife. “Dear? What is wrong?”


Flash Fiction: Lips Posted on Oct 17, 1:10 am
Kat found herself drawn into those eyes. They weren’t the deep brown of black coffee, but warmer, like bittersweet chocolate. And his lashes. Most women would kill for lashes like his – long, thick – if he was old enough to be a day-walker, those lashes would make the sunglasses that were de rigueur among his kind pretty uncomfortable.


Short Story: The Ghost Waltz Posted on Oct 16, 1:10 am
The DJ pauses the endless list of pop songs to play the waltz I’d requested earlier in the night. Apparently it’s a standard tune for father-daughter dances, but I still don’t know the title of the tune. I don’t ride on my grandfather’s feet any more. Instead, I follow his lead as we swirl in a graceful circle, and I smile when I hear him humming along with the song. When the music ends, he strokes my hair. “Thank you, sweetheart,” he whispers. My answer is a gentle kiss to his whiskery cheek


Shameless Self-Promotion: TBM Spooky Short Stories Posted on Oct 15, 4:10 pm
If you want to hear my friends and me doing audio interpretation of “The Rules,” “The Lady of La Paz,” or “Egaeus’s Protege,” please click through to: The Bathtub Mermaid: Spooky Short Stories The total runtime of the episode is about twelve minutes.


SVM Seeks Virgin Posted on Oct 12, 2:10 am
SVM, blonde/blue seeks Type O. I’m experienced; you’re not. Rh+ OK. I never drink… wine, but I’ll open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for the right woman. 21+ No smoking or cats.


Sunday Brunch: The Ghosts we Choose Posted on Oct 9, 11:10 pm
A bottle of Clinique make-up, left in the medicine cabinet in my guest bathroom, smells like clay, but it also smells like Halloween, 1976, when my mother costumed me as Pocahontas and used her normal color to darken my fairer skin. (Cultural appropriation wasn’t a hot topic, back then, but even if it had been, my costume was an homage, not a mockery.)


Let 'Em In? No Way! Posted on Oct 9, 2:10 am
My mother insists that Paul McCartney isn’t really dead, or a ghost, or whatever, that he’s really just hiding in some other country (Japan? I think? Or Australia??) because of drugs, and he’s got this band called Wings. I want to believe her but I don’t want to believe her because the spooky story is fun.


Short Story: Under Glass Posted on Oct 8, 2:10 am
Except this coffin wasn’t made of glass. Instead, it was formed from lead and bronze, with a pair of diamond-shaped glass windows set into the top. And was old. Decades at least. Maybe centuries. Except this girl, the one inside the box, wasn’t an adolescent on the cusp of womanhood. Rather the pale face he saw centered in the top window, the one framed by jet-black curls adorned with a bit of lace, was cherub-cheeked and babyish, and he didn’t think she’d been a day over three when she died.


Toxic to Dogs Posted on Oct 6, 5:10 pm
In the light of the rising moon, Yvette’s eyes glittered. “You want loose? I saw hoofprints, the other side of the creek. Burgers are great and all, but… nothing beats fresh venison.” “Careful, Yvie. You know we shouldn’t shift when we’re high.” Claude again, though Thea looked like she felt the same way. “I’m not high,” Yvette protested, giggling. “Just a little buzzed. Who’s with me? A quick swim in the creek to clear our heads and then we hunt.”


Egaeus's Protege Posted on Oct 5, 2:10 am
“Your dentist must be very good, my dear," he said to the woman whose screams couldn’t quite make it past her throat. He lowered his voice to a reverent whisper: “You have lovely bicuspids.”


The Lady of La Paz Posted on Oct 4, 1:10 am
The first time I saw the Lady was during the moon tide, when the water crept high up onto the beach, over the road, settling into pools of liquid silver.


Flash-fic: The Rules Posted on Oct 2, 9:10 pm
“Harry, we’ve been over this a fafillion times. If the Child is sipping water, they are Protected. If the Child has stuffed animals they are Protected…” His mother saw him roll his eye. “What?”


Hello October Posted on Oct 1, 11:10 pm
The song says to “wake me up when September ends,” and it has, it has, and with the ticking of a clock and the changing of a calendar page, my second-favorite month of the year has arrived. I have no desire to live inside a horror movie or inhabit the pages of a horror novel, but I like to flirt with the macabre.


It's not you; It's me. Posted on Jan 2, 1:01 am
I’ve hesitated to write anything that feels like a Holidailies wrap-up, because I sort of fizzled out of participation this year. While I laud Richard and JeniPurr for keeping the project and the community going, I just didn’t feel very connected to it this year, which is a shame, because it’s the decade of Holidailies writings that morphed into my book.


New Year's Eve at the AT&T Store Posted on Dec 31, 10:12 pm
Jonathan at the AT&T Store in The Highlands of Arlington is awesome. I just thought I’d get that bit out of the way first.


Thoughts from the Bath Posted on Dec 20, 3:12 am
Last night, however, as I soaked in lavender-scented water and formed castles out of the mounds of bubbles, I let my mind wander and ended up with a stream-of-consciousness that was part life commentary and part idle musing.


I Keep Writing Entries in My Head Posted on Dec 17, 1:12 am
I’ve been enjoying cooking up a storm, though. It’s been unseasonably warm, which means I’m trying to balance lighter foods with the seasonal flavors I’m craving. Tonight we roasted yams with herbed sea salt I brought home from Mexico, curry, and ginger, and baked salmon with Mediterranean Rub from Tom Thumb.


Big Dogs and Big Storms Posted on Dec 12, 3:12 pm
Watching big dogs play can be kind of intense. They slam into each other with all the force of football players, and there is much gnashing of teeth and swiping of claws.


Buy this Book: The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales From The (Holiday) Tub Posted on Dec 11, 12:12 pm
I haven’t posted an entry here in two days, because I’ve been busy editing my book. Just in time for Christmas (or Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, whatever – it’s kind of Christmassy though, because that’s my winter holiday of choice) comes The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales From the (Holiday) Tub, and it’s available from Amazon either in paperback or for your kindle.


Christmas at Mission City Coffee Posted on Dec 8, 5:12 pm
And so we are treated to an impromptu concert of holiday music, unrehearsed, but somehow perfect in its imperfection.


Never Let Your Bath Water Get Too Cold Posted on Dec 7, 11:12 pm
Every Saturday night, once the days are cool enough and the sky gets dark early enough, I have an appointment with my bathtub. I don’t exactly bathe alone.


Flipping Latkes Posted on Dec 6, 11:12 pm
I’d thought I knew what potato pancakes were, because my grandfather, pancake guru that he was, used to make pancakes that were either part mashed potato, or part leftover baked potato (whatever was available) mixed with regular batter. I remember loving it when I bit into a chunk of potato.


Back Roads Posted on Dec 6, 12:12 am
That’s the thing about back roads. On a map they look slow and unsavory. But from the saddle of a bike, or the seat of a car, they become our windows into the past, whether it’s the roots of America or the deeper taproots of life itself.


Autobiography in Pine Posted on Dec 5, 1:12 am
My autobiography will not be written on a computer, or disseminated in the form of a kindle file. It exists already in the collection of ornaments that have been lovingly cared for, some since before I was born.


Counting Days Posted on Dec 3, 2:12 pm
I spent five minutes feeling gypped, and then I realized I liked the old-school version where the only treasure hidden behind the open door was my own imagination, sparked by the ever-dwindling number of days until the Big Event.


Bolero Posted on Dec 3, 1:12 am
2002. I’m flipping channels and a half-remembered video is playing on PBS. I saw it once when I was much younger. Dinosaurs marching to extinction to the familiar Ravel composition. Bolero.


Back to December Posted on Dec 1, 12:12 am
The first CD I ever bought was Yo-Yo Ma & Bobby McFerrin’s collaborative album Hush. There isn’t a cellist my age who didn’t grow up following Ma’s career, and McFerrin was just becoming popular when I was a freshman in high school. To me, the pair of them represent some of the best of my musical memories from those four years.


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