Stone Telling

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Three Limericks

by Mari Ness

There once was a mermaid named Nancy
who dabbled in fish necromancy,
But the ghosts of the fish,
couldn't grant her a wish —
Why must magic, she sighed, be so chancy?

There once was a mermaid named Jill,
who wanted to study xanthophyll,
But the dinoflagellates that she saw,
quite locked up her jaw —
So instead she focused on krill.

There once was a mermaid called Jane
Who said, "Oh, for love I am slain!
I did indulge and indulge —
Now look at this bulge:
I warn you: never eat your fair human swain!"

Mari Ness has never actually seen a mermaid, but she did once spend several hours sketching a manatee skeleton from various angles while waiting for her power to get turned back on after a hurricane, if that counts. Her work has previously appeared in, Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, and right here at Stone Telling. For more information, check out her blog at, or follow her on Twitter @mari_ness.

Photography: adapted from an unpublished photograph by Shweta Narayan. Used with permission.