God and His Mermaid

by Daisy Janes

         "God is married to a mermaid," she said simply, without emotion, looking out the car window at the wildflowers.
         "What? What did you just say?" her husband asked, looking annoyed that she had interrupted him. He had been droning on about his recent raise and how his loser family would envy and love him even more when they arrived at the annual picnic at the old nuclear power plantís cooling lake.
         "You heard me." She looked directly at him this time. Her tone wasnít angry, just bored. He looked over at her and the car jerked to the right; she didnít seem to notice, looking away again at the wildflowers.
         "But you donít believe in God," he said, still annoyed and confused.
         "Itís not that I donít believe in him, I just donít worship him. Besides, believing in him has nothing to do with it." Now she was annoyed with him, but she always was. Her lips tightened, she shook her head; all she wanted was his attention and a two-sided conversation, but it was always one sided with him. She wrung her hands together and bit the inside of her lip. Angry energy pounded in her stomach.
         "Well... anyway..." He continued where he left off about his familyís picnic and how jealous his brother would be of his raise and new Mercedes. He laughed to himself; out of the corner of her eye she saw him glance at her to see if she was listening, so she nodded her head in agreement. Her nose crinkled up and her mouth turned down as she stared out the window. When he paused, she looked to see him staring at her confused.
         "What?" she asked.
         "Youíre acting weird... was it the fish last night? Yeah, must have been..." After a short pause he snorted, and she turned just in time to see his self-satisfied smirk.
         All she wanted was to enjoy the wildflowers instead of listen to his self-centered "I am God" drivel. She wanted peace to prepare for the picnic ahead at the old nuclear power plant. It was bad enough that she had to spend a day with his family, but the cooling lake-turned-recreation-spot with the backdrop of huge twin cement towers loomingódeadly but stagnant over their playówas even worse. She groaned in disgust as she glanced over at him smiling at himself. How she hated his family, maybe even him. She often asked herself why she had ever married him. He was handsome and wealthy, but...
         As the wildflowers grew wilder, she began to notice tall, stiff yellow flowers among the purple lupines and tiny orange sunflowers. It was those yellow ones, jutting out conspicuously, that reminded her of penises. All shapes and sizes bending in the breeze. She looked at her husband and smiled. For all his beautiful perfection, the one thing he lacked was a perfect penis. His was long and skinny. She rolled her eyes, thinking that the only way she knew it was invading her was when she felt it jabbing some organ deep inside, creating a sort of ping pong ball effect that left her insides grumbling and groaning for hours afterward. She imagined God with an imperfect penis also. All powerful, beautiful but shallow men must, and that was why they covered up their hidden insecurities with flawless outsides.
         "Hey," she said, interrupting him again. "Why donít you pull over, and Iíll pick some flowers for your family?"
         He looked at her blankly, then pulled over. While she was picking and choosing, he was bent over scrutinizing his silver Mercedes for dirt. She looked at him and had a vision of pushing him out into the path of an oncoming big rig with dead fly guts all over it. She smiled at the thought, then down at her bunch of flowers that included only perfect penises, except for the one in the middle of the bunch representing her husbandís.
         "Ready?" she asked, putting her thumb and finger in the soft, damp dirt.
         "Uh?" He stood up squinting his eyes until the question registered. "Oh, yeah."
         Before she got in, she smeared her muddy fingers all over the door.
         At the picnic she handed out the flowers, keeping only her husbandís to herself. After eating and drinking and swimming, everyone sat on the lawn chairs and blankets, falling asleep or finishing off beer and fishing stories. When her husband started snoring, she gently laid his flower over his crotch, and walked slowly toward the lake. Once there, she took off all her clothes, hearing gasps and whispers behind her. The water was cool at first, but then she felt its radiating warmth as she swam away.

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