Introduction to ‘The Mermaid’
The story ‘The Mermaid’ is my second submission for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2011. I had forty-eight hours to write a horror story set in an aquarium incorporating mouthwash in a thousand words or under. In the English Renaissance, mermaids can be grouped with the monstrous hybrids that are located in the deserts and frozen wastelands occupying the map edges. These creatures are indicative of what John Gillies calls, ‘The link between monstrosity, margins and sexual “promiscuity”‘ (Gillies 13). Therefore, hybrids are ‘the offspring of literally “promiscuous” unions between creatures of different kinds’ (13). Such fecundity occurs far from Europe’s civilised borders in the barbaric lands of Asia, Africa, the East Indies and the New World.
The themes of barbarity, promiscuity and miscegenation are prevalent in Shakespeare’s Othello (1602). Othello’s barbaric roots that are often attributed to his descent Continue reading »