Nadia Almeida attends one of North America’s first integrated high schools, where not only human kids attend but also elves, gnomes, and even a troll. Still, Nadia is surprised when mermaid Nerine Kwan rolls into class one day inside a special custom-built wheelchair. No mermaid had ever attended school on land, so Nadia is intrigued. Why would a mermaid want to go through all the trouble of living on land, bound to a clunky carriage and subject to taunts from her fellow students? As she gets to know Nerine, she finds her academic interest becoming personal, and learns the costs of befriending this strange new girl.
Full disclosure: the author is one of my dearest friends. ♥ But, I’m very clear-headed when it comes to writing, and what makes good writing good, and what makes a good story wonderful…
And “Out of Her Depth,” summed up in one word is exactly that: WONDERFUL.
All you REALLY need to know to go out and grab this story is it’s about LESBIAN MERMAIDS. But, if you want specifics, “Out of Her Depth” is–totally pun intended 😛 –the classic “fish out of water” story. The world that Pike has created is singular and imaginative: here is an integrated society, where humans are mixed together with gnomes and mermaids, but it has very real world implications…like racism. These elements are handled with grace and as the story unfolds, you find yourself rooting for the characters so much that you’ll read this story in a very quick sitting.
The love story at the core of this short is utterly lovely. There’s a sweetness to it that’s so refreshing and bright. With all of the ugliness in this world right about now, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Honestly, I’d prescribe reading “Out of Her Depth” if you’re heartsick and sad at the current world affairs–it’ll be the perfect escape you need.
“Out of Her Depth” by Pike Martell is a balm for what ails. Full of warm, fully-realized characters, a heart-warming love story and an ending that will utterly satisfy, I can’t recommend this short story enough. Pike has just started publishing, and with his stunning emotional resonance, talent and rainbow-bright imagination, I absolutely can’t wait to see what he puts out next. He is an important part of the queer community of authors, and I hope you’ll give his story a read–I promise it will make you happier. ♥ ♥ ♥