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They called her Silverfish because she swam with the fishes. Some thought she might be called Silverfish because of the silverish hue to her skin caused by a genetic throwback when her grandmother got a radiation blast working at a nuclear plant. But nobody’s seen her mother let alone the grandmother, so this might be a myth.
Hairless, water would run from her body as she stepped from the sea, and then be dry within moments. Everybody loved her. She would smile like an imp to encourage all the young children to swim. Nobody came to any harm when she was in the water, she would patrol like a dolphin nudging any stragglers that strayed too far out.
She inspired peace and contentment.
The women took a washday whenever she had the children swimming. And squabbles would be sorted out as soon as her back was turned.
Nobody knew her age. But nobody could remember a time without her. The town, Merrion, had grown in the last twenty years as people returned to the seashore after the final storms and bad tides had receded from memory.
There were now forty or fifty families with children, mostly mothers aunts and grandmothers. Well, actually entirely women. Some had been able to splice male children but they were wise and careful not to make a fuss of them, because splicing was becoming increasingly difficult and the next generation would have to sort it out, but not before time.
When the blonde woman with black eyes was discovered washed ashore one morning they thought it was a dead sex doll.
But when she rolled onto her back and started spluttering all the children birds and animals flew off to a safe distance, to peer at her from behind the boulders of the decayed sea wall “Uh…Yuk!
“God on a crutch!…What am I doing here!?”