Fan Fiction

I Have Heard The Mermaids Singing
By Dead Composer

Fry, the sand mixing with his toes, walked cautiously towards the ever-shifting line where the Atlantic Ocean embraced the dry land. She couldn't have picked a more secluded spot, he said to himself, the wind buffeting his hair points. The whole beach is empty.nobody around for miles. Of course, the fact that it's November may have something to do with that.

He paused, zipped his jacket tightly, shivered a bit, and moved on. The salt water lapped invitingly against his ankles, reminding him of the occasion when he had walked through the remains of a deceased Horrible Gelatinous Blob. His eyes scanned the darkening horizon for signs of motion. Where is she? he wondered. Did she show up early and leave because I wasn't there? Did she get caught in a tuna net? Did she choke on a six-pack ring?

As he stared at the empty sea, a sweet voice whispered to him from the long shadow of a boulder: "Philip!"

Fry whipped his head around. In the dimness of the setting sun he beheld her-the flowing golden locks, the pink bikini top, and the curved, scaly tail of the mermaid known as Umbriel.

"Oh, my God," he blurted out, his feet carrying him hastily along the sandy shore. "It's you. I'm so happy to see you."

"It's nice to see you too, Philip," he heard Umbriel's siren-like voice utter.

He tried to grab her in his arms, but found himself awkwardly embracing her hair, as the necessity of supporting herself on the joint in her tail had reduced her stature. "Uh, hi," he said to the transcendently beautiful face that gazed up at him from just below his ribcage.

"I love you, Philip," said Umbriel, as the redhead kneeled to the level of her eyes. "Since the moment I met you I haven't stopped loving you."

"I feel the same way for you, Umbriel," said Fry earnestly. "And I would've stayed with you, except.well, you know."

The mermaid held up one hand, in which lay a humble-looking conch shell. "It's true, you and I come from very different worlds," she said sweetly. "But that's no longer an obstacle. You can join our world.become one of us."

Visions of swimming along through an infinite expanse of ocean teased Fry's mind. "What do I have to do?" he inquired of Umbriel. "I have no future in the surface world. I'm stuck in a dead-end delivery job, the woman I love doesn't return my affections, and I think my roommate is plotting to murder me."

"Anything you imagine is possible through the power of the wishing shell," said Umbriel, pressing the clammy object into Fry's palm. "Simply hold it to your lips, and your desire shall be granted."

He regarded the shell with awe. "Technology and magic," he marveled. "The 31st century has it all."

"Make sure this is what you truly want," Umbriel warned him. "Once you transform, there's no going back."

"I'm sure," said Fry, fingers wrapped firmly around the shell. "I want to spend the rest of my life in the lost city of Atlanta, swimming through the Delta terminals, dancing with the whales, sleeping with the fishes." Bringing the spiral-shaped object to his mouth without hesitation, he declared, "I wish I was a mermaid!"

Nausea punched at his stomach lining as the change enveloped his body. Streaks of excruciating pain and pleasure flew up and down his legs. He felt a cold sensation in his feet as they grew and flattened. His torso writhed and twisted, seemingly ready to burst, while strands of silk descended over his eyes and formed waves upon his shoulders.

After a few seconds the pain and disorientation ceased, and Fry began to examine his naked, altered form. His thighs and knees had given way to a green, fishlike trunk. His lower legs and feet would no longer move independently of each other, but flapped about like a soggy sponge. His hair had grown into a dangling red forest. Most disconcerting of all were the two masses hanging from his chest, concealed only by a pair of well-placed clam shells.

"Uh, Umbriel?" he said, his voice now having a shockingly feminine pitch. "What just happened?"

"Land's sakes, Philip," said Umbriel, gaping at the flustered half-fish, half-woman that wobbled before her. "Don't you know that male mermaids are called mermen?"