Drabble 62 – Rusalka

Drabble 62 – Rusalka

The Mermaids by Ivan Kramskoi

Half of a story is who tells it. What the story contains is important, but the teller decides what you hear, leaving out the irrelevant or uninteresting details in favor of what matters.

Or they spin the story, creating a narrative that’s at once true and untrue. Maybe they fudge the details a bit to make it more appealing, or make themselves look a little better. We all do it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Still, a story being true is only part of the equation. Whose truth is it, and to what degree is it true? A story is as much the details that go in as the ones that are left out.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(Noun: From Russian руса́лка, ‘mermaid, nymph’)

A Russian water spirit said to drag handsome men to their deaths.

Inna thinks often of her lover, of his strong hands around her neck. She didn’t ask for this; she saw a man and she loved him, and for that crime she must wait in weeds and waist-deep water, hair long and loose about her shoulders.

Inna sits, sometimes, her chin in her hands, and watches the men as they travel up and down the road. Some see her and hurry along. Others stumble into her swamp and slip, last breaths gurgling out beneath the surface.

They blame her, not them, not all these men who aim to capture her.


    • Yep! It seems as though a lot of cultures have water spirits–sirens, kelpies, phi phrai, undines–and those are just a few of the ones typically gendered as women!

      • It’s interesting that ancient societies who, for the most part, had nothing to do with each other. And yet they have similar stories, such as the flood.

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