I should have known the moment I set foot on that cursed ship. I should have known when I held a knife to his throat and he offered me a job. I should have known when he promised to keep me and my sister safe. I should have known when he called me beautiful, no one has ever called me beautiful before. I should have known better. At the end of the story the mermaid becomes sea foam;

“she saw the prince with his lovely bride searching for her, sadly they stared at the bubbling foam, as if they knew she had thrown herself into the waves. Unseen, she kissed the bride’s forehead, smiled at him and rose with the other children of the air up onto the rosy cloud that sailed through the sky.”

She does not win his heart nor break the spell. I’ve read the story all my life and sworn never to be like the characters in a fairytale.

It took a lot of coaxing to get them to even tell me their name;