Microfiction: Waiting for Mélusine


I have given up everything for you, she said. All I ask is that you do not pry.

Everyone is entitled to their secrets. Even women. Even women like Mélusine who are not women at all. I should have let her have what she asked—respect. For me she left the lake and the underwater ways, the dark, water-echoing tunnels that run to the sea. For me she left the sinuous depths, the dark ocean currents, the hunt of swift silver fish among swaying weeds. But it rankled that I had not all the power, for her to be able to tell me, no.

So I watched. And I saw. And Mélusine, because she is not a woman at all, knew that I saw. In her fury, she gathered up our children and leapt with them into the lake. They have no father. And what rankles still, is that perhaps they have no need of one.

I watch, here in the shadows, hoping that she will come back. But the fear hangs over me, because I am a man, and just a man, that she will return only to seek revenge. The dark lake mists gather and the ripples race to the shore. They lap at my feet, drawing me from the shadows and into the blood red light of the dying sun. She is there. She has come.

The mists twist and rise and draw back from that face, those eyes, beloved and dreadful, and it is too late to run. There is nowhere to hide from that gaze. Whatever she wants from me, she will take.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

9 thoughts on “Microfiction: Waiting for Mélusine”

  1. Interestingly just read about this wonderful person. Great complementary flash-fiction/poetry/prose to accompany my new knowledge, timely and great!

    1. I’m glad you liked it 🙂 It’s a strange story, but then so many medieval stories involving women are strange. They quite often turn out to be half-serpent devils with immodest sexual appetites!

      1. I had absolutely no idea of the story until I saw something about her on another show about Boudica and then I was aflame to find out what the full story was, because there is so little written of women warriors and heroines. This is a week of learning. I also found out Angela Carter founded Virago Press, something I had never known and it just makes me smile to imagine women helping to reclaim lost women’s voices – this is a bit like that and you did it justice

  2. Well you know I love a strange story, especially if it concerns women. I’ve never heard of her, I have to say, but now I’m intrigued. Regardless, you wrote a magical story, it really drew me in. A lovely piece, as always!

      1. There was some king, Philippe Auguste I think who married a woman accused of being a creature like Mélusine. She must have had powerful enemies.

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