May is "Short Story Month."
In the same way that Alex Jeffers reminded me of my love of mythology in his tale from BOYS OF SUMMER, the introduction that Steve Berman wrote for THE TOUCH OF THE SEA affirms this love of myth with the focus of the book as a whole: the sea. Selkies, Mermen, Poseidon... The list of denizens of the sea is long, and with the eleven stories in THE TOUCH OF THE SEA, I was once again amazed at how eleven different people could be given the same theme and end up in eleven different places.
And man is that a good thing.
As always, I'm going to skip my own story, and move right into the second tale of the set, "The Calm Tonight" by Matthew A. Merendo. Merendo's story is of a sea-folk who has a particularly troubling problem. His people come to the shore every two hundred years, find mates, and then take these women back into the sea, where they too become sea-folk and the cycle of life continues. Except he just fell for a guy.
There's a lovely counterpoint of tide and gravity in the story, and a tenderness and hope-filled love that is so incredibly bittersweet. There's also a moment or two of wonderful humour that made me laugh out loud. It's a rich tale, and well told. I look forward to finding more by Merendo.