The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
Music used for the opening and closing is a mix of Chris Zabriskie’s “The Oceans Continue to Rise” from the Free Music Archive and Kevoy’s clip of whales off the coast of French Polynesia from Freesound.
Chris Zabriskie’s song is also used under the readings.
#Audio. A mother finds solace in music during a delay at the airport.
Kathleen stared up at the status board, and couldn’t help letting out a frustrated groan. Her flight had been delayed. Again. She liked her life as a road warrior, for the most part. She got to stay in lovely hotels, spend time in all the great cities of the world, and, she would probably never run out of frequent flier miles and first class upgrades. Flight delays, however, were something she would never enjoy.
Still, there were times when she longed to walk through the door to her own home to a sloppy, drooly greeting from her dog, a nearly ancient flat-coated retriever named Parker. (He was named after her childhood crush, Parker Stevenson, whom she used to watch every week on The Hardy Boys. No one, she thought, had ever made a better Frank.)
#Audio. Happy Hanukkah! It’s the second night of Hanukkah, so this is a Hanukkah story.
She played the chord again, and saw the children gathered around her focus their attention. And why not? They’d grown up with digital instruments: violins and cellos that relied on computer chips for their tone, guitars that made their sound through a wireless amplifier, and pianos that could be rolled into a cylinder the size of a zip-top sandwich bag. Her guitar didn’t have any chips, and it couldn’t be made smaller. It was wire and wood and care and love and history, and its lines were the only ones Sylvia had caressed since her beloved Harry had passed on five years before.
“I’m going to sing you an old song now,” she told them. “And you’re going to sing it with me. It’s in Hebrew. So, listen once, and then repeat.”
Flash-fiction written for 2016 Holidailies: A young woman and her grandmother add Holiday Magic to some seasonal plants.
The inside of the greenhouse is a technological marvel, with heat lamps and misters and every kind of measuring implement ever invented to track growth rates and division patterns, to determine optimal climate zones and confirm hardiness. Even the ceiling was programmable on a section-by-section basis so that day-lilies could thrive next to night-blooming cactus if the Gardeners so desired.
Flash-fiction: an aunt and niece discuss the holidays and Eartha Kitt.
The older woman’s dithering lit a fire in her niece. “Aunt Lena you have been playing hermit at Christmas since I was sixteen years old. I’m twenty-six now, and Brian is probably going to propose on Christmas Eve, and I want my only aunt to be there.” She took a beat. “Besides, who else will I be able to mock all the cheesy Christmas music with?”
It wasn’t usual anymore, the burying of bodies, but I had insisted. “I want to bring him home. I want to bury him next to his grandfather.”
And so, even though we live in an age when the dead are cremated and the ashes mixed into the gardens, or, if you had the resources, consigned to the heart of a star, we put the body of our stillborn son in stasis and carted him half way across the quadrant for an old-fashioned funeral.
Flash-fiction. Ravens and Crows aren’t quite the same bird.
“I’ve grounded and centered and counted to ten – to fifty, even. I’ve done the incantation. I’ve drunk the calming tea, and no matter what I do, I cannot banish the thoughts of Unkindness for longer than a couple of minutes.”
“Unkindness? Unkindness?” The women tilted her head one way then another, peering at him from one bright eye at a time. “But, you’re not a Raven. You’re a Crow.”