Skiátheá retells in a contemporary setting a traditional Cornish (English) tale - the Mermaid of Zennor. The original tale is of a fisherman who falls in love with a mermaid. Neither lover can live for long in the world of the other.
Skiátheá is about brief love, but also its transforming magic. Our modern mermaid is a charming conversationalist and above all else a storyteller. She will not talk of her past or future, save in stories, for neither truly exist. She has sad eyes.
I fish in a quiet corner of the beach, at a place against the northern cliff where a stream drops a curtain of water across a cave mouth, of about twice a man's height. Beside it a dozen steps lead to a footpath that climbs to the headland one way, along the landward run of cliff in another, and past irregularly spaced bungalo...