Contributor: Chad Stroup

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The tooth pricked and became wedged in my finger. I extracted my hand from the salty water, terrified by the determined nibble.
No, this tooth was somehow less threatening. Iridescent, as though articulated by a masterful diamond cutter. Brilliant and entrancing, it stirred my primal urges.
I understood my fate.
Tonight I attached a loincloth to my waist (for I may still be modest if I meet a mermaid) and plunged into the sea. I dove deep into the dark, the water filled my lungs, my situation seemed bleak. Pressure building.
My man-gills appeared seconds before suffocation.
Home. Finally.

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Chad Stroup is currently pursuing his MFA in Fiction at San Diego State University. He also runs a blog at
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