"Genocide. Jellyfish smack. Love unrequited.
This is a tale of thirteen mermaid sisters, the last of their kind."
The Madhouse is underwater this week as we take a break from peeling off the yellow wallpaper to sing a siren song instead. William Pauley III has recently released a limited edition novella titled, The Mermaid's Gallows, a bizarre, haunting collection that allows you to swim through nightmares, daymares, and all the highs and lows in-between. From the man who brought you The Brothers Crunk, Hearers of the Constant Hum, and Goddamn Electric Nights, I invite you to take a swim and see what you find you out there when the waters of the mind go dark...
An excerpt from The Mermaid’s Gallows
By William Pauley III
"...Seeing more than a foot around our swirling bodies, twisting through the currents and secret valleys hidden between large rocks on the ocean floor, was impossible for me, however she seemed to navigate through the dark water without any known trouble. A split second before entering, I was able to make out a sliver of an opening somewhere along the ocean floor, and we swam down into it, our bodies barely slender enough to pass through. Just beyond the slit was a small cave with large slabs of rock jutting out at places along the walls. On each of these slabs lay unconscious mermaids, twelve of them in total, each carrying a glow so dim they almost appeared to be dead at first glance. Once inside, the mermaid pulled me close and wove our tongues together so as to connect our bodies in a way she could communicate with me once again. The instant her salty tongue locked onto mine, visions of the surrounding mermaids appeared to me, but in a different setting. With my eyes closed and the mermaid’s tongue clinched tightly around mine, I could see her thoughts and memories play out in my head like some poorly edited film, jumping back and forth between scenes and timelines, taking in her story and rearranging the details inside my head so they made a little more sense. The story of these thirteen mermaids caused me to feel similar to what I was feeling before I had ever stepped into these waters, an overwhelming amount of guilt, but not within me, within the creature embracing me. Out of empathy, I felt compelled to help her, but at first wasn’t sure how. In a way, however, she told me. But first, her story…"
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