This is… not a romance. It’s something strange and sad; a fairytale with an ending that isn’t precisely happy or sad. The writing is lovely, and the descriptions of the mermaids as something wholly other really works. The relationship — is it a relationship? — between the narrator and the merman is strange, and the more realistic for being ambiguous, for being… what it is, a strange union between two species where one has more power over the other, where one is a captive and the other is, nominally, in control.
It’s not a very long story, at all, but it’s just the right length; someone else commented that it feels like the background to a novel rather than a story in itself, but I definitely didn’t feel that way. I would’ve liked more, more explanations, more depth to the world, but I didn’t feel as if it was necessary.