Voice of Reason

No one listens to the sea hag, even when they really, really should.

Sarah Lofgren
4 min readJun 2, 2023


The entrance to the cave was lined with rows of pointed teeth, giving it the appearance of a shark’s leering maw. Only a fool would enter that particular foreboding cavern, about which many songs had been sung—songs including words such as anguish, fester, scourge, and bewail.

The mermaid swam inside.

Upon entering she came face to face with a grotesque figure undulating in the murky water. Its eyes were sinkholes, devoid of light. Its mouth was rapacious and fitted with a crude implant that added even more teeth to its already plentiful score. Instead of fingers, the monster had wriggling tentacles, and, instead of a tail, a cloud of seaweed sprouted from beneath its torso and filled the underwater cavern.

“You must be the sea witch,” said the mermaid.

“I prefer sea hag, if you don’t mind,” replied the creature.

“Of course,” replied the mermaid, wondering if the monster was sizing her up as a potential entrée. When had her decision-making skills devolved into such complete recklessness?

But, she knew the answer to that question. It was all his fault. Him, magical him. The sandy-haired human had plunged into her life and transformed her theoretical…