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The Apostle to the Sea

by Stewart Moore

When Liam Finch asked him whether a God-fearing man could marry a mermaid, Father Robert Mackelroy at first thought the old fisherman had been at the bottle. But Liam stood straight and steady at the head of the aisle, his cap in his hand. Though his gray eyes sparkled, it was not with the dull gleam of whiskey. Father Robert set down the golden crucifix he’d been polishing and tried to think of something to say.

“I mean, Father, is there some special ceremony? Because she hasn’t been to church so much.”

“Liam, I don’t…”

“…Know if I’ve gone outta my mind? Yeah… Well, don’t worry yourself. It was just a thought.” Liam gave his cap a twist as if he were trying to squeeze words out of it. He was a stout man with some pepper still left in his beard, and broad in the way of powerful men who have run out of work for their hands. He hadn’t bothered to open his coat when he came in, and in truth the March chill reached deep into the church on weekdays, when the boiler stayed …

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