November 11, 2014: The Red Hook Rusalkas.

There is a pilgrimage happening to Halleck Street in Brooklyn.
Hundreds of Brooklynites are making their way to the Henry Street Basin- and jumping in.

You can hear the humming and singing from the corner of Bay and Clinton Streets.
A soft, sweet hum – melodic and forlorn, drawing people to it from all over Red Hook.

The moon gives the basin plenty of light. You can see young, pale girls dancing around on top of the water. Men pouring over the edge to reach them, falling into the water, never coming back up.

I hear the names of men. I hear my name. They want me to join them. They call to me and sing to me.
The floodlights the police have set up illuminate the bodies floating out into the Gowanus Bay.

I move closer to the edge and one of the women swims ups to me. Her hair is light, green, her skin pure white.
She’s wearing a simple, white gown stained with what looks like old blood and rust.
She smiles at me, showing rows of sharp teeth. Calling my name and singing, pushing the water from her long hair.
She leans out of the water and kisses me, grabbing me by the jacket and pulling me towards the water, then she stops.

Oh, you’ve been claimed by the Queen. I can feel her mark on you.
Next time you see her, tell her Cathy Sue says hello.

She waves and dips back under the water.
Police with headphones pull back the captivated Brooklyn men, leading them away from the Basin.
Pushing everyone one back as far as they could then detonating something underwater.
The mermaids screeched and were thrown back. The bubble pulse pushing the majority of them further underwater and out into the bay.

Three of them, at the edge of a spotlight, surfaced and watched as paramedics treated people.
They slowly sank as the Henry Street Basin became red and thick.

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