"I was always a restless sleeper and often experienced nightmares or strange dreams which, when woken from, were difficult to shake from my mind. And in the days leading up to our departure there was a recurring theme to the nightly machinations of my unconscious consciousness. I dreamt of the sea lapping gently against the rocks of Porthleven bay. I wandered barefoot over grassy hills fashioned from sand and soil. I found myself compelled to walk towards the west, to hidden places far away from the eyes of humanity, on top of an ancient hill, climbing down an unforgiving rock-face swathed in mist. There at the foot of imposing cliffs stood a cave; the blurred image of a figure beckoned me inwards, into a blackened gaping mouth of salt and corrosion. Something sang in the darkness.
Each night the dream would end with the same haunting vision; a murky eye pressed close to mine, clouded white, fluid filled and obscure in intention. I attributed it to the stories I had been told by my father, but now looking back I see that something was calling me from afar, ushering me to the icy depths at the heart of a place which welcomed the drowned."
- Excerpt from "The Mermaid of Porthleven" by Michael Whitehouse.