Nahida S. Nisa was born 596 years ago off the coast of what is now Iceland. She was not, as she insists, a mermaid, but actually a siren, responsible for luring at least 1200 men to their deaths over a period of years. At some point during the mid-1800s, Nahida realized that simply smashing ships on rocks, while supremely satisfying, was not going to produce any systemic changes in human society, and decided to work from within.
After a series of hilarious but abysmal failures in her first hundred years of work—biting the heads of raw fish in polite society, being discovered living in a subtidal whirlpool, starting a communist colony in Texas, and so forth—she settled on a short series of popular cultural figures in the Pacific coast, ultimately assuming the alias of Nahida Nisa in 1986.
Unsubstantial rumors place her tendency to androcide and leg growth to being part-Fury, but these rumors have never been confirmed.
—Shaun Bickley, excerpt from Memoirs of an Angry Mermaid
Segments of Naia’s Biography Which Misha was Commissioned to Write, Part I
Sometimes Nahida was painfully inadequate in her mermaidhood. Sometimes Misha would bite her lips and cry and wish for red lipstick, but ‘Naia jaan’ would dissipate into some galactic reverie, dark hair billowing into the edges of clouds. And Misha would cry, and then Nahida would ask what the matter was, and Misha would pick up the Qur’an in passionate frustration and demand *but is water not wet?* and they would both watch as the delicate cries of jinn floated out of Misha’s frosted golden journal, and Misha would complain that she was terrified and collapse in the hall, and Nahida would bring her strawberry acai tea and say, Oh dear, My daughter is drowning. And they would read about the adventures of Soraya jaan and Zoya all day, and collapse into some divine nebula, braiding the strands of time that tend to straddle mist-enveloped realms.
Biographical Segments, Part II
Nahida would often browse the aisles of stores filled with music boxes that emanated powdered honey and blew puffs of misted smoky teardrops across the room. She would laugh when she checked her mermaid card balance and discovered that there were only four sapphire-ruby-encrusted-flowers left, and then she would sigh with the sound of roses and the taste of violet clouds and the color of gentle, ardent longing. And Misha would play C# minor preludes in 528 hertz, which is the frequency of passionate longing, and she would complain that she adored the gradations adorning the filtered sunset on the edges of mystical and mundane and something–something, something would shift in the air.
SEGMENTS OF BIOGRAPHY, PART III
Nahida didn’t get her flu shot in 2017-2018. She was a very bad mermaid and was sick when she was supposed to visit Misha, which made Misha very annoyed. She also texts while driving. Someone needs to tell this mermaid about the consequences of dreaming, but she will not listen. Instead she whispers, “Misha we are driven by dreams.”
Disclaimer: Nahida S. Nisa does not text while driving. Please do not text and drive.