Be Careful What You Fish For

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Story Illustration by Iseya Misu.

Be Careful What You Fish For is a story written by Aosora Hikaru and illustrated by Iseya Misu. It ran in Issue 59 at, and is mirrored at


Kiran Joshi, a Detroit-area accountant, enjoys using his weekends to fish at his family's cabin off Lake Huron. This time, he fishes up more than he's bargained for when a merman named Xrythiykar (who is quickly nicknamed Jim) asks for his help. His agreement leads to a week he won't ever forget.

Even disregarding the need to smuggle Jim into his apartment, Kiran had no earthly idea where he was going to keep him once he got him inside the place. He couldn't very well ask for advice; who would know where to store a mythical creature in a small, one-bedroom apartment? It was, Kiran supposed, best to start with the basics. "You'll need water..."

From "in two parts. A boy accidentally ends up catching a merman and takes him home. Creature banging happens."


Be Careful What You Fish For is unrelated to other stories or universes.

Related Links[edit]

Be Careful What You Fish For will be listed on Goodreads and Archive of Our Own.

Author Notes[edit]

So this monstrosity of a story, man. 16,000 words. Sixteen. Thousand. Words. What the crap. This is especially impressive considering I have a 12 week old baby now in addition to my six and a half year old. I somehow managed to write 15,500 words in about a month while caring for two kids, one of whom is a newborn. No, I don't know how I managed this, either. (Except I do: I waited until the baby slept for a long stretch and wrote. This meant I got not-a-lot-of-sleep because the baby doesn't sleep long stretches until about 11 PM.)

This is another of those "I started this story for a issue but petered out for whatever reason so let's just shove it into another issue" stories, and it also continues my "let's set every story published in the first issue of the year except 2013 in Detroit!" streak. Originally this story was earmarked for Issue 51, Under the Sea, in 2014. I do have 3 other shelved WIPs, (two sequels, one original; one of the sequels is for a Yes, And issue) so we'll see if any of those pop up!

Really, the overall premise of the story was a joke I originally threw around with Kimyō Tabibito. I was initially amused by the idea of someone trying to continue going about their everyday life while a merman living in their bathtub sexually harassed them every time they tried to use the bathroom. The MERMAN MAFIA was an additional layer of absurdity I added in a few days later because the idea made me laugh until I cried. I actually showed them my paper notes in person while out to dinner with my husband and my daughter (and then we saw Guardians of the Galaxy after, best friend date ever), and they strongly encouraged me. Because they're an enabler. They even encouraged the terrible pun that this title is. Because they're an enabler. In the end, I'm very proud of this story.

The illustration is so gorgeous, it's everything I could have wanted plus some! I put out a call on Twitter asking if anyone knew of an illustrator and Iseya Misu's partner responded, then pointed me to her. We talked over email and less than 24 hours after my initial call I had this beautiful piece of art. Seriously, she made Jim even prettier than I'd imagined him (and I was picturing a true prettyboy, people!) and I love it.

External Reviews[edit]

  • "An odd one where a Michigan man finds something unexpected on a regular fishing trip. This was our two-parter, and I think the best thing about it is the fact that it’s…a standard type of set-up, and I kept expecting this one thing to happen (because it always does in this sort of story)…but it never did, and the ending…I hate to call it a twist, because that makes it seem like it was really dramatic, and it wasn’t, but the quietly different path this story took was wonderful."