As I swam away from my father, a bullet flew straight into my tail. What a great start to my day. My father shoots me on a regular basis as a way to eliminate his anger. He has to have an outlet for his stress and anger from ruling the kingdom. A perk of being a mermaid is that you heal quickly. My father and I have a bad relationship. He’s a rude, unfair man and thinks I’m a spoiled brat, so we have mutual disrespect towards each other.
“AGATHAAAAA” my father bellowed from the top of the castle.
I swam to the top and met him in the corner of the large castle for dinner. In his hand he held a smoking pistol, still hot from shooting me. His face was round with a chin that jutted out like a sharp tip on a coral reef. My father’s eyes were a deep blue, reflecting the bottom of the ocean but they also were not soft. The harsh blue gave him a permanently angry look, never a soft smile or nod from him. His shoulders were broad, giving him a manly look. He had a long tail, covered with gold scales, diamonds, and pearls. I always resented him for that - being so ostentatious and showing my family’s wealth. Funny thing was, time after time he refused to tell me the origins of that wealth. He belched as he took a long gulp of seawater… disgusting.
After being excused from dinner, and with my tail magically and newly healed, I made my evening rounds in the deep sea world of Atlantis. The colors of the reefs along the floor are beige with the sand matted in every crevice. There are plants of all shades of green, purple, and brown surrounding the corals. I chatted with the crabs scurrying across the bottom of the sea floor. They were a bright red and helped me navigate the floor with their bright color. Somedays I take the long way home, going around the castle reef to extend my time away from my power hungry, cruel father.
After venturing into the bottom of the ocean, I decided to keep going; I had a spurt of energy and desire to continue . Going deeper into the dark abyss, I could feel my head clearing, body shivering, scales turning blue to match my body temperature. Then, all of a sudden, I came to a halt. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted my father’s, glittering tail. I crept behind some coral and slithered as close as I could. I followed his gaze and could not believe my eyes. What is he doing down here? I had never seen my father down here before. The more I thought about his activities here, the more I felt like coral was stabbing my eyes. It felt as if someone had just put me on land; I couldn’t breath. There are only two possible reasons why people come down here. One of those, exactly what I was doing, exploring. The other… unimaginable. Even for my sick, twisted father, I couldn’t begin to imagine him being involved in the mob. It can’t be.
I looked around to see if anyone was near me or seeing what I was seeing with my own two eyes. As I looked out from behind a large rock outcropping, I saw my father being handed a bag of jewels from a shark who looked old. His face was dopey like an old man's, wrinkles forming circles around his eyes and teeth missing. I recognized that shark. He wore a gold cover over his tail signifying a gang. I was right; my father was part of the mob. Why? I had no clue. For what, I couldn’t tell, only because I didn’t know myself. The one thing I did know was that if this shark was seen, not to confront him because he is extremely dangerous.
Seeing my father in this crater of the ocean, being handed jewels, and with that shark could only mean one thing. He was part of the underwater mob. The repulsion I had towards my father grew by the second as I slowly pieced things together.
They were known as the “Swimmers”. They were the most ruthless of mobs, killing innocent fish just to make their point that they were at the top of the food chain. The money we had, my father's attitude, and his disappearances, all solidified my new found theory. At that moment I knew I could never return home. I couldn’t bare to look him in the eyes ever again, knowing what I now knew. At that moment I panicked. What do I do? I used the one hidden power I had in my tail. I aimed the left point of my tail at my father’s chest and worked my magic, moving my tail as fast as I could to muster up a wave as strong as a bullet. I released the wave.