Over the Sea

By
I was lost. Yesterday afternoon, I took my tiny little wood boat, the Cleo, out to my favorite fishing cove. It had a reef with large predatory fish prowling about, searching for an easy meal. It was my favorite spot not only for the fishing, but also for its seclusion, crystal waters that saw down to the exquisite reef, and the surrounding view.
The day was so fine, the water being glass calm. The azure sky betrayed no hint of treachery and the blazing sun was so welcoming. I had decided to explore a bit, to go find another possible honey hole. Therefore, I rowed the Cleo out to the sea, aiming for the other island a little ways off.
But it was not to be. The storm manifested within minutes, stirring the ocean like a blender. Fear stabbed my heart and gut. The Cleo tousled violently, but somehow persevered without flipping over. I squeezed my eyes shut tight throughout the ordeal, gripping her sides white-knuckled, waiting to be gobbled up by the sea.
When it cleared and the morning came, I had severe whiplash. I espied a micro-island not far off and paddled to it. I lied on the sands and fell instantly to sleep, my body still swaying with the waves, as if my equilibrium was broken.
Once I was satisfied with my repose, I awoke and explored the island. It was very small, only an acre at most. The strange part of it was that the sea had cut its heart. The channel was about three feet across and a foot deep, and when I walked onto its sandy bottom, I found an enormous fish scale that glittered like a gem. On both halves were a few coconut trees that provided the only relief from the sun and supplied refreshing milk and meat. Other than that though, my island was desolate.
Next, after the rejuvenating myself with the life savor fruit of the tropics, I inspected the Cleo. She was where I had docked her, in the odd split, and had shallow abrasions on the belly from the sand, but otherwise unharmed. I also made the unpleasant discovery that the fish, that I had caught the day before, had rotted in the relentless sun. I buried them deep, as not to stink up the waters and land.
I could not see any islands in the distance. I was truly lost on an island in the middle of the ocean. I was scared to get lost on the open ocean going the wrong way, for there my resources could run dry. Waiting was all that I planned to do now.
My plans were soon skewed however, after a few monotonous days. It was early morning and I was sleeping on the west half of my island. My conscious was ripped to alertness at the sound of dulcet laughter. Slinking from tree to tree, I went towards were the Cleo was harbored in the straight, for that is where the sound was coming from.
I peeped around the trunk I was crouched behind. My eyes blinked a few times in disbelief. Lounging in the Cleo was a mermaid. Wading on her belly In the water was another one. The one in the boat had creamy skin, green hair, emerald eyes, and a big jade scaled tail. The second had akin complexion, but dark red hair, garnet eyes, and a ruby scaled tail. They would look at one another and start laughing at nothing, just like inseparable friends.
They stopped their hysterics in unison as the green one caught a glimpse of me. She smiled benevolently, her pearl teeth shining in the light. Her voice sounded like the waves gently lapping the shore, “What is your name?”
I cautiously stood upright and walked closer. They both looked friendly, but so did a cute brown bear before he shreds you to pieces. My voice was weak and shook, “Amber, what is yours’.”
They giggled and then the red one answered, “I’m Spinel, named after the brilliant solid stone, and this is my best friend Beryl, after the mineral of many colors. Are you stranded here?”
“Yah, the storm carried me here a few days ago.”
“I love your boat,” interjected Beryl, totally off the subject, “Does it have a name?”
“It’s the Cleo. My father made it with his own two hands.”
“T’is lovely, Amber,” she replied, caressing the polished wood.
“Could you help me get home?” I asked in a small shy voice. The few tales I had heard about mermaids always boded ill for humans.
“Of course!” cheered Spinel, clapping her delicate hands together in excitement. “Where is it that you live?”
“In Kona, on the big island. Is there anything I could get you in exchange from there?” I added, trying to give them some sort of incentive to not betray me.
“Let us think,” Beryl responded. Her and Spinel put their heads together and started discussing the matter very fast. When they had made up their minds, they separated and Spinel began, “Do you know the downtown well?”
I nodded and Beryl continued, “There is a little gallery with beautiful paintings of the treasures of the sea, and glass bubbles that capture the graceful jellyfish, and portraits of the same alluring girl in different scenes, and animals that spring from the floor, and ethereal sights from the depths of a creative mind portrayed on canvas. Do you know it?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“When we get there, you shall go there and…” explained Spinel, telling me what I was to do.
I gathered provisions for the excursion while chatting with the mermaids, who were weaving seaweed together for a rope. We talked and talked like we had always known each other. The time flew by, and at noon, I was in the Cleo and Beryl and Spinel were towing her out to sea.
The girls proved to be true friends on the open ocean. They chased the sharks away from the Cleo and fetched fresh seaweed for all three of us. We chattered non-stop and all slept in the Cleo. The two-day journey passed like a pebble sinking into the deep.
When I descried Kona Bay, we all squealed with delight. They gave me a thumbs-up and dove below the surface, so not to be seen. I secured the Cleo to the dock and rushed to the tourist shops.
I came to the store as instructed and went inside. I strolled for a while, ogling at the enchanting artwork. I knew it was the correct place, for there was the bright mystical paintings that displayed the spellbound ocean, the forever stagnant jellyfish, frozen in gems of glass, the buoyant alligator and hippo that peered out of the carpet as though it were water, and those paintings of the unseen jewels, and the young woman in her various poses, my favorite being the one of her in a flowing gown that looked like the sun dissipating into a rainbow.
Once through with my observation and satisfied, I went to the back of the building where an artist was stoking the canvas casually, completely unaware that his creation was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen.
“Hello sir,” I greeted brightly. I reached into my pocket for the faceted green emerald and red spinel and held them out for his examination. “Would you be willing to part with some of your Glamour?”
“Okay. You can have this after I use a bit,” he kindly agreed in a soft voice. He stroked the painting to perfection, then grabbed a leather pouch and opened it. He took a pinch of the golden magical powder and sprinkled the painting with it. The masterpiece instantly transformed into something magnificent and captured my breath. “We put it on everything here in the gallery. But don’t worry, we can get more and are always willing to share it with the good ones. Are they?”
“They are my best friends.”
“Good,” he plopped the bag into my waiting hands. He lifted the gems to the light and whispered, “I’m sure they will contribute as well?”
“Oh yes, sir. Thank you and I am sure I’ll see you soon.” I left the gallery, stopped at the dress shop, and then ran to the dock. I carefully settled the leather pouch and the two dresses under the seat and sent the Cleo adrift unmanned. She floated and continued after the energy I had given her was expended. I gazed as she glided out to the sea, soon to return.

I reclined in my chair on the deck of Bubba Gump’s, sipping my blueberry shake. A couple hours had passed, but worry did not overtake me. My eyes glanced at the pregnant waitress as her jaw fell to her chest. Spinel and Beryl walked over and sat down, both long legged and gorgeous in the mini dresses I had given them. They looked the same, other than not having a big slimy tail. The hair was still jade and garnet, yet their bejeweled eyes didn’t sparkle quite so intensely.
“Well, Amber, we don’t have many things to move into your apartment,” Beryl chimed in the same mellifluous voice as before.
“That’s good, because it is really small.”
“Not for long,” exclaimed Spinel with a sly smile. “Those gems are worth a fortune and Beryl and I have an endless trove.”
“We were thinking of that little hula shack on the far side. It is much older than the surrounding mansions, but the place is just adorable,” explained Beryl.
Spinel giggled,” I guess we’re really going to move Amber’s stuff too!”





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Taryn said...
Sept. 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm
That was great!! I wanna read more from you haley!!
 
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