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The Mermaid Skirmish
“Turn off the radio! We’re here!” Angela Mermy screamed over the ear-drum blasting rock n’ roll music. Her older brother, Charles, or Big C, turned around from where he sat in the front seat of the car. Faking a quizzical look on his lightly freckled face, he slooooooooooooowly reached his arm behind him to turn off the noise.
“Gee, Angie, ya didn’t have to yell at poor old Charles!” he said, pretending to whimper. “Stop that now, Charles Mermy.” The siblings’ mother, Becka Mermy, stared impatiently at her son. Angela pushed her ever-bothersome bangs out of her tanned, oval-shaped face. She looked gratefully at her mother, and then stuck her tongue out playfully at Charles.
By the time the intimidated 16-year –old glared at her, the 10-year-old had already slipped out of her seatbelt, and had deftly pulled the red mini-van’s door open. She’d grabbed her pink-print towel out from the leather space-maker under her feet, and had jumped out onto the sand.
Waves crashed down onto the golden sand of the seemingly tropical beach. Dancing sunrays speckled the soft ground, and palm trees’ almost neon-green leaves contrasted with the turquoise saltiness of lolling water. The scene was so beautiful to Angie’s eyes that even the looming gray rock close to where her family’s favorite spot, close to the ocean, didn’t discourage her, especially since they were alone.
Turning to look back, she noticed her mother and sibling unloading the car, colorful items spilling out of the packed trunk. Like a flash of citrus yellow, Angie raced to the shadowy rock to put her towel down.
But when she got to the boulder, someone- or something was already there…
This strange‘s flippers were submerged in the water, ruby-red scales connecting to a pearly-complexion skin, round the graceful neck was a chain of pearls. Flowing, marzipan hair swept down her shoulders-
“Come play with me!” the mermaid squeaked! “A real mermaid!” Angie thought! She threw her towel down without a second thought and dove in.
The water was refreshing, and Angie felt the first sense of relaxation she had felt in days!
Schools of tropical fish darted freely, appearing to be unafraid of the human girl and her bizarre companion! A dolphin twisted through the water gracefully, diving through the colorful coral. Angie giggled as crabs jumped up, clacking their pinchers to some sort of apparent themed tune, while they were conspicuously following the mermaid.
The mermaid grinned, and then spoke. Angie gasped in amazement, since the high-pitched voice had dimmed, and she sounded normal, well, just as normal as a mermaid could sound!
“You like it here?” Angie noticed that on the first two words, two sharp teeth showed, but vanished the next time the mermaid spoke, as if a hidden magician had waved his wand.
Angie took no notice, even though her brain stored the information. Stupefied, Angie nodded, amazed that she even had this wonderful chance. Her mother and sibling were probably out on the beach, searching for her, but the girl took no notice. She nodded, as if in a trance. The merwoman’s rose quartz-pink lips parted, mouth forming a perfect O as she spoke.
“Of course I do!” Angie bubbled, hair waving darkly against the mermaid’s as she scissor kicked her legs to keep up with her companion.
“Follow me!” The mermaid grasped Angie’s tan hand in her seemingly perfect one and propelled the human girl along. Angie was in a total daze! The turn of events had whirl winded her around, and she didn’t notice how cold the sea girl’s hand seemed.
“What’s your name?” the mergirl questioned her eyes wide with innocence. “Angela Mermy.” Angie replied dreamily. “But you can call me Angie. All my friends call me that.”
The mermaid’s eyes glistened with some kind of emotion. “I’m Zxyla. (Pronounced ZZZ-I-LAH)” She grinned, pearly white teeth showing that looked like they came from a shell. “Oh!” she said, voice sounding high-pitched again. “We’re here!”
The looming mouth was about nine feet wide and seven feet tall! The sandy floor was covered with items that were barely visible in the darkness…
Angie gasped! She broke away from the mermaid and darted into the cave, legs pumping through the water to the trunks on the ocean floor!
“It’s treasure from a sunken ship.” The mermaid explained jauntily, swishing her hair through the murky water. “Open it; it’s not as if cursed or something!”
Angie, with a little greed in her eyes, scanned for the nearest open chest. Swimming to the beautifully carved box, she looked at a large pearl sitting on top. Angie looked back at her companion, who nodded.
But, as Angie took the pearl and was swimming back, somehow her body was swimming faster. Her movement was smoother. Her legs weren’t kicking… She didn’t seem to have legs! Looking at the mermaid, she saw an ugly smile appear on the face of the water-girl. Two sharp teeth had once again emerged.
The mermaid wasn’t a mermaid! She was a deadly siren! Angie screamed!
Sirens were known for tricking sailors into their deaths, so Angie turned around to look at the predicament of her legs, and found the unbelievable. The impossible…
“NO!” Angie screamed as she found a citrus yellow, scaly mass instead of her legs. A tail. A mermaid. Angela Mermy was a mermaid.
Angie chucked the pearl back into the chest with disgust.
“Oh, but you can rid yourself of this predicament.” The disgustingly honey-sweet voice of the siren echoed eerily off the walls of the setting. Angie turned to face her, tail flicking as she did so.
“What.” Angie said, disgust overcoming her voice. “You have to solve a riddle.” Answered the siren. “Phew!” Angela thought. “I’m good at riddles!” “Begin.” She said out loud, forcing the bitterness from her voice.
“I’m taller than the sky,
But shorter than the ocean,
I’m 1, 2, and 3,4,5,6
I’m a deck, one of four,
I’m fast to come,
I’m fast to ebb,
I come slowly,
So do as I ebb,
I flicker, I flame,
I shrink, I grow,
I fill a space,
I leave a space.”
The siren looked at Angie. Angie’s mind was racing, seemingly saying: “whir click, whir click, whir click.” Her heart was beating, beating so loudly she thought the siren could hear it. She couldn’t solve this! Angie wanted to go back to her family which she loved. Wait… Love! That was the answer!
“Bring it on!” She muttered beneath her breath, and smiled knowingly.
“What am I?” The siren grinned.
“Love.” Angie answered. The siren scowled, and suddenly there was a flash of light!
A few moments later, Angie was back on the beach! Her legs were back, and her brother & mother were running towards her.”Where have you been in the last ten minutes?” Charles cried.
“Oh, playing mermaid.” Angie grinned knowingly again. “Playing mermaid.”
Her mother and brother would look at her strangely for the rest of the day, but Angie would be the only one to know that day, well, except for the siren, but Angie would never forget that almost impossible day with the siren, Zxyla.
She would never forget.