A Secret Sanctuary

February 11, 2018

Coralline swam quickly through the quiet mermaid village. Everyone was asleep, which gave her a chance to visit her hideaway. Soon she was in empty water, the village far behind her. She was free to go wherever she liked, and no one would know.
The moon rippled far above the surface of the ocean, casting a distorted light on the water. Coralline gazed at the milky orb and smiled, for she loved the calm beauty of the night more than anything. She swam up until her head broke the surface, and breathed in the humid night air.
Scanning the dimly lit horizon, she searched until her eyes found the dark strip of land known to the mermaids as Mystique Island. The island had earned its name for the strange but fascinating activity that had been observed on it. Mermaids were wary of the place as they didn't know what to make of it; so, generally, they stayed away from the island. That made it the perfect place for Coralline to escape, knowing that no one would think to look for her there.
The island seemed to grow bigger as she approached it, gaining dimension and detail. Trees covered the rolling hills like a blanket over everything. Coralline swam around the island until she found what she was looking for: close to the shore, a dormant old volcano peaked up out of the greenery, small in hight but wide at the bottom. She swam up to the cone-shaped hill and suddenly dived deep under the water, through a crumbling arch that led into the heart of the volcano.
Coralline surfaced in a small, clear blue pool that had leaked into the base of the volcano from the ocean. Moonlight streamed in on the water from the hole at the top, making the surface sparkle. She swam over to a dry spot around the edge of the pool and rested with her head on her arms, craning her neck to look through the mouth of the volcano up into the stars. The calmness and peacefulness of her surrounding lured her into an almost dreamlike state, and she sighed happily, smiling to herself.
This place is all mine, Coralline thought greedily. She had discovered this little haven a while back, when she had explored Mystique Island out of curiosity. Since then she had come here almost every night to have some time to herself and enjoy the night. It was very much worth the long swim.
Coralline slowly swished her turquoise tail side to side, watching hypnotizing ripples spread through the pool from her movements. The water was cool to the touch, but refreshing; the perfect temperature, just how she liked it. She breathed the air, smelling a slight tang of saltwater in the night breeze. She closed her eyes and let the moonlight bathe her face in soft white light.
She remained there for a long time, until she sensed that dawn was approaching. Coralline didn’t want to leave her oasis, but soon the village would awaken, and if she didn’t return in time they would notice she was missing. She slipped into the pool and swam out the underwater entrance, coming out into the open ocean. Reluctant, she looked back at the volcano, and waved a sad goodbye to it. Then she dipped down under the surface again, returning home.
Coralline was already yearning for the next night when she could visit her secret sanctuary again.






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