Author's note: I am writing this for my friend Blanca (I love you! Blanca!) because I wanted to write about her... Show full author's note »
The EncounterI sighed once more as the meeting dragged on in the courtroom and stared at the arguing mermaids. What they were screaming about had absolutely nothing to do with what we were discussing. There were at least four of us total, each representing a different kingdom located throughout the sea. The mermaid to my left represented the Kingdom of Light. She had long, silvery hair that made a bright aura around her as it was stirred by the water currents and her eyes were a golden color. Her tail was pure white, which contrasted greatly to her tan skin, and the fins were long and graceful. There was a gold design that ran along her waist line, separating the scales from the skin.
Each mermaid has a design along their waist and two colors for their tails; the scales and the light material that help us swim faster. She was considered weak since her Kingdom doesn’t have an army, so of course she is allies with the Kingdom of Glory. Now that Kingdom definitely had an army, and a strong one at that. The representative for that Kingdom looked fierce. She had long, wavy blue hair that liked to swirl around her, causing her golden tail to stand out immensely. She had light-colored skin, surprisingly, and the design along her waist was light silver and had a bunch of swirls. Her top was golden armor that ended above her stomach. She was busy arguing with the representative for the Kingdom of Beauty about the mermen and what not. But something about her black eyes made me acknowledge her as a warrior.
“…I’m telling you that the men shouldn’t go to the surface! They’ll get killed!” The representative of Glory argued, her voice sounded powerful and firm. The mermaid from the Kingdom of Beauty raised a perfect eyebrow as she crossed her arms over her chest. It somewhat bugged me that all she was wearing was some clams on some rope. Seriously we’re in a meeting, not some restaurant with males.
“But why should we females be able to go up and not the men?! They can protect themselves, Aitana!” The representative of Beauty shot back. Her voice sounded musical with some sweetness to it. The princess of Beauty was unique in her own way, her hair was long and different colors like the rainbow, matching her eyes as they too were a mixture of the rainbow colors. Her tail sparkled when the sun hit it just right, like diamonds and she had a beautiful design up the sides of her tail. Her skin had a caramel tint to it, making her colorful eyes stand out. So the princess of Glory’s name is Aitana. I thought as I made a mental note. I never really bothered to learn their names till now. Aitana stared at the representative of Beauty as she spoke.
“Lahela! What do you think?” She asked. The mermaid from the Light Kingdom answered.
“Well I think the men should be able to go to the surface with us.” Her voice was soft with a hint of innocence in a way. Aitana gave her an irritated look before her gaze rested on me.
“And what do you think of this, princess of Death.” She sounded annoyed and I stared into her black eyes with a challenging stare. I saw Lahela and the other girl with the annoying top look at me. I smirked and shifted in my seat, sitting up straight and proud.
“It doesn’t matter to me. After all the ones who go to the surface know the risks they take. Besides all the mermaids from the Beauty Kingdom just sing their songs and comb their hair. Just like everyone else.” My voice came out sounding a little jerkish. I moved my tail slowly back and forth as I continued to meet Aitana’s frustrated glare.
“Am I not right?” I asked, mockingly innocent. No one answered, making my smirk turn into a full on grin. So now that I’m right, suck it up and move on! I thought irritably in my head. Lahela began to fidget and fixed her top, which was a cotton shirt – probably had found it floating near a boat – which was a little big and hung off her right shoulder. I leaned back into my chair and stared at my tail as I moved it back and forth in a steady beat. The scales on my tail were a dark red and the fins a bright yellow, making it somewhat strange. The design along my waist was a black one that seemed to have a menacing look to it, a deadly beauty. I twisted a strand of my jet-black hair around my finger.
“Wow, she sure knows how to silence the Proud Princess.” The princess of Beauty laughed.
“Shut up Annabelle!” Aitana snarled at her. Annabelle laughed, filling the silenced room with music. Lahela shifted, once again, uncomfortably while I noticed Aitana’s eye twitch. I sighed once more before pushing myself off my chair and headed towards the open top of the room. None of the princesses seemed to notice me leave, which I was fine with. The Kingdom’s buildings were a bright gold and close enough that the light of the sun was able to shine on it. I squinted my eyes as I swam closer to the surface of the water, hating the fact the Kingdom of Glory had to be so dang bright! Once I reached the very surface if the water, I turned on my back and swam along it, staring at the bright blue sky. A few hours away from the Kingdom was the beach of a nearby city. Mermaids sit upon the giant rocks and hide their tails, making the humans think they’re the Spirits of the ocean.
At least that’s what they, the humans, still think. I stretched my hand out and let my finger skim across the water as it rolled back and forth, letting me know that I was getting close to land. I stopped short once the crashing of the waves was really loud, and poked my head above the surface of the water. I took a deep breath of air, letting it fill my strange lungs as I swished my tail back and forth. I glanced around, noticing some humans along the shore, walking on and off boats in the distance. A few feet ahead of me were the Glory mermaids, sitting on giant works and laying in the sun. All of them had golden tails that gleamed in the sun’s rays underneath the water.
I swam towards an isolated rock and heaved myself onto it. The rock rose out of the water at a slant, forming a comfortable place to sit and hide my tail in the water. I closed my eyes and let the warm sun dry my wet skin. It was nice to get away from people who didn’t take care of business seriously. The other mermaids were laughing and splashing water at each other, as if they were trying to get the humans’ attention. Surprisingly the splashing of the water calmed me as I drifted into an unwanted sleep…
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I bolted awake as I heard some men laughing and walking along the outer rocks, very close to where I was. I glanced around for the other mermaids, but they were gone; go figure. The jerks don’t have the decency to wake me up! I thought angrily as I glanced up at the sky. The color orange splashed across the horizon, pink and purple outlining the clouds, telling me it was a setting sun. I was about to slide in the water when I heard someone talking to me, one of the human males.
“Hey! Are you stuck?” The voice had a Danish accent to it, causing me to look at the owner. He was about two giant rocks away from me, mainly three feet, easy jumping distance. The man looked tall; then again I’m lying down, with spiky blond hair that was somewhat out of control. He had deep blue eyes that had a hidden amusement behind him, as if he got a kick out of seeing a girl laying on a rock with a shirt tied across her chest. Men. I met his eyes with a glare, and sat up in a sitting position, causing my tail to be more hidden underneath the dark, blue water.
“No. I was resting thank you!” I snapped. I am not a “pleasant person” when you wake me up. Just saying. The dude’s grin widened into a smile, making me want to slap him.
“Resting? What kind of girl rests on a rock in the sea?” He questioned as he sat down on the rock he was standing on. I felt my eye twitch in anger and I took a deep breath. This guy better leave or I’m going to be in huge trouble.
“I do, so why don’t you run along with your pal over there and leave me alone.” I heard the anger and warning tone in my own voice, hoping Mr. Blondie over there did too.
“Well, it’s getting late and it isn’t safe for a beautiful girl to be lying in the ocean.” He said as he smiled flirtatiously. I was so stunned by what he said that I stared at him in disbelief. Are you kidding me? How stupid can you humans get? I thought. Fine, I guess I can’t be nice anymore. As I was thinking up something to say, blondie turned to his friend waiting on the shoreline.
“This is going to take a while so I’ll meet you tomorrow on the boat!” he called as he waved his hand. My eye twitched once more and I wished something would come up and eat me, or him. Yeah, something should eat him instead. But like that would happen I needed to get rid of him fast though. The sun was level with the water, and I knew the princesses will start looking for me.
“Look, what if I meet you here again to prove that I am ‘safe’.” This was stupid. I knew it was but it was the only harmless thing I could think off. He seemed to think about it for awhile, making my anger boil inside of me.
“Fine, but you must promise to be here tomorrow at sunset. Before I leave of course,” he winked at me as he stood up. I gagged internally, but nodded at him so he knew I heard him. He smiled and laughed as he jumped from the rocks and onto the shore. I waited until he rounded the corner so he couldn’t see me anymore and slid off the rock and into the darkening water. I swam silently back to the dimming Kingdom, hoping no one would see me. It was dangerous for the people of the Kingdom of Glory to be out past sunset since humans wander around and kidnap mermaids. I sincerely prayed that that boy didn’t know what I was and just thought I was human. Yet I agreed to visit him once more tomorrow. I chastised myself. I made it inside the Kingdom and was about to turn down a long hallway when something slammed into me, causing my body to be thrown back.
“What the heck!” I said angrily as I stared at the person who ran into me. It was Aitana and she didn’t look to happy.
“Where were you?” She demanded, her black eyes glaring into my face. I rolled my eyes and gave her a simple answer.
“Not at the meeting I can tell you that.” I matched her tone; I really hate it when someone has the nerve to speak to me like that. She may be the Princess of Glory, but my Kingdom got its name for a reason. Aitana crossed her arms over her chest while her hair created a blue aura around her. I clenched my fists and met her harsh gaze with my own, challenging her like humans do. It’s a strange way in my opinion, but since we’re “half-human” we mermaids tend to have dominance fights too.
“A few of my people told me that you were sleeping when they left to return!” She said, frustrated as she dropped her eyes. I smirked, letting the small win of the challenge go to my head. That’s right LOSER! I gloated. She glanced up and caught my smirk, causing me to answer quickly before she could say anything.
“Then your people are stupid if they don’t know the difference between tanning and sleeping.” I noticed a muscle in her jaw twitch. I really pissed her off.
“You’re white! And you don’t live in the Sun’s light so why do you need to tan?” She gritted out through clench teeth. I raised an eyebrow and pretended to be offended.
“Excuse me? So what if I’m white! Annabelle is white too! And I don’t get to enjoy the Sun all the time!” I surprised myself when I was actually offended towards the end. Who was she to judge me for going to shore! And it wasn’t like I risked anything…well sort of. I immediately thought about the guy that I just met, but he doesn’t know I’m a mermaid! I reminded myself. Of course Aitana didn’t need to know that now did she.
“Ok then!” She exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air, “Just let us know when you leave next time.” I turned my face away from her and stuck my nose in the air like a snob.
“I’ll try to remember.” I snapped as I swam away from her and into the room I was staying in. It was completely black now, except for the Moon’s reflection on the water. My eyesight switched, making me blink, to my night vision. Since the Death Kingdom is at the bottom of the ocean, where there is no light at all, my people and I have developed a night vision. We see everything like its daytime, with the exception that our eyes glow. I entered my room from the open ceiling and swam over to the mirror, only to notice my glowing blue eyes. I picked up the brush sitting on the dresser and began to brush my hair as I sat down on the bed. The bed was huge and looked somewhat like a giant plate, only even straight across. It was made out of pure seaweed, woven into perfection and slightly moved with the current. Once my hair was brushed, I replaced my shirt with an oversized one. I loved how it passed my waist and was comfortable to move in.
This time I’ll sleep without interruptions. I thought as I lied down on the comfortable bed. I shifted till I was in a comfortable position and shut my eyes. Today had been stupid, stressful and dangerous, which I wanted to forget about quickly. I let my thoughts wander and they were soon swirling around in my head. They were all about the boy I met and was going to meet again. No, I will not think about it! I thought angrily.
“Think about what?” a male voice asked. My eyes snapped open and I was face to face with the Death Kingdom’s Revealer. The reason he is called The Revealer is because he is able to tell us things along with ‘revealing’ them to the Kingdom. He had red hair that moved gently with the current and bangs that fell into his eyes that were covered by a black cloth tied around his head. He was blind, but he sees differently then we do. It’s hard to explain but it’s the coolest thing yet, especially since his irises were magenta. No one else knows what color his eyes are but me since I’m his sister. At the moment he was shirtless, showing off his lightly toned body and six pack.
Now what is really strange is that he doesn’t have a tail, instead he has legs, like humans. No one can figure out how or why he is has them, but he does. His pants were black and seemed tight, with belts of red and yellow all around them. I sighed as I shifted onto my back.
“Nothing Alric.” I said in a monotone voice. Alric also shifted on his back and I saw him smirk.
“Nice try Verena. But I know what happened today and I must say that’s awesome.” I rolled my eyes at him and smacked his arm.
“If you know about it then why did you come here?” I asked, annoyed. Alric laughed softly and patted my head as his little black fish swam in a circle above his head. I glared at him, knowing that he can somehow see it. I watched his mouth quirk up in a mischievous smile.
“Cause I can! So do you like him?” His tone was playful but I knew his question was serious.
“No. I just met him remember.” I snapped and poked his cheek. He dropped his smile and his lips formed a straight line. I could never figure out his emotions, I always had to analyze every action and every body movement. And from what I can tell right now was that he was concerned about something, which isn’t a good thing.
“Verena…” His tone was serious, like an older brother trying to get his younger sister to say something. I shifted onto my right side so I wouldn’t have to look at him.
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Its late.” I heard the final note in my voice. He didn’t say anything but I heard him shift and eventually fall asleep. I sat up and kissed his head, an action I would never do in public or when he is conscious. I layed back down, stared at the ceiling, and watched Alric’s black fish settle on his head as I fell asleep once more.
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I awoke when Alric’s foot made contact with my face.
“Ow! Alric!” I hissed as I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Luckily he didn’t hit me hard enough for my cheek to bruise but it still hurt. Alric was sprawled across the bed with his head at the foot of it and basically all over the place. I bet he sleeps like this cause he has legs! I thought angrily as I stretched out my arms and tail, hearing some of my joints pop. I swam to my closet and threw on a black shirt-like armor. It was a unique armor, light and loose like a shirt but hard to pierce. It was short sleeves and had a low neck line in the shape of a circle, but of course I had a red tank top underneath. The armor ended above my stomach, but also had to long strings coming from the front, ending at my waist with silver hoops tied on them.
Might as well try to look like I care…don’t ask me why my armor will help, because I have no idea. I turned around once I heard Alric shift. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, missing his black cloth that was tied around them. I sighed and looked around for it, finding it on the floor, and swam over to him.
“You sleep well?” I asked as I picked up a brush from my nightstand and began to brush his hair. He sighed and leaned back, making it hard to brush his hair, jerk.
“Yeah, till your tail hit my thigh.” He teased. I smacked him lightly on the head with the brush, and then continued to run it through his tangled hair.
“Early pay back since you kicked me in the face!” I said, my tone dead serious even though I was also teasing. He laughed, a true laugh and he turned to look at me, his magenta eyes almost focusing on me but not at the same time. I smiled to myself as I tied the black cloth around his eyes. He still looked straight on at me and I could feel his blind gaze cutting through the cloth, creepy.
“Miss? The meeting is about to start and I was sent to get you.” A female voice said as I heard the speaker approaching my room. I glanced at Alric, panicked and motioned for him to turn into a fish or something. If people found out he was here, then not only would I get in trouble but it would start up a huge riot. Alric is a valuable “piece” that kingdoms have wanted for centuries, and my father had made sure Alric was carefully hidden at all times. I began to run the brush through my hair to appear controlled as Alric suddenly disappeared while whispering a message to me.
Be careful, Verena, about the Glory princess.
“Miss?” The maid asked as she stopped at the top of my room. I glanced up at her with an irritated look and swam to her once I was done with my hair. I gave her a smirk as I passed her, watching her frown in annoyance and focus on where to lead me.
“I don’t need any guidance I know where the room is.” I said a bit forcefully, causing the girl to stiffen and leave me. Calm down. I thought as I entered the meeting room and found Aitana and Annabelle arguing once more.
“….you’re citizens sure don’t respect any of us!” Annabelle snapped, slamming her hands on the table and leaning forward.
“What do you mean?!” Aitana demanded as she also leaned across the table. Annabelle glanced at me acknowledging my presence and avoiding answering Aitana’s question.
“Verena. Its nice of you to join us. Would you mind backing me up on this?” Annabelle asked sweetly. I stopped where I was, which was at the end of the table and raised an eyebrow. After yesterday I dislike Aitana, but I didn’t know Annabelle very well other than the fact that she takes pride in her appearance. That’s one thing I liked about her, so might as well back her up on whatever she is arguing about.
“Sure, but what am I backing you up on?” I asked in a monotone voice. Annabelle smiled and her rainbow eyes shined with confidence, as if she was ready to truly argue with Aitana.
“You’re backing me up with the fact that when the Glory citizens go to the surface and notice a citizen from a different kingdom, they leave them there. Not warning them when to go back.” She said, anger weaving into her musical voice and making it sound beautifully evil. I like you when you’re angry; it gives me something to relate to. I thought as I smirked and looked at Aitana.
“So true, in fact I went to the surface yesterday and noticed some other mermaids, but I fell asleep and when sun set came they were gone and didn’t vake me at all.” I stated, anger weaving into my voice as I continued. “On top of that they came and told Aitana that I was gone and she was so concerned! In fact I think that people like the Glory citizens are too full of themselves to vatch and protect others! And you know what, I think that they would love to see the citizens, especially the princesses of Beauty and Death die or get captured since we’re threats to you, they’re beloved princess.” Aitana, Lahela, and Annabelle stared at me in shock as I let the words roll off my tongue and my anger becoming more noticeable.
“Then, the Death Seer contacted me because I was in danger ‘cause a human sa- almost saw me!”, I caught myself and quickly lied about the human boy, I would be in major trouble if I told them what happened. As I was taking a breath to continue Annabelle cut in.
“Whoa whoa! A human almost saw you?!” Her musical voice was filled with concern \, as if she forgot she was arguing with Aitana at the moment. I nodded, embarrassed of my ranting and lack of control on my emotions, I mean what is wrong with me? Goodness, I really need a break, maybe a breather in the surface later. Then I remembered the promise I made last night with the human boy. Great, my life is screwed. I thought bitterly as Annabelle yelled at Aitana,
“…that’s it! You must have your citizens be responsible, here let me say it again! Responsible! Understood or do I need to spell it out?” She was shaking with rage, I’m assuming from her screaming and body language, and didn’t seem to care about what Aitana had to say. Who would other than Lahela of course. Speaking of Lahela, she had been watching the entire thing with wide eyes and was now just stepping in.
“Guys stop it please.” She said, her voice sounded like a small whisper compared to Aitana’s and Annabelle’s screaming. I placed a hand to my forehead to brace myself for the oncoming headache. I swam over to Lahela and patted her arm.
“May I speak to you?” I asked politely, which was easy since my anger was starting to fade, strangely. Lahela stared at me with slightly scared expression as she nodded and followed me out of the room. The two were still arguing as we left, but now things were being thrown. Stupids! We’re under water, it won’t go very far. I thought as I entered a different room with Lahela still behind me. The room we entered was small, surprisingly, and had furniture made out of a coral reef. I immediately sat down on the tallest reef and patted the seat next to me. Lahela stared at me, her golden eyes truly scared. She fears me for some reason. I thought.
“Look, I just want to talk, I swear on my voice that I’m not going to hurt you.” I said sincerely as I softened my voice. It sounded to sweet and innocent to me, and I hated it since it makes me sound weak. I noticed her tense shoulder drop and her muscles in her fin smooth out. She trusted me now that I swore on the most important thing to a mermaid: their voice. Its true what the humans say about mermaid’s voices, that’s it able to make them do what we want and sounds ‘beautiful’ or ‘magical’. Its actually the greatest defense we have, so if a mermaid loses her voice, she also loses her ability to defend and protect herself from humans and mermaids.
I say other mermaids because not only do we fight but we can also fight by singing. It’s strange and I don’t participate in the singing fighting, but that’s how its been done for centuries.
“Ok, what would you like to talk to me about?” She asked, her voice sounding like a small child as she sat next to me. She placed her hands on her lap and relaxed all together. Ok, now I have to keep this conversation casual. I thought to myself, planning out a strategy on how this conversation should go. Lahela was also wearing a war outfit, which I just noticed. She wore a golden top that didn’t have any sleeves or straps, but she had a white corset with sleeves over it. Her tail had a matching white skirt over her tail that had swirl designs that matched the ones on her waist. It made her tan skin stand out immensely. Her silver hair was pulled into two pigtails and her bangs pulled to the side, making her eyes very noticeable.
“Aitana,” I answered, trying not to sound irritated. Lahela’s expression slightly changed, but it seemed like she was expecting this.
“What about her?” She asked politely. I smiled, excited now that the challenge began, knowing that I must say everything perfectly from now on. Challenges is what makes being a princess enjoyable because then I can be as serious as I want along with prideful. I looked at her casually and shrugged my shoulders, “Anything vould be nice. Like maybe the vay she is.” Lahela shifted, slightly uncomfortable as I noticed a few muscles tense up in her shoulders, crinkling her forehead as she though about how to answer. Dang it, casual is not the way to go! I must be more emotional. I mentally kicked myself as she answered.
“Well, Aitana likes power you could say because she is always trying to expand her kingdom and be sure her people can defend themselves at all times. But even though she puts on this show that she is tough and a ‘true warrior’, she has a compassionate side to her. I mean she always protects me and my Kingdom.” She glanced at me from the side and I made sure I had an encouraging expression on my face. Lahela smiled and she continued on, her voice sounded admirable, like she was talking about an older sibling or idol. Perfect.