The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid
[Part Five – Finale]
“All merfolk are now our enemies. A good knight must follow orders without question,” He recited “You wish to be a great knight one day? Like your father?” Not this way, I thought. “I want this mermaid dead, do you understand?”
“Luna…” Her name escaped my lips without thinking. A fire sparked in my chest and I clenched my fists “Her name is Luna.”
The commander slammed his hands on his desk and growled “Get out of my sight, boy.”
I left, dread sinking into my chest. I walked in a daze, towards the training grounds. I had never taken a life before, let alone the life of someone I cared for. In the distance, I noticed Sir Roger as he stumbled a bit as he walked. A goblet of wine was in his hand. Accompanying him were two maidens, with wheat blonde hair and low cut dresses. “Why the sad face, mouse?”
“The commander wants me to kill Paloma’s messenger.”
“Well isn’t that great news? Mouse’s first kill,” he cheered, raising a glass and taking another swig from his cup. “Watch me, mouse, watch,” He picked up the bow and arrow and managed to aim in the direction of the target. His maiden companions simply laughed “pretend… pretend that’s the beast…” He slurred. Sir Roger was more of a beast than Luna could ever be. “Must get ‘em right between the eyes.”
I imagined Luna’s silver sparkling eyes. My heart trembled.
I could not wait for daybreak. I untied a horse from the stables and rode at full gallop in twilight, towards the bay. Collapsing in the sand, I ran to where the ocean met the earth.
“Luna!” I yelled her name in a panic. “Luna, please!”
By some miracle of the sea, she heard me, her head emerging from the water. She smiled at me, unknowing of what was to come. “Henry,” She swam closer to land, her stomach pressed against the moist sand. Her tail slapped against the sea foam with delight. “I brought you a gift.”
“No, no, Luna, you have to listen to me, I -” I knelt down in the water. She extended her webbed hand to show her gift. It was a bracelet made of blue grey pearls and small white shells.
“To merfolk, it’s a symbol of friendship and adoration. I made it myself. Mother showed me.” The mermaid admired her own craftsmanship as she slid the trinket onto my shaking wrist.
I couldn’t breathe. “They want me to kill you.”
Her silver eyes looked up at me. I held the message in the bottle in front of her “The knights of Eros have just declared war on the merfolk of Paloma,” The formal declaration. Those dreaded words. “The commander…he ordered me to kill you.”
Luna was silent for a moment, her pale lips hung open in disbelief. “You said you wished to become a noble warrior, like your father,” Her eyes narrowed; pearl like tears threatened to fall. “Killing a messenger is dishonorable, you know that.”
“A good knight must follow orders…Without question…” I recited the commander’s words with disgust.
Betrayal clouded her eyes. My heart was broken.
She returned into the sea, slipping back into the water.
I drew back my bow and arrow.
That day, I became a noble knight.
Write with Heart,