The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid
“Well then you’re as good as dead, little mouse,” He laughed. “Have you ever seen a Mermaid before?”
Slowly, I shook my head.
“They’re vile creatures, demons of the sea. With teeth like daggers and claws that tear into flesh as they drag you down to the bottom of the ocean,” The knight spoke as if he was telling a tale of great horror. “Before they rip you apart, they say the monsters cackle as they watch you drown. All they need is for their prey to touch a single drop of water, then their doomed.”
I was terrified. That night, I ran home to speak with my grandfather. The village called my grandfather Edgar the wise. He had lived for 100 years, and had many books, and tomes and scrolls on a variety of subjects. I believed him to know everything.
“Grandfather? Have you ever seen a mermaid?” I asked as I set the table.
“Don’t believe I have,” He answered while stirring a pot of stewed goat meat and root vegetables over the crackling fire. “They’re a rare sight to see. I hear they are quite beautiful.”
“Sir Roger said they were demons. They have drowned men.”
He limped over to his wooden chair by the fire, easing slowly into the seat. “I don’t believe any creature would attack without a just cause. The sea is their domain; it has been the mermaid’s realm for centuries. Many, many years before us humans. ” He said to me in a hushed tone. Grandfather told me all he knew over supper.
Mermaids lived in groups, almost like tribes. Mermaids of Paloma lived in Crescent bay. There was another tribe of them up north as well. They had power over the waters and the weather. There were stories of drownings, and stories of them saving humans. Legend said that only under a full moon can a mermaid be granted human legs, or by some strong magic. If there was a war, I was almost certain it would be under a full moon, or with the aid of magic. They were quite powerful creatures.
Early the next morning, while the sky burned bloody orange, I left for the quest. A thick forest, where sprites would hide, surrounded the village. The sun shined through the tree leaves. Flowers perfumed the air on that humid spring morning. The trip was a half day’s journey. By midday, my boots touched the sandy shore. Waves crashed against trail of large rocks reaching out towards the horizon. Some distance away was the budding trading port, where the ships with goods traveled from the main land.
I stood where the sea met land. The edge of the island kingdom of Eros. Sir Roger’s warnings rang in my head. A single drop of sea water was all a mermaid needed to drag you to the bottom. I hadn’t dared to move closer, my legs were trembling. The sound of the ocean stirring followed by a splash broke me from my thoughts.
She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen in all of my days.
Here comes the mermaid in Part 3, coming out next Monday
Write with Heart,