She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in all of my days.
Her hair fell into gentle lavender curls. Two shining silver coins hid under long eyelashes. Her skin was pale like fresh cream. We were so young then, both of us. Children representing kingdoms, holding messages of war in our tiny hands.
I stood up straight, like a proper messenger. “I…” I took a breath. “I am Henry and I have a message on behalf of the kingdom of Eros.” The scroll encased in glass was in my hands. She kept her distance, lingering in the deeper waters.
“Call me Luna, of Paloma.” A voice that chimed like bells fluttered in my ears. “You’re not what I expected.”
“Luna,” I repeated in a whisper, never hearing a name so wonderful. Luna melted the fear from my heart in an instant. “Y…You are not what I expected either.”
“What were you expecting?” She asked with curiosity, tentatively swimming a little closer. I caught a glimmer of scales.
“A demon with teeth like daggers and claws,” My hand clamped over my mouth.
A giggle bubbled out of her pale lips. “No claws, just this,” she held up webbed fingers. A thin layer of skin between each finger, similar to a mallard.
I tossed the bottle into the sea. The mermaid dove into the water, revealing a glimpse of a tail. The scales on her tail were like a perfect sunset. She emerged from the sea once again, holding the message in her arms. “Thank you, Henry.” With that, she splashed into the depths and was gone. There were a few more messages exchanged between us. I was happy. It seemed wrong to say, about all of it. I was happy to deliver messages of a possible war. I was happy to be in a mermaid’s presence. I was happy.
On our following encounter, I found the courage to ask the reason behind the mermaid’s attacks.
“Those ships, as you call them, are disturbing our waters, without my king’s permission. They steal too many fish, some merfolk struggle. Some say they even steal mermaids.”
“Humans capturing mermaids?” I had never heard such stories.
“In those nets, along with the fish,” She waded in the shallow water, deep enough for her to float “And there are tales, that when some venture out of sea, during full moons, without fins, they do not return once day breaks. Some say that is also the humans doing.”
“But why sink the ships coming into port and drown innocent men?”
He pale lips frowned, she replied simply. “Our king is furious.” I took her word for it and left the conversation.
The next meeting, I retrieved her message, but was not in a rush to return to the commander.
Part four comes out next Monday!
Write with Heart,