“Why do you not look like the others?” Luna asked, tilting her head curiously to the side.
“What others?” I stood in ankle deep water.
“When we first met, I expected you to be much bigger and much shinier on your chest.” She touched where her heart would be.
“Those are the knights. I’m only a knight in training.” In that moment, I wished I was older, a true hero, with my own adventures to boast about. “It-It’s not that exciting… I brush the horses and polish weapons and…”
“And deliver messages,” The mermaid added with the flick of her fin. She smiled at me. “Why do you wish to become a knight?”
“My father was a knight. Barric the Brave, they called him. He was the noblest of knights. He sacrificed himself for the kingdom, when I was a babe. Grandfather says he was a true hero and his bravery runs through my blood.” More than anything, I wanted to become a knight. An honorable knight, to carry on my father’s good name. That was my dream. I wished on many wishing stars for that dream to come true.
We sat on the boulders that reached out towards the horizon. The tip of her fin skimmed the sea. Her tail was beautiful, sparkling like a golden treasure. The scales faded into her cream like skin. Her lavender hair tumbled onto one side. Luna slid back into the water with ease and dared me to join her.
“Can you swim?” She asked, floating on her back and waving her fin.
I nodded timidly, yet something was holding me back. “I…just don’t think it’s a… good idea…”
The mermaid tilted her head and fluttered her big moonbeam eyes. “Do you trust me?”
More than anyone I had ever known.
“Our kingdoms may go to war-”
“We are not enemies yet,” She assured me with a dimpled smile.
I removed my tunic. Heat rushed to my cheeks and ears. I held my breath and jumped, falling into her world. My vision blurred. I caught glimpses of lilac. Felt a brush of scales on my arm. I wished, more than becoming a knight, for that moment to never end.
For a boy and a mermaid to float in the abyss of the ocean for all eternity.
The commander unfurled the scroll in the glass bottle. I waited with baited breath. His fist pounded the desk once, giving me a start “They refuse to cease their actions. An agreement was not met. We have no choice. We must declare war and take Crescent bay.”
“But Sir, Crescent Bay… Is their territory.” I tried to say, meekly.
He glared dangerously at me. I swallowed my bravery. “I’m giving you one more order, boy.” He stood, clasping his hands behind his back and staring at the kingdom’s flag.
“Kill the messenger.”
My eyes widen. “Wh-” Words were lost in my throat. “I..I don’t…don’t understand, sir.” Yes, killing a messenger was a common act back then, if they delivered bad news, or as a sign of hatred between kingdoms. It was a dishonorable act.
“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.”
Write with Heart,