“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
Some say we are real; some think mermaids are far from it. But, maybe they’re right. In some way, of course. We don’t exist, not in their world. We do, however, exist in the aquatic world. No matter how far and how deep you search the ocean, you will never find our kingdom.
There are only a handful of us, about a thousand or so. And we keep it that way, not revealing our city to the humans.
Everyone is curious to break the surface but how could we? It was a matter of life or death. If you went up there, you never came back. Everyone that has ever gone up has never come back. And the mermaids that are gone for a long period of time, for no matter what reason are considered lost and killed in the human world. We all want to see what land is like, what we’re missing. But everyone knows they can’t, even I, the one who will go against the rules of the ocean’s children.
The curiosity kills me. I need to know what the surface holds, what it’s like. I just want to take a look. Just one little glance.
I was in my room with my sister, Ali. My only sister. She and I both shared the dream of entering the world of dry land. We both were curious.
Ali was only two years younger than me. We were close and so very tempted to break the surface. We fought it every day of our lives. Or rather, ever since we knew it was dangerous to go up to land, and that we would never come back. It was beginning to become hard to resist, and lately I had been fearing I would crack. I shared my thoughts with my sister and she agreed. We both were scared.
And one day, when the curiosity just started to become too much, we left, heading skyward, until we broke the surface.
I had never seen it before. Always living in our little city underwater. It became boring, but this. This land was beautiful. It was dry and I felt as though I could see for miles. My eyesight was naturally efficient for the water so my eyesight on land was exceeding. Ali and I tried to stay hidden from passing boats and succeeded for the most part. We could both breathe perfectly, gills both adapted for land and water, showing a sign that we were meant for both. Showing us that it was meant to be. Fate. We swam closer to shore, not intending to walk upon it, with the disadvantage of no legs. This was when spotted a giant dock off to our left. We had never seen one of these before either. We only heard about them from people way back when they believed it was safe to break the surface. We swam closer to the dock, very curious to see humans because, of course we had never seen one of these also! I was giddy with excitement and so was Ali. Human legs looked so strange. They looked completely out of place. Needless to say, they looked like aliens. The lower half, anyway.
Ali and I grasped the side of the dock and poked our heads up, craning our necks and lifting ourselves high enough out of the water to see the activity on the platform. There were a few men working on construction of the land.
I was so tempted to hop up on the boat and introduce myself to the humans, but I had to stop myself. One reason being I didn’t have the necessary transporting limbs for it.
So I settled for staying in the water, just watching them laugh and goof around with each other.
I wished there was some way to give me human legs. I would give anything, just to have human legs. There was one way, but I couldn’t possibly. It was so inhumane. Although technically we weren’t humans, and one human life wasn’t much. One human life wasn’t a big deal. All to meet this world I didn’t know. But it compelled me. I have to. Ali could help me. She even seemed to be just as infatuated as I was with this other species.
“Ali?” I asked.
“Yeah?” she asked, still grinning from ear to ear.
“What if we met these humans? Lived in their world?”
“You know how,” I said, feeling the need to be quiet. I felt like I was doing something wrong. And I knew exactly why. Because I was doing something wrong.
“Are you sure?” Ali asked, looking tempted herself.
“Don‘t you want to meet them?
“Yes, but we‘re taking away a human life. Two, if I want the same.”
“I know we are, but this world. There‘s something about it. Tell me that isn‘t the same for you.”
“But what about father?” my sister asked anxiously.
“I suppose you‘re right. He will be worried. But what choice do we have, Ali? And besides, our life as one of the ocean‘s children is dull. I want excitement,” I said, feeling possessed. In the back of my mind I was wondering what I was doing. Was I really going to take a human life for one of my own? The answer was yes. And so was Ali.
“Then let‘s do it,” she said, looking possessed herself.
We didn’t begin right away. I was too afraid to even do this. I needed time. So we swam back down to our own world and slept on it.
In the morning, I swam up to the surface stealthily and without Ali. I wanted to experience it on my own just one more time before I become part of the human world. And see it through the eyes of a mermaid one last time.
I broke the surface, taking in a deep breath of oxygen. It was so much different from the water. This entire world was different. It would take some getting used to.
I decided to take it all in and just tread water. I was close to the dock where we saw the humans so I looked in that direction, not seeing anyone in particular, just… taking it all in.
She didn’t see me, but there was no doubting that I saw her. I had heard of the mer-people and how beautiful they were but this woman was so much more than I expected. Treading water by the dock, she gazed off, looking at our world.
No one has ever seen a mermaid on Earth. Or they have, but the mermaids have traded their tail for human legs. I even have talked to a former mermaid before. They are sluts, it is true. The reason they gave up their old life and tail was because of the humans. They loved sex but their tails were stopping them. And killing a human was the only way they were going to get it. There are not many mermaids in the first place, so the amount that have to kill humans for legs aren’t high. However, the mermaid I talked to informed me of what the reason why more mermaids don’t come to the surface and live on our world. They believe that death will take them. The humans will take them and kill them. But once in a while, a curious little mermaid decides they can’t take the curiosity anymore and swims to the surface, where he or she discovers that there is no threat. And where a human man or woman whisks them away to fall in love and relieve them of their need to have sex.
When humans ask the former mermaids where their world is, they don’t tell. They may be scandalous creatures, but they are loyal to their world. We have tried and tried to get it out of them but they care about their fellow mer-people.
The young mermaid looked longingly to our world. I knew what she was thinking. She wanted our world so bad. But looking at her, I felt as if I wanted her world. Just for her. She made me feel like I would give anything for her.
The way to get human legs for a mermaid works in reverse for the humans. If a human wants a mermaid tail, he or she has to kill a mermaid. Being that no one could ever find their world, it had never been done. And in the small amount of time that mer-people have finally broke the surface to discover our world, the mermaids that came upon Earth were already whisked away by their lovers for humans to even have a chance to kill them for their tail.
But the thing is, I would do it. I would kill a mermaid for this girl. And I had never even met her. It would be difficult to do, but I was desperate to. But before I could do anything, I had to make this girl notice me. I couldn’t go in after her; she would just be scared off. After all, she did still think humans would kill her.
So I did the only thing I could. I started up the large forklift my construction workers and I were working with. It got her attention almost immediately and I smiled to myself, and then turned my smile in her direction.
The man smiling at me from the dock's distance was stunning. His jaw beautifully chiseled, along with the rest of his body underneath the bright orange construction worker clothes. His hair was messy and masculine and he looked like he could be one of the ocean's children. I didn't remember any human that looked like this from the pictures I saw in our world. What a beautiful creature.
I treaded water by the dock, just studying the man. And all of the sudden, I felt compelled to swim to him, and that's exactly what I did. His face instantly lit up when he saw I was moving closer to him. When I realized I couldn't go on land, I was already to a large rock a few feet from shore. I climbed up on the rock gracefully, knowing his eyes were on me the whole time.
She sat on the rock, looking as beautiful as the sun, her long blonde hair cascading down her slender back, and her bright blue eyes glinting with the sun. She looked at me longingly, so I went right up to the shoreline, fully-clothed and stepped into the lukewarm ocean water, heading in her direction. When I reached the mermaid, I pulled my hand from my side and tried to touch her cheek. She didn't flinch when I got closer so I inched my body even closer to the rock, finally connected my hand with her cheek. It was so silky that I started to stroke it.
At this time, I realized that I woulddo anything for her, and I would become a merman, just to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful creature. Now all I had to do was follow this woman back to her world. It would be difficult to break away from the girl for the necessary amount of time to follow her but I had to do it. I needed to kill a mermaid for her tail.
The girl touched her hand to mine and held it there, but finally when the forklift started up again and came toward us, she became scared. Jumping off the rock, the mermaid plunged into the water and swam off, with me right behind her. I wouldn't lose her, and it was the perfect chance to find her world. The only problem would be breathing and at my best, I could hold my breath for five minutes if I was lucky. I would just have to keep her in my view when I went up for air.
Wasting no air, I swam after her, coming up to the surface the necessary amount of times to breathe while still keeping her in sight, and I finally found where she lived. It was more extravagant than the world could be capable of creating. Fish and mermaids circled the beautiful castle in the center. It sparkled bright blue, just like her eyes.
Icouldn't waste any time now. I had to find a mermaid for their tail. I spotted a young one that looked much like the girl on the rock, but I went on swimming towards her anyway. She was beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as the one I followed. I felt bad for the mermaid. I needed to make her death quick and painless.
First, I swam to the surface to consume more oxygen for the task, and once I had enough, I dove straight down, circled around behind her and took her head in my hands. In a split second, before she could realize what was happening to her, I snapped her neck, making her death quick and painless, exactly as intended. I felt a pang of guilt but quickly pushed that aside when I pictured the mermaid from the rock's face.
Immediately, my body began to glow. A whirlpool formed around me, making my body spin, transforming my legs into a beautiful green tail. I felt gills being grown and I found I could breathe underwater.
No one noticed the transformation as I was far enough off to the side of the ocean city. I swam over to the castle, with a triumphant smile, searching for the girl.
When I spotted her, she was approaching the castle's gate, but before she could enter I swam right up to her, took her face into both of my hands, and touched my lips softly to hers. At first she tried to scream, her voice muffled by my mouth, but when she opened her eyes and saw that it was me, she relaxed and closed her eyes, a faint smile on her soft lips. I broke away, separating our lips.
"You're... you're...," she stuttered.
"A merman. A mer-person, just like you."
"But how did you do it? You would have to kill a mermaid," she replied with shock.
"And that's what I did. I had to have you, and the only way I could do that was to end one's life. I made it quick, no pain. I am not that heartless," I said with a smile.
"Which one?" she asked with reluctance.
"She looked like you.... But I figured it was nothing. You had the same eyes," I said thoughtfully.
"What color was her tail?" she asked.
"Green, just like mine now."
"That... was my sister," she blurted out in a breath of air.
My heart stopped. I killed her sister?
"Yes. Blue eyes, green tail," she said sadly, and if we weren't underwater, I would see tears. Her eyes were slightly turning pink at the white parts.
"I am so sorry," I said. And I truly was. If I had known that was her sister, I would never have taken her tail. This tail was not mine, I killed a mermaid selfishly. I did not deserve this tail.
She didn't say anything, just swam into the castle. So much for my wordless love confession.
My sister is dead. The only one I truly loved, the only one I was truly close to. She was the only mermaid with the combination of blue eyes and a green tail.
I swam up to my father's room in the castle. He was the king, and I had to tell him. This was all happening too fast. I did love this man, even if I didn’t know his name, but my sister was dead. It was too much to deal with.
"Father, Ali is dead," I blurted out with a sob once I got to his room. He was sitting on his throne, looking down at a piece of parchment. It was glass, because the paper dissolved and the ink smudged underwater.
"She's what?" he replied, looking up from the piece of glass with shock.
"Ali is dead."
"No she is not."
"Father, a human killed her. He now has her tail."
"She is in her room. Go see for yourself, dear.I just spoke to her."
I swam straight up to her room, my hopes were high. She might not be dead. The human could have made a mistake. He could have thought that she had blue eyes when she really had green. My sister could still be alive, and sure enough, I swam into my sister's room and saw her sleeping. I wanted to wake her up and hug her and kiss her all over but she looked to peaceful. There was no sense in waking her up when she was in such a deep sleep. I smiled so brightly and went out of the large castle to meet the human. He was sitting on a rock, looking down at his hands.
I swam right up to the beautiful man and put my finger under his chin, pulling it up so he had to look at me.
"She's not dead. That was another mermaid. That was not my sister," I said with a smile.
"But I saw the blue eyes, the green tail."
"It must have been another color. Green eyes, perhaps. Lots of mermaids look alike. It's the way our species was created. My sister is up in her room."
"But...," he said, trying to believe me, but before he could say anything else, I silenced him with my lips.
© Copyright 2016 Haileymorgann. All rights reserved.
Book / Fantasy
Short Story / Fantasy
Short Story / Young Adult
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