The Mermaid's Tale

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Worse Things Happen at Sea


Now would be a good time to tell you something else ought to know about mermaids; They understand every language (and it’s dialects) on land and in the ocean. More importantly and quite contrary to a very popular belief, mermaids are not immortal. However they do surpass what humans would call millennia, they call this a ‘ Mermaid Forever’, but much like humans, they never know when they will just cease to be, even as they feel themselves slowly fading away to become foam on a beach. It would seem The Mermaid wanted Akua to be with her when that day came, but for now, they spent the days they were not being taught by a very grumpy octopus, playing hours and hours of underwater games which made Akua smile. Time has a strange way of passing in the ocean, and Akua and Hasani had not understood, that all the games they played together, had caused the years to surge by like a sleeper shark. Akua, so overtaken with not being lonely anymore; had not even remembered growing up. Had it not been for all the celebrations that were planned to commemorate it, she certainly would not have believed that the thirtieth anniversary of her arrival was approaching. There has always been magic in the sea and for Akua who spent time there with Hasani it meant she had not yet broken her thirtieth year under water but had she stayed ashore she would be almost eighty-five. Her skin, although dark was streaked with the white lines of silt and her hair, grew matted with the brine changing it into long strands of pitch and silver. Akua did not notice; she still wrinkled her nose to stifle a sneeze because her heart told her she was still a child of six. But the mermaid knew, and her heart darkened with sadness. Since however deep marine magic might be, she knew Akua would still age. Worse if Akua stayed in the ocean passed the midnight of her thirtieth year under the water, her true age would consume her all at once. Nothing would stop it her bones would be brittle, and Akua like all humans who tried to live beneath the waves would be crushed by the pressures of the sea, then Akua would die, whereas The Mermaid, would not and without Akua she would once again be alone. Because mermaids like the dolphin, only love once. Hasani had always been the brightest in her family quite the top of the class; she knew that there was a way to make sure Akua would stay with her forever. There is always a way.

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