Imagine a ring of tiny coral atolls, a thousand miles from anywhere and everywhere.
In the middle of nowhere.
Well to be precise, in the middle of a vast ocean with nothing to see for miles and miles except the dark blue of the sea. Nothing to hear, apart from the wind and the lapping of the waves on the lonely beaches.
Imagine that the sands are silvery white and as soft as powder. The sea is warm and a beautiful turquoise near the shores. There are a few coconut trees sighing in the breeze but otherwisethere seems to be nothing. The air is heavy with the heat and silence.
Our story is not set on the tiny islands thankfully but under the sea that surrounds them. Where the waters teem with life and colour and mysteries that only those that live under the swell know about. Where a group of merfolk live and have done so since the world began. Or certainly since the creation of the reefs and atolls by an enormous underwater volcano exploding in ancient times, according to the mer legends.It is almost impossible to conceive that such a peaceful and tranquil setting was shaped by fire, eruptions and boiling rock.
The merfolkare mesmerizing; with tails that shimmer luminously; scales that flash and glitter in the sunny and sparkling waters. Their bodies are lean and muscular as they are never still, adorned with strings of shells on seaweed that they find on the sea floor. The merfolk havedark cinnamon coloured skin which has a golden gloss to it. Enormous eyes frame small angular faces, which help them to see in the waters that can become unsettled and churned by passing storms and winds, and in their caves which can be gloomy. Razor sharp pointed teeth at the front of their mouths are useful for shredding the seaweed that they eat, and the large flat molars are used to grind the tough stringy plants to a pulp.
The colony make their homes in caves in the shallow waters of the reef that circle the tiny desert islands.They love the crystal warm waters which are alive with amazing colours and movement. They are social creatures and become frightened in the briny deep where there is hush and stillness and where the waters are lightless and inky. They know only too well what could be lurking there. There are whispers of another settlement of merfolk in the cold north but no one can remember how these stories started or if there is any trueness to them.