A Bedtime Story
-Two centuries earlier-
A sweet song sounded around the large bedroom, bouncing around the dimly lighted walls and filling the whole space with the beautiful music. It was a soothing wordless melody, something to help the small child that laid under his silky sheets to drift away to a reassuring Neverland.
His mother's hums were more beautiful than the softest of singers and the boy couldn't get enough of listening to her majestic voice each and every night. He waited for it as other children waited for a tasty candy bar or a piece of their favorite chocolate. He had to admit though those other children didn't have a beautiful siren for a mother neither did they live under the surface of the ocean.
For most of them, Atlantis was another one of Disney's cartoon movies that they watched when their parents allowed them to sit in front of the screen of a television. A lost underwater place that was part of an ancient destroyed civilization that once was one of the richest and most impressive cities in the whole world. Some of them didn't even believe that Atlantis once had existed, but thought of it as a brilliant fan fictional creation of the movie creator's imagination.
For the young boy, Atlantis was so much more. It was his comfortable home, the birthplace of his parents and his ancestors. It was his reality, the city he was currently living and growing up in and the place that protected him from any harm's way. It was his legacy, his people's capital, and his father's kingdom that it would become his when the right time came.
He saw his beloved mother's figure floating around his bedroom as she continued to hum gently. Her long, blue tail moving slowly as she moved around as to not to disturb the waters that surrounded them. Her dark chocolate locks were pulled up in an impressive bun that was decorated sparsely with small, shining pearls that matched perfectly with her milky, pale skin color. Her figure was petite and short, well shorted than his father's for sure.
"Mater" the young boy whispered barely audibly.
His mother's majestic blue orbs instantly snapped up at the sound of her son's voice. She stopped her humming and made her way slowly to her laying child, swimming gracefully through the water like an expert ballet dancer.
"What is it, my love?" she asked him affectionately as she sat at the edge of his bed.
Her long fingers caressed gently his chubby cheeks before they started to run through his soft, black hair that reached his shoulder's height. It was a habit of hers that he enjoyed immensely, it calmed him down no matter what and chased all his worries and fears away. He closed his eyes slightly to enjoy her touch even more.
"Can't you sleep, baby?" queen Aziz asked gently as she continued her ministrations on her son's dark locks.
The young prince didn't speak to his mother, he just nodded slightly, confirming her words. He couldn't fall asleep no matter how much he tried to do so. His eyes didn't seem to stay closed and his mind couldn't relax.
"Will you tell me a story?"
His mother laughed at the way his cheeks burned as he asked the simple question. Her son was too cute for his own good. She knew that when he became older she would have to deal with loads of girls and that he would definitely turn out to be a handsome heartbreaker. Just like his father.
"Of course, my baby. Anything for you."
Young Havelock moved his small tail, making room for his mother's form to lie down beside him. He instantly cuddled into her warmth and took in her flowery scent as her tail wrapped itself protectively around his. He immediately felt a sense of safety and familiarity surrounding him.
"What would you like to hear?" his mother asked him as she placed her chin softly on his forehead.
"The Goddesses!" the small lad said without much of a thought, making his mother giggle before starting her story.
"...As you have heard many times, my love, there is a connection between the moon and the sea. A lot of people are able to distinguish this by the fact that the moon's position in the sky and its phases affect greatly the tides of the sea, but only a few understand how it came to be and what it really means..."
"We know the truth, right?" the lad asked his mother curiously.
"Merpeople are connected to the ocean more than any other creature, my boy! Of course, they would know everything about it. We know the true version of the story." She kissed her son's hair and then went on with her story.
"...At the beginning of our creation, we, the merfolk people, were completely different than what we are now. Not in our appearance, no really, but in the way we behaved and acted. And I wished I could say that this was a good thing, but unfortunately...it wasn't.
We had the characteristics and instincts of a deadly predator that was impressively strong and fearless. We were very skillful hunters that were merciless and invisible by anything else. Being at the top of the food chain for centuries, our kind had nothing to worry about.
Our prey trembled at the sight of us. Our sharp nails were able to cut them in half and our needle-like teeth were capable to wound them terribly. People didn't travel often with ships, afraid of our kind and our murderous ways.
Thanks to the way we acted during that period of time, human history has described our kind in the vilest way possible. The pages of their books are filled with different stories that show our kind's brutality and lethal behavior. Stories that kept their children for a long time away from sea trips and the danger of the marine monsters under the sea waves..."
"But we are not like this, mater!" the boy said sitting up nervously on his bed.
"Not anymore, my love. However, we do still have the instincts of a predator and can become very dangerous if we want to." His mother assured him.
"But how is that possible?" the lad insisted impatiently.
"Just because our ways changed, doesn't mean that our nature did too." She gave him a saddened smile.
"Under great pressure, people that can't huddle themselves any longer return to our original ways. They are a danger for humans and merpeople both. That's why we have named them the Tenebris and we stay as far away from them as possible."
"I don't understand..." the prince whispered.
"You are too pure for this world, my love." Queen Aziz said getting emotional at her boy's innocence. "Not all people are good, baby. Some of them are bad and remain bad until the end of their lives."
"Well, how did our people turn from bad to good?" Havelock asked his mother.
"Oh, it wasn't easy! It's always easier for someone to join the dark side than to become a part of the light. However, everything is possible with the help of two powerful Goddesses and a little bit of magic." Her boy giggled as she bumped his nose with her pointer finger.
"...As the centuries passed by, the merpeople became even more murderous and lethal. Their fury and rage run so deep in their hearts and souls that they even turned against one another. They started to destroy themselves as brother murdered brother, friends killed their friends. The people that once hunted their prey as a team were now turning against their own teammates.
It was awful times for merfolk history. Our numbers decreased visibly and our kind almost drove itself into its own extinction. The civil war of our kind left huge open wounds that merpeople couldn't heal by using only their own powers.
That's when our Goddesses helped..."
Havelock perked up at the mention of the divine forces and waited for his mother to continue her story.
"...Thalassa, daughter of Poseidon and protector of all her father's creations, couldn't bear to watch the oceans turn scarlet anymore. Her heart was filled with pain and sorrow as the most beloved and unique of Poseidon's creations went into berserk and destroyed one another. So, she took matters into her own hands and searched for a way to end all this useless bloodshed.
She visited any God she could possibly think of and asked desperately for his help, dropping to her knees and shedding her precious tears. She begged them repeatedly to do something in order to stop the wars of our kinds, but they dismissed her as her words had fallen on deaf ears.
After visiting everyone that could help her and coming up empty-handed, Thalassa started to make her way back to the ocean, defeated and unsuccessful. She couldn't believe how selfish and uncaring the Gods were and the way they had dismissed her as if she was an annoying bug under their boots.
That was, when Selene, the mighty deity of the moon, discovered her sitting on a rock by the sea as loud sobs left her trembling form. The moon goddess took pity on the fellow deity and decided to come down from her position in the sky and comfort her.
"Why do you waste away you pearly tears, daughter of the seas? Selene asked the crying goddess as she appeared in front of her.
"Because the folklore is driving itself into its utter doom and everyone seems to turn a blind eye at the situation at hand." Thalassa had barely whispered.
The moon's lady walked to the crying deity and gave her a much needed warm hug. The other woman, hugged her glowing form back harder as her sobs became quieter.
"If it means anything to you, I'll help you to find a solution to your problem." Selene promised her as she caressed her wild locks gently.
"What power is stronger than hate and could possibly come between a nation and its extinction?" Thalassa murmured miserably and hopelessly as her hands covered her tearful face.
"The only power that could bring peace to a restless soul and tame a monster's dark heart." Selene gave Thalassa a knowing smile.
She began making her way back to her kingdom in the skies as the other goddess watched her utterly confused. Her riddles didn't make any sense and she didn't have much time to lose.
"Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, even in the heart of a ruthless monster, if only someone remembers to turn up the light."
Selene winked at her playfully as she returned back to her throne and let the meaning behind her words settle inside Thalassa's mind..."
"What was the power, mater?" the young prince asked sleepily.
"Love, my son. Love is stronger than every other power in the whole world. And Thalassa discovered it soon enough." Aziz kissed softly his forehead.
"What did they do?"
"...They took every mer's soul and divided it into two different parts. They returned one piece back to the person that it belonged to but kept the other one away from him. The mer kin felt utterly empty and lonely without having their whole soul in their bodies. They were incomplete like they were a puzzle and an important part of it was missing..."
"That sounds terrible" Havelock cringed.
"...They put the other part of their souls in another person. You have to keep in mind, my son, that their actions were not out of luck.
Selene, being the goddess of the moon, judged every soul's insides, their different character and ways of actions. Taking into consideration what she was seeing, the deity worked hard in order to create the perfect match for each soul. The piece that fits perfectly in every puzzle.
And that's how the first soulmates were created. They brought warmth and joy in the hearts of merpeople and they treasured them and adored them like nothing else. They brought a purpose in their lives, the idea of creating their own family together and living happily until the end of their lives never sounded better with their mates by their sides.
The ones that had already found them, became super possessive and overprotective of their fated ones, getting ticked off by every little thing that could possibly harm them. The others that had yet to find them became jealous of the mated couples and began searching for their own beloveds.
Therefore, the war was long forgotten and the bloodshed was stopped successfully. Our kind changed its ways for the sake of our mates, becoming more tamed and civilized and less ruthless.
Thalassa and Selene were successful..."
"You and pater are mates." The prince whispered almost taken away by sleep's sweet nothingness.
"Yes, my love, we are. Every mer seeks for his mate when he reaches adulthood. Your father was no exception and you won't be either."
She kissed her boy's forehead, moving a few stray locks of dark hair away. Getting up carefully, not wanting to disturb him, she got him well covered under his silky covers.
"You didn't tell me what Thalassa did, mater." The lad mumbled inaudibly with closed eyes.
Aziz smiled as her son drifted off to sleep and kissed his chubby cheek one last time. After closing the remaining open lights in the room, she made her way towards the large door. Before leaving, she stood just for a few moments on the doorway, watching him as he slept peacefully.
"Another day, my love." She answered his question quietly.
With a smile on her beautiful face, she swam through the corridors of their palace seeking for her beloved husband and mate. She greeted politely a few guards and servants as she passed by them, making her way towards her personal gardens.
The night was peaceful and quiet.
There wasn't a clue that could possibly reveal the chaotic incidents that would soon follow.
End of chapter 1!!
1) Mater= Mother
2) Pater= Father
3) Tenebris= The dark ones (They are similar to the rouges that appear in werewolves stories.)