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The tail of Gold Island

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2

Nerin understood him. He was human and she understood him. When she had seen him taking that sharp thing and pointing it at the fish, she couldn’t help but yell at him in Mer language. She didn’t know that she possessed the capacity to understand a human. She reached out her hand and touched his hair.

″It is so rough and short.″

Merrick looked at her, felt her hot breath against his cheek. She was fascinating, she made him feel different. His heart raced when he looked at her, no other female had ever had that effect on him. Maybe he had been too long without a woman. He took her lingering hand in his.

″Your hand is rough too.″

He kissed her hand gently.

″Your lips are soft.″

Did this woman say everything she was thinking? She must be an open book. His face was still intimately close to her’s. He brought his lips close to her’s and kissed her gently. She shrieked and pulled back.

″What was that?″

Merrick stood back and touched his lips.

″It’s called a kiss.″

″Why did you do it to me?″

″I thought you might like it.″

″I did. Is it normal for humans to kiss?″

″Humans?″

″Is it an everyday thing like me brushing my hair?″

This woman was really something else. Where was she from?

″Shall you tell me what you were doing with that pointy thing?″

Merrick looked towards the ocean. The spear was long gone.

″I was trying to catch some food.″

″You wanted to eat that fish? How gruesome!″

Merrick laughed.

″What do you expect me to eat?″

″I eat weeds, plants, fruits, things like that.″

″No meat?″

″No!″

She walked away from him, towards the water.

″I need to get back home.″

″Where is your home?″

″That way.″

She pointed towards the vastness of the ocean.

″How will you get back? You have no boat.″

″I swim.″

When she finished her words, she dove into the water and disappeared. As she was swimming away, he could have sworn he saw something green glisten under the water.


Nerin walked along the beach, taking care not to get wet so her tail wouldn’t reappear. She looked around for the human she had seen the day before but never found him. She felt sad, it had been fun to talk to him and understand him. He sure was an interesting human.

Merrick scoured the forest once more without finding any food. He’d have to go fishing again. Hopefully the lady wouldn’t be there so he could kill a few fish. He was going to die of hunger. He had been two days without eating meat; he was going to go crazy.

Nerin was sitting on a rock when she saw him coming. He didn’t look her way; he just stalked towards the water with another pointy looking wooden piece. She got up and walked towards him.

″Stop!″

He stopped almost instantly and turned towards her.

″Don’t kill any fish!″

She marched towards him and pulled the spear out of his grip.

″Why would you want to eat a fish? It would be like trying to eat my kind.″

″What is your kind?″

″I don’t know if I can tell you that.″

″Why not?″

″I don’t think Adriatic would approve. He’s my brother.″

″What a strange name. What’s yours?″

″Nerin.″

He took her hand in his and kissed it.

″A beautiful name for a beautiful woman.″

She pulled her hand out of his.

″I guess a kiss is usual in your culture.″

She leaned towards him and kissed him on the lips. Very gently.

″Thank you for saying I am beautiful.″

Merrick blushed for the first time in his adult life.

″You’re a good kisser Nerin.″

″What is your name?″

″Merrick Degaule.″

″You have two names?″

″No. You can call me Merrick.″

″Can I call you Mer?″

He looked at her and smiled.

″Call me whatever you want Nerin.″


They were walking through the forest hand in hand. Nerin had no idea where they were going, but she liked touching Merrick’s hand. She had always wanted to explore the jungle, but she had been too scared to go in alone. She felt safe with Merrick leading her.

″I am a treasure seeker by nature, I have made my fortune with buried treasure.″

″What is a fortune?″

″A lot of money.″

″Money?″

He stopped and studied her. Was she really that uneducated?

''Money is what you use to buy things. Like that pretty dress you are wearing.″

″Oh.″

She still didn’t understand, but she didn’t want him to think her without brains. She knew about lots of things involving the sea and her kind, but she knew nothing of the world. They resumed their walking; her speed decreased a little bit. She was growing tired.

″Can we stop for a little while?″

″The cave is not much further. It’s the only place I haven’t searched.″

She smiled and kept walking.

″Thank you for the adventure Mer.″

″No problem my lady.″

Was she his lady now? What did that mean?

″Here we are.″

The cave was beneath a large dewy boulder. They crept down low until they entered the cave. It was still sunny out, so the cave wasn’t pitch dark. They walked through the tunnels, Nerin holding tightly to his hand.

″Are you scared Nerin?″

″Why would I be scared? I have swum inside most caves near my home.″

Even if she sounded sure of herself, she trembled inside. She had never been inside a cave this large. Her brother would never approve. They walked down another tunnel. There was more water surrounding them and Nerin tried to stay dry. If only a single drop touched her feet, she would start developing a tail. The worst part was that she didn’t wear any shoes; she had found the dress washed ashore on one of her outings. She had never found shoes; had never known humans wore them. She looked down at her feet and noticed her toes starting to turn green.

″We must go back Mer.″

He turned and looked at her.

″I am getting weak and I won’t be able to walk back.″

″Just a few more minutes, I can hear the water flowing up ahead.″

″Water?″

″Yes, most caves have ocean water flowing through them and most pirates use the water for hiding treasure.″

″I don’t want to go swimming.″

″You won’t. I will go.″

She felt even weaker now that they had stopped.

″Let’s go.″

She was the one in the lead. She walked quickly and when they reached the water hole, she stopped.

″Here we are.″

She looked into the water, smelled its saltiness and sighed. She missed the water when she was gone longer than an hour.

″If I am gone for longer than five minutes it means I’m dead.″

Nerin stared at him, her eyes open wide.

″I’m joking.″

″Don’t joke about such things.″

He laughed.

″I am going to get undressed now.″

Nerin turned away from him. The men of her kind were never dressed, she was used to nudity. She had never seen a human nude, she feared it, didn’t know what to expect. Merrick pulled off his boots and then his jacket. He looked at Nerin, she was still turned away from him. He pulled off his shirt and placed it on top of the pile. Nerin peaked at him from the corner of her eye. He was strong looking, muscles rippled his chest. He got into the water, took a deep breath and disappeared.

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