Sereia Marinda Hanon
“Selene,” I call out to her. Her expression is solemn. Sorrow brims in her eyes. As well as something foreign to me. Disappointment.
“My child you killed four people,” she says with sadness in her voice. “Four innocent people,” she adds and my heart runs cold. Innocent? I, killed innocents in my attempt to escape? I was only trying to reach to Marilla and help her. I shake my head unable to accept her answer.
“I couldn’t have, I would never kill innocents,” I answer her tears making their way to my eyes.
“But you did,” the water calls out to me. “Not everyone is an enemy.”
“But they are, they’re holding me captive. Marilla needs me, she needed me. I have to go to her. She needs me. I’m sorry for their deaths but I would do anything for her.”
“Killing innocents is never the way my dear,” Selene says solemnly.
“You’re the queen of the Sea. My Sea. You claim not to be like those that hunt you but you inadvertently killed innocents for Marilla. Mermaids treasure life, they don’t just take it like hunters. Be different, find another way,” the water speaks.
“Every choice has a consequence. They were just young guards. They had their whole life ahead of them and you ended it,” Selene speaks disappointment in her tone. I shake my head as tears stroll down my cheeks. Four men appear beside her. Their bodies were unrecognizable. Yet their eyes killed me. I killed them. No. I don’t want to see them. No!
“NO!” I scream out into the darkness as I awake from my nightmare, the same nightmare I’ve been having for days. Ever since they died and I lived. Their death pointless seeing as I never even managed to escape. My connection to the water seems even fainter than before as I almost lost my life trying to escape. I’m merciless until I become one with Marilla and the water. The little energy and power I had built up now gone. It broke my heart, I couldn’t save my soulmate and would die if I did.
I look around the room hoping to find comfort in anything but nothing. I’m alone in the same room Roul had me in first. The spell had only strengthened and I was always being watched. I had become a danger to them now. Two guards in my room standing watch while three outside. The worst part of all I was no longer a danger or threat. Attempting escape had nearly killed the mermaid within me.
Tears ran down my face as I was haunted by their faces but not just theirs. The mad scientist who had me in captivity. The man that knows where Marilla is, now dead. I weigh so much in my heart yet it will all be worth it if I find her and get the chance to save her. I don’t get to sleep now. My nights were cold and plagued with nightmares. Ones only she could scare away. My soulmate, and Roul.
I let sorrow overwhelm me. I can’t help my people and I can’t help my soulmate. All I’ve done is kill four people and have myself in captivity. My father having another child with another woman. My sister and mother at some unknown camp where they were being abused. The Ocean Blue at its greatest danger and I was powerless to change anything.
My thoughts fade to my time as an experiment. The loneliness. The pain. The quiet. No one was there with me. No one. Not Selene. Not the water or the Ocean Blue. Not Marilla but she couldn’t because she was in trouble herself. And I blamed her for everything. I was wrong. I was so mad at her for leaving me alone there and not coming to rescue me as I had hoped when she couldn’t. What kind of soulmate was I that when she needed me I couldn’t be there.
Tears furiously come out my eyes as I scream into the night as two guards look upon me unmoved. But who cares about them when she was in danger. I hold on tightly to my engagement pendant hoping to obtain some type of warmth or comfort but am met with none.
Just please let Marilla be alright even if it means I have to bear this pain. It will all be alright if she’s okay. Selene, please keep her safe. I’ll live with knowing I terminated four lives if it means she’s okay. She just has to be okay, I don’t know what I’ll do if she isn’t.
Marilla is my soulmate. My everything. She knows me better than anyone. Better than I do myself and she loves me along with all my flaws and imperfections. I can always count on her. She’ll always call me out on my bullshit. I won’t be able to handle it if she dies because of me. I have to go to her. I have to do anything to get to her. Anything. I raise out of bed and head to the door hoping the guards will move.
But they don’t. They stand firm impeding my way out. I’ll throw myself out the window if it means Marilla will be okay. I have to see Roul. I’m willing to answer all his questions if it means I get to leave. I need to go to her. I need to see the Ocean Blue once more and feel its power course through my veins.
“Move or I’ll throw myself out that window,” I warn them, but it doesn’t even grant them to move an inch. It isn’t working. I have to be with my soulmate. I need her and she needs me. “Move, I have to speak with your King,” I try again but nothing. They don’t move. I begin to pound onto their chests in a desperate attempt to get them to move but it’s futile. I fall onto my knees broken.
Marilla I need you. Hold strong I’m coming for you. I’ll find you, I promise.
“I’m coming,” I whisper as I hug myself tightly crying the night away well up into daylight. Not one of them caring about my pain. I manage to rise to my feet and walk over to the window only to see nothing but woods yet wondering where could she be? I have to pull away to not leap through the window knowing I wouldn’t survive the fall. I pace the room furiously as the first rays of light begin to breakthrough.
“My queen, don’t falter your crown on an accident, you knew not what was to happen,” the water whispers making me stop and drown in its silky voice. “You would never kill innocents if it can be helped. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
My tears seize as my hand rapidly begins to slap them away. The water understood me. It was just my own conscious playing tricks against me. I had to keep my crown held high. Sometimes, people die because of a choice even if it wasn’t meant that way. I couldn’t let that break me. It wasn’t time for me to feel guilt. My people needed me to free them. Marilla needed me to rescue her. I have to remain strong. They need me.
“Be strong my little water spirit, the storm lies just ahead,” Selene speaks to me for the first time since I killed four people. “Everyone makes mistakes that need to be forgiven. You didn’t know otherwise I know you wouldn’t have gone against the barrier. I love you and will always be with you. It was just their time my dear and you just made it painless,” she whispers through the air.
“I love you,” I whisper breathlessly as I finish frying my tears off and making my face as cold as stone. Last night was a moment of weakness but no more. I may not have the power of the Ocean Blue at the moment but that wouldn’t stop me from escaping. I’m a mermaid. A queen. A true queen. The hope of my people, I have to be strong for them all. Now was not the time to cry.
I clean my face and ready myself for another day even if I won’t leave this room for now. I reach over for a book to read or rather pretend to as I further investigate the journal. Maybe it can even grant me a form of escape from this darn castle to save Marilla wherever she may be. I settle on the floor far away that I can escape their prying eyes and they won’t be able to read over my shoulder.
I scan through the pages one by one doing my best to decode the little I could. Reading it to discover even more clues. Rereading each entry thoroughly, time and time again, to assure myself I missed nothing. The sun was beginning to set when the door opened and I felt his presence. I looked up to see Roul with the woman I freed that day. His hand around her waist setting me on edge. I close the books and place them on my lap.
“What do you need?” I ask refusing to get up and eager to return to my reading. In it lies the answers to help my people and escape here. Somewhere in these pages lies the answer to all my troubles and I’m determined to find it. I will find it.
“I was hoping to talk,” she speaks sitting nearby me. I look upon her showing her just how much I distrusted her. I will be damned if I trust wolves again. I hope they aren’t here for answers because they won’t get any. The time for that was last night when I broke down but inadvertently these wolves had prevented me from it. Now I wouldn’t utter a word.
“Well you already seem to be talking,” I answer her and she nods. Roul looks at me assessing my every move and word. We had a night of passion where I exposed my soul to his and he had the audacity to look at me distrustfully. why am I so angry about it? I killed four of his warriors when my hands made contact with the damn barrier. He was in all his right to not trust me. I didn’t trust him so why does it hurt so much to know he doesn’t.
“I want to thank you and apologize,” she speaks and I look at her with distrust. People lie, it’s in their nature and I don’t know her. I’m not Marilla, she brings out the best parts of me. She is my better half. She trusts people more than I do and will.
“I don’t trust you or believe in your words for a second but you are more than welcome to leave now,” I answer her grabbing the books once more and opening them once more. Roul fixes his eyes on me which irritates me greatly. I roll my eyes ay his expression. “You can both leave now.”
“He idolized you, why? I’m sorry for everything he places you through,” she asks before apologizing. Leaving me startled. Why is she apologizing? “I remember hearing your screams breaking through the stale air as he spent hours in there with you.” she proceeds. “What are you that enabled so much pain?”
“Something never seen. A queen,” I answer her earning a smile from her lips.
“You handled the pain better than we did and still managed to pry free from him and instead of saving yourself, you went and saved all of us. You opened our cages... my cage and for that I’m thankful. I got to kill the monster who held me captive for over a decade,” she says sincerely but I can’t listen to my heart. It’s traitorous.
“And I’m sorry you had to see his vile face that long but thank you for not killing me when I released you,” I add with a cordial smile before looking down. I’m ready for them to leave.
“I need to ask a favor of you,” she asks and I look at her with confusion and distrust. What does she possibly want out of me? “You and Roul met a while back and I was hoping you could grant him some answers,” she continues carefully. I raise my eyes irritated. Why would I? “I was hoping you could find it within yourself, to be honest with us and give Ethelwulf his mate,” she reveals.
“I know you, dogs, really have that thing about mates and all but I’m not interested in being a part of it, I already have a soulmate who I love endlessly. I don’t plan on becoming anyone’s mate,” I answer her coldly as I look directly into her eyes. I need her to know I do not plan on becoming anyone’s mate. I am to marry the King of the Sea. Last night I would have done anything to leave and find Marilla even what she is proposing but not today. I spent all night crying and in pain. I obtained no answer. Well, I’ll keep the key to my lips.
“Roul saw you in the forest a while back and saw you near the lake underneath the moonlight. He was instantly attracted to you because you bore a faint trace of his mate just not fully,” she explains and I look at her confused. “We just want to know who was the she-wolf you had recently had contact with,” she inquires and I arch my eyebrow.
“The only she-wolf I know and constantly have contact with is Shirley Templeton. If I knew anybody else, I wouldn’t tell you because that violates other’s privacy something I’m not willing to do. So keep looking, you won’t get anything from me, the time for answers was last night. Now it’s too late, I’m no longer interested in giving them,” I answer them both deadly serious and returning my attention to the journal.
“Tell me who she is,” Roul’s eyes shine bright blue and animalistic as he nears me, grabbing me by both arms attempting to shake the answers out of me. But I’m not backing down. He won’t let me leave, and now Marilla is in danger, and I can’t help her. If I can’t leave then I am not giving him what he wants. Even if he uses his wolf.
“No, like I said the time for answers was yesterday and I am not interested in giving them anymore. You’re holding me captive and preventing me from saving those I love and if they die because I couldn’t reach them in time. I can assure you, I will rain down hell upon your kind,” I say challenging him as the woman he came in with places a hand on his shoulder.
“Roul, let go, this isn’t the way,” she attempts to calm him down.
“Come, my dear. Come, my child. Come. Find me. Follow the echo of my voice,” I hear a sweet lullaby but I don’t recognize the voice. Yet it’s distant and pulling me. “Come so you may free our people. Come be one with the water,” she lulls as Roul lets go of me and backs away.
“Be one, follow your voice,” I whisper as I rise t my feet. “Free them. Be one.” I walk to the door and the guards standing before them fall to the ground in a deep slumber.
“Follow my voice, my dear,” it speaks to me again and I open the doors walking around the unconscious wolves, and begin walking towards it. “Come free them,” it sings as I walk through the hallways. Then I see her. I see who she is. Murel. She’s speaking to me. I see her turning at the end of the hallway and my feet pick off the ground running towards her. I see her walk into the office, where I found the journal, leaving the door open for me. I run in it and the bookshelf where I found the journal opens.
A secret passageway. I don’t doubt going in there. I run in it and it closes behind me and I follow her through the room being shielded by the bookshelf. I see paintings of all kinds. The two wolves from my time in captivity and I stop short upon seeing one of me. Me...
I’m taken aback at so much detail. It’s truly inspiring. It’s me. The night I entered wolf territory and I ran from a wolf. I never saw him because I refused to turn back but it was beautiful. Everything had been captured perfectly. The lake, the fireflies, the moonlight, and everything else about that night. It was truly breathtaking. It had captured my beauty perfectly despite it being dulled by a water spell.
“Come my child. This way,” Murel says shining a mirror for me and I follow her. It’s hidden in placing sight. It’s magic carefully dulled. Perfect for a mermaid. A wolf not so much. I enter the floor-length mirror to be taken somewhere else entirely. A room filled with maps, journals, paintings of Murel and the merfolk. On the ceiling is their love story painted and it breaks my heart. Everything I’ve been looking for in this room. I thought of it as one thing not all of this. My necklaces shine bright and in an instant, it is all transported into it.
I walk over to a beautiful portrait. Murel and a wolf. He was a gray wolf with blue eyes and she slept on him near the water with her tail displayed. Nawfar nearby with her water love. A necklace displayed on both their chests. He had followed our tradition. He gave her a necklace. She was his as he was hers. This couldn’t be.
“Save them, my queen. Save our people, I can only hope this helps. You’re the one true queen of the sea, save them only you can,” Murel says with a smile both sad and hopeful as she fades away. The painting changes completely to Murel just sleeping on the wolf. Nawfar and her water love in swim clothing. I swirl around as I feel someone with me to see them. Roul and her.
They’re looking around the room surprised. They don’t understand a word of it It’s all ancient merfolk scripture. He loved her enough to learn our language. We learned it so we could communicate with anyone around the world. So there would be no barrier between mermaids. And here it was a story of true love. Just like the one my parents lived.
My eyes fall upon the image of a pregnant Murel. But there is none of her with a child. Realization hits. She was pregnant when she was murdered by hunters. He found her body and discovered their child that way. It broke my heart because he never believed the she-wolf to be his mate. It was always Murel. I fall onto a painting of a man with a bare chest as he gazes out onto the water. He’s covered in scars but what strikes me most about the painting is the intricate tattoos on his chest. In particular the one above his heart.
The same design as the necklace he had given Murel. Just like my father did after my mother... I walk to the painting and place a hand on the painting on the intricate design of his tattoo as if perhaps I could feel it. It is beautiful. It’s a wolf and a mermaid intertwined in one in the form of a heart with water splashing around them. It was inked into his skin with silver. Our traditional choice.
I could resonate with his pain. The pain of losing the person he loved most and have to be with another for the sake of his people. Only to be betrayed by them in the end. Only to have them kill him for the person who reigned in his heart. A mermaid. This was water love at its finest. I fall onto my knees as I’m shaken with another vision.
One of my mother with Earendil. He’s tending her wounds. She’s barely conscious, and bruises along with open wounds marked her skin I can see her life fading as Merise comes in running and summons what she can of the Ocean Blue. Caspian in tears behind her with a remarkable mark on his face. The scar nearly kills me. A hand goes over my mouth to prevent sound from it.
“Help us Sereia. Help us. She’s dying. She needs you. We need you, please help us,” Caspian begs me as tears stain my face. My mother is dying and this time it will be for real. She’ll die if I don’t get to her and soon.
“Beware... of... the... queen... she lies,” my mother says faintly as Merise tears stream down endlessly.
“She’ll know mom, hold in there. I’ll heal you as many times as I need to be. You’ll be fine, Sereia will find us soon,” Merise tells her sobbing softly before turning onto me and mouthing the words find us. I didn’t get to be rescued for a long time from that maniac. Marilla didn’t save me because she couldn’t. But I would save them. They would be alright. I would get to me. Pain overflows my body as the vision fades and my body begins to convulse over the huge power drain from me when my magic is close to null.