Sereia Marinda Hanon
Giving ourselves up for them wasn’t a difficult choice. We had been able to be one with the water. We were one with each other. We stopped being two separate souls, to become one single thing. There was no choice. They would have killed all three of them. Lorelei was expecting Seaton’s child. We couldn’t let them have her or Seaton. They deserved happiness.
We had to free the merfolk from the hunters. Seaton was both of our brother. He may only be Marilla’s brother by blood but he was mine by love. Family didn’t always mean blood-related. Something all merfolk knew well. I couldn’t let them hurt my father. I just couldn’t. It was just too great. He was having a son with another woman but was going to be a father nonetheless and I couldn’t. I would reunite our family and he would leave her.
But how can I when I don’t know where they are being held? This was the best option. It was for the best. It hurt like a bitch but it was for the best. We loved them and we couldn’t bear the thought of losing them. We could free the rest of our family. We could rescue Caspian. Make good on our promise and liberate my mother.
Have the hunters pay for all the hurt they’ve caused our people. They will pay for every tear and bruise they’ve inflicted upon the merfolk. All the damage caused. They would pay for it all. All of it. The only way to do so was from the inside. We could summon the power of the Ocean Blue and the water. Send all our people home without any of them getting hurt.
A queen shall always place her people first. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Giving ourselves so that they may all live and be free in the Ocean Blue. Do what Selene and the rest had hope of us to accomplish. Return all water spirits to the sea. Hide beneath the waves for the rest of eternity. As we should have. As we will.
“We’re here,” the siren announces all cheerful as we appear in a prison. A cage for my kind. Guarded by creatures of all kinds. Creatures who beat and abused my people. Just the sight and smell of this place twisted my stomach and brought great emotions in me. It was horrific, terrible and a true nightmare. And here I had thought, I had lived through them all.
I couldn’t help the vomit that rose up from my stomach to my throat, out to the floor before me. It was a gruesome sight to see my people beaten down to the bone not to mention scarring. They didn’t deserve this. None of us did. It was a false prophecy that led us to be persecuted like animals. It wasn’t fair. It was just a false prophecy that led to this but it was all it took. We never hurt anyone. We never intervened in other’s affairs or took an innocent life.
The water would never take the life of an innocent. It couldn’t. It was too pure for it. It only harmed those that hurt it’s water spirits. The water was only defense. It never took lives out of pleasure but out of need. A mermaid would have never done what goes on here. Never. Not now. Not in a million years. This wasn’t right. Never was. Never will be. But we will set them free. We have to.
“Uh, gross,” the water fairy complains.
“Alright my dear queen meet your subjects and get acquainted with your new life,” the witch says behind me before they all disappeared leaving us alone in a room of broken merfolk spirits. This can’t be. What have they done to them?
“Are you alright Sereia?” Marilla asks as soon as they poof their way out of here. Damn magical creatures hurting our species for no reason. We have never harmed them unless needed but they don’t seem to understand we aren’t to be feared. If anyone needs to be feared it’s them. But we will liberate our people.
I nod toward Marilla at a loss of words. I can’t find any. Are there any? Do they really need to be said?
“Let’s see if we can find them now that we’re here. I don’t think...” I trail off hoping she picks up the hint and she does as always. We can’t let them know just how powerful we really are. They need to believe we’re ordinary mermaids even if it can’t be farther from the truth.
“I know, lead the way,” I tell her as I link our arms together once my stomach has settled. Too much magic I suppose not to mention the sight before my eyes. I have to find them. I just hope they’re here. Please goddess, let them be here.
“We’re going to have to ask,” Marilla informs and I nod as my head falls onto her shoulder as we walk together toward a young group of merfolk. They look so beaten down and starved that my heart clenches for them. They’re keeping them weak so they can’t escape but they fail to realize, or perhaps they already know, mermaids lost most of their power years ago.
“Wrong my child. Both of you being born has restored it to full in all the merfolk. You brought hope with you not to mention justice. You are my true queens. You hold more power than you know and only you may unearth me,” the water sings faintly to me. To both of us.
“I heard,” Marilla whispers resting her head over mine as we stop before the young group of merfolk. I have to find my family. Know if they are here. Know I can save them.
“Your new,” A young boy around sixteen mutters before I can even get a word out my lips. How did they know? But as I stare down at my attire I find the answer to my own stupid question. Dammit. “Don’t talk to the guards. Don’t congregate with others and keep away from the water if you plan to live.”
“Thank you but I need to know if Meri is here. Ash-blonde locks and baby blue eyes. Skin smooth as the snow and made of porcelain. Rosy cheeks and soft tempting lips. She’s both fragile and strong. Daughter to Venilia. A woman with blonde sun ray locks and dark blue eyes,” I ask describing them to the best of my ability.
“That’s oddly specific. What are they to you?” He inquires suspicious and untrusting. He knows them. Just the thought that he might make my heart race with indescribable joy. I need to see them and hold them in between my arms so I know it was always real. That they are here and held onto us as I did them. I need to feel safe once more.
“My sister and mother,” I answer him hoping it moves something within him to take me to them. I just want to see them as I have always wanted to. As I planned to. Know my visions were real and not parlor tricks out of grief despite the time.
“Marilla Hali Conway, future Queen of the Ocean,” Marilla whispers to him and his face pales as do the others’ and I can only hope...
“I can feel your power,” a young mermaid tells us and we nod. “My queens, we have been waiting for your arrival. Your here... wait you shouldn’t be,” she whispers.
“We need to see them,” I whisper desperately to heal my mother and reunite with my sister. Meet her for the first time and hold her in my arms. I need her. I need all of them. I...
“We can’t take you to them. They’re heavily guarded. Merise and Venilia are special. They have more guards with them especially since Merise cast the spell to prevent us any harm. Every new bruise or hurt they attempt to do or got through with, they get the same pain,” an older mermaid tells us and I shake my head defeated.
“Special?” Marilla inquires curiously. We already knew my mother could hear the Ocean and the vibrations of the water. It’s the only thing we knew growing up. She taught us how to be in control of our own power. She taught us how to have a hold over it.
“They can hear the Ocean. They can hear the spirit of the water,” she answers her. They?
“They? Whose they?” I ask confused.
“Venilia bears the power of speaking with the Ocean Blue. Her daughter can summon its power. She can control any matter of water. Caspian can hear the water and call it forth but bears no power over the Ocean Blue. They’re special,” she adds confused by my part.
“Where are they? We’ll go to them with guards or no guards. My father belonged to the royal guard. I don’t care if they have a whole army of creatures. We have to see them so just point us in the right way,” I answer her and receive shocked expressions.
“Go downright that path over there. Walk eight tents before taking a left and walking five tents. A little cottage will be before you with creatures surrounding it. We aren’t allowed to socialize with them,” the older mermaid directs and we nod.
As soon as we do, we take off running. Following her instructions down to the very last word. We stop before the cottage to see her words right. Creatures of all kinds watched over the house. Just by looking at it, I could feel it. The power and the call of my own blood. She was in there. They were in there. I could feel it.
My heart racing and my mind scrambled as I stand before the cottage just feeling them. Tears well up in my eyes to feel them so close but it hurts that I can’t confirm if they are or not. The cottage is heavily guarded with both magic and people. There are no windows. It was built to keep in and keep others out but I need to know. I need to see them.
I turn towards Marilla hoping she has a plan but she seems just as lost as I am. We’re both drawn to that cottage. We can feel them there but what if they’re not. We can get in but we risk exposing our true power if we do. We won’t be able to give the Ocean her children back. We have to. Risking everything to get inside could destroy the lives of my people and right now I want to see my family.
More than want it’s a profound need to feel whole again ad if there aren’t broken fragments of me everywhere. Prove that it was all for something. The pain, the tears, the experiments. Everything. To know everything was worth it because I got to see them in the end. Because in some way it led me to save them but how can I know without exposing who I am to go inside.
“Marilla we can’t go in can we?” I ask her after finding my voice and with tearful eyes, she shakes her head. No words are needed but I know it myself. We never needed words to know about them. We could read each other so well because we could feel what the other felt. We could understand because we both felt it equally. Just as she always knew the words to describe how I was feeling before we discovered we were part of the sea.
Tears stream down my face as I grip onto her tighter to prevent myself from going in. I can feel the pull of family towards it but my mother wouldn’t like the merfolk to suffer because of her. She gave herself up years ago so I could see them all free. I have to honor her. I have to.
“We can’t leave this place until we free them all, this can’t be the only place they have kept our people,” I tell Marilla as I gaze into her eyes to convey everything without needing words and having the wrong people hear. She knows just as well as I do what this means for our people.
“I know but we have to free them first. This is our fight. They’ve fought it long enough and deserve to be free of it,” she conveys in merfolk dialect. Nodding as she gestures to the merfolk and I agree with her. “We have to find the best way without anyone getting hurt.”
“We’ll free them of this torment and stay behind. Our people don’t deserve this. It’s time we fought back. They can’t but we can and if what they say of Merise is true, she can take my place,” I relent back in our dialect.
“Do you really think they’re in there?” She asks with a broken voice and tears flood out my eyes silently as raindrops begin to descend from the clouds above.
“I don’t know. I feel the pull but... Let’s hope so that they are and we’ll discover it. Many need us and the only way to liberate them. To liberate everyone is by knowing and for that we have to learn more of the very things we hate.”
“I want to end them all. Promise me we will... Promise me if anything were to happen to me in here. You’ll do so for both of us...”
“With a heavy heart. I promise you to end this for them. With or without you even if it destroys me in the process but please don’t make me do this without you. I can’t do so. Your my soulmate and...”
“We swim together, we drown together,” we whisper in unison and she nods.
“Now you promise me the same thing,” I recon back to her and she nods.
“I will. I won’t be making the same mistakes twice. Now let’s find ways to liberate our people. Give her back her children so they may breathe life into her once more,” Marilla voices determined.
“I’m scared of something going wrong. What if they search for us?”
“They’ll never be able to find us and we’ll make sure they don’t but first we have to...”
“Free them,” I finish for her.
“Return to me my children so I may protect them beneath my waves. Grant them the peace they have been robbed of for centuries. End this,” the ocean calls to us and we nod.
“Remember my child only you can unearth our full power. Do not take it lightly and beware of the queen she lies,” the water sings into our ear. Who is this goddess damn queen that has imprisoned my kind? This queen everyone claims lies and is a danger in our plans? No matter. She was no match for us. We were the queens of the Sea.
“Who is she?” Marilla inquires in a whisper and we receive an answer from Selene.
“The proclaimed queen of the water is nothing but a farse and shall fall beneath the true queens. Only the true queens can rid the evil threatening the water spirits of the sea,” Selene speaks. A prophecy? We were part of one? Did Selene mean to say the queen our kind fears was one of? Was... Is she a mermaid? A mermaid turned against her own people?