Merise Orabella Hanon
“Because a Hanon needs to marry the King of the Sea, and I’m her sister,” I answer them and silence meets my ears only the sound of raindrops crashing against the ground can be heard.
Everyone remains silent for the longest time. They just proceed to stare at me. Nothing more. Everyone lost and confused. I didn’t really expect anything less but damn is it frustrating. I need answers and talking to know what is going on in each of their minds. I am not a mind reader.
“Her sister? Sereia has no blood-related sisters. Her only sister is Marilla,” a mermaid proceeds to voice out in dismissal. Yet my father remains silent. Please, Selene let him recognize me.
“Now that is where you’re wrong. I’m her sister. Two years younger,” I add gazing directly into my father’s eyes. Surprise crosses sapphire eyes but still, he remains silent and impassive.
“Two years?” A merman with Marilla’s sea-green eyes questions me and I nod. He looks vaguely familiar to me, and I feel as if I should know him. The question is why. I can barely remember anything before I was taken. The few things I know or remember are because Selene showed them to me so, I wouldn’t let their lies seduce me.
“What’s your name?” My father questions me intrigued yet dreadful of the answer I may give.
“Leomaris, she’s lying. You don’t have any other daughters. Sereia by blood and Marilla by love, don’t let her fool you,” the mermaid dismisses me once more and I become enraged. How dare she? Just when he’s recognizing me? What would she know about my father? The man my mother greatly loves. The one I have heard so, many wonderful stories about? Why is she answering?
“What’s your name?” Seaton asks, or who I can only assume is him by Earendil’s and my mother’s descriptions.
“I doubt you want to know, when you already have the answer,” I answer him.
“I don’t understand. They may know your name but I don’t. So, please answer the question,” the wolf pleads to me. I don’t want to answer but his eyes. His eyes are the same as the wolf we saw Murel with. Could they be related?
“I don’t answer to wolves, but I will answer to you. My name is Merise Orabella Hanon,” I answer while gazing directly into his light blue eyes.
“And who are your parents because Leomaris certainly isn’t, and you’re not going to play the he’s my father card,” the same mermaid who keeps dismissing me snarks my way.
“Alright, you and I are about to have a problem. Quit inserting your opinion where it doesn’t belong. Quit inserting yourself where you are not wanted or needed. Goddess knows that’s what got you in your little situation. No one called forth a stray. So, do me a favor and shut up!”
Seaton looks at me with pride and amusement. This is entertaining? How? Pressing matters at stake. Sereia and Marilla captured. Marilla dying and coming back to life. Me having to marry the King of the Sea on my sister’s birthday. Because out of everyone perhaps I bear more help in finding her than anyone else and hopefully before it’s too late.
“Goddess you have Sereia’s attitude and probably her temper too,” Seaton responds with a smile.
“Merise?” A woman next to him questions me and I have to take a step back from the surprise. She looks just like him or rather he does like her. Light brown hair and crystal blue eyes. Earendil and my mother always did say Caspian was a spitting image of his mother, I just never thought it would be this much.
“You look just like him,” I tell her as pain consumes me. I have been thinking about me being free and all the merfolk liberated that I haven’t even really noticed. I’m free, yes. Caspian isn’t. It’s part of why they stayed. My brother is still not free. Tears go to my eyes and a hand clasps over my mouth to prevent myself from screaming.
“Is he with you?” She questions as I shake from fear. I kept him safe. My mother kept him safe. Even if she was six months pregnant. Earendil kept him safe, but none of us are with him anymore. Oh, goddess. I shake my head in sorrow and her eyes fall.
“But he is alive, and I’m hoping to the moon goddess it stays that way,” I answer her and her eyes look at me both utterly confused and fearful.
“Nerice, don’t indulge her in her lies,” she answers once more and it takes absolutely everything in me to not attack her.
“Okay, who the hell do you think you are to keep placing your behind in this conversation. You didn’t birth me, you’ve never met me or helped raise me. You are nothing mine and yet you feel entitled to butt it. And I don’t like it! The only thing stopping me from going off in you as I have so many times in the past to others is you’re pregnant. And perhaps that you’re a mermaid, but it mostly lies with you being pregnant,” I snap at her.
“She’s my wife,” my father whispers but the wind carries his voice higher.
“What? No, your wife is my mother. Venilia Hanon. No one else. That’s like saying Nerice belongs to someone else when she and Earendil are forever bound to each other,” I voice with a broken voice and full of disbelief.
“I’m engaged to another,” she answers me and I look at her horrified.
“What? No, what the hell happened in the time I was with them? My mom and Earendil have remained loyal to you since that day. Betraying you never crossed their mind. Sure, they are expecting a child together, but that’s only because they want to know why Caspian and I are so special. And you were with others willingly? This doesn’t sound like what I was told. I was told how great your love was. Meeting no bounds or obstacles.”
“Your mother is alive?′ My father questions me.
“Of course she’s alive. So, is Earendil and Caspian. Sereia and Marilla freed us from captivity. Not just us over hundreds if not thousands of merfolk who want nothing more than to be reunited with their families. The only reason they aren’t doing so is so no one gets hurt from the shock or disbelief. Which is why I came in search of the King. So, a reunion is facilitated.”
“There’s more?” The King of the Sea questions, and I nod.
“My mom and Earendil are hiding with them while waiting to embrace their loved ones. Merfolk were killed but the majority of them were just taken captive. Marilla and Sereia stayed behind so, they could rescue Caspian and set the rest of the merfolk free. They found us and set us free. I tried to get them to come back, and my sister pushed me through the portal before it closed.”
“Where are the rest of the merfolk?” He questions me.
“In scattered facilities overlooked by their guards. They killed the King and Queen to find the future heirs and kill them. That’s why they wanted Marilla and Sereia. If they have them, then no wedding will take place and they can enslave all the merfolk. They beat us and forced us to serve them. Treated us like slaves and worse.”
“Did they... did they...” my father struggles to come up with the question, but somehow I can already guess it.
“I was beaten physically, called names, and humiliated. I was also emotionally abused as a child, but not once did they rape me or any of the other merfolk. They see us as beneath them, even worse than a human whore. They’ve only coerced sexual relations between my mother and Earendil to see if their child would be like me or Caspian.”
“You said they took them because they wanted to find me, and she was my fiancée?” Sapphire eyes questions me and I nod.
“Correct,” I add.
“And Sereia sent you so, we could marry in two days’ time? And you’re sure your capable to do so?” He questions further and I annihilate him with my eyes.
“Yes and I’m certain. My sister wanted what was best for the Ocean and knew she wouldn’t be able to do so. She had to save our people first. She sacrificed herself and gave me this engagement pendant so, the Ocean Blue could have a queen. She wanted what was best for her people.”
“Fine, if your certain then you and I are getting married in two days’ time, but right now how about you help me reunite those families?” He questions and I nod.
“Of course,” I say and he looks at me as if expecting something.
“Well, go ahead and call them so we may return to the sea.”
“They are in the sea. My mother and Earendil took them somewhere they could hide but they shall be revealed as soon as we return and you decree it. So, why don’t you speak to your brother about it before we arrive at the Sea?”
“Wait, wait, stop! Sereia and Marilla are still missing and in hands of maniacs and you want to go to the Ocean? What are you giving up on them?” A vampire questions Sapphire.
“Watch it, glowing eyes. Just because Marilla is your forever love it doesn’t mean shit. And let the record be that I am not giving up on them, but we don’t know where to begin. We have no leads in finding or searching for them. What I do know is they just released hundreds if not thousands of merfolk so they could be free and reunited with their family. I plan on honoring that wish!”
Wait, Marilla’s forever love is a vampire? Her dead eyes flashback to my mind and how later when she was alive, her eyes glowed darkly. A very dark blue. Even darker than Sereia’s blue-violet eyes. That’s why she came back to life. Her forever love was a vampire. A fucking vampire.
“No one said, we would quit looking. I only said I would honor my fiancée’s wishes along with those of her soulmate. Merise let’s go back to the sea to reunite them as Sereia and Marilla clearly wanted,” sapphire voices to me cold as steel. It even sends shivers down my spine but how severe his voice is with me. Almost as if he were pissed off with me.
“Perfect,” I say just as cold. I listen to the water song in my ears and entuned it to find my mother and Earendil. I smile when I have them perfectly located. I look at the people before me and concentrate solely on the merfolk surrounding us before entuning us with the Ocean Blue. We proceed to become nothing but falling rain only to be in the Ocean Blue a second later. Surrounded by all the merfolk Sereia and Marilla were able to free.
I quickly spot my mother and Earendil and am quick to swim into their arms. They welcome me with open arms as I allow myself to break down fully in them as Sereia’s fiancé addresses the freed merfolk about the reunion with their families. They both hug me tight as I do them. Shortly after I can feel three more people join us. I recognize them instantly even if I haven’t felt their touch in over twenty years. We are all a sea of tears.
We all share a shared pain or rather three. Sereia, Marilla, and Caspian. I hold tighter as does everyone else because nothing is as it was years ago. Everything’s changed. Marilla and Sereia are in danger and being held captive. Nerice, Earendil, dad, and mom’s relationships hang in the balance. Nothing is as it once was, and it’s scary as hell.
In two days I will be married. To my sister’s fiancé while she’s captive. Mom is pregnant with Earendil’s child. Dad is having a child with another mermaid who he even married. Nerice was engaged to another, but worst of all Caspian wasn’t here. He wasn’t free yet. He was still with the enemy.
He was with the queen. The Queen who lies, and doesn’t mind to hurt her own people. A mermaid turned who is as special as us. The Queen who turned or fell as Selene placed it earlier. He’s with her. And I’m here, safe. Life wasn’t fair and it was eating me alive. All of it. It was killing me. Just as it was killing them. It was killing us all. Drowning us despite knowing how to swim.