Sereia Marinda Hanon
Drip. Drop. Sizzle. Sizzle. Drip. Drop. Sizzle. Sizzle.
“Today’s the day,” Marilla sighs resigned looking around. The water vibrating slightly in the beautiful hum of the water song. I nod knowingly and with exhaustion. Two days. Two days here. Two days of about no sleep. Two days.
It shouldn’t have happened. I know that. She knows that. Yet here we are. For a second I thought of breaking my promise to the Ocean and fight this battle from the outside. But that’s not possible. We would lose and my people would suffer. I just hope the moon goddess is watching over us now more than ever. We need her the most now. We do.
I breathe in the air hoping to get even the slightest clue of whether Briny and Caspian are here but to no avail. They’ve reinforced their spells, and we’re losing strength by remaining awake. Yet sleep is something that is being denied for us in hopes to be broken, but they won’t get anywhere. We’ll survive the sleep deprivation. We’ve had worst in the past when we ignored the water song for months at a time. Goddess knows the hell that was.
I couldn’t be more thankful for wanting to ignore the water song back then even if it was ridiculous. It’s proving to be useful today. They aren’t being too kind. Can’t blame them though, I set my people free without them having a rippling clue. I smile to remember their baffled expressions as well as their out of bounds anger that day. Idiots killed Marilla that day.
If it weren’t because of being with that wretched vampire she would truly be dead. I felt her die. It hurt like hell and I could feel my soul being ripped out of me. It was terrible and destructive. They don’t know what truly happened that day but I do. She came back to life because she was the forever love of a vampire and she bore his claim on her neck. Hidden from the normal eyes and visible only to those who bore as much power as we did.
To me, it couldn’t be clearer but the water magic in her necklace hides it from plain sight. It’s shielded by the water. Anger boils to remember her dying and looking around to the empty huge hall we’re in. A pool in a vast foyer that bears nothing but two thrones facing our pool. This pool is even smaller than the last one. Copper isn’t only on the tile at the bottom of the pool, but in the water as well.
Coming back from death is exhausting as it is, but to be trapped in a copper poisoned pool is destroying my soulmate. She won’t be able to take this for a long period, even I who has more strength can barely handle it. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for her. She’s back from the dead, and in a weakened state by the water.
The sounding of large footsteps echoes off the walls of this immense and useless room. There is nothing more but our prison along with two thrones. Nothing else. Hardly any light shining through to allow us to know the time of day. My back straightens immediately refusing to allow our captors any victories or satisfaction to see me weak. Even when I feel it.
The footsteps grow quiet but there is no one in sight. My eyes roll when the magic is clearly evident. I can feel it in the air. It tingles greatly. As if I didn’t know someone lurked there watching us. Their magic could keep them from being visible, but it was clear there was someone there.
“Show yourself, you coward! I know you’re there, I can feel your magic in the air,” Marilla demands in her strongest voice. Yet she’s met with silence. “You can’t even face me? It’s clear that you’re nothing but a coward,” she mocks the person. I can’t help but laugh at her remark. It’s most definitely true if they want to make us believe we’re alone.
“Dearie, don’t you know, that’s no way to talk to your superior?” A water fairy says conjuring itself from behind us with Edlin.
“And don’t you know, a mermaid is stronger than the rest of the lot of you?” I inquire earning enraged glances. “A mermaid doesn’t bow, everyone else shall bow to the mermaid.”
“As if, but don’t worry you will all understand soon enough who the true superior is. After today all merfolk will be enslaved,” he says chuckling but it’s nothing compared with the shrieks of laughter that Marilla and I release.
“I don’t find it so funny. The merfolk need a new King and Queen if they are meant to keep hidden in the Ocean and seeing as we have both of its Queens... within a few hours, the merfolk will become visible to capture. They’ll have to bow down or they’ll die. Merfolk needs to be governed as do the rest of us, take their royals and they perish. We have the queens so you do the math darling,” Edlin mocks me.
“Now that’s what you think,” I tell her and she smiles widely at me.
“As far as it is told a royal engagement needs to be established by law prior before the ceremony can be taken place. Merfolk marry for life and they can’t just marry anybody if their other half is gone. Especially a King. He needs to keep his loyalty to his queen or his kingdom will stray,” the fairy lectures.
“And an announcement and decree are set in place when an engagement occurs. As soon as it does they must and will remain loyal to each other. Bearing their necklace as a promise to one another. The merman or mermaid who proposed can wear a matching pendant or engrave the mark in their skin to prove their love. Something determined the day they unify their souls for all time to come,” Marilla finishes off for him. “You’re not going to lecture me on my people’s customs.”
“In resolution, if you’re both here, the merfolk won’t have new rulers. Therefore they fall and we can enslave them by nightfall. It’s all just a matter of waiting till the clock strikes twelve. Today they would have received new rulers but seeing as their queens have fallen, so will they. Thank you for making our lives so much more simple,” Edlin mocks us.
“We’ll see about that,” I snicker in her direction. “And tell your leader I know he’s in the room, he’s doing a poor job in cloaking himself in my presence,” I add respectively.
“You know what’s the best part of all this will be? No? Let me tell you. We’ll use you both to find the merfolk and enslave them for the rest of their lives,” Edlin adds.
“Enough, they don’t need to know more,” a potent voice says behind them. The cloak falls and we’re able to see his face. I gaze baffled at their leader. I suspected he might live but to have him before me is a different thing. The creator of the false prophecy. The warlock who fell head over heels in love with Nawfar and ruined the lives of the merfolk with his prophecy. Edor Udall. He must be over 4000 years old now. After all, he was 78 years when he had said prophecy.
“The liar of liars. The one responsible for the suffering of my people. Surprising to see you living and breathing when so many of our people have died and suffered because of you,” I snarl his way.
“How did it feel to be unwanted by my kind? To be rejected by Nawfar? How does it feel to know you’ve killed thousands and millions of my kind as well as enslaved them, only to be incapable of breaking us?” Marilla mocks him.
“And how does it feel to know your kind will serve me and the rest of the magical creatures for all eternity, where they damn well belong,” he says squatting nearby us. I use my hands to splash water towards him but their barrier has it fall back onto me burning my skin from the copper it’s infused with. The water sizzles. I splash it once more waiting a second for it to be fooled before doing so again and having it hurt him.
“Is that why you killed Lycaon Wolfram because he was able to do what you couldn’t? He was able to conquer the heart of a mermaid. Something you never could. A mermaid chose him and was with his child when you had her murdered to have Nawfar come to you. But not even murdering her sister got her to accept you because you’re worth nothing!” I scowl at him.
“Leave me with our little queens,” he orders everyone out. Edlin and the water fairy conjure themselves out leaving just the three of us alone. “Don’t speak of what you don’t know little fish. Nawfar paid dearly for her rejection, you wouldn’t like to feel her same pain would you?”
“Is that a threat?” Marilla questions him with a raised eyebrow.
“Most certainly little fish, I am not one to be reckoned with,” he warns with a coldness that transmits chills into one’s veins.
“Well, your threats don’t phase me. You’ve killed and enslaved most of my people. I’m not one to forgive and if I ever get out of this cage, I will make sure you can hurt no one else. You may have all these fools wrapped around your lies but I’m no fool. We’re not fools and unlike you, we are not to be messed with. You will feel the wrath of the Ocean Blue and the moon goddess for your acts,” I warn him earning a laugh from him.
“Murel said the same thing but as you can see it didn’t quite work out well for her. Many have tried and all fell. Lycaon couldn’t handle it but in the end, I was able to convince him that wretched mermaid, which almost ruined my plans in the past, wasn’t his mate. A dash of magic and he was mated to a wolf. I don’t see how you of all people will be able to stop me in that pool and by merely being engaged to the future Kings of the Sea. In the end, you are not a queen yet,” he condemns me.
“Perhaps darling, but there will be. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it now. It’s too late now,” I add and grow quiet as he inspects me. Marilla and I just proceed to smile.
Merise Orabella Hanon
I glance one last time at myself in my mermaid tail. Freaked like ever to take this step. I know it’s necessary but right now everything is much more real than when I first agreed to it. I glance at the white markings placed on my royal blue tail for the ceremony and the unmistakable silver on my white silk top. I smile as I touch Sereia’s necklace with my fingers to give me the strength and courage to go through with this.
“My water spirit are you ready?” My mother inquires entering the room I’m in. I nod in the mirror as I see her figure creep behind me. I’m unable to turn and greet her properly as I can’t get myself to pull away from gazing upon myself. A few days back I was dead and a nobody and in a few short moments I would forever be the queen of the Ocean. I would belong to Ronan Dover.
“I’m getting married,” I say with crystal eyes as I hold back the tears. I never even entertained the fictitious idea of me ever being free much less married but here I was. A few minutes before merging my soul with Ronan Dover, a complete stranger to my eyes. We were strangers and we were uniting our lives for eternity. Our souls forever bound when it was clear he was pining for my sister, but the Ocean needed a queen. We needed to find her. Find them both.
“You don’t have to marry him if you don’t want to. I don’t even know how your father had your sister agree to an arranged marriage or how he could ever be okay with it,” she says in pure disbelief.
“I do. He thought you dead. Nerice thought Caspian and Earendil dead. I understand why they did it. They wanted to spare others the pain. And I do have to marry him. We need to find them before the queen wraps them in her lies. I’m the best hope we have to find them, but I can’t do so if I don’t marry him. Mom, we don’t have a choice,” I tell her, turning around to face her.
“There is always a choice, we can always find another way to find your sister,” she adds to give me an escape that isn’t there. I shake my head and hold her hands in mine.
“I saw them shortly after I arrived here. It happened so fast. Marilla died and came back to life changed,” I tell her. Voicing the image I had for the first time to anybody. I proceed to tell her about my dream with the moon goddess and she’s left startled.
“It can’t be...”
“It is,” I assure her.
“They won’t last long then. You have to marry him. I’m so sorry my water spirit. I wish there were a way out of this. You deserve so much more. You deserve a torrid love story,” she conveys to me with tearful eyes.
“Like you and dad. It’s okay mom, perhaps I’ll grow to love him as you do dad one day. Or as Earendil loves Nerice. I know you’re mad at him and feel betrayed as do I...”
“Don’t. It’s something between your dad and I,” she interrupts me. I give her hands a slight squeeze.
“He thought you were dead and was miserable. Mom, he’s only been with her once. He married her because he’s an honorable man. He loves you more than anything. You being alive means you’re still married. His marriage to that woman is null and void. You are his only one and always will be, you’re also having a child with another man,” I tell her with a broken voice.
“I know, it hurts. I promise you, I’ll do my best to move past this. I know you’re right, it’s just hard to make the heart understand, but I’ll try. I promise you, I’ll try. Now let’s go out. Your father and Earendil are waiting to give you away to Ronan,” she voices stroking my blonde curls. I nod and she conjures the white veil for my day. “It’s the one I wore when I married your father,” she adds and I smile.
“I’m ready,” I tell her, and her arm interlaces with mine as we leave the room. I’ll stop being a Hanon today. I’ll become a Dover. I only got to enjoy two days being the daughter of my parents before everyone else. Today I renounce to everything for my sister, my family, the merfolk, and the Ocean Blue. I meet Earendil and my father at the edge of the spring on wolf territory.
They’ll be present for my marriage as witnesses and a future alliance. A sign of truce for my sister and Marilla’s sake. After all, they’re loved by a vampire and a werewolf. I smile at them and place a front so no one can read how I really feel. They smile at me.
“Are you ready Meri?” Earendil asks me and I nod.
“Time to make them all proud and I’m a Hanon after all. I’m proud to be both your daughter. Thank you for agreeing to give me off together,” I tell them with a melodic voice and they nod.
“Always my little wave,” Earendil assures me.
“I lost you once dolphin but I’ll always be here for you,” my father voices, and I nod. “You look beautiful by the way my love,” he says directing himself to my mother. She smiles politely and with a twinkle in her eyes. I know my parents still love each other but my dad having a child with another mermaid is killing her. She somehow had assumed if something were to happen to her his life would stop or be over not for the world to keep going on without her. But I’m certain they’ll move past this.
The music begins to sound to announce my entry. I take a deep breath and arm by arm by both my fathers I rise to the surface. I place a small smile on my lips for the sake of everyone else present. I know the entire merfolk are watching by the comfort of the Ocean Blue. We swim slowly towards my future husband and as we do the necklace begins to glow. My fathers hand me off with a smile and a nod towards the King.
He takes my hand in his. His cold touch breaks my heart. I know this is an arranged marriage to my older sister but he was getting me instead. I know he loves her but his coldness and seriousness breaks my heart. It just makes this even harder. His brother begins directing himself to the guests and begins with the ceremony.
“We are gathered to join the future Queen and King of the Ocean Blue together in the waters pertaining to the Ocean Blue. Both of them have decided to join lives of their own free will for the future of the merfolk and Ocean Blue. Today they bind their souls and become one for the rest of eternity, forever being bound by the Ocean Waters,” Leith begins and I listen silently while looking forward. I’m a queen and I have to act like it. I can’t look down or bow to anyone.
The ceremony continues with each of us giving the recited promises to the Ocean but more importantly to each other before joining our souls. Binding each other in one another.
“Drink from the grail of the Ocean’s most pure waters so your souls may emerge and be bonded for all eternity,” he continues handing us the grail. He takes a sip from the waters within it before handing it to me so I may do the same. I arch backward as does he, yet we keep our hands joined to keep the ceremony going. Leith begins chanting some ancients words and our souls begin dancing and swirling in the gap between Ronan and I until they bind. A connection forms.
I gaze amazed by the magic. They became one. Leith chants a few more words and our brand new soul splits in half to be divided into us both. Our soul is restored once more within us and we turn our eyes towards Leith for the next part of the ceremony. The final part the exchange of our ‘love’. The final touch to the necklace to allow the world to know I was his. He elected to bear no mark which broke my heart but I kept an impassive face.
“This ceremony is concluded. Seal the promises made today with a kiss to the lips,” Leith voices last and Ronan takes me in his arms to place a chaste meaningless kiss. Be it all for my sister and Sereia.
Marilla Hali Conway
It’s done. I can feel it in the ripples in the water. In the chemical reaction of the water with the copper. The Ocean has a queen. They can’t get to my people. They’ll be free. We may be here but I’m certain it won’t be for long. I have more than I’ve ever had to fight for. I need to leave here and all it means is we have to speed up our plans. Sereia smiles wickedly at Edor Udall.
“Sir, the Ocean Blue has a queen. The King has married today. It’s unclear to where, as they weren’t at the accustomed royal venue but it’s done. The merfolk have vanished. They’ve turned into nothing more than water. What would you like us to do?” A witch comes in running to inform them. Edor focuses on us and we give him an innocent smile.
“It can’t be! Search everywhere!”
“The only merfolk still here are the ones held in pools, the rest have banished from all around!” Edlin says conjuring herself in the room.
“How? You’re here! You’re both here!”
“Decree stipulated someone from my family was to marry the King. I was never specified directly by name, therefore, creating a loophole that granted the Ocean a queen. As I said, you’ve done everything to break us only to fail time and time again. How does it feel darling to be a failure?” Sereia mocks him with the widest smile angering him more.
Merfolk are unbreakable. Our spell worked. It’s taken its toll but it worked despite the sleep deprivation. We free most of our people. Only those in pools similar to our own are still captive but it won’t be for much longer. We’ll make sure of it. Together.