Sereia Marinda Hanon
My legs are back, so are Marilla’s. We’re drying off with towels wrapped around our shoulders. Our mothers are still sobbing. And it pains me not to know why my mom is so devastated by this. What’s so wrong with being a mermaid? Being one with the ocean? Surely it can’t be that bad.
“What’s going on? Why did we grow tails? We need to know! I know you know what’s happening to us when you’re sobbing hysterically about it.” Marilla demands as she screams for answers. I know she wants answers as much as I do but this isn’t the way. Is it?
Maybe they don’t know. No, wait she knew I was a mermaid. Ok, maybe it is.
“Dad, what’s going on why is mom screaming? Why are you upset about this?”
He just stares at me with sorrow in his eyes. Ok, he’s beginning to worry me. I need to know everything now.
“Dad, what aren’t you telling us? What am I?!”
I’m desperate. They said I was a mermaid. A myth everyone hates but why is, my mother crying as if I’m on my deathbed? Am I in danger?
“You’re mermaids and unfortunately it places you in one of the biggest dangers there can exist,” Earendil answers us. Danger? What danger? Why am I in danger?
“Dad what are you talking about? Why are we in danger?”
“Because of the first time a mermaid was seen,” Seaton snarls irritated. “You’re in danger because of a damn witch who lied about a vision they had.”
“Seaton!” Earendil reprimands him.
“What, it’s the truth and they deserve to know now that they know we’re not human!” He justifies. Wait, he knew? And he kept it from us? This is too much. Sure I wanted to be a magical creature and not human but I didn’t mean this. I was secretly hoping to be a wolf or something. i love wolves. Not a fish that everyone hates.
“So we’re monsters?” I sum it up for him.
“What? No! Mermaids and mermen are misunderstood creatures who everyone has refused to meet. Since they are afraid of the unknown and we’re just that...”
“Wait! You are all mermaids too?” I ask.
“We’re mermaids,” my mom speaks as she gestures to Nerice and then us, “they are mermen,” she then proceeds to point out dad, Earendil, and Seaton.
“But we’re all merfolk,” Nerice adds.
“Dad your extremely quiet in all of this,” I point out. I need him to talk to me. Assure me it will all be okay.
“Leomaris say something,” my mom makes a soft plea for me.
“What am I supposed to say? What do you want me to say? My daughter’s a mermaid and she will be hunted because of it! There’s nothing else to say!”
“Hunted? What do you mean hunted?!” Marilla asks as she jumps out of the chair and her towel falls.
“Calm down Marilla and we’ll answer all your questions,” her dad asks while I’m frozen in place unable to move. I’m being hunted? Just because I’m a mermaid? Can’t I just be human?
“How can you ask such a thing! I’m offended you can even consider such a thought,” the voice speaks and guilt fills me instantly. Why?
“Why do I still hear the voice in my head?”
“Voice in your head?” Seaton asks as if she were crazy and this wasn’t.
“Marilla what voice are you talking to?” Nerice asks her worry in her eyes. My mom looks suspicious almost as if she had an idea.
“What does it say Marilla?” My mom asks her.
“Right now it’s mad that I want to go back to being human,” she says at the brink of tears.
“What else does it say?”
“To join it. To be one with it. To go to it whatever the hell that means,” she answers mom’s question.
“Venilia what is it? Do you know?” Nerice asks her desperately.
“She can hear the ocean but beyond that the water. I always thought if Sereia was a mermaid she would be the one to hear it,” mom confesses as if we’re supposed to even understand what that means.
“I can hear it too,” I confess tired. Why bother hiding it? I want... no I need answers to make sense of it all.
“You can?” My father asks with surprise. Does he really think I could lie about it especially right now? Does he think that low of me, yet still I nod.
“What does it mean that they can hear the water?” Seaton asks curiously. Can’t everyone hear the voice?
“It means they’re special. They possess the ability to control their state. They can will all water with a flick of the wrist or voice command. But overall they possess the ability to heal, and enchant anyone with their voice” my mom reveals.
“Special as I’m destined to ruin the world?” Marilla questions.
“Mermaids aren’t bad or evil. We were just declared that because a witch wanted our power so he professed a false prophecy to have us slaughtered. Because of it, we were forced into hiding along with humans and in doing wakened us. You two are one of the few who possess every ability of the first mermaid!” My mother stands and professes her belief.
Tears stain her face yet she looks truly certain we aren’t monsters and I’m tempted to believe it, I want to believe it. But what if she’s wrong and everyone else is right. What if we are truly monsters?
“Wait, they can do everything the first mermaid could?” Nerice asks and mom only nods.
“Not just that but more. They are the only of a few who can actually hear the water making them even more unique, Selene must have blessed our daughters since birth. And not just her but Atargatis”
“Who is Atargatis?” Marilla questions.
“The first mermaid in existence our goddess despite us serving Selene,” Earendil answers.
“So we serve Selene?” I ask.
“No we serve both but we’re at our strongest on a full moon just as most mythical creatures,” my dad finally speaks.
“What is all that supposed to mean?” I ask tears slipping from my eyes.
“You have a higher chance of surviving and never getting caught, we’re more vulnerable because we need to be in the ocean for a month’s time,” he adds.
“Wait what do you mean?” Marilla asks.
“Merfolk have to spend at least half their life in the water while the other half can be spent on land,” Earendil explains.
“You’re not bound to it, like the rest of us so you have a higher chance of living and we won’t lose you,” mom says in tears.
“I don’t get it?”
“Merfolk have been hunted since the day the world found out about us and they are killed for it,” dad answers me.
“You had a younger sister once, but hunters took her, and we all know what happens when they do,” mom confesses confusing me.
“Merfolk that are captured are killed or experimented on but most die after a few weeks,” Nerice fills in.
“Wait, I’m being hunted because I can grow a tail?” Marilla inquires furious.
“And now that we’ve discovered your mermaids as well we have to leave,” dad inserts.
“Wait, what, why?” I can’t help asking.
“The mermaid gene isn’t always present since our kind reproduced with humans, we were really hoping you hadn’t inherited so you could live a normal life,” Seaton answers the wrong question.
“No why do we have to leave?” Marilla corrects him.
“Species can smell new mermaids so newly turned mermaids have to spend two years beneath the water, till they can hide between them,” Nerice answers my question.
“We have to go into the ocean?” I ask and they nod.
“I’ve already lost one daughter to them, I cannot lose another one. I refuse to lose you to them,” my mom says to me embracing me tightly.
“But we’ve never been into the ocean,” I argue.
“We’ll be fine, but let’s leave now and I’ll answer the rest of your questions once we’re safe beneath the water,” my mom begs me.
“What? Mom, it sounds ridiculous!” Marilla argues.
“Please Marilla before they take you away from me,” Nerice implores her.
“I know and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier but I was really hoping you would be human seeing both my parents were human,” she adds.
“We have to go,” Earendil pitches in. The doorbell interrupts our conversation and they all standstill. Fear swimming in their eyes. What if they’ve found us? I sit still and hold my breath fearful of who could be at the door on our Thursday night.
“You’re all being ridiculous; they can’t know it just happened,” Marilla says with the intention of going to answer the door, and I shake my head at her. She rolls her eyes when we hear a crash and the door slamming to a wall.
My heart races and horror floods my being. They know and they’re here for us. We’re going to be killed. This is it. This is how we die.
“Go, I’ll stall them, Venilia get our daughter out of here,” my dad yells at us as we hear approaching footsteps.
“No, daddy,” I saw my tears flooding my eyes once again as I shake my head feverishly at him but my mom immediately pulls me away and makes me run. No, I don’t want to leave my dad. What if they hurt him? No, I need to go back.
My mom’s grip on my wrist tightens as if she knows what I want to do. She yanks me even more as we head for the ocean. Crossing the bushes that separate Marilla’s house from the sand. My feet soon touch the sand for the first time. I look behind me and see Marilla is right behind us with her parents and Seaton. I keep searching to see if I see my dad running as well but am left disappointed.
In a second I’m being tackled to the ground by a huge brown wolf as it tries to sink its teeth into my skin. My hands instinctively go up to its neck to prevent it. I turn my head sideways as it nears closer and its saliva is on me. I try to hold it out but it’s stronger than me.
My arms fail me and it digs its teeth into my shoulder at first before biting me on the neck. I scream in pain and a second later the wolf is being thrown off me. Seaton helps me to my feet as the wolf begins to rise from its fall.
“Sereia we have to run!” He screams as he drags me but my feet can’t move as fast as I would like. Blood is gushing out of me and I’m beginning to grow weaker and weaker by the instant. My shoulder is in absolute pain and my neck is bleeding out despite my hand clasped on it.
The wolf comes back at us and knocks Seaton down as I collapse from the sudden movement. It tries to hurt him but he’s stronger than I am and is able to get it off him. My eyes begin to search for my parents and I see my mom fighting a vampire who seems to be winning. Her arm has multiple bites just like me. In a flash, a golden spear lands in his heart.
My eyes go to the direction it came from to see my dad running towards my mother. I look somewhere else and see Marilla running towards me to come to my aid before I’m knocked back down to the ground, this time by magic. My head is throbbing from the impact and my hand tightens around my neck.
I’m beginning to lose consciousness. I think I might actually die today. Seconds later my dad is by my side picking me up in his arms as gently as possible before running with me towards the ocean. Wind in my hair as I begin myself grow cold. I turn my head gently to where we were attacked to see Seaton running injured with Marilla over her shoulder.
Earendil is helping Nerice who seems to have been attacked on her side. I search for my mom as I see her running as well despite her entire arm bleeding out. She stumbles onto the ground and my heart stops. Behind us are wolves, vampires, witches, fairies all trying to get us. Earendil notices and runs back to help her to her feet and helps her run as we step into the water.
I can hear the water splash as my father runs into it. I stare back at my mom hoping she manages to getaway. Tears stream down my face in fear until they reach the water and eventually all just throw themselves in and disappear beneath the waves.
“Sereia, I need you to will it despite the pain, bring the mermaid in you and let her free or you’ll drown,” my dad begs me as we emerge in deeper waters while they are all chasing us.
I’m so tired though. I don’t have the strength to do so. I’m beginning to lose consciousness. I think I’m dying. I want to do as you ask dad but I don’t have the energy or strength to do so.
“My child don’t worry I’ll heal you and keep you safe just don’t go to sleep, let the water heal you, and let the water tremble before you,” the voice speaks softly.
Little by little I can feel my strength returning and possessed by something I flick my wrist and a wave over twenty feet tall is summoned and falls before us. As soon as the water hits my legs transform into a tail and I breathe below the water. My dad keeps me in his arms as he swims us away his tail flapping violently.
My energy is still worn out but I no longer feel blood gushing out of me. I’m still tired but not so much as if I were dying. My eyes begin to close as I drift into darkness.
“Rest my child, I’ll keep you safe from them if only you knew how powerful you two truly were, But the day will come when they learn to respect you, you will both change the life for merfolk but in the meantime sleep. I’ll watch over both of you,” it whispered as I fell,