Sereia Marinda Conway
I ran out of the car at full speed in search of Marilla. She has to know. We may be in danger. I have to tell her. My feet refuse to stop running all the steps unable to settle as the fear of being ripped to shreds by werewolves plagues my heart. I come crashing into the office tumbling forward as I’m unable to stop. I lift my eyes and begin to search for her but am surprised to see the office empty.
Where is she? Did she encounter hunters? Is she in danger? Is our kind? Does someone know who we are, what we are? My heartbeat refuses to stop and just quickens even further. The ground beneath me vibrates and soon water begins to form before me. Materializing into something more. I’m losing control again. The fear of losing control begins to overpower me until the water begins to materialize something. it takes shape and color to transform into a dripping wet Marilla.
What is going on? Her eyes flutter open in fear. Hers just as overwhelming as mine.
“Your destiny lies ahead and tonight is just the beginning, the storm is coming,” the water hummed and all water shattered glass vases startling us.
My hands covered my ears as broken glass fragments laid around us with dripping water. What did the water mean with storm? What storm? Would it place mermaids in danger? Would it place us in danger? It can’t be. I’m meant to get married before this and can’t do so before my twenty-fifth birthday. The wedding is meant to be on my birthday to liberate my people. Help them escape the fate of death by hunters. Marilla was just as startled.
Clickety, click. The clicking of heels near our door along with the vibrating of the spilled water alerted us of someone near. Marilla soaking wet and our office a dear mess. Shattered fragments everywhere. Marilla steamed herself dry immediately just as the door opened to reveal Zoe Massetts a co-worker. She was a well-known event organizer but also Marilla’s friend. She was going through a very bad break-up or something. She was human with the mix of something else. A hybrid but of what is unknown to me. Never cared to find out and still don’t.
“Marilla... Oh hi, Sereia,” she stopped at my sight. I guess they had plans that will have to wait. A storm is coming and we have to hide. Talk about tonight. Our powers.
“Zoe,” I reply anxiously to get rid of her. Marilla glares at me for my tone. But it’s something I can’t help. Dad is more reserved while my mom saw it to be kind to everyone. Titles meant nothing to her she cared more about what was in their hearts. She left. She died and now I have an arranged marriage to a man that despite being great my heart can’t accept. I care for him and love him as a friend and struggle to see him as more.
“What happened here?” She questions surveying the room. Her eyes hinted concern and worry. I follow her gaze to see her closely examining the glass fragments.
“Nothing,” I cut her off. I don’t need her suspecting a thing.
“My child settle down and come to me, be one with me,” the water song made echo in my ear. I closed my eyes with delight as I heard its call for me. “I need you,” it hummed faintly and the spell broke. The silence of the water is not something I’m used to. It was unsettling. I could feel the light pull to the ocean blue but the water song no longer vibrated through my insides. Something’s wrong.
“If you say so Marilla, anyway I was hoping we could go out tonight?” I heard Zoe ask her and realized I had missed their conversation. The pull of the water weakening. It’s not something I am accustomed to. It’s always there. The voice, the pull, the need to be one with the water. It warned and went silent. This isn’t right.
“Maybe tomorrow? Sereia and I have plans for tonight,” Marilla apologized as if she hinted the unsettling feeling I felt. Was this the storm the water spoke about? Not hearing it’s voice or hum? My mother knew everything to it seeing as she bore some power but none compared to ours. She came from a pure-blooded family of mermaids.
“Conway, is Hanon back yet?” Shirley Templeton’s voice interrupted and boomed through our office. The headache began.
“Whatever it is can wait for tomorrow,” I snap at her. This woman will not come in here and demand anything from me. I have to get home and make sure our secret isn’t out, that hunters haven’t been alerted of our presence.
“The CEO wants to see you in his office,” she explained all too cheerfully. Her banshee voice shattering my ears and draining my remaining energy. She stared before us for a slight second as her eyes changed emotions. Almost as if having a conversation. Wolves. Her pack.
“Shirley,” a man popped his head into the office as well and a cold sweat began to take over me. Wolves. A pack. His eyes remind me of the wolves chasing me before ending in an alley not far from here. Suddenly the mermaid within me stirs in recognition. He’s one of the wolves who chased me tonight. He can NOT know it was me. Being uncertain about marrying being the right choice does NOT mean, I won’t do it. I just wish my mom could be here to tell me I was making the right decision.
Zoe raises an eyebrow in interest to him. Almost as if she were attracted to him. Marilla looking uninterested waiting for him to state his business or leave as he just exchanges looks with Shirley. Wolf. Mind-link. Then his eyes shift to Zoe, to Marilla then to me.
“Would you mind?” I bark at him in discomfort as my hand clasps my heart necklace in comfort. My engagement ring. Mermaids wear a necklace only when engaged or on special occasions. We don’t do rings. They get easily lost and can be hidden but a necklace clearly represents we belong to someone. It’s stone, each unique to the relationship to demonstrate who. Merfolk are extremely traditional, the only people they breed with being humans. Land and sea should never mix. Most of those humans never discover our secret.
“Your scent is odd,” he commented. Odd? Smell? My smell is heavily hidden with perfume and magic. Mermaids mostly have a similar smell. Water is present in all and others don’t. It is masked with perfume. He should be irritated by it and not so calm.
“I beg your pardon?” Marilla voiced.
“It seems familiar as well,” he continued taking another breath. I need to get out of here. Wolves set me on edge. Wolves took my mother away that day. Wolves have been the ones to almost kill me in the past. And here he is wafting my scent. I can’t let him.
“You’re creeping me out,” I say uncomfortable as the power of the moon begins to radiate off me. I can feel it. See it. Marilla’s hand clasps around my wrist as I inhale the unknown air.
“I’m sorry but we really have to go, ” Marilla says pulling me out of the office before anyone can get a question in. We wait patiently for the elevator and slump inside. Leaning our back to the wall as we breathed in just as the doors closed.
“It went quiet,” I breathed.
“I went swimming,” she confesses in a mere whisper.
“A little afternoon, I just returned,” she continues choosing her words carefully. We can’t speak anymore here. We need to be in the safety of our house. Or we will definitely be discovered.
“Not here,” I say coldly and she nods. She knows I mean nothing by it other than I need to process better. We await in silence trying to process everything. I guide her to the car and we continue in silence while I speed to safety. Once inside I throw everything to the side and begin to pace inside our ‘home’ for the past four years.
It’s unsettling. The water never goes quiet, the water song is always present even if it’s a low hum. I have the intense need to run into the ocean blue and discover what’s wrong. I have my own storm brewing inside and I’m on edge of releasing the power of the ocean blue upon the world.
“Say something please,” Marilla pleads to me. Her voice breaking and tears threatening to come out. She knows how reckless that is and what it could do to our kind. The danger it entails and how sorry she is. The regret is laced in her voice and it could happen to anyone. We’re mermaids. We belong in the sea and being away is nearly impossible. I’m surprised she was able to resist two weeks without it.
Meanwhile, I can barely last a day.
“I think I was seen,” she screams out alerting me. Seen? By who? Hunters?
“Vampire. One second I was there and the next I was in the office soaking wet with you,” she speaks confusedly. Just as I had. There’s a storm coming alright and we happen to be smack in the center of it. What if this storm impedes the marriage?
“I was almost attacked by wolves but was able to escape. I don’t know-how, all I know is one minute I was driving away from them and the next the car was in that alley,” I confess.
“Sereia what’s going on? The ocean blue has never been this quiet. Something happened tonight. The moon was glowing brighter as ever almost as if it were calling for us. ”
“I know,” I respond. I’m just as lost as she is.
“Are we in danger?”
“Honestly, I don’t know but I don’t like it.”
“We have to get married for the good of the merfolk and ocean blue. It needs us. They’re killing it,” she pleads. I know. I just want to know this is the right choice.
“I know Marilla, I know,” I say tiredly. I never thought I would be part of an arranged marriage. Me. I love being a mermaid and know I could make a great queen but part of me craves love. It craves the soulmate Selene elected upon me. I just wish I had more time to meditate before the wedding but time is running out. Come my twenty-fifth birthday I will be married.
Marilla began to pace herself and unable to shake the suffocation I ran outside and dove into the pool to let the mermaid free. I can’t go to the Ocean Blue. It’s not just me anymore, it’s us. The merfolk and I.
I know the wedding has to take place. I know everything they say. It’s the one thing that they keep saying. I wish you were here mom. You would know what to do.
The moonlight shined on me as my legs transformed into a tail and I began to swim around the pool missing the freedom of the ocean. I just hope we can withstand the storm and do what is right. I hope we weren’t discovered and the water begins to hum in my ear once again.
I need to know what lies ahead and I need to know before it’s too late. Because like Marilla said we need to get married. Whether it is the right choice or not, the merfolk depend on us and I can’t let them down. I can’t. I just pray to Selene and Atargatis to keep us safe and out of harm’s way. For the sake of the Ocean Blue. Marilla was right and I needed to stop doubting my choice over some love story that happened long ago. I needed to let it go. For the better of everyone.