18 years ago-
The stench of sea salt boiled the inside of his nostrils. Luckly, he didn't need his sent. Cries of a child overpowered the sound of crashing waves. The sea continues its traditional dance, causing even larger waves to crash over the man's head. He calls out, a very desperate attempt to be heard. He had hoped the stranger would respond to his howls..
"Where are you?!" His head turns around, hearing the faintest cough.
Among the seaweed, a child clings onto broken pieces of debris. To young to understand she had just came across a sea monster, she looks up at him. Her eyes were red from the mixture of tears and salt.
"A child!" The man gasps in disbelief.
Quickly he swims to her, grabbing her off the dirty debris. Her arms immediately relax. She had been holding on for so long. The man took note how cold she was. Instinctively he pushes her against his scaly chest. It didn't provide much warmth, but the child craved comfort. She buries her head into his rough torso. Now even more worried, he heads to shore.
"Why would someone throw a baby overseas?" He talks to himself, "How can humans be so cruel?"
His fin splashes against the water, gliding through the sea at ease. Once at land, he grabs some seaweed. Hastily, he makes a soft bed on top of a rock. It was near enough to the ocean that he could reach her. He places her on the bed, now he could get a better look at the abandoned baby.
"Oh your a girl!" He said, sounding a little shocked.
Her hair.... Silvery white.
His heart stops for a split second. It all made sense now. The reason why she was left to drown...
"Oh you poor thing."
He picks up a strand of hair, twirling it between his fingers. It was already so long.
"It's not fair.."
He looks at the child's face. Her eyes widen in curiosity, trying to make sense of the man's strange appearance. Disturbing greenish scales covered his face, and trailed down his body. Despite his scary look, his eyes were soft.
"It's not your fault you were born in such a cursed bloodline." He places his hand on the bridge of his nose and inhales, "Humans are so desperate. They chose to hurt the innocent."
Thinking for a moment he huffs. The idea of killing a baby infuriated him. He puffs his chest up, not wanting the circle of destruction to continue.
"Well, I won't let them take you." He picks up the baby, "I'll watch over you for now."
Could I do this? I've had never had a child before. Frankly, I'v never thought about having kids. What is the first step of having a kid??
His thoughts run wild with worry.
"Your name!" He shouts, "I gotta give you a name!"
He taps his lips, as he tries to come up with a name. She was found in the ocean, so it would only make sense to name her something related to that, right?
"Uhh...What about Meri? That's Finnish for sea, so I guess that works." He speaks to the baby, almost expecting her to respond.
She smiles, enjoying this strange creature's company.
"You like that name? Then it's settle! Your my little Meri!"
"Meri! Come here so I can do your hair!" Her father's voice booms across the sea.
She rolls her eyes back and groans loudly. Flipping to her side, she completely ignores him. The sand was too warm to leave and she was too drowsy. Instead, she watches the trees above her sway along with the wind.
"Meri I'm not gonna ask twice! Come here so I can cover you up!" He pushes himself half way up the shore, " You shouldn't take off your cape!"
The cons of having a seafaring father, he couldn't leave the water. She pushes herself off the ground and wipes off the stubborn sand stuck to her knees.
"Alright dad, I'm coming." She adjusted herself a little bit more and heads down to the shore.
"See that wasn't so hard." He smiles, as she sits down next to him.
He reaches over her head and begins to tuck strands of hair into a hoodie. Struggling to get the cloth over her head, he growls in frustration, "If only it wasn't so long this would be easier."
Watching her father struggle, she helps him pull the top over her hair.
"I know. I just wish I didn't have to wear this while going out." She looks at the ground and starts playing with the sand. This was a conversation they had plenty of times, "People make fun of me dad."
"It's for your own good. If they saw the top of your head, they might hurt you."
Her father places his hand on top of hers. He had watched Meri grow up into a beautiful teenager. Everyday his worry grew with her age. The older she got, the more she wanted to explore, and the more it hurt to tell her she can't.
But tonight was different.
A festival at the local village was being held. A traditional festival, that celebrated the death of the spider-kid. Meri's father was hoping she could learn the dangers of her species and understand why she must be an outcast.
He holds her hand tightly, "Please listen to the king's speech when you get there. There are things you have to under-"
"I know" she cuts him off, "The dangers of the men in my bloodline."
He nods at her. Carefully he reaches up to cup her face. "Keep the hoodie on."
"I promise I will." She stares into his eyes. The same soft eyes that saved her on that faithful night. Meri felt forever grateful that he had the kindness to save her.