A small establishment in some terms of palaces, but the biggest in all the toy world, this Mermaid Palace was ice-pink towers moulded with water-frosting and patterns running down their sides. Like some sort of edible dream it was striped with a cream top that cherry and blueberry birds sat regally upon.  To top everything off, it was an easy-to-access sort of place, and Polly found herself heading towards the main lift.

As the mechanical lift slid to a stop, Polly unfastened the latch on the door, and unexpectedly she was falling down down down a slide and suddenly found herself bumping into somebody. It was another mermaid, balancing against the front of the slide, dressed in a sapphire robe that floated over her tail, a golden tiara resting on her bright pink hair.

“Hey, watch out,” the mermaid said, picking herself up off the floor.

“I’m sorry…” Polly mumbled.

The mermaid shrugged her shoulders.

“That’s okay. I guess I should have been more careful standing so close to the slide. I’m Princess Louisa. I’m set to inherit this palace, or whatever.”

“Princess, will you tell me where I might find my friend?” Polly smiled, happy that she had someone to finally tell her what she could do.

“Well-” she started, before a braying voice echoed around the little pink-walled chamber they were in.

“And who is this stranger?” the voice snapped, as a lady walked in, having taken a secret door into the room.

As Polly, being in the lady’s presence, felt the need to cower, she noticed the elegance of the woman footsteps and the powerful airs that she had. Perhaps her hair had once been the colour of candyfloss, like Princess Louisa’s, but now it was stained with kelp and hidden under a silver and pink royal crown with shell designs and elaborate swirls trailing away from it. Her outfit was similar to that of Louisa’s: sapphire and splendid, but a full-length piece with netting from her bodice right down to the tips of her sunrise tail, and a dark shadow flower lay at her hips.

Louisa had also frozen, but her composure returned the longer they stood there.

“Well?” demanded the older woman.

“Mother, please, this girl is lost. I was simply helping her decide where to go from here.”

“Well! Then it seems we have an answer to all our problems!” (Polly was baffled at this remark) “Excuse me, there is a matter I must deal with.”

Louisa’s mother marched out without saying anything further.

Princess Louisa shook her head.

“That’s my mother, Queen Elizabeth. She always seems to be coming and going without really knowing which way, up or down, she is. My father, King Jacque, takes charge of all the society business.”

The End

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