A Castle Much Unlike Any Other Castle

Adriannea is the first to let her marble face break the surface of the water, which is calm in the hot summer night. She holds her hands across her gills, and wills herself to stay above the surface long enough to let her sensitive eyes adjust to the darkness. They swim in shallow water, and close enough to the castle to see the men wandering along the walls, dancing on the shores. A great fire roars with life on the sand not too far away from where they float.

A long wall wanders along one edge of the sand, adjacent to another stone wall placed in the water, meant to tame the heavy waves of Adriannea's Sea. She takes a moment to swim along the barracade, disclosing her pity to the crests. "They do not know your bridled powers, or of natures' release, you will outlast the wall, and one day your hands will wash these stones away. I ask you for your patience, and I hope you will receive my apologies." She swims from the wall and back to the surface.

The castle seems most curious to her, and its' quite unlike any other she has ever seen. And that might just be because it is a more modern design. Two towers rise from a square base, planted firmly on the edge of the water, sometimes submerged. A set of stairs, lined with grecian columns leads directly into the water.  The stones, which look like a rainbow to Adriannea are a collection of limestone, volcanic, and sandstone. Bright yellows and oranges shine from slits of the walls; windows, a concept Adriannea has yet to grasp. The humans who walk along the waters edge wear garments of blue, purple, red, colors that Adriannea has only seen from the sky. How could they capture such fleeting beauty?

Adriannea lets herself fall back under the water, to tell her sisters of the fire. One by one the sisters slowly surface themselves, taking great time to let their eyes and gills adjust to the change. The sisters have the unearthly capability to stay out of water for hours at a time if required of them, but they have never tested this ability. It is just known to them, as many other details of their immortality are.

The fire cackles and fans into the sky in little pieces. The men shout out in deep voices, singing age old tales; sounds that the sisters have never heard before. Sounds that would not carry through water.  Adriannea ventures closer to the fire, but the other sisters hold back. It has been a long time since they have been near that burning, erupting substance, and they know too well what happens when their skin touches it. But Adriannea, young, and seemingly foolish ventures ever closer...

For there is something about these creatures that pulls her in. She feels desperate to see more, hear more. She disappears under the water for a moment, to take a breath, and then surfaces again. She moves through the water until its' no more than a few feet deep. She hides behind a rock and watches. The soft song of her sisters' voices she can hear, calling her back, but she does not listen.

Fate does not seem to linger long within the realms of immortal beings, but it finds its' way to Adriannea, in this moment. It enters her like fire, setting her heart aflame, she shakes, and struggles to not breath, for she feels as though she suddenly cannot hold her breath any longer. She slips back into the water for a moment to revive her air supply, and then surfaces again. She lifts her torso entirely out of the water, and rests against the stone, and looks upon the most beautiful thing she has ever perceived.

The End

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