A warm breeze pushed my curly chestnut brown hair back from my slightly tanned face. A cool, wet raindrop bounced off my nose and slid down my cheek slowly. I wiped it away with my dirty hand, and stared up at the sky in wonder. Dark clouds were closing in on the horizon, filling the land with the quiet rumbling of thunder from far off. My eyes gazed at the long stretch of ocean water, reaching across the entire bay. I took another step towards the rocky cliff’s edge, clenching my fists together tightly. As I neared the mossy ledge, I could hear the crashing of the waves beneath me strengthen angrily. I could hear a soft voice call to me from over the noise, singing gracefully. It started calling me to follow it, and I couldn’t resist the urge. Before I could have any second thoughts, I was already plummeting down into the depths of the water. I felt an impact so immense hit my body as I sunk down to the sandy ground. My body writhed in pain, and I tried to call out, but a salty liquid filled my lungs. Darkness overtook me and I drifted away in the tide, far from the only home I’d ever known.
“Tell me again how my parents died.” I asked my auntie, staring into her hazel eyes.
“Like I told you a million times Alexa, they died 14 years ago in a car accident,” She picked up a dusty picture of an old family portrait, brushing it off lightly, and touching my parent’s faces with her fingertip. “It overwhelmed me with grief, and I had nothing else to do, but take you in as my own,” She whispered, placing the frame back on the shelf.
My lungs screamed for air, as I drifted in and out of consciousness. Time went by incredibly slow, and I tried pushing myself to the surface several times. All my memories seemed to seep out of my mind, and dissolve in the salty water. Blackness covered my stinging eyes as I felt soft hands grasp my body smoothly, and pull me away. I tried thrashing my arms, but soon gave up.
“I wish I could be with them now,” I sighed longingly, peering through the kitchen window.
“No you do not!” My aunt burst out, slamming her hands on the table, “And don’t ever say that again. Promise me you will never go looking for them,” A tear trickled passed her lips, and off her chin.
“But,” I started.
“Just promise me,” My auntie was now holding my arm firmly.
My body still rested between two strong hands, and they placed me down on something smooth. They stroked my face, and pressed their palms on my chest. Suddenly warmth filled my body, as oxygen entered my lungs. Air bubbles floated out of my mouth, as I tried to speak. My eyes refused to open, so I rest my head and jaw, and tried lifting my hand instead.
“I promise,” I whispered.
I touched something scaly, and pulled my hand back in fright. My lids lifted carefully, to reveal a young man about my age. He had short brown hair and sapphire blue eyes. He smiled slightly as I tried to sit up, and stared at me curiously. My face twisted as I relaxed myself on the large rock I was just laying on. I tried standing, but looked at the ground in horror. Seaweed grew up a couple of feet from the sandy bottom, and fish weaved between it, scurrying into pieces of coral.
I attempted to speak, but nothing came out. Then the young boy lifted his finger to my mouth and gestured for me to follow him. My limbs no longer ached, and I started pushing myself through the water toward him. I held my breath, but then realizing that I could breathe, I opened my mouth and gasped. It was a strange feeling, and suddenly my neck burned. I grabbed it with my hand, and felt something there. I didn’t know what it was, but taking a second look at the boy who had helped me, I noticed something on his neck also. It was like gills. The skin on my neck was beginning to grow bumpy, and slits cut through me.
I became aware of something else strange about this person. Where legs should be, he had a—tail. The tail was long and strong, and looked as if he had pulled it off of a dolphin. Its scales shimmered in the light in a radiant glow of blue and green. I was so close to him now, that I could almost reach out and touch the strange feature. I looked at my own legs, and sighed in relief, seeing they were still there.
He moved his mouth like a fish, and weird noises echoed out of his mouth. He was trying to communicate with me, but I didn’t understand. I spoke back to him, and weird words formed in my mouth like another language, but I knew what I was saying.
“Where am I?” My words trickled out of me.
“Home,” He replied, and I looked at him, petrified, “Come with me,” He said, hooking his arm around mine, and dragging me through the ocean.
As I was taken through these unfamiliar surroundings, I watched everything moving around me. It was as if all the water creatures had the intelligence of a human. They spoke to each other in lots of different languages, and I seemed to absorb it all. It made sense to me, and occasionally I would respond to what they said to me.
“Who is she?” A small group of fish whispered to each other, “She is not from here, she is human,” They would all gasp, and look at me in awe.
“We are here,” The boy said to me, releasing his grip from me, “stay close to me, and do not speak to anyone. You are not safe here.”
I swam behind him carefully, keeping my head away from his strong tail. We went through a strange town made of coral reef, seaweed, and other plant life. A queue of seahorses rushed out of one of the houses, and started racing around a dolphin’s tail. The dolphin was tied with a rope made of seaweed. It fashioned a harness around its face, and was attached to a stake in the ground.
A merman helped a young mermaid onto the dolphin after latching a saddle onto its back.
I turned to the boy and said, “It’s almost like at my home, except we don’t ride dolphins. We used to use horses, but now our technology has grown quite a bit. Now we drive vehicles.”
“What is a ve-hick-eel?” He tried pronouncing the word.
“It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ll tell you later,” I turned from him and smiled.
We stopped at a shop and walked inside. It was like a mini grocery store. The food was similar to what I was used to eating, except there was no meat.
“Is this what you eat?” I asked, picking up a plate of kelp.
“Sometimes. We also eat fish,” He pulled something from a pouch wrapped around his shoulder, and took it to the counter, “This is hirata. We use it to buy things.”
“Like money,” I shook my head, and he tilted his head in confusion.
“What is muun-eiy?” He said as he grabbed what he had bought and left the building.
“It is used the same way as your—whatever it was called, is used for,” I laughed when he gaped his mouth open in astonishment.
Suddenly I remembered everything that happened, and a million questions flooded into my mind. “I have a lot of questions I want to ask you,” I added as I floated through the water, my jeans weighing my down.
He nodded, and went up to a dolphin that was sitting outside of a building. He placed himself by the neck, and gestured for me to sit behind him. As I settled onto the animal, the boy took hold of the reins.
“By the way, what is your name?” I asked him gently, and he grinned.
“Kiguiret in my language, but to you, call me Chris.” He pushed the dolphin forward with a small kick from his tail.
THIS STORY IS NOT YET FINISHED