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In a society where mythic creatures exist and live among human, acceptance is most of the time easy. However, even the greatest civilization has flaws...
In the mermaid’s community, it was peaceful and beautiful. But mermaids were fierce warriors. Like human Amazons, no male was allowed in their nest. Reproduction was made artificially by insemination. Back in their history, all males were put to death more than two centuries ago. When a mermaid gave birth to a male, it was rarely the case, he was immediately killed. In human terms, you could have compared this to a really extreme form of the matriarch.
Mermaids don’t know love nor affection. When they reach the age of 5 sun’s cycles, because years don’t exist there, the training begins. They are trained for combat, weapon handling, and suggestive chant. Suggestive chant is proper to mermaids. This allows them to deceive the sailors approaching a pod. Sadly, it’s common, for cruelest mermaids, to attract the men with that chant and drown them on the spot just for pleasure. Only a few are given the gift of compassion and emotions. Coralya is one of them. Here’s her story…
Coralya was the daughter of the High-Priestess of their pod, Samara. She was like royalty among the mermaids. She was kind, understanding and patient. The High-Priestess daughter, at age of five, had the choice between protecting and being protected. In other words, she could choose to learn to fight or skip the training. Coralya chose to be protected. She didn’t want the burden of battle on her shoulder. However, she learned to chant and she was the best at it in the whole pod. She had a voice clear as crystal, bewitching and intoxicating. At this day, many sailors were still dreaming about a magnificent blond in the middle of the sea with a voice to die for.
At the Royal Nest, it was a day of celebration. Samara’ s youngest, Coralya, just turned 20 sun’s cycles. She was now considered an adult. She was thrilled, because that meant more freedom and less guards following her around. Even if this world was peaceful, pods, like humans, were sometimes battling each other for honor or simply to gain control of other pods. When it happened, it was ruthless. That why the “princesses” as to be protected, because they remained the most efficient way to invade a pod by killing or kidnapping them. So, Coralya was aware that she could never be truly alone, until she found a way to ditch the guards…
When the celebration ended, the nest was quiet. The Princess’s private guards were taking a nap outside the room, but they were light sleepers. The princess had to be discrete if she wanted to “escape” her life for a bit. Light as a feather, she passed between the guards without stirring much water. She was looking nervous, it was the first time she attempted something like that. One of the guards moved and groaned so she stopped and prayed… Nothing happened. She almost reached the entrance when someone started to talk.
“How do you suggest we do that?” voice one said.
“I will find a solution to our little problem,” voice two answered.
“You have to be quick, the youngest is already turned 20, it’s been already four long years that I’m waiting for that to happen. Don’t disappoint me or you’ll have to suffer the consequences,” said voice one, sounding threatening.
No more was said. Coralya was intrigued, mostly because they were talking about her and she didn’t recognize the voices. But in order not to be caught, she reached the secret entrance, turned around for a last look and got out. It was so great to be alone with her thoughts, that she smiled and laughed. No one to witness her craziness, she swam in a circle, laughing loudly, arms above her head until she reached the surface. It was night time at the surface too. The sky was covered with white dots and it was so dark that we could see the Milky Way wrap up the stars in its transparent blanket. It was stunning. She never saw this scenery before, because she never was allowed on the surface. Her mother always said it was too dangerous for her to get caught in fishermen’s net or to be seen by someone. At this precise moment, Coralya didn’t feel any danger. There were no boats around or anything else, she was safe. Then, she heard what seemed a splash of water behind her. She turned around, but nothing.
She started to swim at the surface to remember as much as possible until the next time she could, then she heard it again, splash. She was maybe a mile away from where she heard it the first time. Coralya wasn’t trained for self-defense like the other mermaids, so she was starting to be afraid. A thousand scenarios played in her head: kidnapping, murder or worst, torture. She was looking around nervously and caught at the corner of her eye a movement. Panic got the best of her. She started to swim as fast as possible when someone grabbed her waist and put a hand on her mouth.
She tried to scream, but what good would it make. She was trapped like an idiot. She should have just stayed at the nest. She’ll probably die and never see her family again. Stupid, stupid, stupid... she beat herself up mentally. And then…
“Please stay calm,” said a deep voice. “I really don’t want to hurt you. Will you scream if I remove my hand?” the voice whispered to my ear.
She made a NO sign with her head and the second the mermaid removed her hand, she screamed as loudly as she could. “HELP!”
The mermaid put back her hand on Coralya’s mouth and faster than she could ever have gone, they dove and disappeared in the deep sea. Coralya was scared out of her mind. A few minutes later, they reached a cave a few miles from the surface. It was gloomy and cold. The Princess’s worst nightmare was coming true, the stranger put her in a cage and, by the sound of it, locked it behind her. When she turned back, she didn’t expect what was in front of her. It wasn’t a mermaid, like she thought at first, it was a merman. Stunned, Coralya stared at him, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. They were supposed to be inexistent, but she had one in front of her eyes.
Uncomfortable, he spoke first.
“Hey, I didn’t want to put you in a cage, but I was afraid you ran off to tell someone. I’m sorry and I’m Fynn by the way. Sorry for my manners, it’s been a long time since I spoke with someone.” He said frantic and smiling like an idiot. “Like the fact that you stare at me since too long says that I’m not supposed to be alive and I know that. I’ve been a fugitive since a long time. My mother thought she’d killed me, but, I don’t know how or why, I survived. An old mermaid, a loner, without a pod, took me in and raised me… Look at me, I’m talking and talking… I’m sorry.”
He lowered his head and shut up.
He seemed more nervous than the Princess was. Coralya realized fast that she wasn’t in any danger. He was as lost as she was. The difference was, she had a family, a pod to protect her, he had no one.
“It’s okay, if you let me out, I won’t run I promise,” she said.
You could tell he wasn’t sure if he could believe her or not. It took a few minutes before he reached for the lock and opened it. The Princess slowly came out of the cage and, as promised, stayed in the cave with him. She was fascinated by him, like everyone in her pod, she’d never seen a merman before. All there was to know about merman was myths and legends.
She approached him slowly and started to touch him. Her right hand was caressing his hair and the other, his face. The left hand moved down on his broad shoulder and, lower, found one nipple, but it wasn’t shaped like hers. She pinched and pull before he caught her hand laughing.
“Don’t pull it, it’s sensitive, like yours, I imagine. Not that I want to touch or even look, but don’t take this the wrong way, you’re beautiful and I want to touch… no, no, I didn’t mean it like that. Oh my, I’m gonna stop talking now”. Coralya laughed genuinely amused by the way he could dug his own grave really fast. “You’re funny” she simply said. His face relaxed and the Princess seemed to notice for the first time his gorgeousness. He had blue eyes, dark hair, slim body, and a beautiful face. Coralya felt weird inside, but didn’t know what it was. Like a heatwave in her belly. Like she will discover later, this heatwave was attraction.
“I need to go back before the nest wakes up. They will know for sure I escaped the guard’s surveillance during the night if I don’t go now” she said a little sad.
“Will you come back?” he asked terrified of the answer.
“I will try, I promise” before she had the time to exit the cave, he took her hand, turned her around and put his lips on hers. She didn’t know how to react, so she stayed there motionless until he had finished doing whatever he was doing. Without explanation he let her go.
She didn’t intend to stay out of the nest this long, she could get caught at any moment now. When she arrived at the gate, she noticed something strange. The guards, she was supposed to see by now, weren’t there. The gate was left unprotected. When she took the secret passage to go back in her room, she heard her mother and the First Advisor talking with someone. She was taught it’s not polite to eavesdrop, but no one knew she could hear, so no harm there.
“You will regret this…” said Samara before being interrupted by an unknown voice.
“Where’s the youngest Princess? She’s not in her room,” demanded the person.
“You won’t touch my daughter, I won’t allow it,” said the High-Priestess.
The other person laughed and the Princess heard what it seemed to be a slap. Samara made a sound like she was hurt or something and at the same time, Coralya smelled blood, probably her mother’s. She didn’t have any combat training, so she didn’t have much leverage here. The Princess took the hardest decision of her life. She decided to go before getting caught and come back with a plan that won’t kill her.
With a last look above her shoulder, she snuck out of the nest the same way she did in the middle of the night. Her pod was under attack and she knew it.
To be continued in Part 2…