A New Mermaid Tale from Mermaiden Zoey
“Oy, mates! How about a game of sharks and mermaids?” I yelled so that all my six of my new friends could hear me. We were all hanging around in the special room that the MerCouncil had set up for us. It’s filled with great games, cushions, books, and food! Waverlee got a hold of Crystal and was trying out this tube of what she calls, “lip sparkle.” She saw a human girl putting this shiny slime stuff on her lips once, and then later Waverlee found her own tube of it on the beach. It makes your lips shine, but it’s way too pink for me.
At my suggestion, Waverlee bolted upright and shrieked with joy. “Yes, yes, yes! I call being a mermaid!” She looked over at Crystal and then yanked her hand into the air, too. “So does Crystal,” she shouted. Crystal smiled shyly.
I laughed. “All right, all right. Who wants to be a shark with me?” Brynn quickly swam over to me, leaving Jia leaning on a cushion with Serena and Destiny. They’d been playing a game with a conch shell before I had interrupted.
“Okay, good! Now all of you girls go to the left side of the room. Brynn and I are going to stand in the middle and tie these,” I held up two strands of fat seaweed, “over our eyes. Then you all have to try to get across the room with letting us touch you!”
“We know how to play!” Destiny laughed. I winked at her and then tied my seaweed blindfold behind my head. Brynn did the same. I turned towards her and whispered, “You go to the right and I’ll go to the left. Try to make Waverlee laugh. She’ll probably have Crystal with her.”
“No plotting, you two.” Jia scolded, but I could hear the smile in her voice. “Ready, set, go!”
All the sudden, the room went silent. I floated to the left and listened as closely as I could. Someone bumped into something to my left so I reached out my arms and shot in that direction. My fingers grazed a cushion but I must have missed her! Then I heard a squeal of laughter from my right.
“Gotcha!” That was Brynn’s voice!
“Nooo! Crystal, swim!” Waverlee’s giggles filled the room. I darted towards her to try to catch Crystal and slammed into someone! I yelped in triumph as I wrapped my arms around her and went tumbling to the ground. I laughed and tore off my blindfold to find myself kneeling next to, not one of my friends–but a merman!
I heard gasps from all my friends and I lurched backward, away from the strange merman. His icy blue eyes bore into mine, his face framed by long black hair that swept his broad shoulders. He wore the deep blue robes that are the uniform of a MerCouncil trainee. He had a strong jawline and black brows that furrowed as he tilted his head slightly to mirror me. I blinked, and slowly he began to smile as he rose off the ground to hover above me. He extended his hand down to me and for a split-second I almost took it. What am I doing? I thought haughtily. I don’t need help getting up!
I shook my head and floated upright, brushing myself off. I was suddenly aware that all my friends were staring at me and the handsome stranger. Waverlee was clearly ogling him with her bright blue eyes, while Crystal hung back uncertainly. Jia was studying the newcomer with a questioning look and, behind her, Brynn looked surprised and anxious. Destiny just seemed amused by the whole situation while Serena carefully scrutinized him like one of those paintings she whips up, scouring for errors.
I looked back at the merman and realized how awkwardly quiet we had all been as we stared at each other. The merman seemed to notice this as well because he cleared his throat and spoke in a rich, smooth voice. “Hello, Princess Zoey. It is a pleasure to meet you and all your Mermaiden sisters at last. Forgive me for interrupting your game. You were obviously having a wonderful time getting to know one another. But where are my manners? I know who you are, but you’d have no idea who I am. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Damon, apprentice to Aldric of the MerCouncil.” At this, he smiled broadly and extended a deep bow.
When he arose, he took my hand, wrapped his fingers around mine, and I noticed the softness of his hands. They were perfectly kept, his fingernails short and trim. I quickly pulled my hand out of his grasp and put it behind my back so he wouldn’t see the sand caked under my fingernails.
“Pleased to meet ya, Damon,” I said with my head held high. “Since you already know me, I guess I don’t need to introduce myself. The question is do ya know each of the other princesses’ names?” I challenged him with a confident stare, to which he smiled humbly.
“I’ll do my best, Princess,” he murmured. He turned to the other six girls and put his chin on one fist. He furrowed his eyebrows and pressed his lips together in mock concentration. I rolled my eyes and Waverlee giggled. He winked at her and then pointed to each girl as he said her name. “Princesses Waverlee, Crystal, Jia, Brynn, Serena, and Destiny.”
Damon then turned to me and smirked while a piece of his black hair swept across his face. “How did I do, Your Highness?”
“Not bad, I’d say. But there’s always room for improvement,” I smirked right back.
He gave me a half smile and floated smoothly to the other girls. He started with Waverlee, slipping her hand in his and bowing to kiss it gently. “M’lady, your skin is as smooth and flawless as a perfect pearl,” he gushed. I rolled my eyes again as Waverlee nearly swooned.
As Damon moved to Crystal, she gazed at him with her beautiful blue eyes. He smiled tenderly at her and drew close enough to whisper something in her ear. Crystal’s cheeks colored a flattering pink and she smiled a little before backing away.
Jia stood silent and cautiously as the handsome young merman approached. He bowed formally to her. “I have often heard of the great healer, Princess Jia. Someday I hope to witness your miracles myself.” Jia dipped her head towards him as an acknowledgment, and her shoulders seemed to relax just the tiniest bit.
Brynn was next. She drew herself up to her full height and studied Damon with her green eyes. He smiled at her and praised her bravery and courage in guiding so many ships through the Celtic storms at home. “You are such an inspiration to merfolk everywhere, my dear Brynn. You have such a coveted talent, too. The power to give light to the darkness is a true gift.”
As Damon was visiting Serena and then Destiny, Brynn sidled up next to me. “What do you think of him,” she asked.
“I don’t know what to make of him. He sure seems full of himself, though.”
“I don’t know either,” she replied, “but I can’t stand the way he’s lookin’ at all of us. Especially Waverlee. I swear that girl is going to get into trouble if she doesn’t stop makin’ eyes at every lad that swims by!”
I laughed. “Brynn! I do believe that you may be jealous!”
“Me? Jealous?” Brynn harrumphed. “I do not get jealous over boys like that. They’re almost always more trouble than they’re worth!”
We both laughed, just as Damon appeared over our shoulders. His tail swung back and forth gracefully and it shimmered different colors in the light. One moment it was deep blue and the next it was a murky brown. I shivered at the mysterious feeling about him. Maybe, I thought uncertainly, maybe Brynn is right. But then Damon turned his gorgeous smile on me. Or maybe not.
“Well Mermaidens,” Damon said with his voice of pure silver, “you must all be wondering what has brought me here within your lovely midst. I have the honor of inviting you and, if you wish, escorting you to a large banquet set up for all members of the royal families as well as the Council itself and all its apprentices. What do you say? Will you join us?”
Waverlee started to jump up and down and squeal. “Yes, yes, yes, of course! We would absolutely love to, wouldn’t we, girls? But of course we’ll have to get ready and—“
“Woah, woah slow down!” Destiny raised her voice to be heard over Waverlee. “I think you look just perfect Waverlee and I’m starving! So please, let’s go!” She grabbed Waverlee’s hand and waved for Damon to show us the way.
“As you wish, Princess Destiny.”
That night we ate until our stomachs were full and then ate some more! The food was spectacular and the decorations were incredible! The entire room was lit up much brighter than any other part of the MerCouncil structure. There were lots of different tables to sit at, so we girls chose one where we could all sit together. Damon sat with us. Waverlee obviously thought he was so charming that she flirted with him all evening. I noticed he was careful to pay attention to each of us, though. But as he leaned over to say something in my ear, I found myself thinking about a different pair of deep eyes, green ones far away… and a dimpled smile that makes the words in my mouth turn into a sigh…