Mermaid Story from Mermaiden Mariana
King Takumi softly opened the door to the spot where we had been relaxing. Jia was the first to flutter at the sight of her father’s elegant amethyst robe as he drifted in. “Your parents are gathered in my private chamber. We ask that you come at once to discuss your recent journey,” he gently commanded. Somberly the seven princesses (plus Sid) let go of their FinFriends and one by one made their way to the king’s meeting room. I couldn’t help but think of losing Cal, my oldest friend and confidant.
“How long do you think they will keep us in isolation as punishment?” Serena whispered to Zoey.
“Hopefully just long enough to find that evil sea witch!” Zoey snarled.
Brynn took my hand as we entered the room. “Remember Scar–, I mean Mariana. We lasses gotta stick together! No matter the trouble, things will end up grand.”
I appreciated her optimism but there was so much turmoil, it was hard to think straight. I hoped that finding my true identity would provide new clarity, but it seemed to be scrambling my thoughts even further. Combined with my ability to feel the emotions of others, my brain felt like an overflowing volcano. Ugh. Volcano. How could I possibly live in the Mariana Fortress?
As my mind continued to wander, I felt a pinch on the arm that pulled me back to stinging reality.
“Ya better answer your father, lass,” Brynn murmured.
In a flash, I realized that my father was standing in front of me, apart from the other parents.
“Mariana, did you hear me? I need to know if you have any information that could help us find Damon, Calisto, or that disgusting fish Noodles.”
I recalled our harrowing experience in my once-beautiful kingdom. The memories played through my mind. The smothering blackness with no end. The heat of the lava flowing dangerously. “No, father. I can’t remember anything useful.”
He turned to look at the others. “Zoey. I need to know if Cal told you anything that may help us find those wretched spirits,” my father pressed.
“No, King Caspian. It was total chaos. ,” Zoey replied sheepishly.
“You didn’t let me – or us – down. You’re all very brave. You rescued me after nearly two decades of captivity and fought my tormentors with unbreakable strength. Soon we will need to go to the MerCouncil and I want to make sure that we provide them with complete information,” he explained.
The MerCouncil? The other Mermaidens seem comfortable talking to the highest council of the Merworld. But me? I still get nervous. Especially now that the MerCouncil will be deciding the future of Mariana Kingdom and…me. Will I have to tell them about my special power? Destiny told me that when we visit the MerCouncil, they will officially appoint me as the newest Mermaiden. I’m excited to have seven new sisters and to represent my home sea. But this is too much, too fast.
One minute I’m prowling the seas looking for pirates with Cal, the next minute Cal’s gone, my Father’s alive, and I’m a princess!
My thoughts turned melancholy as Destiny’s father began to describe the consequences for taking on the evils in Mariana Kingdom alone. I wish Cal was here with me.. He understood me. He made me feel better.
“You were all reckless. Sneaking out to take on Calisto and her army was foolish. You could have been killed.” Destiny interrupted. “Father, with all due respect, we aren’t children anymore. You’re going to have to start treating us like the women we are.” She spoke firmly, but respectfully.
“Ah, don’t judge the punishment before it’s doled,” said King Lyron firmly. “You might be surprised at our proposal.”
We all floated silently, waiting for him to finish.
“As your parents, we agree that with each passing year you’re transforming into talented princesses with a propensity for curiosity and a bit of mischief. We know we can’t keep you under lock and key, but we want you to be safe and learn to protect yourselves. We have decided that the consequence of your escapade is that you are all going to mermaid self-defense training right after we visit the MerCouncil. It’s time that you learn to protect yourselves from potential danger as you begin to deal with humans and their complexities.”
I was stunned. Who would have thought that becoming a princess was going to provide me with this opportunity? This may feel like punishment to the others, but I was thrilled! As I looked around the room I could sense fear in Jia and Waverlee. A little excitement from Zoey and Destiny. Brynn’s mind was churning and eager. Serena and Crystal seemed hesitant and confused.
“What am I? Chopped seaweed?” said Sid from the back of the room. He had tried to stay quiet and hidden – especially when he thought a harsh punishment was coming – but now his emotions were on fire.
“Oh Sid. We know that you’ve learned a lot during while you’ve been out on your own. But it’s time for your sister and the other Mermaidens to learn how to defend themselves,” said King Lyron. “You’ve all just experienced some of the worst kinds of merfolk. What will you do when you run into human that are just as bad . . . or worse? Ones that want to capture or even kill you?”
He was right. I had the misfortune of running into land folk more than once, and I know how dangerous they could be – especially for mermaids. I thought this defense training was a great idea!
“You will be taught by the chief commander of my army,” explained King Lyron. “He’s shown incredible capacity and courage since he was a young boy. He’s about your age now but has already been leading our militia for two years. His name is Amani and he will be joining us when we visit the MerCouncil. Your training with him will begin immediately after.”
I couldn’t contain my excitement at the news. “I already know a bit about sword handling, as my new friends have witnessed, but I’m looking forward to learning new skills, King Lyron.”
“That’s the attitude I was hoping for, Mariana. But first things, first,” he replied. “We need to get you all to the MerCouncil, so we can figure out how to find Damon and his wicked mother, and that miserable little creature Noodles. Plus, there is the business of King Caspian regaining his throne and you, Mariana, being officially recognized as the newest Royal Mermaiden Princess.”
I felt my father’s arms encircle me, pulling me close in a hug, and it gave me a strong sense of peace. Although there were many unknowns, the future looked full of possibilities.