A New Mermaid Story from Mermaiden Jia
I took a deep breath and knocked on the carved stone door in front of me. It was small, and I’d have to duck down to enter, but the cottage looked lovely. Like the door, the cottage itself was carved out of a large gray boulder, polished until it shone. The roof was crafted from different assortments of underwater plants, mostly seaweed.
I heard a small squeal echo inside of the little home. Then, the stone door swung open and an older merwoman looked out at me. Worry and then relief were written plainly in her features. She invited me into the lovely cottage with a wave of her hand. There weren’t quite enough windows, and the room was very dark. I looked around, surveying the tiny home. There was a small kitchen, a living area, and two small bedrooms with no doors. The merwoman floated in front of me. Hiding behind her soft emerald tail, two young mermaids peeped out at me with big eyes. I smiled kindly down at them before I looked up at their mother and said, “Hello. My name is—“
I only got that far when one of the little mermaids darted out in front of her mother and latched onto my tail, hugging me tightly. She started to babble… “Oh, Princess Jia, you have to help us! My sister is sick! She can’t come pick seaweed with me for Mommy. Please, Princess Jia, heal her so we can play together again.”
Obviously embarrassed, her mother started to detach the little mermaid from my tail and apologize, but I raised my hand and smiled at her. Then I bent down and looked into the little blue eyes that were staring up at me with bubbles leaking out. “What’s your name, little one?” I asked her softly.
“My name is Mei.”
“Well, Mei, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. You lead me to your sister, and I’ll show you and your mother which ingredients to use to heal her. That way, if she ever gets sick again, you’ll know how to help her. Does that sound like a good plan?”
The child’s smile was a ray of sunlight that lit up the dark room. She simply beamed at me and squealed as she turned around and looked at her mother, giggling. Her mother stood with her other daughter and smiled at me with tears in her eyes. She reached out her hand and Mei took it. Then they led me to one of the rooms, where the young mermaid lay in a seaweed bed. She was very pale and very still. She had a sickness that no merdoctor had heard of. That’s why I was there.
My mother had come to me while I was packing for our upcoming trip to the MerCouncil. She had told me that there was a young mermaid who needed my help. With schooling and all my Mermaiden responsibilities, I don’t often get the chance to go heal the loyal subjects in our kingdom. I’m very excited when I do get the opportunity. I love to help people. It’s what I do best.
I knelt by the little mermaid’s side and asked her mother a few questions. How long had she been like this? When was the last time she ate? Had she ever been this ill before? These things would help me to know what to use. “She started showing signs of sickness last week. She hasn’t been able to eat since yesterday and it was only a little. Her previous illnesses were never this bad,” the little girls’ mother told me.
I was worried by her answers. If this was a recurring sickness that got worse each time, I would need something special. Quickly, I pulled a little pouch from my satchel and opened it. Inside were thirteen golden pearls. I pulled one out and set it in the palm of my hand. Then I concentrated and blew warm water on the little gold pearl. It slowly melted away into a fine, sparkling glitter. I sprinkled the stuff over my patient. Within seconds, the color came back into her face, and she sighed with relief in her sleep. I smiled.
“Again, Jia, again!” Mei shrieked with happy laughter. She clapped her soft little hands and beamed up at me. I laughed and explained that the golden pearls were very special and that I didn’t have enough to do it again. I told Mei that her older sister would be just fine after this.
Mei, her sister, and her mother thanked me countless times as I backed out of the door. They insisted that I take some special candied seaweed for Akiko. She couldn’t come with me on this trip because she had her own little job to do. Akiko carries messages for my father because she is so fast. He ties a message to her tail and she comes back with the response. Sometimes our jobs make it hard for us to have time to play together, but we always seem to find some time here and there.
As I headed back to my home in our palace, I thought about our upcoming trip. I was so excited to see Brynn again. We’re close friends. We keep in touch, although I hadn’t been able to see her for the past two years. I was also thrilled to finally meet all five of the other Mermaidens.
I didn’t know exactly what the MerCouncil was being called together for, but it must be important. My parents said I’d find out soon. They said a big change could be coming and that I could have a huge role in it. I hope so! I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world. This might be my chance!