New Mermaid Tale from Mermaiden Serena
“Serena wake up! Come on!” I woke to Destiny’s hands on my shoulders, shaking me from my dreamless sleep. Her loud whispers were harsh to my awakening senses and I clapped my hands over my ears to shut them out. Seeing that I was awake, she quickly pulled me from my cozy bed and dragged me across the length of our sleeping quarters to the door. I wondered drowsily why all the other beds we passed looked empty, but I dismissed the thought as a product of my tired eyes and the lack of light.
Destiny had marched us down a few halls and directly up to Obsidian’s door by the time I had finally rubbed the sleep from my eyes. She entered without so much as a knock, releasing her crushing grip on my arm to my relief. Then there was a scuffle, a grunt and a surprised yell, and suddenly Destiny reemerged, dragging Obsidian behind her by his ear. His chorused ‘ow, ow, ow, ow, ow” provoked a small laugh that escaped me, despite trying unsuccessfully to cover it with a cough.
Obsidian, now released, rubbed his bright red ear and winced. “So, not that that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to be woken up in the middle of the night but what in the name of Poseidon could have possessed you to do that?” His voice that had started out calm grew in volume and intensity with each word. In his anger, I finally saw the similarity between him and his father, though I realized this probably wasn’t the time to point that out.
Destiny crossed her arms and matched his pointed gaze. “Everyone is gone.”
Our confused silence didn’t seem to convince her that we understood the situation. She sighed and tried again.
“Scarlet, Cal, Brynn, Waverlee, Jia, Zoey, and Crystal are all gone. When I tried locating them, The Pull was taking me out of the palace. As far as I can tell Jia’s family is still here, but all the girls are just gone.”
“Wait, Crystal is gone?” Obsidian’s anger quickly transformed as his eyes went wide with fear. “Destiny, we have to go. We have to find her. Please, please tell me you can find her.”
“Calm yourself, Sid. Of course I can find her. That’s not the problem. I’m wondering why in the ocean they would run away in the first place, especially leaving us behind!”
“Well,” I finally spoke, struggling to form the whirling thoughts in my head into words. “We know why Scarlet and Cal left. Obviously, to find Scarlet’s home. But after our talk earlier, I thought everyone else was convinced that running off was a bad idea. Although it may have been a spur of the moment thing.”
Sid and Destiny were staring at me with open mouths. “What?” I asked nervously. Destiny snapped her jaw shut and shook her head. “Serena, you’re just a genius sometimes.”
She started to pace, thinking out loud. “Of course it makes sense that Scarlet wasn’t content with our reasoning not to run off. She does whatever she pleases without a single thought about the consequences. And now that I think about it, her things were gone as well, so she obviously planned it all. That also explains why they’re spread out…”
Sid held up his hand. “Woah, woah back up. They’re not all together?”
“No. I tried to locate each one individually and The Pull was stronger for some girls than for others, which means that some are closer than others. Waverlee, Crystal, Jia, and Zoey were closer than Brynn, Scarlet, and Cal. That makes sense though, since Brynn would be selfless enough to go after Scarlet, but too headstrong and independent to take someone with her.”
“And Waverlee would never go without a friend or two, probably Crystal and Zoey. I assume Jia woke up at all the noise Wave was making though, and that’s how the second group was formed,” I finished for Destiny.
“Exactly!” Destiny and I grinned at each other, momentarily excited by our sleuthing skills.
Obsidian cleared his throat to interrupt our proud moment. “You know, we could have just asked the girls about it when we got to them.”
Destiny came to life. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Sid. Let’s go, you two.”
As we turned to leave, I was struck by a thought. “Wait,” I told the others. “I have to grab something. I’ll be right back.” I flew back to our sleeping quarters and entered the room quietly, even though I knew it was uninhabited. The eerie silence was unnerving in the darkness. I floated carefully to my one bag I’d brought from home and dug around until I found the small leather pouch I was searching for. Just to be sure, I tugged on the little straps to open it and let the contents pour out into my cupped palm. Twelve tiny silver pearls rolled out, instantly lighting up as they touched my skin. It comforted me to hold them, even for just a moment.
Carefully, I placed the pearls back into their pouch and headed for the door. Just as I reached it, I heard a weak trill. I turned to see Picasso, hovering in the middle of the room and staring at me with his big sad eyes. My heart dropped a little as I held out my arms and he came hurdling into them. I pulled my little fish friend tightly to my chest, whispering, “I’m so sorry, little guppy. You can’t come this time. I need you here so that I know you’ll be safe and sound. Be a good boy for me, okay?”
Behind me, Destiny poked her head into the doorway. “Serena, we need to go.”
I smiled gently at Picasso and motioned for him to go back to my bed. The usually disobedient triggerfish did so without a fight. I slipped out the door with one last whispered, “Goodbye, my little guppy.” Picasso’s miserable trill echoed in my mind as I swam through the palace doors and into the cold night.