New Mermaid Story from Mermaiden Waverlee
It took less than four hours after we had started before Zoey turned and spotted Obsidian, Destiny, and Serena catching up to us. We slowed our pace just enough to let them join us, but not enough for me to lose track of Brynn and Scarlet ahead. I felt a pulse in the water around me as my wave returned and suddenly the picture in my mind grew sharp again. The two feisty mermaids ahead argued as they swam past a blue tinged reef teeming with tiny golden fish. I smiled and opened my eyes as a thrill ran down my spine at the sheer adventure of it all.
Suddenly Destiny appeared in front of me, stunting my progress. “And where do you all think you’re sneaking off to?” Her hands were on her hips and, with one eyebrow arched impressively high, she glared at Jia, Zoey, Crystal, and me each in turn.
Zoey started forward again, forcing Destiny to swim backward to stay ahead of her. “You know exactly where we’re going,” she rolled her eyes impatiently as she swung Destiny around to swim alongside us. “And before you go on about how we didn’t take you, I’ll have you know that it wasn’t personal. Jia woke up shortly after Brynn left and nearly bashed my head in tripping over me and when I yelled, Waverlee woke up. And of course Waverlee can’t keep her trap shut so Crystal, who’s a light sleeper apparently, insisted on coming. Honestly I’m a bit shocked that any of you could sleep through all the racket these three made.”
“Hey! I can too be quiet! Besides, it was your loud mouth that woke me up in the first place,” I countered.
Zoey huffed and turned back to Destiny. “Anyway, we knew you above anyone could find us without a problem. And we were right,” she grinned broadly, obviously very self-satisfied. “Now we’re glad you caught up but you’re slowing down our pace so would you mind moving aside?”
Destiny, still a little flustered and peeved, seemed to resign herself to our story. “Fine,” she grumbled. “But I still think you should have woken us all up.”
I laughed and patted her arm. “No offense sweetie, but I’m not sure we could have woken you up if we’d tried. You’re a deep sleeper. I mean, you’d have to be, to snore as loudly as you do.”
Destiny’s protests were hardly heard over the chorus of giggling that followed. I laughed delightedly and put my arm around Destiny’s shoulders to hug her close as we continued on. Obsidian drew up next to me on the other side. “I have a question. How were you all following Brynn and Scarlet without Destiny?”
I coughed a little uncomfortably while Zoey, Crystal, and Jia left the question to me. “Well,” I started, very aware of Destiny’s questioning gaze. “I’ve kind of been messing around with my waves since we got those pearls at the MerCouncil. A little while back I realized that if I send a wave out for a while and then draw it back in, the current retains the sights and sounds that it just passed through. So basically I’ve been using that to track Scarlet and Brynn. My waves have a tiny reach compared to your power,” I nervously rushed to tell Destiny, “it’s just a little trick.”
Laughing at my anxious expression, Destiny dispelled my worries. “That’s amazing Wave, great job!”
“We told her you wouldn’t be angry but she didn’t believe us,” Jia teased as she nudged my shoulder with hers. Destiny chuckled and added, “Of course I’m not angry. Besides now I can sit back and let you do all the trivial work.”
I smirked and turned to respond just as my latest wave came rushing back over me, cold and frightening. I froze and wheeled around, thrashing at the image that came crashing down around me. It was so vivid I forgot for a moment that the enormous Great White Shark that was sliding toward two unsuspecting mermaids was much farther away than it loomed in my mind’s eye. I was faintly aware of voices around me, asking what was wrong. Wrenching my eyes open, I searched for Zoey among the cluster of faces, tails, and hands all around me.
I found my voice quickly, though squeaked as I spoke. “Zoey, it’s a shark. A Great White Shark and it’s heading right for Scarlet and Brynn!”
Zoey’s face paled but she turned and was out of sight before any of us could speak. Jia helped me up from where I’d sunk into a crouched position. She nodded at Obsidian and Crystal, who dashed away after Zoey. Destiny and Serena hovered as they watched Jia study my eyes and then place my arm around her shoulders. “She’s fine,” I heard Jia’s voice say, though it sounded muffled and faraway. “Come on, Waverlee,” she coaxed. “I have a feeling we’re going to need you out there.”
We swam at a moderate pace until everything slowly came back into focus. I wasn’t sure what had happened but soon I could swim without Jia’s help. The cold grip of fear washed over me as I began to recognize the path we took. The terrain was rockier now and uneven. Just as we rose over a slanted hill of gray stony sand, a blast of light appeared just ahead of us. I fumbled, putting my hands to my eyes, dazed and slightly blinded. I heard Destiny grunt beside me and Serena yelped.
Blinking furiously, I waited impatiently for the black and red spots on the inside of my eyelids to go away before I struggled forward, arms raised like a zombie. Someone yelled my name and then two strong arms were around me. “Obsidian?” I croaked, parts of his face flashing in my vision.
“Waverlee, I’m here. It’s okay, it’s gone now,” his voice still carried a hint of panic and his crushing embrace was too tight for comfort. I grabbed at his face and held his forehead to mine until finally, finally I could see his clear blue eyes. A smile came to my lips but as I lifted my head to survey the rest of our group, it quickly disappeared. The red tinge of the water billowed from one source. “What…” My voice eluded me.
“The Great White caught them by surprise just before we got here. Zoey couldn’t get its attention, it was too wild. Crystal and I got a few good hits in but the thing was relentless. It only seemed to be focused on…” Sid’s voice faltered. We passed by Crystal, who was holding Zoey as she mumbled to herself with wide eyes. “It wasn’t right…it was like it was possessed…I just couldn’t get into its head…”
My eyes were fixed on Jia’s hunched shoulders. She crouched over Scarlet’s motionless form, working furiously. Brynn paced opposite her, but she stopped when she saw us coming. “Destiny, I don’t know what happened. She was right next to me and then all of the sudden that thing came out of nowhere. I tried to pull her out of the way but it caught her side with one of its teeth. I tried, I really tried…”
I pulled her into an embrace and stroked her hair while she continued to babble apologies to anyone who would listen. “Shh,” I whimpered softly, fighting back tears. “Shh, it’s okay. It’s not your fault. You did your best.”
Destiny rushed past us, despite Serena and Obsidian’s combined efforts to hold her back. “Let me see her,” she cried angrily. Jia looked once over her shoulder and shook her head, motioning Destiny backward. “No,” she said calmly. “I need space. Everyone back away.”
I took Destiny and Brynn and moved them away while Crystal gathered up Zoey. Serena and Obsidian followed us closely. We all watched, holding our breath as Jia sewed Scarlet’s wound closed carefully. But the blood still clouded the water at an alarming rate and as time went on I could see Jia’s hands trembling.
And then in one sudden movement she stopped. She placed both her hands over Scarlet’s wound and she froze. Seconds passed, then minutes. All of our eyes were glued on Jia as a faint light began to glow from her hands down into Scarlet’s side. Then, simultaneously, Jia slumped over, eyes rolling back in her head while Scarlet shot up, gulping in water like she had been starved of it.
We were all too shocked to do anything but stare. Scarlet noticed Jia collapsed next to her and, picking her head up to lay it in her lap, she looked up at us. “Help me,” she demanded impatiently. “There’s something wrong with her.”
I stood and floated toward the two of them cautiously. Scarlet was bent over Jia, her wounded side turned away from me. Despite her demands for help, I ignored her and slowly circled the pair of them. When I saw it, my breath caught in my throat.
“What are you looking at?” Scarlet challenged.
“Nothing,” I told her as I stared at the spot on her side where just minutes ago there had been a gaping hole. “There’s nothing there.”