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I’ve been sworn to never reveal it. Lately everything about my world is changing right before my eyes. A breech in security is what they are calling it, a national emergency. The nation of Atlantis is under the scrutinizing eyes of the Kings Court. I would know, I’m the next in line for the crown. Last night while I was swimming around after curfew I heard men arguing in the throne room. I stopped to listen but I never thought that I’d hear what I heard or that I’d get caught in the process. The King and his main adviser were talking about a boy, a land-leg, our word for a human, who they needed to find who was to save our nation. I had heard the myth before that one day the king and a land-leg had fallen in love and had conceived a child. She was killed above the surface and their son was lost among the land-legs. One day it was prophesied he would start the change into becoming a mer during his seventeenth year. One of our youngest and smartest mermaids would go to the surface and find him and train him in our ways and that they would return, in love, and would take the thrown king and queen of our nation. But surely that was all just myth…. It cant be true, it just cant be. Fishtales aren’t real right? I’m not next in line through blood it doesn’t work that way. I was born with the royal mark on my shoulder a sign that I was to be the next ruler. We do not choose the ruler it is decided by the ocean. So I was raised in the palace with my mother and the present king, King Sheldon. My father died in a Man-of war attack right after I was born. My mother says I look just like him, and it must be true since I look nothing like my mother. She has shoulder length blonde hair while I have brown; her eyes are a brilliant blue and mine are the color of sea kelp. Her tail is the same color as her eyes while mine is purple. Which never happens, ever. EVER. Most mer’s are born with tails that match their eye color but there are those examples like me and well that’s it. I’m the only one to ever have this “scale disease” in our recorded history and it sucks barnacles. I’m so off current it’s not even funny… Back to my point the secret that I’m dying to tell someone. The boy they are looking for is the one in the myth our “savior” and I am apparently the girl that is going to go and bring him “home”. Yeah… I really am not looking forward to surfacing and actually having to live among the vile animals. They are such a violent species, more vicious than all the sharks in the sea. They kill their own children, what kind of animals would do such a thing? I am really not looking forward to leaving in the morning for my “quest” as the King so kindly calls it. At least they have figured out where he dwells, a place called South Carolina which thanks to my geography lessons I know is in the Atlantic ocean and it is the land-legs summer season while it is our fall. I take in a deep breath of seawater feeling the way the bubbles tickle my throat. I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to just be floating on my back and staring up at the lightening sky feeling the current my tail makes again. My bubble pops of course when there is a knock on the door. I swim over to the bed and pretend to be ready for sleep. “Come in!” My mom swims into my room and lands daintily on my bed. “Sweetie, I am so sorry. I never should have-” “Mom, It’s not your fault my destiny is crabby. I might as well just accept it and get a tail on.” I sigh a trail of bubbles escape from my lips. “I got you something for your trip.” She pulls a crystal necklace, a shell phone and a shiny card and a few pieces of waterproof paper and hands them to me. I pick up the necklace first and turn over the smooth black stone over in my hand. “It’s a handbook, about transfixing. I thought it may come in handy. Do you know how to use one?” “No, not really. We learned about them in history but no one has had to use one in a really long time.”
“I’ll show you.“ The necklace floats back to her and she places her thumb on the smooth surface and closes her eyes. “You just ask it a question and it will answer you in Mermish that way no land-leg shall discover our secrets. Here,” she pushes the necklace back to me. “Now you give it a try.” “I just ask it any type of question I want?” “Anything and everything. It has all the answers.” I close my eyes and ask the question that I really need to know. Are the land-legs all as evil as we are led to believe? Thousands of pictures fly through my mind of humans hugging and kissing and smiling and holding their guppies and a voice says they feel everything intensely. “You also have this,” she slides the little plastic card towards me. “What is it?” I ask flipping it over. On the front is a line of numbers and under them is my name in silver letters Acelina Halosydne. I am aware that my name is really strange and horrible. My mom picked Acelina for my royal standing and Halosydne is the last name all mer folk have it means sea born. I was teased so often when I was just a guppy. “It’s called a credit card one of their forms of money. That way you can buy everything or anything you cant manifest. Oh and you know not to let anyone else know what you really are right?” “Yes, Mom I know.” “Okay, the dolphins will be here in the morning to bring you to the surface.” “I said I could swim.” “Sweetie… you know I love you but you have to admit you’re directionally challenged.” “I am not!” “A blind seahorse can find its way home faster than you.” She says laughing. “Thanks Mom…” “You have the address of the family you’re staying with right?” “Yes.” “And-” “I have everything I need. Everything except being able to go to sleep.” “You know I worry about you.” “You know I’ll be fine.” “I’m just worried. Their world isn’t like ours.” “I’ll be fine, would you stop worrying. You’re gonna make me clam up.” “Oh… and don’t forget to call me once a week to check in.” I glance down at my shellphone, “I will.” “Okay,” she swims over and kisses me on the forehead. “Goodnight.” “Night Mom, and thanks for all of this.” She smiles before closing the door. So here I am just lying in my bed waiting for the sun to rise so I can wake up and get this adventure started. The sooner I get there the sooner I can come home.