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SUZANNE CAREY
Sr. DTLAL Columnist

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PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea

"MERMAID COVE"

Life was feeling crazy, and I was in need of a break. So my best friend offered me  her beach cottage, on her private beach, for as long as I needed. So I arranged with my business partner to take some time off and headed for the shore. Everything about the cottage felt  peaceful, from the soft pastel colors of the walls to the turquoise colors of the sea, and I couldn’t wait to settle in.

I didn’t need to look at the bright red numbers on the alarm clock to know what time it was. Three AM, the same time as every other morning for the last few weeks. That’s when my eyes sprung open and my body decided it was time to wake up.

Knowing I wasn’t going to get back to sleep anytime soon, I threw on a lightweight jacket over my nightshirt and headed out the door and onto the beach. The moon was almost full and its light sparkled and danced across the ocean. I loved to walk at the edge of the beach where the water and the sand met,  feeling the cool wetness of the water washing over my feet. As I looked behind me, I noticed the waves stretched themselves out over my footprints, and gently wiped them away as if I was never there. That thought left me a little sad, but I continued my walk down the shore, letting the sea breeze blow through my hair and cleansing my mind of the darkness that had been following me.

Heading towards the jeddy, I found a flat rock and sat down to watch the Light of the moon play on the water. The waves gently lapped on the sea rocks, and I closed my eyes so I could better hear the music of the sea. I must have fallen asleep, because I began to hear the sound of someone singing the most beautiful song. There were no words, just this melody I never heard before, yet it somehow felt familiar, and it called to me. Rising up off my rock, I walked to the edge of the Jedi, looking out into sea, searching for something, someone. There! Off into the distance I saw a splash in the water, it almost looked like a large fish jumping. Splash! A little closer this time.

Rising up in the light of the moon, she flew out of the water with the grace of a Dolphin, only to dive back under. I stood staring in amazement. How can this be? I thought’, Mermaids aren’t real, they are just a myth! Yet I knew what I had seen. Once again she rose out of the water, much closer this time. The moonlight illuminated the scales of her purple and green tale, and her long red hair flew behind her. I kept thinking it had to be a dream and I pinched myself. The pinch was enough to awaken me, but I wasn’t on the  jetty, I was in my bed. Feeling very confused, I sat up and replayed the nights events over and over in my mind, but it made no sense.

The sound of my phone ringing snapped me out of my musings and I reached over to answer it. “Hello?”

“”Good morning” replied my best friends warm and slightly amused Voice “Did I wake you?”

“What? Oh…no” I stammered. “I just had the strangest dream”

“Mmmm” she replied “Want to share?”

Thinking for a moment I said “No.. maybe later”

“.Ok luv. So.. how do you like the cottage?” She asked enthusiastically.

“I love it” a smile in my voice “It’s… special”

“Oh my friend” she answered ” You have no idea. Well… enjoy yourself and I will see you when I see you. Love you!”

” I love you too” Hanging up the phone I checked the clock and noticed it was mid morning. It felt so good to sleep in, but I was wide awake now, so I hopped out of bed and started my day.

I spent my day exploring the Island, and I found an ancient little book store that I just had to wander into. The  proprietor  was a tiny little woman with Snow White hair and little silver spectacles that rested on the tip of her nose. Greeting me with a friendly hello, she told me she was here if I needed any help, and she continued with her dusting. Thanking her, I began to look through the books on the shelves before me. There was nothing I enjoyed more than a quant old book store, because you never knew what you would find, and this store was no exception. Just as I went to reach for a well worn classic, the shop keeper handed me a book and said “.I think you might enjoy this one”

The old leather bound book was the color of the ocean itself, and on the cover was a picture of… Oh no! It couldn’t be! The Mermaid I saw last night.  But that’s not possible I thought, it was just a dream… 

Looking for the shop keeper so I could ask her why she would hand me this particular book, I found that she just seemed to have disappeared. I called out for her several times, but to no avail. So not knowing how much the book was I placed a twenty dollar bill next to the century old register with a note, and I walked out the door with my book. What in the world I thought to myself as I hugged my new book to my chest and headed back to the cottage.

Nightfall came and it found me with my nose still in the book, I couldn’t put it down. But my stomach started to growl, so I went into the kitchen and made a sandwich for supper. Pouring a glass of wine I headed back into the living room, planning on reading some more, but my eyes were getting too heavy to read,  so I closed them for just one minute… Three AM and once again wide awake. Letting go of a deep and heavy sigh, I turned my head to look out the glass doors, and I once again felt the pull of the ocean, so I grabbed my jacket and headed for the beach.

The sand still held a hint of the suns warmth and felt so good on my bare feet, but the cool wet sand at the waters edge felt even better, so that’s where I headed. Tonight the moon had reached its fullness, and its light brightened up the private cove.  Walking out onto the Jetty, I once again headed to the very end and waited. I wasn’t sure for what, but I knew I had to be there. I didn’t have long to wait before the music started, and once again I closed my eyes and let its beauty fill me.

In between the gentle flow of the music I heard a soft whisper calling my name and telling me to open my eyes. Hesitant to  obey,  but too curious not to, I opened my eyes and gasped in surprise. There before me was the Mermaid I saw last night in what I had convinced myself was just a very vivid dream. I could hear her voice in my head as she softly laughed. “Come with me my sister” and she reached out her hand. Shaking my head no, I stepping back and began to shake. “Do not be afraid.. come with me” Here voice was hypnotic, and I found myself no longer able to resist. So stepping back to the end of the rocks, I stripped off my clothes and without a second thought dove into the chilly ocean water. Coming up for air I began to tread water and looked around for the Mermaid. With a hard yank she pulled me back under the water and held me there. Not having time to take a breath I started to run out of oxygen and began to struggle, trying to rise to the surface. But she wouldn’t let me go and I could feel my vision getting dim, slowly losing what little air I had left. Just as I was ready to lose consciousness she pulled me close and put her mouth over mine, breathing into me. A shiver raced through me and I began to feel my body change. From the waist down instead of my legs I had a long single tail covered in scales the colors of the ocean. And as I bent what used to be my knees, my body moved through the water. But that wasn’t the only change, my hair, which was always long, flowed in thick luxurious waves, covering the top half of my body like a silken black Not understanding how I was able to breathe, I felt the side of my neck, and there to my amazement were gills. Looking around for the Mermaid I found my vision was perfect underwater. This could not be real, but I didn’t care because I was free.

Mimicking the way I remembered the Mermaid moved I began to test out my new body. Slicing through the water I gathered up speed and heading towards the surface. Faster and faster I swam until I broke through the waves and flew through the air. The sense of excitement I felt had no words, and as I began my descent back into the water, I tipped my body and cleanly dived back into the ocean. Once again the music began to fill my mind, but this time I knew where to find it, and I followed.

The sunlight filled the windows of the spare bedroom I slept in and woke me from my sleep. Memories of the night before filled my head and I let replay over and over. But something was different this morning. The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air, but I never set the coffee pot up the night before. Cautiously getting out of bed I crept to the door, only to notice I was naked.  Oh Crap I thought and reached for my bathrobe. Slipping it on, I tied the sash around my waist and quietly headed for the kitchen. Standing in the kitchen with coffee in hand was my best friend. Greeting me with a big smile she handed me a steaming cup of coffee. “Good morning” she sang. “Good morning” I replied. She was always the morning person, me… not so much.

Ash new better than to talk to me before my first cup of coffee, so we sat in silence until I finished drinking, and I reached for the coffee pot for a refill. “So… I’m surprised to see you” I said

” Pleasently surprised I hope” she responded. Handing me the cream, I poured a dollup into my coffee. “Of course” I replied

“Now tell me how your vacations been so far” I knew I could talk to Ash about anything, so taking a deep breath I told her everything that had happened since I arrived. As I filled her in I couldn’t help but notice she didn’t seemed surprise. I also began to notice that she looked an aweful lot like my Mermaid. Stopping in mid  sentence I just stopped and stared at her with my mouth open. No way I thought. She just stood there and smiled. It was as if she heard every thought that went through my head.

“You are not wrong dear sister” her voice filled my mind. “How?” I asked. Sitting down across from me at the small round kitchen table, she put down her coffee and began to explain.

” My real name is Ashera and I am a daughter of the sea. You my sweet sister are also one and the same.” I sat there staring at her with my mouth hanging open, none of this seeming real, yet it felt true. Reaching over, she placed her finger under my chin and closed my mouth “Our father wanted us to experience life outside the ocean, so he used his magic to allow us to live on land, erasing our memory of who we were until we came of age, and being as I am the oldest, I awakened first.” Nodding slowly I sat silently as she continued. “We dear sister are of a generation that allows us to live in two worlds, land and sea. And we can call both places home.”

Ashera  and I spoke for several hours about our combined history, and as she told our tale, my memories returned, and I understood. As the conversation ebbed, I reached out and grasped her hand in mine. ” Come my sister, lets go home.” Sharing a smiled we left the cottage, divested ourselves of our clothes and dived into the moonlit surf, Mermaids once again.

SUZANNE CAREY

More Amazing Stories 


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PHOTO CREDIT: SUZANNE CAREY

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