A book about the adventures of the people of Callah
|It was time for the Callah’s Town Fair, the perfect time for merchants and artists to show their wares to many of the townspeople. Clara owned and ran a shop that sold rare beads and coins. The night before the fair a strange man entered her shop just before closing time. The man had short, black hair and black eyes. As he browsed Clara’s blue eyes followed his every move. There was something about this man that she did not trust, but a good business person did not turn a customer away.
After examining the aisles filled with beads and coins of every sort he approached the counter. Clare smiled politely and greeted him.
The man smiled and took a small pouch from his top pocket, “Mistress, my name is Toran. On my travels to different lands and kingdoms I came across this small bauble. I don’t imagine it is very valuable, but I have heard around Callah that the Fair is beginning tomorrow. The bauble is quite beautiful, and I thought it might be a welcome addition to your stall.”
He shook the small pouch and a blue bead fell out. Clara did notice that it was quite striking. The bead was of a deep blue with strings of white flowing through the blue. There was a mesmerizing quality to the bead that kept Clara staring. It would be a wonderful bead to offer the revelers at the Fair tomorrow.
“It is quite beautiful,” she told Toran, “What price would you want for the bead?”
Toran seemed to think deeply about the question. “I was thinking that ten dollars would be a good price. I am anxious to find the perfect owner for this bead.”
Clara had heard of much plainer objects going for much more, but she was anxious to have the bead at her stall the next day.
“Ten dollars, then,” she said. She gave the money to Toran and, with a slight smile and a nod he thanked her and left.
Clare inspected the bead closely when Toran had left. It was beautiful enough that a lady would be happy to have it on a chain or as part of an existing necklace. She put the bead in her cabinet to bring to the Fair the next day and left for the night.
Later that night something strange began to happen as Clara lay trying to sleep. A haunting, yet soothing song came to her ears through her open window. Try as she could, Clara could not fall asleep. The song filled her head and drove her from her bed. The night was empty when she looked out of her bedroom window. There was no one about, so where was the singing coming from?
Clara put on a cloak against the chill of the night and went to see who was singing. The song filled her garden, and she started to follow the sound. She walked with no idea of where she was going. The song seemed to lead her.
She walked until the song stopped and found herself at the beach. The moon glistened off the water as she looked around. As she looked around two of the merpeople that inhabited the waters around Callah sat on the beach. There was a man and woman. The man wore a coral crown over his short, white hair, and Clara wondered if this was the king of the merpeople, Torah. He smiled as Clara approached, his long dark green tail swishing. The woman’s long ebony hair caught the moonlight as she watched Clara’s approach.
“I am Torah, King of the merpeople,” the merman said, “We are sorry to interrupt your slumber, but you have something that belongs to us, and we desperately need it back.”
Clara’s blond hair fell into her eyes as she shook her head in surprise, “I would not take something that belongs to someone else,” she said.
“No my dear, we are not accusing you of stealing. I think today you met a salesman that offered you a blue bead. It is quite striking,” Torah said.
“Yes,” Clare answered, “You mean the bead was not his to sell?”
“It is ours,” said the mermaid in a high, squeaky voice, “We need it to protect our selves.”
Torah laid a hand on the mermaid’s arm soothingly, “My daughter, Tara, is quite distressed. May we have the bead back? I will explain of course.”
Before Torah could finish a loud roar split Clara’s ears. She looked towards the water’s edge only to see a large sea serpent roaring and hissing at the two merpeople on the beach. A long, black, sinewy tale lashed out and grabbed Tara. The helpless mermaid screamed and Torah grabbed a trident that had been lying by his side and quickly slid to the water to rescue her.
“Please get the bead!” he screamed to Clara.
Blindly, Clare ran to her shop and grabbed the bead. As she ran back to he beach she prayed that Torah and Tara were not hurt.
When she arrived back to the beach, Torah was trying to stab the beast with his trident, but Tara remained completely wedged in its strong, tail. Her cries broke Clara’s heart.
“Hold up the bead!” shouted Torah, “Walk slowly towards the creature. I promise you will be safe.”
Clara held the bead above her head and began to walk toward the water’s edge and the sea serpent. The bead began to whine in a mournful but loud way. The serpent’s stare left his victim and was fixed on the bead. With a loud cry of either pain or fury, Clara could not decide which, the serpent dropped Tara and disappeared beneath the waves. The mermaid held onto her father and gasped in fright.
Clara handed the bead to Torah.
“This bead was created to defend us against this beast. It is the only defense we have against something so ferocious.”
“I would never leave your people defenseless,” Clara said, “I have many things that will be valuable to my customers.”
From the top of his trident, Torah took a large, ruby. “Tell your customers that this is a ruby from the Trident of The King of the Merpeople himself. It should sell well.”
Clara took the beautiful gem and thanked Torah and Tara. She returned to her home and bed.
At the fair the next day, everyone that visited Clara’s stall was fascinated with the ruby. It went for a good price to, and many people surrounded her stall to see what else she had to offer.
Clara was very cautious about travelers selling jewels from then on.