sat with his head down on his desk, thinking about his mangy house
which was verging upon the unlivable, with the colors peeling off the
walls, a dank smell in the atmosphere, and its corrugated floors. His
wife, Lucy, had been distant with him recently for reasons he could
not figure out. Hans contemplated his lousy fate and tried to appease
his gloom, but he could not stop the train of despondent thoughts.
His situation left him embroiled in an intricate feeling of
helplessness. He wondered what on earth had caused Lucy to fall away
from him. In order to work on their relationship, Hans decided to
take Lucy on a trip.
The angel blue sky peeped between the
tiny, pearly clouds on a beach in Seychelles. The site was truly a
feast for the eyes. The aquamarine waves crashed and broke upon the
shore in white, soapy foam; the sound was calming. Hans was an
accountant in a private sector and had been saving up for this dream
honeymoon of theirs for many years. Lucy ran upon the beach, agile as
a lamb, and Hans paced his steps to catch the love of his life. They
had gone on their honeymoon after a fortnight of their marriage. His
wife sailed across the sandy beach, flaunting her butter-milk skin
and an outrageous baby pink bikini, like a graceful swan in a pond.
Hans sped faster now and grabbed her tight, smoldering her with
ardent passion on her bare skin. Lucy returned the kisses and dived
into the cobalt sea with Hans close behind her. He untied the knots
of her underwear and the flames of frenzy devoured the couple to
consummate their first love right there on the beach.
could never have guessed that she would be so crabby after that day.
There were not many words shared between the couple, but Hans felt
that they were simply going through the motions. He was starting to
Everything was so different. He could
barely concentrate on his work: the whole world staggered at his
feet, bleak and sappy. Staring blankly at the papers piled on his
desk, thoughts of the immense love he felt for his wife filled his
head. He was aghast at her shutting him out. With a sore heart, he
peered into the room where Lucy was sleeping. He watched the mellow
moonbeams caress the fair, beautiful face as they filtered in from
the window. He let out a gasping sigh. Hans was feeling sleepy as
well and dropped his body by her side, muscles aching, and agony
piercing his heart.
Morning painted the sky with vibrant
hues of yellow ocher and tangerine. The bright sun rays percolated
through the window, kissing him good morning. With bleary eyes, Hans
looked at the amber light suffusing his room with a brilliant aura.
He turned and a sudden uneasiness gripped his heart. Lucy was not by
his side. He scoured all of the rooms in his house, but in vain. She
Where on earth could she have gone?
an abysmal sorrow shredding his heart, he waddled into the woods
nearby his house. He saw the trees with their boughs and the
evergreen shrubs bearing aromatic flowers with luscious berries. The
still repose of the wilderness seemed to appease him a bit and he
became engrossed in his thoughts. He sat against the trunk of a tree
and lost himself in a reverie.
The cool zephyr now
fondled him. He was awed by the picturesque beauty of Mother Nature.
Hans startled as a branch snapped above him. He looked upward, but
saw nothing and assumed that it was all in his head. Again, the sound
reverberated off the branches, louder this time. He gazed behind him
to find an exquisitely beautiful woman sitting on one of the branches
with her legs dangling. She shook the branches heavily, and one of
the fruits landed on the floor with a heavy thud. Hans was out of his
mind now; he could not shake the feeling that she reminded him of
someone."Who are you, lady, if I may ask?"
I am Rhiza", she answered, her melodious voice catching him even
more off- guard than her presence had.
"Yes, but... where
from, and..." Hans stuttered, lost in the sea of her fire-red
hair and sparkling, aquamarine eyes.
Looking Hans over
with a look of confidence, she smirked. "Silly man. So many
questions. Very well, if you must have answers, I am the Lady of
Aqua. My lover, Alexandre, has deserted me. He has killed my jejune
love and fled with that dandy Shea."
" I think I can
empathize with you and your suffering", he said despondently.
With that, he explained the doleful tale of Lucy and her betrayal to
the Lady. Rhiza listened to his story attentively. When he
finished, she smiled with an expression that was unreadable, and her
face became aglow. Hans was confounded at this and stared at her
"Listen to me, man. I can bring your Lucy back,
but you must do something for me."
"Yes, but how? Is
Rhiza pointed at Hans and spoke in a
voice that demanded his respect, "Shush! Man, look at that
placid lake over yonder. Beneath it lies my world, Aqua. There are
locusas, electric eels, jellyfish, and sharks, that might tear you
up. With indomitable courage, you must not flinch."
now utterly bewildered, gawked at her. Uneasiness swept through his
entire body, nearly causing him to convulse.
" Don't be
afraid, young man. Come with me."
Rhiza held out her
delicate hand towards Hans in a friendly gesture and smiled. The look
on her face captivated him, but he still could not move forward.
Rhiza leapt from her branch and took his hand, leading him towards
her They halted at the brim of the serene lake, their fingers
"Come, Lets dive."Rhiza said.
couple swam beneath the surface of the gurgling, cerulean waters that
shone like a lapis lazuli in the glittering rays of the sun. The
briny currents lashed at his body, and he couldn't understand why it
was so easy for him to breathe under the water. They swam deeper and
reached a dark, musty cave of a behemoth size. Hans had not noticed
the change in the woman beside him, but she now took on the form of a
mermaid, with her bare, upper body revealing tight, rotund breasts
and the lower body of a scaly fish. Hans ogled at the mermaid,
prettier than any in a fairy-tale or fable. He could not tear his
eyes away from the sea green scales that shimmered a variety of
colors as Rhiza moved her tail. She winked at him. With blithering
nervousness, Hans gulped an iota of water and spat it out.
circles around Hans, she said in a playful voice, "Welcome to my
She ushered him into the dark cavern.
his hand in hers, his feet touched something slippery. Electric
currents coursed through his body, jolting him from the euphoria he
was in. He could not see what it was in the abysmal darkness, but as
soft light penetrated through the underwater empire, he caught
glimpses of a snake-like fish with a slender body and poorly
It resembled a fish like an eel, and he
knew that this was the source of the electricity. Rhiza touched his
body with her satiny fingers :that acted like a magic balm,
dissolving his pain.
The couple traipsed further, and
Hans got his legs tangled in the tentacle of a gigantic octopus. He
was helplessly trapped by the beast, unable to free his pinioned
Rhiza whispered, "It is a locusa. Fear not.
Let me break your fetters." She unleashed his chains with the
The two ambled off, and Hans watched
her slinky movement. It was difficult for him to match her speed.
Suddenly, his head dashed into a long-bodied ,cartilaginous fish with
a prominent, dorsal fin. He knew at once that this was a shark. Its
ravenous eyes locked on him, voracious for a meal. He lunged and
slouched, helpless in this battle. Rhiza fired flaming arrows that
seemed to fabricate from her very hands, impaling the shark. Its dark
blood bedaubed the water, filling the atmosphere with a rank odor.
Rhiza chanted a canticle, and the water cleared. Hans was able to see
clearly for the first time since entering the cave. The pale blue
water revealed mystical shrubs surrounding them. Splendid flowers now
spread their perfume, and the water was redolent with a celestial
aroma. Hans looked agape at the fruits that seemed so juicy and
sweet. Hunger and thirst was burning inside him, and he was desperate
to quench it. He watched as a jellyfish swam playfully in the indigo
He glanced at Rhiza, looking intently at him now. Her
beady, almond-shaped eyes seemed to entrance him into a raving
" Are you feeling thirsty?" she
asked.She filled some water into a small pail for him. Hans drank
gallons of the liquid, which tasted like the elixir of his life. She
offered him scrumptious crabs, shrimps, and asparagus, which seemed
like ambrosia to him.
" Thanks, Lady", Hans
" No need to thank me, Hans." She
paused." I-- I have a confession. I am your own Lucy. I could
not tell you this terrible truth because I am ashamed of the lies
that I told you, and that truth which I have withheld from you as
well. I must also tell you the truth about yourself." "
Please, forgive me for what I have done." Rhiza pleaded.
took a moment to gather his thoughts. "Love, please tell me the
"The truth is that we have both descended
from a mermaid-human bloodline. You are wearing the amulet which is
the twin match to mine. See?" Rhiza grabbed the amulet at the
front of her dress and held it out for Hans to see.
piece that is on the end: it fits a keyhole which is on your
Hans reached for the amulet around his neck and
held it up to inspect it closer. "There is a hole! Lets put them
together and see what happens."
Rhiza backed away, "You
must be told more before we decide. You see, we were born during the
time of the Great War between the full-blooded Mermaids and the
Mermaid-Humans. Bloodshed was felt heavily on both sides... It was a
time of devastation and great loss. We were born within a month from
each other from different families and brought such happiness among
our people. Shortly after our birth, the soulmate prophecy came to
"The Wise Ones insisted that we were
soulmates. As the ruler of Aqua, this news devastated my father. He
is driven only by power and greed. The only solution he saw to save
his position was to kill you. Your parents discovered his plans and
came up with their own. It was arranged that you would live the life
of a human while I stayed in my Mermaid city. And this worked for a
while. But I found out about our prophecy and our past, and I
insisted on finding you. I have dreamed of you every night for as
long as I can remember. I cannot believe I found you so
"Lucy... Rhiza?" Hans shook his
head in confusion." What do I call you?"
"This is -- I dont know what to say."
this will help. I have a scrying mirror. If you desire to know the
truth, you will see all you seek within the mirror. Do you want to
take a look?"
Hans walked away from Rhiza for a moment in
deep consultation, but returned, looking at her intently. "Yes,
show me the truth."
Rhiza reached inside her green,
flowing gown and handed the scrying mirror to Hans." Just take
the mirror and look into it like this", Rhiza demonstrated and
then continued. "Think of the things which you want to know, but
also, feel the emotions which are attached to those thoughts. Then
you will see the truth of what you seek."
Hans wanted to
know the truth about what Rhiza was talking about. He thought about
how unfair it was that he was in the dark about all of this. "The
plans have been put into place. We have found a human family who has
volunteered to take our Hans and raise him as their own. This is such
a tragedy. It has been at least a thousand years since the soulmate
longing has been actively in effect. Mumford is too greedy for his
own good. It is beyond reasoning why he would throw his daughter's
future away and ruin another's in his stead. Such a waste. This is
the peace we have been wanting for so long, and still we are fighting
to stay afloat... "
An interruption broke the vision in
the scrying mirror. Hans looked up to see a mer-man with wild eyes
towering over them. He did not look happy."What is the meaning
of this, daughter?" The man spat at Rhiza.
" Father, it
is already done. You cannot do anything about it anymore."
am your father, and I say what happens to you!"
stood her ground and looked defiantly at her father. "You are
She stepped towards Hans and tossed him the amulet."
Forget what I said earlier. Put them together. We have no other
Hans took his own off his neck and fit the two
together. Moments passed. Nothing happened.
Mumford threw back
his head in laughter," Fools! The Wise Ones were wrong about you
Suddenly everything began to shake. Hans rushed
towards Rhiza and scooped her up, hoping to take her somewhere
"What is happening?"He pondered.
Human Mermaids are the keepers of the emotion, Love. When the soul
longing is fulfilled, a great cleansing will commence on the planet
in water and on land. Every living being will feel the change. It
will even be felt in the unseen world where spirits dwell. This will
be the time where everyone will be given a choice, Evil or Love. The
land and the sea have been ruled by Evil for far too long. It is time
for Love to have a chance to flourish and we will finally find peace.
This is just the beginning, Hans. We have lots of work ahead of
Written for the Great Hall of
Prompt: One versus many
Koyel: Main author Wrote
the first draft Also edited
TJ Marie: Wrote the last draft Also
Final editing by Mariko and Koyel