She was there in the distance. Sitting in a corner away from everyone else. Reading a scroll called The Eternal Flame, I had no idea what it was about but from the look on her face, it looked really interesting.
I walked up to her and lay down on my stomach. My tail swaying in the water, oh did I not mention I'm a merman. Sorry, I'm just used to it, in fact, everyone here in Coral Bay is a mermaid or merman. Anyway, the girl had seemed to notice me and jerked away in surprise or fear? I couldn't quite tell.
I looked at her face and realised for the first time that her eyes were a pearly white. Wait was she blind? "Ahem.. but excuse me but, not to be rude but are you blind?" I asked quietly.
"No, I'm deaf" she responded with sarcastically. "Anyway what do you want?" she asked impatiently.
"Nothing I just saw you by yourself, alone in the corner and wanted to ask if you're ok?" I said patiently, this girl seemed like the type to get impatient quickly.
"I'm fine, thank you very much" and with that, she swam up straight and expertly manoeuvred herself around the bookcase she had been leaning on, away from me.
3 years later
She was there again at my coronation ball, oh did I also forget to mention I'm a prince of the royal family...oops.
Again in the corner, by herself except with her scroll in her hands. The Minister in front of me coughs awkwardly."Huh…" I say dumbly. "Do you, Prince Seal, promise to protect the people and animals of Coral Bay with all your might?" The Minister says again (I think).
"Ahh.. yes I do!" I a bit louder than necessary.
With that, the Minister places a coral encrusted crown upon my head and bows lowly in my direction. The rest of the citizens followed suit and soon everyone in the vast room is bowed towards me.
A few hours later
I want to see her, the girl that I've only seen twice in my short life of 19 years, pitiful compared to a Mer's lifespan of 400 years. Incredible, I know right?
After being forced to congregate with nobles from around the kingdom for a few hours, I swim eagerly to the corner where I last saw her. Yes, she's still there! I slow down to a more reasonable pace and take in her appearance. Decorated in a simple seaweed cape that is draped elegantly around her shoulders it is the colour of the bracelet on her left wrist, a simple kelp green. She can easily be identified by her pure white tail, very uncommon in Coral Bay. You know why? Because every Mer born with imperfect genes is left out in the Shark's Cove. It is the only reason we have survived this long, imperfect genes with be the death of us. They are spreading rapidly.
I swim up to the girl and say "Hello again"
She responds with "Hmm, oh yes hello…" I just realised that her finger is travelling across the page in an unusual manner.
"Hey, what's your finger doing on your scroll?"
"Oh, that is how I read, my finger feels bumps along the surface of the scroll and picks up letters from the alphabet." She explains, almost proudly.
"Oh, so like the way humans who are blind read braille?" I ask
"LIONFISH!" bellows someone from the front door of the ballroom.
"Oh I better go.," she says timidly. Lionfish swims over to the merman that shouted her over, waving her hand over her shoulder in goodbye. I wave back but then realise she won't even see it.
So her name is Lionfish, that's really pretty.