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Nyx of Hy-Brasil (Short Story)

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Floating here is all that I have ever dreamed of, now that this is happening my soul is now complete. The rush of the cool dark ocean water drenches me and she attempts to submerge me with each wave she throws at me. No fear, you beautiful watery creature. For I am not afraid of you. Not one bit. No, instead I am content. Content with your waves ramming into me, content with your sweet breeze smashing into my face as I watch the shoreline from a distance.

From a distance, here I bob up and down as if I was like another log drifting out to sea, but if anyone were to even capture a glance of me, I am doomed. For my people are not to be seen, we are not meant to be seen by the eyes of humans. We are meant to be just a myth, a myth that has been told thousands of times and with various types of skin colors and tails. There is much talk under the watery waves, of a woman on a cup with two tails for legs. She is the woman that I have heard much about, for she reminds me of my aunt Undine. My aunt Undine was born under the sea off the coast of the country they call Iceland, as for myself, I was only born with one tail and was born off the coast of Hy-Brasil. A land that is now forgotten in the minds of men, but for us merpeople it is still very much real. A young mermaid of only two hundred years old, but I only look to be twenty eight, I was born with green curly hair and piercing blue eyes with small spots, or what they call freckles, above my nose and on my cheeks. The name my parents gave me is Nyx and I swim all by myself now, for my parents are gone and they are but a distant memory, for they have passed on and have been buried since I was but a young mermaid of only one hundred and three years old. As I look at the shoreline of the mountain region of the place they call Isle of Skye, a thought races through my mind. What if someone were to find me here? I would be caught and taken to land, probably tortured and disappear without a trace. For no one will find me, my aunt will never find me nor would any of my other relatives.

Suddenly, I hear something behind me. A sound that I have heard a million times, the sound of a boat whistle. She draws nearer and nearer. Looking back, I can see the giant boat racing slowly in my direction. Dunking my entire body underwater, I will be safe. Safe from the boat and safe from the eyes that will soon find me. As I dive underwater, I look back up to see the boat slowly coming over head. Emerging from the water once again, I can see the boat in all of its glory and I can see a young girl on board. Her hair looks like the color of a pearl, soft and almost shiny. Her skin is light and pale, as if she were made from the moon. Her blue eyes were deep as the ocean waters, and it seemed as though I could get lost in them for hours on end. She stood there, on the bow of the boat overlooking the ocean with her pink dress that flowed in the wind and clung to her figure. My eyes followed her gaze, and I noticed she did not see anything except for the light shining on the top of the water. At this moment, I knew she could not have seen me, for this I am grateful. Though there is a pause in this gratefulness, for I wish she would lay her eyes on me and we would speak to one another. Suddenly, this wish of mine had come true. Her eyes locked onto mine, she erected her body even more and a small smile crept across her face. Such a sweet smile. Then she disappeared. I swam closer to the boat, and was greeted by the familiar face of the young girl on the edge of the boat.

“Hello there, who are you?” she asked in a sweet soft voice.
“H-hello, I am Nyx. Who are you?” I said with a stammer in my voice.
“My name is Fannie. Aren’t you cold?” She said as she studied me in the water.
“No, I am warm.”
“Would you like to come aboard?”
“I could not come aboard even if I wanted to. For your people would hurt me.”
“Why would my people hurt you?”
“I am not human.”
“If you are not human, then why do you look like one?”
“I am what you would call a mermaid.”
“A mermaid? I thought you were but a myth.”
“That is what we would like you to believe. But we are very much real dear Fannie.”
“Aye, I can see that.”
“Are you not afraid of me?”
“Why would I be? You are harmless, and you seem to be gentle and kind.”
“Aye, I am. But most mermaids are not, they sing their songs and they lure you to the depths of the ocean to never return.”
“You will not do such a thing, will you?”
“No, I will not do that.”
“Thank you, Nyx.”

I nodded my head at her and smiled, she seemed to be so kind and s0 gentle. Nothing like the stories that I had heard growing up under the water. For awhile we stared at each other and just smiled. I floated next to the boat as it sailed slowly closer to the shore. Once it had gotten even closer I knew that I had to turn back to the ocean.

“Fannie, I must go.”
“Why?”
“I cannot be seen by humans.”
“But I am human.”
“Aye lass, you are. But you will not harm me, unlike your people who will certainly do so.”

Sadness came across her face and she knew very well what her people would do to Nyx, they would take her and lock her away. Study her and try to dissect her, maybe even maim her and sell her for money.

“Will I get to see you again soon?”

“Aye, there is a shoreline not too far from here where we can meet. Come in two days time and meet me by the mountain with two points on it.”

“I meet you there in two days time Nyx.”
“Fannie! Fannie, where are you?” a voice yelled from the other side of the boat. It was an older woman’s voice and it sounded frantic.

“I must go, my mother calls me.”
“Goodbye Fannie.”
“Goodbye Nyx, till next time.”

Staying in my spot, I watched the boat get closer and closer to the shoreline of the Isle. Soon they docked the boat and everyone started to get off, I did not get to see Fannie get off for I had to dive back under the water before any of the other humans could see me. But it did not matter, for I knew I would be able to see her once again.

Two days later….

Today is a cold day, even colder than yesterday. Frost has begun to settle on the shoreline of the Isle. It is so beautiful this time of year, fall has passed and the winter has begun. I sit in the water with my tale covered by the icy cold waves and my upper body bare and exposed to the elements. My green curls will not keep me warm for very long, soon enough I will have to submerge and get warm from the water. Suddenly the sound of footsteps draw near, my eyes scan the entire area finally stopping on Fannie approaching me.

“Good morning Nyx.” She said as she strolled up to me. Her long dress was partially covered by a large coat that seemed to keep her warm. Her pearl like hair flowed in the wind, she didn’t mind it, in fact she didn’t even bother to mess with it. The shoes she wore upon her feet were of a dark brown color, they kept her feet safe from the shoreline, from the rocks and from the water. She climbed up on a rock that was next to me, and stared out into the ocean.

“Good morning Fannie.” I said with a smile upon my face.

Soon both of our eyes were fixed on the thrashing water out in the distance.

“Do you enjoy swimming out in the open ocean?”
“Aye, I do. It is a beautiful place to be, and it is the only place that I’ve ever called home.”
“I wish I could go out there and swim forever.”
“Although I love it, it does get rather lonesome.”
“Oh.” she said with a confused yet sad face.
“Could I ever swim with you?”
“The question is, can you swim at all?”
“Yes, I can swim. I have been swimming since I was a wee lass.”
“Then you may swim with me when it becomes warm again.”
“That won’t be until next year.” Fannie said with an irritated voice.
“Aye, but it will be for the best. For right now, it is too cold for you to swim in it. The first frost has settled and you will certainly get sick.”
” Tis true.”

Then it was silent. We sat there for so long, that neither one of us knew what time it was. The sun had not been out all day, and she was sure to get in trouble for being out here all by herself for a long period of time.

“Tis time for me to take my leave Nyx. Will I see you again soon?”
“Not for awhile, I am afraid.”
“Why not?”
“For I am must take my leave and head south until the snow has stopped and it is no longer cold here. I shall be back in spring time.”
“Promise?”
“I promise.”

She bent down and gave my cold cheek a kiss and whispered, ” goodbye my dear friend.”

I watched her walk away as she strolled back up the shoreline, back to her village on the Isle. Friend? Is it true, have I made a friend who is but only a human girl? The thought of this gave me a unique feeling that I’ve never encountered before. Soon she disappeared from sight, and it was safe for me to disappear into the water. Diving into the water, I emerged off into the distance in the water, far away from the shore. Poking my head out of the water, I looked back at the shoreline where I had just spent time with Fannie, my friend and smiled. Then I dove back into the ocean waters and swam towards the south, towards the place they call South America, where all of my family was and where everyone else had migrated to.

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