Kun couldn’t stop his racing mind. Who was Heiran? Or what? Who were that little girl and her mother? Who grabbed the little girl? Nonstop questions kept forming in his mind. What more could he do but go back to where he called home and do the mermaid equivalent of pace?
He tried to organize his thoughts the best he could. The thing he kept getting stuck on was the fact that he had the vision, to begin with. He wasn’t supposed to get them. The last time he got a vision was when Hua was born. Much to his brother’s disappointment as the family wanted her gender to be a surprise. Not that Sheng wasn’t ever NOT disappointed in Kun, even when they were children.
Just as Kun was deep in thought, a flash of red and green swam passed like a bolt. Stopping in his tracks, he asked himself if he was going crazy before slowly following the path it took. He could’ve sworn it looked like one of his kind. But he didn’t know anyone that had that coloring, not that they’d be all the way out here anyway.
As he rounded a corner, his jaw dropped. A merman. With bright red hair and a seafoam green tail. He was looking around, extremely flustered. He clearly didn’t know where he was going. Just as Kun was about to swim towards him, he whipped around and jerked back in surprise.
“Ah!” The stranger yelped, putting a hand over his heart.
He was quite handsome. In fact, his face resembled someone, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Looking at the stranger’s hair, he immediately thought of Hannah. Although looking comparing the two in his mind, he noticed that Hannah’s was duller. Like it had been drained.
“Whoa…where are you from? What clan?” The stranger’s shock was replaced with excitement.
“There are other clans?” Kun’s heart lifted, everyone back home was convinced they were the last ones.
“Oh, sure! I came across at least 10 on the way over here! I’m Taeyong by the way! I’m from the Amethyst clan!”
“Really? Everyone thinks you guys are extinct because your hovel is empty. My clan holds a ceremony for you guys each year.”
“Yeah we got found by the humans a couple hundred years ago I guess, so we relocated.”
Taeyong seemed really excitable. All frustration that was on his face just a second ago was replaced by ecstatic amazement. Kun was slightly unnerved by this. He didn’t know why, but something was untrustworthy about this man.
“Oh wow! Where to? Wait! No, I shouldn’t get sidetracked. I’m here on a mission.”
“You see, my little sister is missing. Has been for years. She was playing in the shallows of the island with our mother and then a human killed our mom and stole her.”
The vision popped into Kun’s head again. The little girl crying over her dead mother. Heiran. The hands taking the little girl. His head began to ache.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for her. Well so has the clan, but they’re all looking around our island. Like on the mainland and stuff, but I had a feeling she’d be way over here. I don’t think the human who stole her would be dumb enough to keep her close to her clan. Like, if they were smart enough to know about her, anyway. Hey, you wouldn’t have seen her, would you? She would have the same hair and tail as me. That’s about all I can describe her though. I mean its been years so she’d look different.”
He just kept talking, making Kun’s headache worse. The more this man talked, the more Kun didn’t trust him. Something in his gut told him to be wary. Taeyong didn’t seem like he was telling the whole truth. If he was, he was definitely leaving out some important details.
“No, sorry, you’re the first of my species I’ve see-”
“Oh, of course, you wouldn’t have seen her! Sorry, I forgot that you didn’t even know the other clans were still out there. Thanks though!” Taeyong exclaimed and swam off.
What a strange man, Kun thought to himself. He swam back to his small cave and rubbed his aching temples. Maybe there’s something about the waters here that messes with his head. That would explain the vision too. Whatever, he’d deal with it in the morning.
“Heiran- ah! Come over here! Look at this shell!” A gorgeous mermaid with deep red hair exclaimed to her very young daughter.
“Coming!” The young mermaid yelled back, her arms full of random shells and rocks.
The two swam around looking for different colored treasures to bring back home. Neither one of them noticed someone lurking in the shadows just on the shore, watching them. They also didn’t notice the underwater cave that brought ocean water in right beside the figure, where a merman sat.
“You sure this will work?” The merman whispered, identity lost in the dark.
“Trust me, it will.” A crackly voice responded.
A glowing green bottle was passed to the merman who held it tightly in their grip before swimming back into the cave and near where the mother and child were. He glared at the two of them before forcing a smile and swam towards them. He just needed to get the mother to drink the contents. Then everything would be fine. All his problems would be solved.
Just as he swam into the light, Kun jolted awake. To his horror, Taeyong was inches from his face. He jolted back and Taeyong disappeared. Just a figment of his imagination. The shock of seeing that caused his dream to float away from his mind. Instead replaced with the same curiosity that he’s had since he got here. Curiosity to see Hannah.
“Hannah, are you sure you’re down for this?” Hannah’s friend Tori asked through the bathroom door.
Hannah was finishing getting dressed in a wet suit. Apparently, it’s supposed to help her keep warm while in the water. Not that she really wanted to go back in the water again, but it’s better to be prepared.
“It’s a boat ride. I should be fine. We’ll be wearing life jackets right?” Hannah’s voice had the slightest tinge of fear.
“Of course, dumbass.”
“Then I’ll be fine.” Hannah laughed.
Her laughter was cut off by coughing. She seemed to have a chronic cough ever since she almost drowned. Chalking it up to a side effect of being in the water then into the cold air, she didn’t pay any attention to it besides taking a cough drop.
“That’s getting worse, are you sure you don’t want to see a doctor? Or even tell Astra?”
“Why would I tell her that? You know how she is whenever I go near water!” Hannah exclaimed.
“That’s true, she’s more scared of water than you are. It’s a surprise she lets you shower.”
“How else would she get clean, Tori? Lick herself like a cat?”
“Oh shut up Aaron!”
Hannah walked out with a hair tie in her hand, tying her hair into a ponytail. Just as she got out to the living room, her phone started ringing. Tori grabbed it off the table to hand to her and glanced at the name.
“I’m telling you, Astra is psychic or something. There has to be a reason that her name is like a witch name!”
“Simple, her parents were hippies.” Hannah said, taking the phone, “Hey Mom.”
“Are you going in the water today? I got a bad feeling.”
“I really wish you’d change your major. Something more…on land. Like a lawyer.”
“Mom, I promise you, nothing will happen to me. Being a marine biology major doesn’t mean I have to go in the water.”
“Okay... I love you.”
“I love you too.” Hannah rolled her eyes and hung up.
“Okay is everyone ready?” Aaron asked, opening the door for them to walk out onto the dock.
“Yep.” Hannah and Tori said at the same time.
“Lessgetit,” Aaron responded.
As soon as they got onto the dock, Hannah wrapped her arm around Tori’s, anchoring herself to her. At least this way if she got blown off again, Tori would come in with her and be able to save her.
“Hey! Isn’t that the guy that saved you?” Aaron turned his head to Hannah, pointing to the water.
Letting go of Tori, Hannah walked over to Aaron and followed where he was pointing. A cute boy around her age was wading in the water, looking towards them. As soon as they made eye contact, surprise filled his eyes. They were soon replaced with the same strange calm that Hannah was filled with. Hannah felt she could trust him. She felt like she needed to talk to him. However as soon as she took a step, he went under the water. She swore she saw a glimpse of something shimmer in the water following him.