I really wanted to finish that “Yin and Yang” post, so that’s what I focused on last weekend. That’s why this is so late. “What If Wednesday” will resume next week. Like I said in last week’s post, I’ll talk about the Specialists and Paladins.
Today, here’s chapter 2 of my fanfic “The Storm.” (Click here if you haven’t read the first chapter.) I hope you like it!
By: The Oblivious Prattler
Oya, the recurring storm. How could anyone from Andros forget it?
Aisha remembered the times she snuck out of the palace to visit the farmers. They talked about Oya all the time. Every year, it provided them with enough rain to water their crops all summer. But it also flooded fields, toppled trees, and tore apart buildings.
The storm was a blessing and a curse, but Andros wouldn’t be paradise without it.
While the sun was still shining, Aisha had plenty of time to share this paradise with Nex. Besides, she hadn’t won the bet yet.
She led him along a bay just outside the palace walls. Her parents, Queen Niobe and King Teredor, had brought her here when she was young to meet her underseas family: the mermaids. Nex had never seen one before. If this didn’t make him smile, nothing would.
Near a boulder in the water, a long, lavender fin poked through the surface. Nex jolted.
“Wait, is that a — ?”
“Uh-huh,” Aisha said, grinning. The frown on his face stayed put, but his shaky hand gave away his excitement. Why hadn’t she tried this sooner?
She knew who the mermaid was right away: her cousin Tressa. This time of day, she’d be patrolling the ocean for pirates, but maybe she could spare a few minutes.
No response. Tressa’s fin flicked up and down a couple times, then sank back beneath the waves.
Just as Aisha was about to call her name again, the red-haired mermaid burst through the surface, waving her hand wildly. “Cousin Aisha!”
The fairy beamed. “Hey, Tressa! I’ve got someone I want you to meet!”
Three more mermaids popped up next to Tressa. Perfect timing.
“Tala! Nesia! Kalia!” said Aisha. “Hey!”
As the mermaids waved back, an idea flashed into the fairy’s mind. “Stay there! We’ll come to you! Up for a little swim, Nex?”
“Why not?” he said, keeping his expression still.
Aisha stripped down to her swimsuit and charged into the water. It was lukewarm, the perfect temperature. A smile broke across her face as she took in her surroundings: the sand, the breeze, the seashells prodding her heels, the rhythm of the waves. The ocean was her home. It moved her, energized her.
“Race ya!” she said as she dove in. Her arms spun like turbine blades, digging a path through the water. She rolled with the waves, letting them lift her and propel her towards her goal.
Nex’s voice grew louder, closer. She could see the tips of his hair, the spray from his swim strokes. He laughed between breaths. A taunting laugh.
You won’t beat me! She kicked harder and faster. Her lungs sputtered. No stopping. No looking back.
She sighted the boulder. Just three feet away. Two feet. One.
Her palm collided with the cold stone, and she leaned against it as Tressa and her friends applauded. Nex came in seconds after. For a few moments, they floated there and caught their breaths, with the ocean’s roar and their heartbeats as their soundtrack.
It was Aisha who broke the silence between them.
“Is that all you got, sweetie?”
“You had a head start!” Nex snatched her up into his arms and planted a wet, salty kiss near her lips. The fairy dissolved into giggles.
The mermaids crowded around the couple like paparazzi.
“Who is he, Princess?”
“Is he a Specialist?”
“How long have you been dating?”
Typical mermaids. They loved gossip.
As Nex stared at them with a whale-like grin, Aisha giggled again. Had she looked that bug-eyed and full of wonder when she met the mermaids when she was little? Maybe her parents would remember.
Then it hit her. She leaned right up to Nex’s ear. “I win the bet.”
It took a few seconds for him to realize what she meant. As soon as he did, he buried his head in his hands and let out a frustrated sigh mixed with laughter. Aisha threw her arms around his neck and chuckled.
Who cared about a bet? This was all she wanted, the only thing that really mattered. A day alone with her sweetheart.
* * *
When she and Nex returned to the shore, she snapped her fingers. Two beach towels appeared in a flash of glittering light. After wrapping herself up in one, she picked up her pants and fished her cellphone out of her pocket.
A missed call? From Mom?
She couldn’t ignore it. Her mom only called when she had something important to tell her. Aisha mashed the call button, and a hologram of the queen, Niobe, jutted out of the screen.
Her breathless voice made Aisha shudder. “Mom? What’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, my dear, but your father and I would like to speak with you.”
Now? Great. This would set the tour back a few hours — maybe the rest of the day. But family came first. Besides, her mom looked worried.
“Okay, Mom. We’ll be back soon.” Aisha looked up at her boyfriend as she slipped the phone back into her pocket. “Nex, I’m sorry, but I — ”
Before she could finish, he grabbed the tips of her towel and scooped her into his arms.
“I know,” he said, laying a kiss on her forehead. “Don’t worry. I just hope it’s nothing serious.”
TO BE CONTINUED