So, I didn’t finish editing this piece, but I wanted to let you read it anyways. This is a truly rough rough draft, but I hope you enjoy it. I have made some edits to it, but you won’t see those in this version as keep two different copies of each story I write so that when I go back to look at them, I can see progress. So, I will probably replace this post with the edited version of this story soon, but until then, I truly hope you enjoy The Cursed.
Also, It’s the longest short story I think I’ve ever written a first draft of. I’m actually thinking of making it a novella because there are so many scenes that I want to add in but I also don’t want it to be too lengthy. Tell me what you think.
If you happen to have any suggestions or anything, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave them in the comments section. I would love to read them. Thanks for all you do!
Romantic mermaids. Digital image. N.p, n.d. 3 April 2017.
Adella’s love for him was deeper than any ocean and Kai felt the same about her, but their love was forbidden. You see, Adella is the daughter of Erwyn, King of the Black sea, while Kai is the son of Triton, King of the Aegean Sea. The two kings have been at war since the death of King Triton’s wife, Amphitrite.
The story goes back to when Erwyn and Triton were young. Erwyn was in deeply love with Amphitrite long before she ever met Triton and he believed with every fiber of his being that she felt the same. But nothing’s perfect. The problem was that Amphitrite’s father, Casper, hated Erwyn with a passion. Casper thought Erwyn could never be a true King as he was not born a merman, but rather was turned into one after the God’s took pity on him while he was lost at sea and close to death. Erwyn worked diligently to win Casper’s approval but, unfortunately, he could not succeed. When Erwyn realized he didn’t stand a chance on his own, he set out to find the most valued treasure in all the seas: The Aquamarine stone. He searched high and low across all the vast oceans and once he finally found the dark cavern where it was located he fought sea monster after horrible sea monster to get to it. He didn’t mind. It was all worth it for his beautiful love, Amphitrite.
Erwyn genuinely thought that this grand act would win the approval of Casper to marry his daughter, but upon returning home, Amphitrite had married another: Triton.
The Aquamarine stone wasn’t enough to win her back so Erwyn gave it to her as a wedding gift, a token said to give good fortune and fertility to the one who wears it. Then he swam back to the Black Sea and never returned until the birth of Adella, daughter of King Triton and Queen Amphitrite. Royalty from all the oceans came to celebrate the little princess. However, things took a turn for the worse when Princess Adella died.
King Triton and Queen Amphitrite were devastated at the loss of their only child. Royal members stayed to help Triton and Amphitrite plan the funeral, but as time went on, Amphitrite could not bear to live without her daughter. She had heard that the Aquamarine stone could transfer life from one to another as long as one was willing to sacrifice themselves out of love. That’s what she did. She gave her life for her daughters. When Triton found Amphitrite, she was lying on the ocean floor holding a live Princess Adella and three letters etched in Squid ink addressed to Princess Adella, King Triton, and King Erwyn.
King Triton never told anyone of Amphitrite’s letter to Erwyn and tried to destroy it with his trident, but the one thing that King Triton’s trident can’t destroy is anything made with love. Her letter to Erwyn was laced in her love for him, so King Triton hid it inside his trident.
Triton blamed Erwyn for Amphitrite’s death saying that if it weren’t for his wedding gift, she would still be alive. Erwyn blamed himself, too, for a while, but then came to hate Triton for stealing her away in the first place. Erwyn never truly believed she stopped loving him just because she married Triton, but he would not have stood in the way of her happiness. So, for seventeen long years, King Triton and King Erwyn have waged war after war against one another in retaliation for the loss of their love. That’s where our story begins.
Adella was ready for this night. She’d been waiting for it for years. It was the night of the Celebration of the Tides, a time when all the eligible young mermen and maids gathered together to get to know one another and hopefully find a good match. Sailors of the seas call it Spawning season, but what do they know? They’re just humans.
Adella sat at her vanity table and placed the necklace her father gave her as a gift for this night around her neck. It was so magnificent with its light blue-green color and course surface. Adella had never seen anything so enchanting and it only enhanced her natural beauty laying against her smooth pale skin.
Still admiring the necklace, Adella brushed out her long black locks, and placed a flower behind her ear to match her amethyst colored tailfin. She gave herself one last glance in the mirror, took a deep breath in, and put a smile on her face before heading to the celebration.
“Ahh, Adella, my favorite daughter. You look beautiful”, King Triton doted.
“I am your only daughter.” Adella smiled.
“Yes, and that makes you my favorite and least favorite.” King Triton laughed as he pulled Adella in for a hug as she rolled her eyes playfully.
“You’re going to break a million hearts tonight,” said Cephas, King Triton’s servant, “You’re as beautiful as your mother.”
“Thank you, Cephas”, Adella said as she spun showing off her gorgeous tailfin.
King Triton shed a tear at the thought of his precious baby growing up, but wiped it from his face after hearing the trumpets sound.
“Come,” said King Triton, “The celebrations starting.”
The sea lamps lit the throne room as the musicians played an enchanting tune. King Triton lifted his goblet and made a toast to begin the festivities. Adella sat with the other mermaids in a separate room waiting for King Triton to introduce them into their society.
As time drew closer for their grand entrance, the mermaids scurried to do a vanity check one last time before lining up for the procession. King Triton began reading the list of names, one by one, as each young mermaid glided out adorned in her finest jewelry while proudly holding her hand-picked bouquet of the most beautiful flowers she could find on the ocean floor. They put on their brightest smiles as they made their way to the center of the grand room following a quartz path lined with two strips of gold running along each side.
Adella was the last mermaid to make her debut when King Triton began to introduce each young eligible merman. With the introduction of the last merman, King Triton instructed the mermaids to lay their bouquets on the floor in front of them and turn around as a blind fold made of sea kelp was placed over their eyes.
As Adella placed her bouquet on the floor, she wondered which strapping young merman would steal her bouquet. She glanced at the line of mermen standing across the room and then turned around and placed the sea kelp across her eyelids. King Triton made the announcement for the mermen to collect the bouquet that appealed to them most. This was important. The bouquet was supposed to reflect the heart of the mermaid who made it. This ceremonial event was more than just picking the prettiest bouquet of flowers. It had to do with scents, textures, colors, and most importantly, the meaning behind each flower that was put into the bouquet.
Most of the mermaids opted for aesthetically appealing bouquets, but Adella’s was different. It was full of water lilies and only water lilies. She was afraid that she had made a mistake in not choosing some of the more beautiful flowers in the ocean. Her mind kept circling around the fear that no one would want her bouquet.
“Mermaids, remove your kelp”, King Triton announced.
As the rest of the mermaids took off their kelp and turned to see if their bouquet had been stolen Adella could hear their gasps and excited shrieks. She took a deep breath in, took off her kelp, and turned around. She let out a loud squeal as she realized that her bouquet was gone.
Adella searched the lineup trying to find her bouquet. When she found it, she swam toward the merman holding it. He was a scrawny fellow with short golden blonde hair and ocean blue eyes.
“Hi”, Adella said nervously.
“Hello, Princess. I’m Rafa.”
“Nice to meet you, Rafa. Can I ask you a question?”
“Why did you pick my bouquet.”
“I thought the rules were quite clear. Because I liked it.”
“Oh, yea. I know. Just, what about it did you like?”
Rafa let out a sigh and said, “Can I be honest?”
“I just wanted to spend the night with the Princess.”
“Oh. How thoughtful”, Adella said without even trying to hide her sarcasm.
Adella spent the night bored to tears as Rafa went on and on about himself and his wealthy family. How could someone so entirely boring love himself so much? she thought. However, she stayed by his side out of courtesy listening to him blab on and on about how he’d been given an entire lagoon for his latest birthday.
Finally, the end of the night came and King Triton announced that the celebration had come to an end. With his arm around Adella’s shoulders, Rafa tried to pull her in for a goodbye kiss.
“What are you doing?” Adella yelled causing the few merfolk around them to turn and watch.
“I’m giving you your goodnight gift. A kiss from me is guaranteed to keep nightmares away.”
“A kiss from you is the last thing that will protect me from nightmares. It’s actually more likely to cause them.” Adella pushed his arm off her shoulders and turned to walk away but Rafa grabbed her wrist, spinning her back around.
“Hey, you don’t walk away from me. Don’t you know how wealthy my family is?”
“I do. And I don’t care. You’re a horribly boring person with the worst sense of manners and etiquette.”
“Oh don’t be such a selkie.”
The small crowd of people around them gasped. Adella’s faced filled with shock.
“Have you forgotten who I am?”
“I know who you are. You’re nothing special. Just a rich little girl who knows nothing of how society works”, said Rafa as he threw her bouquet on the ground, shattering them, and walked away.
Tears began to fill Adella’s eyes. She just stood there watching him walk away as the small crowd of people around her stared at her waiting to see what she would do next. She swam swiftly out of the castle to her favorite spot: a large cave filled with luminescent creatures that clung to the walls like algae and a spectacular waterfall that kept the waters churning. It was magical there and had been the place she ran to for every problem.
Adella laid on the soft sand staring at the glowing creatures on the cave ceilings wondering what went wrong. Why had a night that was supposed to have been so special turned out to be so awful. She cried as she listened to the waterfall spill into the cave. It created a sort of white noise that triggered her mind to relive every horrible moment of her night and she wondered if any of the other mermaids had awful times, too, or if it was just her.
Adella sat up quickly looking to see who had spoken to her.
A dark figure swam toward her from the waterfall as she squinted to try and make out any features on this creature.
A handsome merman with long silky black hair slid onto the sand next to Adella. She was curious about him but she knew she should feel uncomfortable being alone with a stranger so she kept her guard up just in case.
“Adella”, she smiled.
“Are you alright? I thought I heard crying, that’s what made me come check out this part of the cave”, Kai said checking out the luminescent glow of the creatures on the cave walls.
“I’m fine.” Adella sniffled and wiped the tears off her face. When she looked up she saw Kai staring at her with sea green eyes and a concerned look on his face.
“You know, I’m a great listener. You can ask anyone. Except my father. Don’t ask him. He thinks I let everything he says go in one ear and out the other.”
Adella let out a small laugh that made a grin form across Kai’s face.
“So, you come here often?”, Kai asked as he stared out at the waterfall.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in this cave.”
“I can see why. It’s beautiful here.” Kai looked back at Adella. “How’d you find it?”
“I was out exploring as a child and happened to see a glow in the distance. My curiosity got the better of me. Actually, I didn’t even know that it connected to anything before now. I always thought of it as my little sanctuary that no one knew about. It was the one place I could go to when I wanted to be alone to think.” Adella folded her arms across her chest as she looked back at Kai.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I, I just heard crying and I thought maybe someone needed help.” Kai’s gaze dropped down to the sand beneath them as sorrow filled his face.
“No, no. I didn’t mean….”, Adella’s voice trailed off as she tried to find the right words. “I didn’t mean that you disturbed me. You frightened me a bit when I first heard you, but I sorta like the company.” She smiled as Kai looked up to meet her gaze.
The two young merfolk sat there for hours talking to one another and enjoying their company. Without noticing how late it was, Adella slid back into the water and said goodbye to Kai. Kai jumped in after her and asked her to meet him there again the next day. Adella brushed a small strand of hair behind her ear as she bashfully looked up at Kai and shook her head yes. She swam back to her castle, excitedly counting down the moments until she could see Kai again.
Adella and Kai began to meet regularly at the cave. They would just sit and talk getting to know each other. They splashed around in the cave waters flirting playfully until one day, Adella worked up the nerve to tell Kai how she felt about him.
Adella’s heart pounded within her chest as she waited for Kai to respond.
“I can’t stop thinking about you, either, Adella.”
Kai wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug that made Adella feel comfortable and protected. With Kai’s head snuggled into her hair, Adella noticed that his skin was satisfyingly warm and his scent was intoxicatingly enchanting. Adella couldn’t help but lose herself in him. She never wanted to let him go.
Adella lifted her head to look into Kai’s eyes as she said, “I want you to meet my father.” Kai smiled.
“Get out”, King Triton said in a firm but calm voice as he stared at Kai.
“Father, what did he do?”, Adella asked confused as to why the situation just took a turn for the worse.
“GET OUT”, the King exclaimed. “You are not welcome here.”
Kai looked at Adella with wide eyes and then swam out of the castle.
Adella turned toward her father. “What just happened?”
“You are never to see him again.”
“What? Why?”, Adella asked desperately.
“Because I said so.” King Triton sat up tall as he reminded his daughter who was in charge.
Adella was filled with anger. “You can’t tell who I can and cannot love.”
“Listen close, Adella. I forbid you from seeing him ever again.”
“You forbid me?”
“I’m not a child anymore.”
“Yes, you are, Adella,” King Triton snapped. “You think that because you were introduced into society that you are grown. As long as you live in my part of these waters, you will obey my rules.”
Adella stared at her father in disbelief that he could be so cruel and cold-hearted. Tears slowly fell from her golden eyes. “Father,” she whisper, “I love him.”
King Triton turned red with fury. “Adella, let me be clear. You do not love him and you will not see him again.”
Adella swam swiftly to her room. She flung herself on her bed as she thought about how horrible her father had been to Kai. Her heart sank at the thought of never being able to see him again. She couldn’t. She loved him. But she knew her father would never change his mind.
The next day, Adella swam back to the cave and waited for Kai. Just when she thought her father had scared him off and he’d never come back to the cave again, she saw him through the waterfall that hid the entrance to his side of the cave. She swam to him and threw her arms around him, holding him tightly.
“I thought I’d lost you forever.”
“I almost didn’t come”, Kai said.
“I’m glad you did.”
Kai held Adella close a moment longer before pushing her away.
“I told you never to see him again”, King Triton yelled as he swam into the cave.
“Get back to the castle, Adella. I’ll not tell you again.”
Adella looked at Kai with sad eyes. She couldn’t leave him. She loved him. She knew she couldn’t spend the rest of her life without him. So, she stood up tall and said, “No. I’m not leaving Kai.”
“What did you say”, replied the king.
“I love him and I never want to leave him.” Adella grabbed Kai’s hand. Kai looked at Adella and stood tall.
“King Triton, I would never do anything to harm Adella. I love her.”
King Triton became furious.
“I’ve warned you, Adella. Either you go back to the castle and never see this boy again, or you will never swim in these waters again”, King Triton threatened.
Adella couldn’t believe her father would say that. Was he really going to disown her for falling in love? Either way, her love for Kai had grown deep since the first time they met. He’d always been so kind and loving to her. She didn’t understand why her father was being so unreasonable.
“Fine. I choose him”, Adella said as she held up Kai’s hand.
King Triton lost his temper. He raised his trident in the air and a flash of light came flying out at Kai. The force of it was so strong that Kai flew back onto the cave wall. He began to scream. Adella watched in horror as her father used his powers to rip Kai’s fin in two and turn him into a him. Adella’s face filled with horror as her father turned to swim away.
“What did you do to him?”
“I’m showing you what he really is. His father was a human who was turned into a merman because he was close to death in open waters. They believed him to be a pure soul so they made him King of the Black Sea. Kai is no more a merman than his father. He doesn’t belong in the water any more than you belong on land. I’m doing you both a favor.”
King Triton left. Adella clung to Kai as he tried to come to terms with what had just happened to him.
“Adella, I need you to get my father.”
Adella swam as fast as she could to the castle in the Black Sea and told King Erwyn everything that had happened between her father and Kai. King Erwyn hastily swam to the aid of his son and found him lying on the sand dazed and confused.
“Oh, son. What’s happened?”
“Father”, Kai cried, “What am I going to do?”
“There’s nothing you can do unless the Gods step in.”
King Erwyn prayed that the Gods would help Kai, but nothing happened. Adella sobbed desperate tears as she realized their fate. She would never swim the depths of the seas with him again. He would be forced to live on land with the humans. A life that Adella could not be a part of.
It was this realization that caused Adella to harbor so much anger toward her father to steal his trident. She swam into the throne room, grabbed it and brought it back to the cave. She was going to destroy it. He took away her love, so she would take away his magic.
She laid the trident on the floor of the cave and grabbed a stone to smash into it. Nothing. She picked it up and slammed it against the cave wall over and over and over again. Nothing.
“Adella, you can’t destroy it”, King Erwyn said. “Nothing you do to your father’s trident is going to fix Kai.” He reached out a hand and grabbed the trident from Adella to keep her from hurting herself.
Adella sank onto the sand. She was broken.
Just then, King Erwyn noticed a small paper inside the top of the trident. He reached in and pulled it out. To great surprise, it was addressed to him. As he read the letter, he let a few tears fall from his eyes.
“Father, what is it?” Kai wondered.
“It a letter from your mother”, he said as he handed the letter to Adella.
As Adella read the letter that her mother had written telling King Erwyn that she was still in love with him, it clicked. She suddenly realized why her father had been at war all those years, why he hated King Erwyn, and why he had forbidden her to see Kai. She felt bad for her father, but he should have never changed Kai.
Kai’s father brought him to a safe spot on the shore. Adella cried as she said her goodbyes to him and embraced him one last time.
“This isn’t the end, you know. I’ll take a boat out to see you.”
Adella squeezed him tighter and only let go at the sound of voices approaching. She looked into his sea green eyes one more time and then swam back into the depths of the sea to be cursed with never being truly able to be with the one she loves.