The Journey

The Journey

“Mom, there’s a glowing tail down there!” I tugged at Mom’s arm.

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t be silly. There is nothing, you must have been looking at the glow from your own eyes,” she sighed. She swam away, ignoring me. It couldn’t have been my eyes glow. Sure, I was a little special—unlike normal people, my eyes could glow in the dark. They looked like white headlights, and my parents warned me to never leave my goggles behind, in case it suddenly got dark enough for my eyes to glow. 

Back to the point—it couldn’t have been my eyes. I swore I saw it, a bright white glow around the bottom of the lake. I dived and swam towards the white glow. To my disbelief, I found a mermaid with a glowing tail! A real mermaid! Her tail stuck between some boulders, and she looked like she had some troubles to escape. Holding my breath, I pushed the boulders away, freeing her tail.

9 Replies to “The Journey”

  1. I turned to her, and I saw her face full of horror, as if she (or I) had done something terribly wrong. Before I could approach her, she swam away with unbelievable speed into a tunnel which was previously blocked by the boulders.

    Confused and curious, I decided to follow her. I dived into the tunnel. I couldn’t see her–she had to be way ahead.

    I thought the tunnel was short, but it turned out to be much deeper than I expected. I could feel myself running out of breath. I kept hoping to see the end of the tunnel, but my prayers weren’t answered.

    I wanted to go back, but I realized it was too late–I was too far into the tunnel. I swam faster. I could feel the lack of oxygen slowly creeping inside me; the gradual burn, the extreme need to breathe some air, the quiet but erratic thumping of my heartbeat.

    I couldn’t help it anymore. I choked and felt water flowing into my lungs. It was painful, as if my lungs were stabbed by needles.

    In my silent suffering, I saw a glow.

    Too late, I thought desperately as I lost consciousness.

  2. I jolted upright, panting erratically. The realization that I was still alive hit me with extreme relief. I was alive. I didn’t know how, but I was alive, and I couldn’t be more grateful.


    Suddenly something touched my arm. I turned to face a mermaid, smiling as she put her membraned hand on my arm.

    “Y–you’re the mermaid from just–just now.” I stuttered.

    The mermaid nodded encouragingly.

    I was so amazed and could not believe my eyes that i was speaking to a mermaid. Her eyes were emerald green that sparkled in the water, her seaweed-coloured hair floated around like a cape. And her glowing tail–it was the most gorgeous tail I had ever seen.

    She put a finger to her mouth, opened it slightly to mimic the act of speaking, then shook her head.

    “You can’t speak?”

    She nodded again.

    “But you can understand me.”

    Again, she nodded. However, this time she took my hand with both of her hands. Her hands were cold, but the coolness was soothing. Her emerald green eyes gazed upon my eyes and I understood that she wanted to thank me for saving her earlier.

    “It’s okay, really.”

    She hung her head. I could tell she felt guilty that I fainted because of her.

    “It’s not your fault! I followed you myself. I should be sorry for that,” I quickly said. “By the way, where is this?”


    The mermaid took my wrist and gracefully swam upwards. I floated right next to her. She swam to an opening, where I could peek outside. I saw a scene I’d never ever seen before even in the movies–an underwater city, with clear quartz crystals floating everywhere, glowing white. Mermaids and mermen swam back and forth, enveloped by white glow.

    It was a magnificent view.


  3. “Wait, how am I still able to breathe?”

    The mermaid touched the inside walls of the crystal that we were apparently in.

    “This crystal? What about this?”

    She looked around–I thought she wasn’t sure how to express that to me. She took a broken shell that floated around outside the crystal and brought it in. With the broken shell in her left hand and her right hand pressed against the wall, she closed her eyes. Her tail, the crystal, and the shell began to glow. It was the bright white glow I saw earlier.

    When she showed the shell to me, it wasn’t broken anymore.

    I gasped. “This crystal–and everything that glows here–is magical? They can–they can do that–” I pointed at the shell, “–and they can make me breathe underwater too!”

    Satisfied, she nodded. Feelings of disbelief and astonishment began to surface as I couldn’t believe I could breathe underwater. I began to swim around in excitement, exploring every nook and cranny I could find. The mermaid followed me behind, showing me different kinds of sea creatures I didn’t even know existed.

  4. We continued swimming around, occasionally stopping at crystals just to ensure I wouldn’t run out of breath. I was ecstatic. It was the kind of world you could only see in storybooks and movies, and now I was in it! How incredible was that?

    A school of fish swam past me, hurrying to hide behind corals–from what, I didn’t know. A starfish lay lazily on a boulder covered with moss, looking as if it was sunbathing.

    “Your world is beautiful,” I told the mermaid. She shyly smiled. We continued swimming, but suddenly, she grabbed my arm and pulled me into a small cave.

    “What happened?”

    She put a finger to my lips, shushing me. We peeked outside–some other mermaids and mermen were swimming past the cave gracefully. Fishes and other sea creatures surrounded them as if it was some kind of festival.

    “Why did we hide? Aren’t they your friends?”

    She looked down. To think about it, I found her when she got stuck on the boulders. Could it be that she was trying to run away?

  5. She pointed in the direction of a mermaid amongst the crowd. One with a long beard and crown on his forehead. His eyes were captivatingly beautiful of emerald green. His tail was of majestic purple.

    The mermaid pointed at him with fear in her eyes.

    “Is that your father?” I whispered.

    She nodded frantically with fear in her eyes.

    “Were you running away from him?”

    She nodded again.

    “Why?” I questioned with a concerned face wanting to know more.

    She opened her mouth and pointed to her throat followed by pointing at him.


    I could not understand what she meant until it hit me that she was actually pointing to a large necklace that her father was wearing.


    “Did he capture your voice?”


    She nodded again.


  6. I could see her fear reflected in her eyes. Her hands were trembling violently–she had to be really frightened. Suddenly, she turned to me and pointed at my eyes and shook her head fiercely. She was trying to cover my eyes while looking back at the mermaids and mermen nervously.

    ‘Oh!!’, I suddenly realized that my eyes started to glow gradually stronger due to the darkness in the small cave. Unlike the mermaid, I couldn’t control it. In addition, as a human, there was high probability that I was not supposed to be here at all.

    The cave was too small to cover both of us completely, and the other mermaids and mermen started to suspect something. As they were getting closer and closer to us, I felt short of breath and I thought that I was going to faint.


    Suddenly, I felt something pricked my back, ‘Ouch!’

  7. It was a broken coral–someone poked me with it. Both the mermaid and I turned, and I saw a little merman through a small opening in the cave walls. “This way!” The merman said urgently.

    The mermaid looked relieved to see him, and beckoned me to follow him. We pushed some rocks quickly to make a bigger opening, slipped in, and covered our tracks. I kept my head down to hide my eye glow as best as I could.

    “Who are you?” I asked after we were far enough.

    The merman stared at me. “I’m the Prince,” he said, “and your friend here, the mermaid who has lost her voice, is my sister. She’s the exiled Princess. Our dad, the King–the purple-tailed merman you saw just now–took her voice away.”

  8. I gasped and was lost for words. How could a father take something so precious away? I could not believe my ears.

    As we swam deeper and deeper into the cave, we came across a tunnel. “Quickly, in here!” He shouted. We followed him into the cave.

    “Where are we going?” I exclaimed. “Out of wherever this place is.” he replied.

    As we neared the end of the tunnel we could see a light that got brighter each time we swam closer towards the end.

    “We are here.” he said in a relieved tone.

  9. Without a hint, at the moment I swam out of the opening of the tunnel, I fell on the ground heavily.

    “Ah!”, I was frightened, but it didn’t hurt, as the ground beneath my body was covered completely with sparkling white fine sand. Wait! I turned back, I was shocked by the scene behind me. The water seemed like being sealed inside the tunnel. I saw the glistening light of waves on the ground, “Where are these from?” Both of the mermaid and the merman smiled and raised their head. At the moment I looked up, I was stunned again. The water was above my head, I was in a space under the sea. In the centre of this space, there was an enormous glowing seashell made by the clear crystal.

    “Lie inside the seashell and close your eyes while thinking about the place where you come from. Once your thought got detected, you will be sent back immediately.” The merman said and staring at the seashell.”You cannot stay here for too long. It’s dangerous. It’s time to go back now.”  He added and looking back to the opening of the tunnel. The mermaid looked at me and nodded.

    I smiled at the two of them. “Alright, then … thank you for the wonderful experience,” I said.  “Bye!” I climbed inside the enormous seashell and closed my eyes. A few seconds later, I felt a lot of water around me. When I opened my eyes, I realised that I was at the bottom of the lake and I struggled to swim up to the surface. At the moment I saw my mom sitting by the lake and reading a book leisurely, I was relieved completely. I was back. I looked back into the depths of the lake, and remembered my friends.


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