August 15, 2015
July 7, 2015
Vera scooped up Levi, pulling him away from Cordelia. “You are a troublemaker,” she told him affectionately. “You can stay longer than the night. We have enough for Levi when he grows, we can support you for a week at least.”
“Really?” Dylan asked. “How big is this lake?”
“Why don’t you go and see,” Neville suggested, motioning for them to swim around. “There are a lot of very pretty places in it. Perfect for a couple.”
Dylan and Cordelia looked at each other in confusion. “We aren’t a couple,” Dylan told them.
“Of course not,” Vera agreed with a knowing smile.“Let’s look around,” Cordelia said pulling him away before the merfolk said anything else.
July 3, 2015
“Upstream,” Cordelia said, feeling better. “I’m looking for my mother and Dylan told me that all of your folk meet in the mountains in the spring.”
“That’s true, but we won’t be up there for another month at least,” Vera said. “There is still damming upriver. The floods are coming.”
“Flood,” Cordelia said, again it was a new word to her.
“When the water rises over the banks,” Neville explained.
“High tide?” she answered and they all looked at her funny. “Never mind, I understand. Thank you, for letting us stay. We won’t stay long.”
June 30, 2015
“She’s telling the truth. She’s definitely not from a lake. She didn’t know they freeze over.”
Cordelia looked down at herself. Was there something wrong with her color?”
“Not terribly, but yet. Chara was green.” Now they were really eyeing her up.
“Look. I just want to find my mother. May I stay the night, to rest, and then I’ll go.”
Levi swam over to her, making circles around her neck the way she had done with her father when she was tiny. “I like her, Mom. Don’t make her go. She’s… salty.”
“She is,” Dylan agreed. “Especially when she gets upset like this.”
“I’m not upset,” she snapped back, but there were tears in her eyes.
The two merfolk came closer, sniffing the water. “That is so strange,” Vera murmured.
“Dylan, can you promise she doesn’t bring a sickness?” Neville asked.
“I haven’t gotten sick,” he told them.“Very well, then you can rest here."
June 26, 2015
“Hello. Are your parents here?” Cordelia asked.
“A baby? We almost never have them, he told Cordelia. “It’s hard to find a place large enough for a family. I’m one of the youngest… well, I was.”
“Mom! Dad! Over here.” The tiny merman was very excited and kept circling to be sure they were following.
“Levi, what are you getting into?” a mermaid asked, swimming toward them. “Oh, visitors.” She turned and called down the lake. “Neville, we have guests.” She came closer and touched her tail to Dylan’s and Cordelia’s. “I’m Vera. Who are you?”
“I’m Dylan. I’m in the lake downstream from Chara.”
The merman who approached frowned. “Chara is gone.”
Vera clarified. “Her lake has corrupted her.”
“We know,” Cordelia said. “I put her into the river so she didn’t stay any longer in her lake.”
“And who are you to kill one of us?” Neville asked.
“I’m from the saltwater. I’m looking for my mother, Lita.”
“No one lives in the saltwater,” Vera said.“I do,” she said in defiance. No one believed her. “My father lives in the ocean and my mother in the mountain water. I can swim in both.”
June 23, 2015
Cordelia tried very hard to understand what Dylan was telling her. The ice would cover the surface and stop it from mixing with the rest of the lake.
She twitched as realization struck. “The ice covers the entire surface?” Nothing like that happened in the ocean. There was too much surface. A lake was smaller, so maybe that was possible. And she thought the banks were closing in on her before. Imagine if there was no surface either.
“Yep. Sometimes it gets so hard to breathe that we kill some of our fish.”
Cordelia didn’t say anything else, just kept pace with Dylan, heading to the reeds. She didn’t know she was hungry until she saw him munching. She grabbed the first plant at hand, chewing mechanically.“Who’s there? Who’s there?” A tiny figure came darting toward them. Cordelia thought it was a fish until he got close enough for her to make out his tiny arms and face.
June 19, 2015
Cordelia grabbed his hands, swinging him in a circle. “So you’ll come with me? My mother will be at this gathering, right?”
“Yeah, probably. We’ll have to be careful though.”
“Some of the lakes are still frozen. We can’t stop at those ones.”
“What do you mean, why not? We’ll run out of oxygen.”
Cordelia’s brow furrowed. She didn’t understand that word, but it was like the word for breathing. “Oxygen,” she echoed.
“Yeah, from the surface. The ice means the water doesn’t mix.”“Ice.” She knew that word though she’d only seen it once when her father took her with him up the coast. That was where she had first seen walruses. The whitish substance was hard, but melted away.