“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.”