I watched the green light pass over him as he crossed the threshold, and waited for him to turn around so I could see the recognition in his eyes… My best friend, the only one who understood me completely and was patient and listened…
Every emotion and feeling I had towards him swelled in my throat as he kept swimming, his tail moving slower and slower as consciousness began to drift out of his grasp and more and more of his blood seeped into the water. He needed treatment… but he couldn’t stay. Not with… with [_him _]still here.
All this. Because of me.
My breath hitched in my throat and I grasped at my chest, trying to breathe as I sobbed and sunk to the ground. I’d chosen the wrong guy to take care of my heart, and now… now the right guy was gone forever. Tamir wouldn’t recognize me, as Damian had said, and I would forever bear the burden of giving in to wretched fate… or destiny. All I wanted was to be loved, and… and I thought Damian could be the one to do that… I thought…
But maybe I could change him. Maybe he could choose to love me instead of hurt me, hold me instead of harm me…
The strength of that thought dissipates as my fingers brush the scar on the back of my neck, a rigid number two where I was to be reminded I’d always be second. That Damian is the foot and I was the ground. Always and forever.
Forever and always.
His voice was like a gush of water from a geyser in a black and thickening fog. A strike of darkness within a world of light, and, suddenly, the world I tried to keep so pure, the world I tried keeping sheltered from the darkness of my thoughts, the darkness of human error and its repercussions, was littered with it and paranoia as I heard him swimming up behind me, the water moving in sync with his body as my glowing took over the light outside.
‘Leave me alone,’ I quipped quietly as my eyes stayed trained on Tamir-in. He was starting to trip over himself; he nearly fell right into a rock and split his head open. My heart pounded with worry for him. He needed help…
Don’t you dare go to him, Damian commanded. Remember what happened to you the last time you disobeyed?
I fingered the number two again, a twinge of fear rupturing through my chest. He gave me the scar when I disappeared one night. I’d reappeared, but he was too paranoid; he thought I was cheating on him. His possessiveness took over and his powers forced me to the ground and…
His words still rung in my ears. You don’t defy me—it isn’t your place. Your place is at my side with your mouth shut. I am number one. You will always be number two.
A chill ran down my spine. Tamir hit the ground and struggled to get up.
He risked his life for me, and I for him. But he… he always was there for me, even when I couldn’t see.
I felt like I owed him my life.
I sprung up and swam full-speed towards him. I knew where he slept; I kept watch of him when I found him. I thought that maybe one day I’d say hello, but the year passed and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. At least, up until the night he was alone and it was nearly morning. I was going to swim up to him… but that’s the night Damian caught me sneaking in. That’s the night he learned about Tamir and the night he had me reporting everything I saw. And then… we ambushed him.
Damian came up with this plan. It was cruel and elaborate. I spoke up only once, learning my lesson the moment afterwards. I could still feel the imprint of his hand against my jaw every time I thought about standing up for something.
I gathered Tamir into my arms. His eyes drifted toward me lazily, confusion surfacing through the haze. ‘Who are you?’ he asked. It cut my heart into two.
He passed out and I carried him into the city, taking frequent breaks. Sharks kept their distance from civilization, but I could see them not far off, daring to draw near as Tamir’s blood kept dripping from his wounds.
I broke inside, most everyone in the city asleep now, and set him on his makeshift bed.
‘I don’t know how to heal you,’ I whispered to him as I shut the door and locked it. I’d only picked the lock to get inside; it wasn’t really broken… ‘But I’ll try. If I just want it bad enough…’
I closed my eyes and focused, holding my hands out before me. I’d begun to learn about controlling these powers I acquired, but my training was kept to a minimum. Damian didn’t want anyone to be stronger than he was. And sometimes I wondered if that’s another thing he’s mad at Tamir for. Tamir was special, you could just tell. But his powers… they were the strongest I’d ever seen, what with how he completely blacks out once they’re used up. I was there that one night he took out the One-Hundreds that were bullying him. I’d never seen a light so bright. If he were any stronger, I’d consider him a One, but… his powers would have appeared while he was still on land and I would have known about it. He used to tell me everything.
I ran my hands along his wounds, hoping I could heal him. I watched Damian do it after he bit him as a snake, and I tried to mimic his motions.
It took an hour of trying before I finally closed the rips in his skin and fixed his broken jaw. I’d figured it out.
And now I’d have to leave and return to Damian.
I could just hide here; Damian would never know, I tempted myself. But I knew I couldn’t. Damian would find me one way or another, and Tamir would once again become a target. And I couldn’t do that to him, not after all he’d done for me.
I turn to go, unlocking the door and opening it. He looked peaceful as sweet dreams came to him, the pain finally gone. The best thing for him would be if I stayed away completely and focused on one thing at a time.
‘Goodbye, Tamir,’ I croaked, believing I’d never see him again. Even if I did, he wouldn’t recognize me. Damian had changed his memories, and I was growing uglier by the day. The use of my powers for the evil Damian makes me carry out was making my skin infected with scales. They’d begun to pop up on my neck and my stomach, and they hurt when my fingers brushed past them or my hair got lodged in them… But it was worth it, the pain over dying at the hands of the one I loved.
I made my way back. Damian treaded just outside the doorway, fuming as Unwea ducked in and out of the rocky building that went far beneath the ground. All of Unwea lived there, plotting, practicing, or learning about what Damian wanted them to.
My stomach churned as his eyes flashed green. His hand found my throat.
‘I told you not to go to him,’ he growled, anger radiating from his being as he choked the life from me. His fingers grew hot around my neck, and I felt them burning my flesh. I cried out, unable to get really anything free from my throat as he crushed it.
Damian threw me to the side and I collided with the wall, hearing my shoulder snap out of place. He gave me one last foreboding look before disappearing into his underground castle. It was then I decided I would do whatever it took to make him love me and to prove to him I am strong enough to stand beside him as a Queen one day.
It was then I truly took up his name and made it my own. It became a part of me. Dametria.
I made my way to the doorway and looked in, glaring at him as he turned down another hallway.
‘You will love me, and you will treat me as your equal,’ I promised as my fists clenched and I began to glow. Black modes inside the green twisted up into it and grew more numerous as everything around me dulled. ‘And you will do it soon.’
I plotted and I planned. I went into the cities and stole information about babies, looking for the most powerful of them all. Turns out Damian had been looking for it too. I found the scroll under his bed, and I saw the name. Born the same time as Tamir was. She was a One.
And she’d be the perfect target.
The One-Hundred (Parts 1&2)
The One (Coming Soon)
—-and more to be named!
Initi: Peace. Sometimes reproduce, only within marriage. Marry sometimes. Barefoot. Death song as a ceremony. Wall of the Dead. Respect the dead. Hunt meat and use the forest for greens. Grows some vegetables, but not much. Leaders: Rai-si, Tani-mah, Lup-mem, Yurt-sah, Kan-ner, Marin-na.
Wurn: War. Only really eat meat. Wear shoes. Don’t reproduce. Spiteful and ready to jump at any change for revenge. Wear colored beads. Have braids to mark each lived year. Trap their prey. Leaders: Namrina-mah, Samir-ah, Qan-sai, Tarn-mah, Caru-in.
Revli: Love. Marry after able to reproduce. Markings on face. Reproduce. Ceremony when kill animal to eat. Mostly eat vegetables that they grow in their garden. Leaders: Damian.
History: (excerpt from The One-Hundred) The Initi Tribe was the First Tribe. Then there was a dispute between the first three Tribe Leaders and they parted ways, creating the three tribes we have now: Initi, Revli, and Wurn. The tribe names all stand for something the ancient language used by the First Tribe Members. Today, we only know those three words in this mystery language: Initi is peace, Revli is love, and Wurn is war. These tribes were said to once work together and bring harmony to this island. And then a war broke out.
The Initi Tribe stood back, startled by the corruption between the tribes. Revli wanted to become one large tribe again and work their problems out through love, while Wurn, being the largest and most powerful tribe on the island, didn’t want to give up and share its selfish desires. It was Initi that eventually ended the war and everything was okay again.
There are many mermaid clans, but these are the main ones mentioned.
Murlan: Largest mermaid clan. It’s as big as a large, bustling city, and is run by a King and Queen (Queen deceased). Very powerful.
Sivoli: The third largest clan, and also Rave and Tamir’s clan. This one has very heavy security. Smaller city, but still a city. Run by a King and Queen.
Unwea: Damian’s clan. It’s silently and unknowingly huge with all the rapid additions of One-Hundreds. Some want to be equal, while the majority wants to avenge the wrongs that have been forced upon them over the years. Located both under and over water. [_King: Damian. _]
The water around the island is filled with magic due to the One-Hundreds under the water, which can be boiled out. When Cressa-la touched the water, that magic took to her and bonded with the magic inside that she had been born with. The water chose her, which is why she grew these.
Scales on back: this means you are royalty.
Scales all over body: (much like Dametria) When we see Dametria like this, she is losing her powers from using them up. Because she uses them for darkness (the dark modes that drift around her), they drain faster. The gifts like to be used for good rather than evil. As she loses her powers, and as she’s underwater, her body is beginning to act in a negative way, due to the negative energy her gifts are creating, the scales becoming disease-like in the way they spread on her skin. The same is happening to Damian when he’s in his merman form.
Moon: When the moon chooses, there’s a surge of power through you and the moon controls you during the full moon and whenever it pleases. If you touch the water, your powers will not work. Instead of pulling you to the water, it beckons you with power, testing your strength of resisting the darkness humans have inside.
Sea: The moon pulls you to the water during a full moon, and, when touching it, you glow. When not, your powers don’t work. However, touching it on a full moon causes your powers to multiply and, sometimes, you can’t control them. It does the same as the moon does with power, testing you.
From Cressa-la’s glowing to Damian’s manipulation, The One-Hundred’s powers grow stronger as they use them.
Beginner: uncontrollable glowing, scales, fast swimming, and underwater sight.
Intermediate: light orbs, glow control, simple spells, simple water control, simple manipulation, and small animal transformation.
Advanced: spells, water bending, tail disappearance, large animal transformation, and manipulation.
There are a few places in this story that are enchanted, while others become magical one way or another.
Enchanted cave outside Sivoli Clan
Holes for receiving babies
Unwea hideout (in mountain)
Unwea location (mermaid)
And then there are tribes that acquire spells to either protect or control them.
Revli and Initi.
No humans below. Penalty: death.
No magic. Penalty: TBD by King/Queen
No leaving city without permission. Penalty: imprisonment
No murdering. Penalty: death.
No stealing. Penalty: imprisonment.
No contact with humans. Penalty: imprisonment.
[*1. How do mermaids reproduce? *]In my story, they reproduce and have babies much like a dolphin, due to them being mammals. They have slits at the base of their tails where the reproduction process happened, just like a dolphin. All the rest is much like a normal pregnancy.
[*2. What about the rain? *]Rain does not affect their powers, unless the weather is controlled by magic. Then the growing magic inside the clouds will fall with the rain.
[*3. Are there any other islands? *]Yes, only the islanders have no idea. And yes, they were wiped off the face of the earth because of what Damian did.
4. Why do they kill the babies? The humans once tried to destroy the mermaid population and take them over (Not mentioned in the book, but will be in later books).
[*5. Why can’t they touch the water during a full moon? *]Any water on a full moon, if it’s touched by the moonlight, it becomes magical for the time being. So in other words, there’d be an outbreak of One-Hundreds, and would also help the Unwea Clan grow faster. The sea around the island is all ready magical, but its magic increases with the fullness of the moon.
6. Why do they wait until year 18 to become a Tribe Leader? It’s supposed to be hard living until even 2. It’s when you are an adult and you become responsible for whom you are and everything you’ve done in the past. The tests they go through is to make sure they’ve reached that maturity and that they can take care of, not only themselves, but the tribe.
7. Why are the babies received every full moon? So that the receiving is organized.
8. Where do the babies come from? Mermaids under the water.
[*9. What if you fail the initiation? *]You are cast out or you have your memory wiped.
[*10. What if you pass initiation and you aren’t a One-Hundred? *]If the Tribe Leaders are desperate enough, they can transfer powers. If not, the might just wipe you and tell the tribe you did not succeed but you have been granted a life inside the village.
11. What if you fail initiation and you’re not a One-Hundred? They’ll wipe you and tell the tribe you did not succeed but you have been granted a life inside the village. Or they’ll cast you out, depending on the tribe.
[*12. What do they do with the babies after birth when they’re claimed as a one-hundred? *]They are kept in a bubble filled with magic, constantly keeping them full and happy so the mermaid couple doesn’t get too attached. The more distance, the better.
[*13. If she doesn’t know what the mermaids are, wouldn’t she wonder where all the babies came from? *]The reason why she doesn’t wonder is the Tribe Leaders fault. They wipe and control their memories with their powers.
14. What does SEA stand for? Is it literally sea like the word because of the Flood or is it like an acronym? It’s literally the word. It’s for when the Flood happened and the world was covered with the sea.
[*15. The dashes in the names. Some of you hate them, some of you love them, and some of you don’t care. Why are there dashes? *]There’s supposed to be. It’s because there’s a gap between the two worlds and the last part ties them to this world they stand on and the first part ties them to the other world. And it’s not as much of a pause as anything. A comma or period or semicolon insists a pause whereas a hyphen just links words together is how I see it. It’s like when you say twenty-five, or long-term, or fire-proof. That’s kind of what it’s meant to be used as aside from the symbolic meaning of it.
16. What about tears? Tears can only bring forth the glowing if that person has touched the water before and is a One or One-Hundred. And even then, only the One-Hundreds chosen by the sea would glow. The One-Hundreds chosen by the moon don’t glow when touching unfiltered water, nor do their powers work.
1. Scales on back means royalty.
2. All discovered One-Hundreds are brought to the King and Queen. They decide their fate.
3. All royals are One-Hundreds but no one really knows about it.
4. The moon’s pull isn’t as bad underwater.
5. Mermaids are allowed to go up to the surface as long as they don’t leave the city limits.
Dametria had to choose between Tamir and Damian. So she did. The One-Hundred Short Story