Isla del Paraiso was a picture of peace and serenity. Even the beautiful turquoise water surrounding it was still. Suddenly the silence was disturbed by a very excitable mermaid bursting through the water, swimming towards the sandy beach, flanked by a couple of playful dolphins. Aerwyna had a very good reason to be excited, the baby sea turtles were going to emerge from the sand tonight! They’d hatched several days ago but she got the news that they were going to finally come out of the hole/ nest that their mothers had made.
She had to make sure that it all went smoothly. It was her job after all as one of the guardians of Isla del Paraiso, specifically the turtles’ nesting beach. “Wish me luck”, Aerwyna said to the dolphins as she hauled herself onto the beach.
“Good luck!” the dolphins said through various clicks and whistles. They swam away while the mermaid waited patiently for her cerulean blue tail to change. It wasn’t long before the blue-green scales slowly disappeared, her tail splitting in two and morphing into a pair of legs. Aerwyna slowly stood up, wobbling slightly as she wasn’t quite used to being on legs for some time. Once she was sure that she wasn’t going to fall over, the young mermaid picked her way up the sandy beach to where the dusty path began. The brunette wandered up it to where a wooden cabin sat, her home away from home during the turtle hatchings.
She ascended the steps and pushed open the door, stepping inside. The cabin itself was small which suited her fine. She didn’t need a big place for somewhere she only stayed in for a few nights at a time. On the left was the door to her bedroom, complete with ensuite bathroom. That was her first stop given that she wasn’t wearing anything. Contrary to popular belief, her people, specifically the females didn’t wear shells over their chests as they were covered in scales instead.
Aerwyna went into her room and over to the dresser where she pulled out the first clothes that her hands came into contact with: purple tank top, denim shorts and underwear. She then pulled her long brown and cerulean dipped hair into a messy bun in order to keep it out of the way.
Her next stop was for food. Aerwyna headed into the kitchen which was opposite the bedroom. She opened up the cupboards, pulling out a can of peaches. Canned food was the only thing that lasted long periods of time. There wasn’t much of it left either not that it was a problem given that the island had a plethora of fruit, coconuts and of course fish. The mermaid cracked open the can and settled down in one of the squashy chairs that was perfectly situated so that she could look out of the window at her home away from home.
Aerwyna slowly ate the sweet peach slices as she watched various tropical birds flitter from tree to tree chattering away in their bird speak. The young mermaid couldn’t understand what they were saying unlike aquatic creatures, but they sounded happy. Once she’d finished the can, Aerwyna tipped the remaining syrup type liquid that kept the peaches so sweet onto a small dish which she set onto the porch. It wasn’t very long before a small flock of Bahamian Woodstar Hummingbirds landed on the wood and surrounded the dish.
She smiled at the sight and headed back indoors. The brunette grabbed a book from one of the many shelves in the cabin and sat back in the same chair to do a little bit of reading. There she stayed for good several hours until she dozed off. It wasn’t a big surprise that she’d fallen asleep since she had been too excited the night before to get enough rest to make it through the day.
When Aerwyna was jolted awake by a loud screech in her ear, the sun was going down. She rubbed the now ringing ear, glowering at the parrot that was perched on the back on her chair. She knew those unique colourings anywhere, it was the cheekiest bird on the whole entire island. He was very brazen too, not afraid to saunter into the cabin and pinch her food. The parrot cackled as if satisfied for scaring her awake and flew off, out of the cabin. Aerwyna rubbed her face, grumbling in her native tongue, cursing that blasted bird. Then she realised that the sun was setting! She jumped up from her chair and hurried over to the sink to splash cold water on her face to properly wake herself up.
She fixed her bun and then headed out of the cabin toward the beach. As she grew closer to the nesting site the excitement in her grow. She actually did a little skip at how happy she was about this very special moment. Aerwyna settled down on the sand and awaited eagerly for the first signs of the hatchlings emerging. She didn’t have to wait very long before her chocolate brown and gold speckled eyes spied the soft ground start to shift in front of her.
The mermaid leaned forward barely daring to breathe in case it prevented the baby turtles from appearing. She clapped a hand over her mouth to silence her squeals as one by one the hatchlings crawled out of the sand. Then all across the beach, more and more of them surfaced. Aerwyna slowly raised herself into a crouch and got to work ushering them toward the sea. As she’d successfully gotten a group of hatchlings to the water, she heard small cries of ‘help’.
She spun around, eyes flashing in anger as she saw two crabs stalking toward some baby turtles. Aerwyna shot over to them, taking care not to step on the other terrapins that had yet to get off the beach. She kicked the crabs away and shielded them with her body, hissing at the crabs, daring them to try again. Thankfully they seemed to do the smart thing and scuttle off.
“Thank you”, the hatchlings said in a series of small noises and pressing their small bodies to her, gratefully.
“You’re welcome, now lets get you home”, Aerwyna said. She gently scooped them up and carried them to the water, setting them down when she got there. It was about a good four hours for every single hatchling to get into the water. Now that her job was done, Aerwyna tugged the hair band out of her hair, shaking it loose. She laid down on the beach and looked up the stars, one hand on her bare stomach, the other behind her head. She would spend another couple of days before she too headed into the depths of the sea.