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Kids Christian Fantasy

The immensity of the sea rolled against her eardrums, resonating somewhere in her soul. The sky pulled her up, up, back into the air her lungs craved, but she pulled herself farther below the surface.

Wren opened her eyes. The brine stung at first, but it was always worth it. 

Streaks of light pierced the greenish-brown water, always flickering and moving; but the focal point in her view, as it had been for the last four-and-a-half years, was her daughter. 

Eleanor had her eyes clenched tightly. Her little legs were wrapped around her mother’s knee to keep herself under. Wren adored the sight of her little girl for another second. Then Ellie released her hold on Wren and kicked for the surface as bubbles erupted from her mouth. Wren let herself emerge too.

Ellie was sucking in oxygen between giggles and the occasional cough. “Let’s do it again!” 

“No, I think we’ve done enough, little mermaid.”

“Come on, Mama, please?”

“No, you’re getting tired. Here, get on my back, and I’ll give you a sea horse ride back to the shore.” 

“I’m not tired!”

Wren maneuvered the little arms around her neck and felt the legs settle around her waist. She started paddling gently toward the shore. “And Daddy will be home soon. He worked hard, and he’ll be hungry. We need to cook him supper.”

“I’m still not tired.”

“And we need to think of an idea for tonight’s story!” 

Eleanor’s response was cut off when a wayward beach ball bounced off her head. The shouts of “Sorry!” accompanied by laughter and splashing announced their arrival to the congested shallows. Wren let Eleanor down off her back, and the two splashed their way between the brightly-clad, shouting children up onto dry ground. 

They collected their towels, tramped through the hot, crumbly sand to their vehicle, and headed homeward.

Wren took the ground beef out of the sink where she had let it defrost while they were at the beach. Ellie, freshly showered, had dragged a stool to her spot at the island and watched her place the meat in a pan. Wren switched the heat on, then turned to her daughter. “Did you think of an idea for our story yet?”

Ellie scrunched up her face, then she lit up. “What about a mermaid, Mama?”

“Sure!” Wren took a tomato and a head of lettuce out of the fridge and placed them on the island along with a cutting board and a knife. She pushed it all in front of Ellie, who picked up the knife. “Remember, be careful, Ellie.”

“Of course, Mama. Now tell the story!”

“Ooh, let’s see…” Wren opened a pack of tortillas and put one on the warm flat top. “Well, our story doesn’t start with a mermaid.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know; do you want to tell the story?”

“No.”

“Okay then. Our story doesn’t start with a mermaid. It starts with a human boy named… what should his name be?”

“Umm…” Ellie popped a slice of tomato in her mouth and scooped the remainder into a bowl. “Oh! His name should be Peter.”

“Peter it is. So, Peter was walking alongside some cliffs one day. He was very high up, and he was looking down over the edge at the waves. These waves were way bigger than the ones at the beach today.”

“Were they as big as our house?” 

“Not quite. But almost.”

Ellie nodded, then focussed back on her work. She slowly drew the knife across the lettuce leaf, picked up the green ribbon with her pudgy fingers, and dropped it into a bowl. “Keep going, Mama.”

“He was looking down at the waves when a big gust of wind came and pushed him off the edge of the cliff!”

“He shouldn’t have standed so close to the edge.”

“You’re right, he shouldn’t have stood so close.” Wren nodded, with a mental self-congratulation about slipping in safety rules, while she stirred the ground beef and flipped the tortilla. “But he did, and he fell through the air and hit the water.”

“Could he swim?”

“Nope. The waves rolled him over and over like he was in a washing machine. Then a mermaid saw him—what should the mermaid’s name be?”

“I think her name should be Amelia.” 

“Okay. So Amelia was taking her morning swim before starting her chores, when she saw him.”

“Mermaids have to do chores?”

“Of course! Anyway, Amelia saw Peter rolling around, and she thought he was playing, so she swam around him and did some rolling too. Then the waves got too close to the rocks, and she stopped, but Peter didn’t, and he smashed right into a big rock. That’s when she saw that he had legs.”

“Did she help him out of the water?”

“She pushed him up on top of a big rock. He laid there for a while, but then he coughed out a bunch of water and sat up.”

“Was he all right?”

“He was very confused. When he rubbed the water out of his eyes, he saw the mermaid and he thought he was dreaming.”

“But he wasn’t.”

“Nope. Do you want to go set the table now?”

Eleanor nodded and hopped off her stool.

“She told him that he wasn’t dreaming, but just then a pirate ship came around the corner.”

A plate rattled on the floor, then spun in circles. Thank goodness Correlle dishes were hardy. “It didn’t break, Mama. Keep going.”

“The pirates scooped them up with a big net and brought them up to the deck of the ship. The problem is, mermaids can’t breathe out of the water, so they filled up a bathtub for her to lay in.”

“Wait, so how could she talk?”

“Um—I’m not sure! Mermaid probably have special magic for that.”

“But you said magic isn’t real.”

“No, but neither are mermaids.” Wren covered her stack of warm tortillas with a towel. “Do you remember that word I taught you?”

“Um… fishitul?”

“Fictional.”

Ellie picked three cups out of the dishwasher. “Oh yeah. It means just pretend.”

“Right. So they locked Peter and Amelia in the captain’s room, where the bathtub was, while they steered their ship away from the rocks. Amelia and Peter were scared, but they started talking and became good friends. Did you know that Peter had no mom and dad?”

“Why not?”

“They died when he was little.”

“Does Amelia have a mom and dad?”

“She does, but they’re way down in the sea under the ship. They don’t know where she is, so they can’t rescue her.” Wren took a package of cheese out of the fridge and started shredding it while Ellie counted out three forks. “Then the pirates took them out of the captain’s room and started questioning them.”

“About what?”

“Well, they were pirates, and pirates love gold. They wanted Amelia to swim to the bottom of the ocean and get gold for them from old shipwrecks.”

“But if they put Amelia in the water, she could swim away.”

“Right. But Peter couldn’t. And they told her if she didn’t bring the gold back, they would hurt Peter.”

“Why did you make Peter a human boy, Mama? Now he’s stuck there with the pirates!”

“Because the harder it is for him to get away, the better the story is.”

“What happened to Amelia?”

“They put her into the water, but when they did, she yelled up at them that she would never get the gold for them.”

“Oh no! What did they do to Peter?”

“They shoved him overboard into the water.”

“Did Amelia catch him?”

“She did, but the pirates laughed at her. She wasn’t strong enough to keep him up forever, so there was only one thing to do.”

“What?”

“Amelia needed to turn Peter into a mermaid.”

“How can she do that?”

“True love’s kiss!” A male voice interrupted the story, followed by the bang of the screen door. 

“Daddy!” Ellie ran to him, and he scooped her up and kissed her on the forehead. 

Wren came afterward to receive a kiss full on the mouth. “And then Peter’s legs turned into a green tail, and they swam away together.”

“Daddy, how did you know?”

“That’s how it always works, princess.” 

They sat down at the supper table together and enjoyed their meal, but halfway through, Wren noticed that Ellie’s chin was touching her plate. “Bedtime for little mermaids?”

Ellie nodded. “Yeah. Maybe I am tired.”

“I knew it! Let’s get you into some pyjamas.”

“But who’s gonna help you wash the dishes?”

“Maybe Daddy will, if I ask him nicely.”

They giggled and headed off to Eleanor’s bedroom. Wren tucked her in between the fuzzy sheets and kissed her cheek. “I love you. Goodnight.”

“But Mama, how did you know that I was tired when I didn’t even know?”

“God gave Mamas some special blessings that help us know stuff like that. Now, look out your window and see if you can spot any stars before you fall asleep.”

Ellie nodded, but her eyes were already closing. She fought against it. “But Mama?”

“What is it?”

“What else happened to Amelia and Peter?”

“They got married and had a little mermaid daughter, and they told her that they loved her every single day, and they tucked her into bed every single night. Now go to sleep.”

“Okay. But Mama?”

“Yes, Eleanor?”

“Will God give me special blessings when I’m a mama?”

“Of course He will. Now, goodnight.”

March 06, 2021 04:58

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9 comments

Praise Abraham
12:57 Mar 12, 2021

Awww... I loved this story all the way.❤️ I laughed when Eleanor asked, Mermaids have to do chores? 😂

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Keri Dyck
22:23 Mar 12, 2021

Aww thanks! And yeah I loved that bit too :p

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Praise Abraham
11:29 Mar 13, 2021

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Debra Sue Brice
18:04 Mar 10, 2021

I really enjoyed the way you intertwined the storytelling into the evening meal! Nice job!!!

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Keri Dyck
22:26 Mar 10, 2021

Thanks! I didn’t want them to become mere talking heads, so I gave them stuff to do :)

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Hallie Blatz
00:23 Mar 07, 2021

I think you might have melted my heart. I loved it!

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Keri Dyck
18:12 Mar 07, 2021

Aww thank you 😊

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A.G. Scott
18:50 Mar 06, 2021

This was so comfy. Felt like you dropped us right into the extra seat at the dining table of a beautiful family. :)

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Keri Dyck
23:00 Mar 06, 2021

Thanks so much! That’s exactly what I was going for :)

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