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Kids Fantasy

“Bye! Thanks for the flowers!” 

The bell on the door rang cheerfully as I flung myself out of the flower shop, Flower Power. But I felt anything but cheerful. I felt sad, depressed, and frankly, a bit sorry for myself.

I know, I know, self-pity is never good. But here’s the thing:

People die. I knew that since I was 2. 14 years of knowing people kick the bucket some time in their life. So it’s no surprise that at one point, your best friend and mom are going to die.

Here’s the other thing: your mom usually dies when you’re 50. Your best friend, at age 60-80. Typically not when you’re 15.

And yet here I was, briskly walking through the chilly March air on my way to the cemetery.

The memory of their death was fresh in my mind, even though it had happened a year ago. It was a vacation at Srem Beach—2019’s March was super warm.

On the vacation was my mom; my dad; my little brother, Zuko; my best friend, Parker Woods; and I. Mom and Parker went with me to the beach early in the morning. Parker crept in the water, and then…he was gone. Drowned. Dead.

Everybody was horrified. A couple days later, we were about to leave when my mom said she was going to go for a swim. The same thing happened to her, just 3 days after Parker’s tragic death.

Okay? Two people I loved were buried in a cemetery at age 15. So I think I deserved a bit of pity.

It was March 15th, exactly a year since Parker, poor, poor Parker, died. My mom’s anniversary of her death was very soon, so I was going to the cemetery for her and Parker.

I admit it. As I trotted through town, I cried.

I finally reached the end of the parking lot, where the gate to Markle Cemetery stood. I was about to push through when I saw something—someone—standing there.

A boy, who looked my age. He was leaning against the gate, staring out at the cemetery. He looked like…

“Parker?” I said, so shocked I was afraid I was going to pass out.

The boy turned around, and yep, I passed out.

*****

I blinked. Where the heck was I?

I blinked some more and looked around. Lying on the grass in between a cemetery and a parking lot, that’s what.

“Kimora?” Parker said from about me.

I looked up. He smiled and helped me up.

“Whuh?” was all I mustered. “How…how are you here? You’re dead, right?”

“Actually, I am,” Parker nodded thoughtfully. “But I’m here anyway.”

My stomach decided it wanted to exit my stomach, and my throat was the best option.

My eyes were probably covering half my face as I stared at Parker in amazement. I poked his arm. “You’re really here.” I hugged him and started sobbing. “You’re really here!”

“I missed you, too,” Parker grinned.

“But how?” I punched his arm. “Did you fake your death? Why? To freak me out? Oh, that better not be it. You were gone a year, you idiot! Do your parents know you’re alive?”

“Kimora, I think you’re misreading this situation.”

I studied his face and my smile melted. “Huh?”

“I am dead.”

*****

I opened my eyes. Apparently I had fainted again (I’m normally not the pass-out-y type, but my dead friend was alive! But also dead??? Anyways, it was really weird…), but this time, I was in Parker’s arms and not on the floor.

“How long was I out?”

Parker set me down. “A couple seconds, Drama Queen.”

I stood up super-fast. “Okay, you've got to explain. You’re dead. I saw you drown.” I wanted to cry because while Parker was…here, talking about his death made me remember me and my mom trying to save him, then I remembered my mom, then I remembered my mom drowning, then I wanted to sob. “And you say you’re dead. Then how the heck am I tackling you right now?”

“You’re what?” He looked confused and I tackled my best friend.

“WHERE WERE YOUUUU?!”

Call me Drama Queen too, whatever. Wouldn’t you tackle your best friend who was dead but alive but dead? 

“I was underwater,” Parker said, “okay? I was under Srem Lake this whole time.” I stared at him and we both plopped down on the grass. Parker took a deep breath and started to explain.

“I’m dead. Got it? Dead. 100%, completely dead. But I’m here. Not alive, but here. See, if you die in Lake Srem, you die. But come back as a mermaid, merman, whatever. Lake Srem actually is super-deep. It expands under the beach. Seriously. Srem Beach isn’t rooted to the ground because our homes are under it. Right. The people who have died in the lake are revived with fish tails, and we live in the lake. We can breath underwater and have some power over water. We have houses and stores and shops under the lake, just like on land.” He waved his hand towards the city, gesturing to everything. “It’s awesome down there. Really awesome.”

“Alright,” I said cautiously, “so you’re dead. But back. But if you can live underwater as a merman, why are you here? Last time I checked, Srem Beach was 100 miles from here and you had legs.”

Parker laughed. “Yeah. Well, for just one hour, exactly a year after you died, you’re allowed to visit anywhere you want on land. Anyone you want.”

“And…you came to me.”

Parker nodded.

“But your mom! Your dad! Your little sister!”

My best friend locked eyes with me. “If they knew I was…back, but couldn’t ever see them again, it would break their hearts. I can’t do that. I’m telling you because…you can get through this. You can know and be happy. You have perseverance, Kimora.”

I took this to mean ‘you’ve lost so much that you can handle anything’, but I still smiled. “Thanks. I’m glad you’re alive.”

“Back,” Parker corrected. “I’m still dead, as, uh…a dead thing. My human body was smashed on some rocks. Don’t worry—when I was transformed to merman I kicked the rocks. I’m here in a temporary, human body.”

“I’m glad,” I smiled. We hugged each other and I wanted the moment to last forever. Parker had been my closest friend (NOT EVEN CLOSE to in a romantic way, people who are thinking it) since I was born. He had died, but now…he was here. Talking to me. Hugging me, just like old times.

“Soooo…” Parker grinned. “I have a surprise for you!”

I clapped my hands. “Ooh, I love surprises! And getting one from a merman who has died will be super cool! What?”

“I can show you our underground city.”

I pumped my first up. “NICE! This is gonna be awesome.”

“There’s something that’s going to make it even more awesome,” Parker smirked, “and you’re going to love it. So. A couple days after I died, who drowned?”

I shut my eyes. “My mom.”

“And where did she die?”

“In the lake, duh.”

“And what happens when you die in Srem Lake?”

“You get revived as a mermaid.” Pressure built up in my ears when I realized what that meant. “Can…can I see my mom?

The last thing I saw was a beaming Parker nodding before I fainted dead away.

*****

Okay, seriously. 3 faints in one day? I’m sorry.

When I woke up, the first thing I tasted was salt. No. It tasted like salt and had a texture like salt. No, more grainy. I realized what was in my mouth and gagged.

“Ugh, sand?”

I looked around. I was lying on the sandy beach. Parker was next to me, glancing at the waves. He realized I was there and said, “Oh. Good. You’re up. Kimora, welcome to Srem Beach.”

I stared at the choppy waved bitterly. I had nothing but bad memories of this place. “How’d we get here?” Parker just glanced at me smugly.

“Here,” Parker laughed after seeing my expression. He handed me what looked like a stick of gum. “chew it.”

“What flavor?”

“Um…pink?”

I took that as a satisfactory answer and popped the gum in my mouth. A second later, the gum was gone in my mouth. I reached down to itch my ankle and… 

My fingers brushed against slimy scales.

“YUCK!” I hollered. Dead fish? Jellyfish? Oh, please let it not be a jellyfish.

I glanced down. Lucky for me, it wasn’t a jellyfish. Unlucky for me, it was a fish. But…the fish was my legs.

I then realized it was good. I WAS A MERMAID!

I grinned as I examined my legs—er, tail. Where my legs used to be was a 10-inch-thick tail, starting at my waist. The translucent scales shimmered rainbow for a full 4 feet, before melted into two wide, thin clear scales—or whatever you call the edge of a mermaid’s tail.

“This is awesome!” I hollered and glanced at Parker. He also had a tail. “Wait, what if someone sees us?”

“Nobody’s around,” He smiled, “but just in case, let’s bounce.”

We slithered (apologies for that mental picture…) down to the water. Parker slid in and disappeared under the waves. I stifled a shriek, remembering the consequences the last time that happened. I got into the water and ducked my head under.

*****

Sunlight streamed into the lake as Parker and I swam farther away from shore. Soon, we were 100 yards from the beach and I was still holding my breath. We had only been swimming for 20 seconds, but our tails sped us along super fast. You know how when you out on swimming fins? Mermaid tails are like that times 5.

I had to breathe. Parker was, and yet I couldn’t make myself. The water was so thick and watery, and I was certain I would choke if I took a deep breath of liquid.

I imagined my face was tomato red as my lungs screamed at me for air. A minute had passed, and I finally steadied (kinda…) my rattled nerves.

I took a deep breath, ready to take a—

Huh?

I DID IT! I cheered in my head. I breathed and breathed and breathed, the water filling my lungs but acting as air.

“Nice job,” Parker said.

I stared at him. We could talk underwater?

I smacked my head (which was hard in a lake). Duh. It would be pretty hard to live in an underground city if you couldn’t talk. 

By now, my dead friend was back, I had sprouted a tail, and I was breathing underwater. My brain didn’t even give talking underwater a third thought (seconds thoughts are a myth. If something deserves another thought, you obviously think about it 3 times)—it was just like, Welcome, weirdness, my old friend!

“Thanks,” I smiled, “nothing like learning to breathe.”

Parker snorted. “Woohoo.” 

We swum in silence for a few minutes before I asked, “Hey, when’re we going to be there?”

“Where?” Parker squinted. Then he smiled. “Oh, there there.” I nodded and he said, “Well, Kimora…look down.”

*****

I couldn’t believe I had missed it. 30 yards or so beneath us was a glittering city. It looked like New York, but way more beautiful.

The buildings and skyscrapers (surface-scrapers?) were the most gorgeous colors, all shimmering with touches of gold and silver. People were swimming all over—on the ground, over a house, by the 20th story of a building's window… 

 “Oh my god.” My mouth tasted like copper. (Salty copper. Looking at you, sand!) Land was nothing compared to this. “This is where you've been living for a full year?”

“Drowning in Lake Srem doesn’t sound so awful after all, eh?” Parker snickered.

I elbowed him. “Yeah, yeah, it’s awesome. But don’t forget the reason we’re here!”

Parker nodded and we swam down, down, down in the amazing underwater city. We stopped outside a house, on the steps. Parker started to knock but paused before his hand touched the door.

“Your mom gets to come to land in a couple days, you know. But it’s time for you to get a head-start!”

I grinned and he added, “Do you want to do the honors, Kimora?”

I whispered my agreement and confidently faced the plank of wood, carved in beautiful shapes and patterns, separating me and my amazing mother.

It’s time to see you again, Mom, I thought, and I rapped on the intricate door.

July 24, 2020 18:28

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74 comments

Orenda .
18:41 Jul 24, 2020

Aww the plot is really interesting and cuteee....I would love to know what happens later..great job, Aerin🥰

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19:14 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you so much!!!

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AGAIN GRRRRRRR WHAT-HOW- THE TITTLES MY DUDE REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE my goodness, humor, humor, and more humor (NOT a bad thing, some people (like you) are just gifted). poiuygthjkiuytfghjioiuytrdsfghuio987654ertyuiuytredfghjiuytrertyuiuytredfguiuytrfdfghjiuytrdfghuiuytredfgyuiuytresdfghuytredfghjiuytrdfghuytrdcvghjiuyrewsdf *pardon that randomness, it's just my usual speechless speech after reading a good story* Now that my mind is back in my head, these two sentences were just XD and lol... "Parker had been my closest fri...

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NSJQJQHSJQHQOSJOEE EEEEEE THANK YOUUU muahahaha yay, ty!!! HUMOR 4 LIFE DNWJWIJSIWIOWJS *oop ty* *heheheheeeeeeeee, only cuz platonic male-and-female friends never seem to exist in literature without some sort of romance towards the end so I wanted to make it vErY cLeAr they were just besties lol *yeshhhhh tyytyyy SQUEEE THANKS FOR THESE COMMENTS WOLFY <33 (Again with that random nickname sorry sorry sorry, I always try to think of something other than the full “wolf warrior” but like “wolf” isn’t enough so I just add a y cuz y (GET IT H...

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XD lkjhgfdfghjkiuygfghjhgfcvbhjkiuygfcvhjk XDD yesh, VeRy ClEaR lol lol you're very welcome :DDD (It's alright, nothing wrong with being original ;D (I get it lololol))

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Angelina S.
18:00 Feb 26, 2021

This was a truly scintillating story! However, I have to say that in writing, we don't usually write numbers in their numerical form but spell it out. There was a bit too much usage of brackets and many were avoidable, so you can cut it out in the future. The dialogue tag-lines are remarkably good but keep in mind that whenever you start a dialogue (that is in quotes), you keep the first alphabet of the first word capitalized. To be honest, this was very inspiring to me, the hopefulness particularly. The title is catchy. The depicted fr...

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Haha, thank you so much!! Thanks! Since this story was one of my first ones on this site (over half a year ago)l I’ve actually learned some technical stuff like that, but yeah, I made a lot of mistakes like that in this story XD Tytyty! I got “Zuko” from the animated TV show Avatar: the Last Airbender, have you heard of it? It’s really good. Thanks again! Aerin

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Angelina S.
06:26 Feb 28, 2021

Oh yes, I had noticed that and that's why I didn't leave comments on your other old works. Personally, I think that your old stories' plot and elements are really good, maybe even better than your current ones. Yup I have and I know it's damn good! I honestly don't know why I'm bringing this here but, do you play Among Us? Anytime!

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Tyy! Yessss I love that show! Haha, yup! I’m actually about to play with my sister.

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Angelina S.
20:04 Feb 28, 2021

You're welcome. Haha, nice! Hehe, the game is dope!

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Cam Croz
02:23 Oct 08, 2020

"My stomach decided it wanted to exit my stomach, and my throat was the best option." Favorite line right there. Definetley got a laugh. I really enjoyed reading 'Hello Weirdness, My Old Friend.' You did a great job of incorparating Humor and awe into the elemnts of hardships th emain charater has to go through. I would love to see a sequel!

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Haha, thank you! Yay :D Thanks so much! Lol, maybeeee

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LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! Its very upbeat, I enjoy first POV. Great work, like always! 😄 Edit- Its kinda like their underwater home is their heaven 😊

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Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it! Hehe, definitely. Thanks again!

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Your welcome!

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Interesting plotline, explains how life can suck sometimes

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Thanks!

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Avery G.
03:53 Jul 26, 2020

This is awesome! I can't believe you did this story in just one day! I love the plot! Great job!

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Thanks so much! (Sorry it took me so long to see this!) (P. S. Something I randomly want to put here: {\_/} ( • . •) want this burrito? / >🌯 {\__/} ( • - •) no its mine 🌯< I’m hungry)

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Avery G.
15:30 Jul 30, 2020

You're welcome! And, Haha!

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00:38 Nov 29, 2020

This was a really intriguing and dark seeming story turned light hearted and airy. I love the first person perspective and her personality is very bubbly (get it, underwater :) lmao, lemme stop) But ya good job!

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Thanks so much! (Lol, nice.) Thanks!

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B. W.
18:15 Aug 18, 2020

I decided to go and look at a few other of your stories and this one is still really good! when you mentioned the name "Zuko" i couldn't stop thinking about avatar the last airbender. I'm not sure if you watch and like the show and decided to have the name or if you randomly picked the name but thats honestly what im just gonna think with that name anyway. I know you'll be gone for a while today but i don't know when the time you said for you would be for me because i think i have a different time. But it's still good as always so yet anothe...

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Hi, B. W.! Haha, yep, I watch Avatar. Actually, I finished it, but whatever. I often use names from it: Zuko is here and there’s a guy named Scientist Ozai in my first story. Thank youuuu!

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B. W.
19:03 Aug 18, 2020

heya ^^ yeah i had a feeling you probably did watch it because i don't know where else you got the names from if you hadn't watched it. i feel like you might bring in an azula or aang at some point in one of your stories tbh. and no problem ^^

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Debbie Teague
12:49 Aug 15, 2020

Well done - transformed into a mer person so Kimora can see mom again; that is great. I enjoyed the story, thank you.

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Thanks! P. S. I don’t think anybody noticed this, but I liked making names the actual thing, if that makes any sense. Often names of places and people mean what they are in another language, or backwards. For example: Srem Beach backwards? Mers Beach. Hehehehehehe...

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Debbie Teague
12:55 Aug 15, 2020

Yes, it is a clever way of naming things or characters. Often I research surnames and pick one that my character aspires to or has innate quality; it's fun :)

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Haha, yes. I actually do it in my real writing, too. For example, one of my main characters in my book-soon-to-be-published is insanely nice, so naturally her name has to be: Abcde Amicale. Amicale is French for ‘kind’...

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✰ Jessica ✰
20:21 Aug 13, 2020

Aerin, I loved this story! It was so beautifully intricate! I think the only thing it could have done without is the expression Kimora used when she saw the underwater city. You are fantastic with grammar and punctuation, and I cannot wait to read more from you! ♡, Jessica

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Yay, thanks! I’m a grammar nerd so I’m glad, hehe. Thanks agaaain!

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21:43 Aug 05, 2020

That was really cute and unusual. I loved the way it ended just before her mom opened the door too.

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Thank you!!!

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16:36 Aug 04, 2020

Hi Aerin, I would probably want Lighting McQueen to have life insurance...

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Cool 😎😎😎

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Charlotte Corrao
03:38 Aug 03, 2020

What an incredible story, I believe in reincarnation and this takes it to a new level. I really liked it.

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Thank you so much, Charlotte! 😆😆😆😆

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21:20 Aug 02, 2020

This is such a good story!!! The characters seem so relatable, and I wanted to know more! You should do a part 2!!!

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Haha, thanks!

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Sam S.
14:25 Aug 01, 2020

Hey, this is a very creative story, I loved the part where Parker explains why he came to Kimora instead of his family. It surely would've taken lots of imagination and creativity to come up with such an interesting plot and again the story is awesome!!

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Thank you SO MUCH, Vanessa!!!

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Sam S.
15:28 Aug 01, 2020

Actually, Kate

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Oops, sorry! I had just seen the name Vanessa in my notification before I clicked on this comment, so I thought that was your name. Sorry, Kate! 🤣🤣🤣

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Sam S.
15:32 Aug 01, 2020

And thanks for following, try my story.

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Sam S.
15:30 Aug 01, 2020

Lol..Yeah, just changed my pen name!! Np:)

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07:04 Aug 01, 2020

This is good work.

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05:49 Aug 01, 2020

This was good. I like that he came back even if it was just for a while. It's good how you show us the delicate balance of friendship and life afterwards. Good job

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Thanks!

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Raven Quill
00:24 Aug 01, 2020

Hi! Ok so, first off, I think this was a cute and interesting take on this prompt. But in all honesty, it read really low level. I basically agree with every thing Zila said in her comment. You have really great ideas! I just think they could be flushed out a little better, and some plot holes could be filled. Everything was a little too easy, and you said a lot more than you showed. Taking out infinitive verbs (to walk, to run, to skate) and turning them into "-ing" endings and restructuring your sentences could really help!! Sorry if that...

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Thanks!

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Krishi Norris
14:36 Jul 31, 2020

Hi, Aerin! Great story? Mind checking out my first submission? Thanks!

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Sure!

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