The great whites never attack us in Atlantis. They stay in their world and we stay in ours. The fish of the coral leave us alone, as we do they. The sea animals never do us wrong. Until about three weeks ago. It was the eve of the Bejeweling Ceremony. Another girl in my colloquium group was brutally torn apart. I never really knew her. But the Bejeweling Ceremony was postponed, so now it is set to a week from now. Queen Anahita has suspicions that the great whites were up to this one. The merpeople have been extra cautious while in public or even alone. No one has been hurt in three weeks, so I do believe that the great whites are done. I hope the jewel that Queen Anahita grants me is an ammolite stone. I would love to be a gardener. The type of jewel we get says what job we can have. My mother has aventurine and my father has jade. My mom is a pagekeeper and my dad is a royal guard.
“Vilmaris! What do you think your jewel will be?” I hated the sound of that girl’s voice. It was as if her mother was a dolphin or something. She sure sounded like a dolphin. Annoying. I pretended to not notice her. My friend, Ianthe, thought that it was the funniest thing.
“VILMARIS! Why are your ears always blocked with seaweed? I wanted to talk to you and your little….Sidekick.” Gretchen said, her smirking face was almost as annoying as her voice. Today, she was wearing a purple skirt at her hips; complimenting the yellow scales of her tail. Her seashell cover was made of purple shells to match and the straps were made from yellow sea flowers.
“Oh hi, Gretchen. I didn’t see you there. I think that I will get ammolite. What about you?” I asked. I really couldn’t care what she wanted to get.
“I want to be granted a pearl. I heard that Queen Anahita’s line shall be ended because someone in our class had the perfect skills to become a Queen. That will be me. My name means pearl, anyway. I really guessed that you would be granted a tektite stone. It’s so dark and plain. I paged you as a servant. Not a gardener.” Gretchen shook her head and her hair shifted.
“I think that your head is filled with barnacles, Gretchen. I think that you will be granted a tektite stone.” Ianthe said. Suddenly we heard singing. It was the News Sirens. Everyone would be rushing to the middle of Atlantis. We were already near the square. We could see the podium from where we were. We averted our attention to the podium and the queen was there.
“Maids and men. I am here to say that another girl in the Bejeweling Colloquium has been murdered. We are still having the ceremony tomorrow. We cannot keep pushing it back. But as soon as it’s over, we will be interrogating the Great Whites. They can’t rule us, for we rule the sea. We rule the ocean. This will be stopped. You mustn’t worry. King Kacper and I have everything under control. Trust me, this will be the last murder by the Great Whites. This announcement has been adjourned. I will see some of you in a week's time. Thank you.”
I am not, nor ever will be friends with Gretchen. However, we do have a love-hate relationship. We hate each other always. But when we need to get something off our chest, we will listen to each other.
“Oh my gosh. What if we get murdered by a Great White? Or what if-” Gretchen started. Tarni, Gretchen’s older sister, swam up to us.
“Gretchen. I have some bad news.” Tarni’s aqua colored tail was sparkling with strands of opal. That meant she made seashell covers, top covers, tail adornments, and accessories. “Odelette was the girl. Odelette was murdered by the Great Whites.” Odelette is Gretchen’s best friend. Well, she was Gretchen’s best friend. Gretchen burst into tears as her sister dragged her away. Ianthe and I were left in awkward silence. We stared at each other and felt one another’s sadness. We wouldn’t know what to do If we didn’t have each other. We shook off the awkward situation and went to the store to find some fashionable seashell covers and some tail skirts. These are going to be our outfits for the Bejeweling Ceremony. So they must be special. More so than our initiation into the society. More so, than any other event.
One week Later
“Mom! You’re pulling too tight! My scalp is burning!” I screeched. My mom was braiding my hair. I was already in my seashell cover and matching tail skirt.
“I’m sorry, Villi, but it won't be tight if I don’t pull.” I groaned as she pulled harder. At least my hair would be good looking. Everyone in my Colloquium was going to be dressing their best. Well, except those who were murdered. After Odelette, every day, a girl and boy was murdered. Ianthe was so upset when her cousin, Gill, was murdered. He was a nice guy. I was so upset when Sirene was murdered. She was my tutor for history. She helped me excel. And now she’s gone. I was just hoping that there would be no mishaps today. I wanted my Bejeweling Ceremony to be perfect. Nothing bad. No Great White attacks.
During The Ceremony
Twenty of the mermaids and men had already gotten their jewels already. There were still at least ninety people to go. I could sense disaster happening. I could see speedy blurs at the edge of my vision. I was already nervous enough. Meeting the Queen Anahita and King Kacper. They will be giving us our jewels. Today would make me or break me. Ianthe and I were sitting in the back corner of rows. Gretchen was on the other side of me. I was the only one that was sitting next to Ianthe. The chairs that we sat on were very uncomfortable. I would rather lay on my stomach on my seashell bed. But I’m here. About to be fully accepted into society.
“Villi,” Ianthe whispered, “What are you staring at. Do you see something?” I definitely hadn’t noticed that I was, indeed staring off into the distance. I noticed something, as I faded back into my awareness. There were four giant grey fish swimming and playing. I wasn’t sure that they were dangerous. But I did feel like they were dangerous. They also seemed to be getting closer and closer. I shrugged it off and shook my head at Ianthe. After many minutes, possibly an hour, the fish were close to the coral. They continued to come closer. Until I had an urge to react. I couldn’t stop myself. It was like a built in instinct. Like a programmed move. People were screaming and yelling and swimming away. But I couldn’t help myself. The great whites. They were vicious. They were monsters. I could handle them in my own mind. I couldn’t stop myself even If I was tied to a sunken ship.
This girl. She was the only one swimming toward the sharks. The dangerous Great Whites. I stood at the stage unresponsive. I was curious to see what she was going to do. To see if there was any last jewel that would fit her personality. Her eyes were glowing. She was moving quickly towards the biggest shark. Suddenly, the world froze. I could see and feel everything. I just couldn’t move. I knew what this was. I broke free and released. The only people free to move were Me, Kacper, The girl and a boy that was across from the girl, near a smaller shark. The girl and the boy said something to each other. They then banned the sharks. They send the sharks back. How will the sharks never come back? I don’t know. But I do know that this girl saved us. Life suddenly unfroze. Some of the merfolk were confused. We didn’t explain the situation. We ordered some of the severance to set up the chairs for the people. They all sat down and not a question was asked.
I met a boy. He had the same unknown calling as I did. His name was Zale. I decided that he was nice. We somehow made a water barrier to protect the people from the sharks. We told them that if they come back, we will kill them and every member of their species. Luckily sharks are gullible. No one even spared us a glance afterwards. The servants had set up the chairs and we sat in our spots. Finally, the last to be called, the boy, Zale and I were called upon at the same time.
“Zale Singer and Vilmaris Guarde. Please come up.” We swan slowly up the aisle ways of the chairs. Once we got to the front Queen Anahita said directly to us, “You both have received a pearl as your gem. Which means when everyone starts training you two will have lessons strictly from me and Kacper. Turn around please.” We turned around with a glance at each other.
“Everyone, these two will be your new King and Queen. They possess powers that only royalty may have, and being 547, King Kacper and I wish to travel.” Everyone clapped and cheered as the Queen handed us our jewels and we went back to our seats.
An Important lesson that I learned from this lesson is that all people are either the Great Whites, the others are like Odelette, Gill and Sirene, or the people like me and Zale. The Great Whites are the Evil. They kill and threaten and eat upon prey. Obviously, people like Odelette are the people who get eaten alive and can’t stop it. They are either too scared to end their reign of being prey, or they are being threatened to be the prey. Lastly, there are people like me or Zale, who protect and provide. Remember, never be a Great White, and there won’t be prey. All that would be left are the good guys. And that, my friend, is the side that we are on.