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Wed, 25 Nov 2009


 One Wish

     Jasper turned to the bristly sailor who stood in the center of the deck, expertly coiling a rope in his muscular hands.  "Is it true that if you steal a mermaid's girdle, she must grant you
a wish?"
     The sailor shrugged.  "'S possible.  I've been up `n' down this spot dozens o' times an' not a hint o' a woman or even half
o' one."
     "But Square Cut Bay is famed for mermaids throughout the world!  Half my reason for taking this route around Calithwain instead of the shorter overland trip was to feast on their beauty with my own eyes.  And maybe," Jasper added, nervously licking  his lips, "just maybe have a wish granted to me as well."
     A cluster of sailors who'd apparently been listening in, burst into hearty gales of laughter. 
     Jasper glared at them.  "You may think I've no sense, wearing the robes of a scholar instead of your rags or a  soldier's armor, but I know what I've read.  I'm not big or  strong but I'm wise.  Calithwain is different; everyone knows  magic abounds here.  There are ways to steal a mermaid's girdle, and then you can just go about begging for jobs if my wish is to own all the merchant ships in the country."
     "Or you could wish for the mermaid to marry you," a sailor pointed out.  Jasper found himself grinning triumphantly. Finally they were taking him seriously.
     "Aye, I could.  Or court any girl on the land with the  treasure I'll win."

     "Of course, she'll have a time walkin' up the aisle with her tail flopping about," the sailor finished.  Jasper stalked to the rail, staring out into the black,  murky ocean.  The moon's reflection on the waves gleamed just  like a piece of silver.  Jasper would be seeing silver pieces  that large and more once he found the mermaid he searched for. 
All of his books said that this was the place.  For all he knew, a mermaid might be swimming under the boat even as he stood  there.  Wouldn't that surprise the men who had moved on to even  stupider jokes now, such as how many mermaids it took to light a candle.

     The next day, the ship stopped to take on water and supplies at Fisher's Village.  Jasper wandered away, after making certain that the ship wouldn't leave until sunrise the next morning.  Fascination with mermaids or no, he had a job waiting for him  cataloging books in Lotorinum, and couldn't delay it only to  search for an elusive and possibly mythical mermaid.
     As he walked along the pier, thinking thoughts of mermaids  and wishes, not to mention the arrogant sailors, he heard a  splash off in the distance.  Probably a fish.  Yet he moved closer to the pier's edge, staring into the mists hard enough to  part them and reveal his elusive quarry.

     After a moment, Jasper stepped back.  It had been a fish after all.  He resumed his walk, deciding to stroll into the inn and have some food that hadn't been rotting in a barrel for weeks before consumption.  There was another splash now, closer to the pier.  But there was hardly any point to straining his eyes looking for another--
     A feminine giggle cut through the soft murmur of the waves and Jasper's head dropped like a load of rocks.  There, beside the pier, a lovely head bobbed above the level of the water.
Soft, green-gold ringlets, blue eyes deep and wide enough to drown in.  Her grin seemed warm and amused, lips parted slightly  to display even, white teeth.  Her skin was a warm, honey brown  that glistened damply in the sunlight.  All he could see was her head and bare shoulders but Jasper knew, with all his heart and soul, that this was no village maid out for a swim.  A living,
genuine mermaid floated beside the very pier that he stood on.
     "Hello," she said, giving him an artful smile that made his heart skip a beat.  She was breathtaking, no question of that. Jasper regretted that he looked like a tall, brown-haired
beanpole in his old fashioned robes.  "
Posted 18:24

1 comment

the whole thng
Of course my loves, seeing only a quarter of this wonderful story is not so good, so get on over to Nowhere Land and read the whole thing. xxx Seli.

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