Story Saturday: Mermaid's Redemption

"Mermaid's Redemption"

Once upon a time, there was a mermaid princess who fell in love with a human prince. As a royal, she had the unique ability to transform her shimmering turquoise tail into legs whenever she chose. When the prince met her, he was drawn to her delicate features and passionate demeanor. She sang sweetly to him in the language of her people, and he became hers forever, refusing to even look at the other princesses who came to court him. They were married soon after, but that is only the beginning of the story. In their many years together, the mermaid princess refused to tell her husband anything about her family or where she came from. Though he never stopped being curious, he soon learned to stop asking.

One day when the couple was taking a walk along the beach, the mermaid noticed something glittering in the water. It was a message in a bottle with a pink shell attached to it that she recognized from her home kingdom. She immediately opened it to see what it said. No one would have sent for her if it wasn't urgent Her husband asked her about the message, but all she told him was that she would have to leave for a very long time and might never see him again. The princess wrapped the prince in a warm embrace and gave him a kiss goodbye, taking the letter with her into the water. She told him not to follow her because he would never survive where she was going and that she needed to fix a mistake she had made long ago on her own. The prince watched helplessly as his beloved wife dove deep into the depths of the sea, her tail forming behind her unbeknownst to him.

Despite her warnings, the prince loved his wife and always knew deep down that she had a secret and worried that it might one day put her in danger. Not only that, but his parents were becoming weaker each day, and he refused to become king without his queen by his side. The prince saw her disappear into the water but knew instinctively that she would not drown. Throughout their marriage, she always had a mysterious connection with the sea. He commissioned the finest engineers in the kingdom to build him a submarine that could survive the ocean's depths so that he might finally discover his wife's secret. While they worked on the equipment for him, he spent countless days worrying and fearing for her safety.

When the mermaid returned to her underwater paradise, she found it in a state of panic. Her parents had evaporated into sea foam. She was sad she could never speak them again, but she also knew that they were still watching over her from the waves that crashed along the shore. With no other heir to claim the throne, her wicked aunt had taken over as the new mermaid queen and forbade all merpeople from swimming up the surface to enjoy the sun's warmth and sing to passing sailors, a treasured activity of many mermaids. The false queen used her sister's trident to send shockwaves of electricity to anyone who disobeyed her, killing many fish in the process and even eating some of them just to further traumatize her subjects.

The princess was relieved to find that her best friend, a shimmering angelfish, had survived the attacks. The angelfish admitted that she was the one who had sent the message. Though her friend was happy to see her, the other merpeople were not. They accused their princess of abandoning them in their time of need, choosing love over their own well-being. The princess knew that she had much to redeem herself for, but that was why she left her husband to return home. She promised the merpeople that she was back for good now and would do everything in her power to stop her aunt.

The princess's aunt was disgusted to see that her niece had returned after spending so much time on land. She tried to convince her subjects that she was a better queen than her niece would ever be because she had not abandoned them. The merpeople weren't sure who they could trust and began arguing amongst themselves. The princess took advantage of their confusion by trying to grab the royal trident from where her aunt had left it next to the throne. However, her aunt was expecting this. She tackled her niece into a pile of seaweed that tangled tightly around her arms and tail, trapping her. The wicked queen aimed the trident at the princess, determined to rid herself of the one threat that stood between her and ultimate power. Her aim was true, and she would have successfully blasted her niece into seafoam if had not been for a submarine that appeared and slammed straight into the trident, forcing the attack back onto its wielder.

The wicked queen turned to seafoam, and the merpeople rejoiced. The princess grabbed the trident before it could do more damage, regarding the source of her rescue. She had never seen such a submarine before and observed that it was made from materials she recognized from her time on land. A gasp of bubbles escaped her lips when she recognized the face of her human husband through the submarine's small window. She wedged open the door with her trident, closing it before too much water could get in. The princess began to cry and embraced her husband as her legs formed beneath her, telling him that she thought she would never see him again. Though he was weak from the journey, the prince berated her wife for leaving him after so many happy years together without any explanation of where she had gone. The mermaid princess explained to him that she was worried he would think she had gone mad or judged her for her disloyalty to her kingdom if she had told him the truth. She saw now that she was wrong to assume such things about the man she loved.

However, there still remained the problem of who would rule the princess's kingdom in the sea and the prince's kingdom on land. The princess used her mother's trident to temporarily give the prince the ability to breathe outside the submarine so that she could introduce him to her people. They were very angry with him at first for taking their beloved princess away, forcing them to be ruled by a wicked tyrant, but they soon realized that he loved her as much as they did. After much discussion, they agreed that the princess would be their queen for the cold half of the year when the surface of the ocean would harden with ice. For the warmer half of the year, she selected the most responsible mermaid she knew to act as regent while she would aid her beloved husband with his kingdom on land.

So the mermaid princess found a way to compromise between her loyalty to her husband and to her home. The guilt that had plagued her for all those years seemed to disintegrate into seafoam just as her parents and her aunt had. She learned to never keep secrets from the ones she loved. The mysterious princess felt at peace knowing that her husband, who was now king, would work hard to protect the creatures of the sea so they would no longer be hunted on land. She looked forward to the time when the sun would shine brightly each year and melt the ice that kept her away from the one she loved. Now that she had redeemed herself for her past mistakes, she could truly live happily ever after.


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