Sea Nymph’s Mate
Copyright 2017 Maita Rue
Published by Maita Rue at
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Table of Contents
9: Dylan and Terra
Books from Maita
Author’s note: The
Nymphs here are not based on any legend. Once in a while, they come
up dry land and search for their soulmate.
Chapter 1: Dylan
In every Sea Nymph’s
life, there will come a time when he has to surface and find his life
can only be one and he must take her with him to the sea. The time of
the Search is only one full month every three years. If he fails to
find a life mate, he must choose whether to go
back to the
ocean mate-less or stay forever on the dry land.
For Dylan, he was
determined to find the woman of his dreams. He will not leave the
ocean and he will not come back empty handed. That was what he vowed
the day he climbed up on the rocky ledge of the desolate bay.
The stench was horrendous.
Even upon entering the bay
was a sticky and stinky gunk that surrounded him. He knew the talks
the others told him of the surface-dwellers. The pollution the
surface-dwellers excreted in the air and the sea was horrendous. How
can they bear this?
he thought. The oil was sticking to his slimy skin. His eyes and his
lungs burned. How would he survive his month?
A gentle hand pulled him
completely out of the rocky shelves and into a warm cloth. “We have
you, brother,” a voice told him. He hardly struggled for he knew
the voice. It belonged to a fellow Sea Nymph named Mario. Dylan knew
Mario went ahead of him a week before. “Drink this and come with
us.” He was given fresh
water to wash
his throat. Dylan can’t help but pour some water to his face and
eyes. Carefully, they dragged him with speed to a dwelling.
Dylan had prepared himself
thoroughly for this month-long sojourn. He learned all about the
surface dwellers from others who have been to the surface. The nymphs
before him told him of man-made stone structures in strait lines that
went up all the way to the skies. They also warned him that man’s
heart is hard and very different from a Sea Nymph’s. They told him
how to act and how to blend in. He had an idea of what to expect and
how to intermingling with the “Humans” but he knew he had to be
Mario brought him to a unit
in a structure across the street they called building.
There were rows of them uniformly facing the sea. “I thought you’d
never get here. I was waiting every night since I went up. Come, Nong
Tashio is waiting for us,” Mario said.
Dylan was brought to a safe
house for Sea
Nymphs. An old Sea Nymph they called Nong Tashio lived and operated
there. He helps young Sea Nymphs survive their month and helped them
find their mates. Nong Tashio made sure these young Sea Nymphs were
safe and blended well with the general human population. Dugongs and
other marine mammals were endangered already. If they were
discovered, they would be next on the endangered
Nong Tashio’s place was
large enough to house a lot of them, for there were a lot of them
this time. Dylan counted six of them. Half of them, he knew. Mario
was his best
there was Dario, Mario’s brother. There was also Pier, his
neighbor. Pier and Mario came together last week. Later, he was
acquainted himself with the rest of them. The other three came from
the distant north three days ago, by means of a land boat called bus.
The Capital was a more
sensible place to find their mates for most of the population was
concentrated here. Nong Tashio said the humans call it Manila. Some
from the province were lucky to find their mates waiting by the shore
but for the unlucky ones, they traveled to Manila for a better
chance. Nong Tashio was happy to take them in. He had been doing so
for a long time since his mate passed. He decided to dry up and stay
Manila was the capital
city. Dylan didn’t know what that meant. Mario and the other
explained that it meant there were more people here than the sea
sides other place.
“Listen, young Dylan, we
have to be inconspicuous les’ we scare them surface-dwellers. They
easily scare, you see,” Nong Tashio explained. “You must ‘proach
and befriend them with caution. They easily scare and they do not
believe in Sea Nymphs.” The old man briefed him about how to act,
what humans did and how they interacted every day. Dylan was then fed
and given proper clothes then sent to bed after.
Dylan had a hard time
usually wore woven sea vines to cover his manhood and that was it.
Swimming in the ocean required freedom of movement. He couldn’t
understand the amount of garment these surface dwellers needed.
“You’ll get used to it,” Dario, the younger of the brothers
said. Dylan had to put the shirt back in front on before he managed
to put it on the right way. Mario taught him how to buckle a belt and
lace his shoes. These
humans were so complicated!
“Don’t worry, Bro.
We’ll be here a bit more to help you get around. You’d be
surprised to find this place interesting. But it’s not a place
to live in,
though. It’s a good tale to tell your sons,” Mario commented.
Dylan shrugged. “I can’t
remember father telling me anything like this. He warned me of the
dirt and thieves but I didn’t expect the overwhelming filth. No
wonder he dared not come back to the surface again. Mother doesn’t
want to come back either.”
In the morning, Dylan was
to start blending into the populace and search for his mate. Mario
handed him an apron and patted him on the back. “First thing’s
first. We must teach you to blend lattes.
Nong Tashio required us to serve downstairs at his café. It is a
place where humans come to eat when don’t want to hunt their own
food,” his friend explained. “It is three hours before we open
and you must be taught all the terms.” So, Mario and Dario pushed
him to the downstairs kitchen to start his training.
Dylan frowned. Humans
didn’t always hunt their food? Mario explained that they would work
or barter some goods with a thing called money. The money can be
bartered with other things like food. The small downstairs space was
where the humans can get food.
Nong Tashio acquainted him
with what the
like and what a café was. Mario and Dario filled him with details
they learned while the few weeks ahead they were here before him. All
Sea Nymphs had a skill to learn anything fast. Dylan definitely
absorbed fast enough to be an apprentice baker and barista. He knew
how the cake was made, how tarts were frosted and how to make mocha
lattes all in two hours. By the time they opened, he was confident he
could blend well.
Nong Tashio’s café,
Flounder’s, opened promptly at seven in the morning. When the usual
customers came in, Nong Tashio had another “nephew” from the
province working part-time. This new “nephew” however was a real
He had a unique dark skin that was evenly toned. His pearly white
sparkled like stars in the night, and his eyes, they were sea green.
Behind him, long jet black hair flowed like silk threads.
Best of all, he made a mean
double chocolate macchiato with whip cream and a side of strawberry
But Dylan and the rest of
Nong Tashio’s nephews were an odd lot. Their features were quite
unique. They weren’t oriental but their eyes were slightly upturned
and almond. The eyes were either deep blue or light sea green, very
unique to the boys. Their jaws were curved and strong. It was their
build that was also odd. An anatomy student once pointed out that the
boys had a torso to leg ratio that was even, quite unusual for any
race. The boys were very friendly but rarely spoke words. A smile
greeted each customer as they entered the door.
Another odd thing with Nong
Tashio is that he never seem to have any nieces. His nephews from the
province came and went but no girls ever stayed with him.
Theresa, or Terra to her
friends, could simply not come out of her depression.
It’s been two long years and still she was silent and unprepared
for the world. Her parents have given everything but nothing would
bring out a smile. An accident has rendered her impaired two years
prior. Terra was now a deaf-mute. The doctors said she was not going
to be normal ever again. Nothing could comfort her. Tears just
trickled from her eyes. Her friends dragged her around town. She went
with them but her face was blank. They were leading an empty shell.
The bay was the only place
she responded to. The waves, it’s sounds, the breeze. She felt
calmer and more relaxed here than in her home. Her friends took her
here regularly. Terra seemed to emote while looking at the sea. If
she could live in the sea, she would not need her ears. She would
only need her skin to feel.
Terra knew she had to go
on, move forward, but she couldn’t. It wasn’t a conscious
decision she could make. They were too many thoughts of loneliness of
longing. After the accident, she didn’t feel as if there was
anything to live for. What was the point in life? Her parents got her
everything she needed. She was done with her studies. There was just
nothing in her life to yearn for except the sea. Her friends dragged
her around town. The days seemed to blend into one another.
Hungry, she hand-signaled
her friends that she desired to eat something. They took her to a
quaint little place called Flounder’s. They frequented the café
when they needed a quick bite. Her friends ordered for her a tuna
melt sandwich and chocolate macchiato with whip cream. The order came
promptly and served by a new barista.
Terra looked up to the man
serving her. He was a dark
unusual green eyes took her to a faraway land. It reminded her of
ocean waves, of calm pacific tides and deep water that enticed her to
swim. He smiled as he served her and instinctively she said thank you
but not a sound came out of her. Terra put her hands to her mouth
then to her eyes and then began weeping again.
Terra’s friends began to
pat her and soothe her by rubbing her arm. She calmed down and ate
silently without emotions again. Her friends sighed and began eating
their orders too.
Dylan had no idea what just
happened. He seems to be doing fine the entire morning until he
served the tuna melt and the beautiful girl began to cry. Mario
pulled him to the counter and made him make blueberry tarts while he
served the rest of the table.
“Not to worry, lad. That
girl’s always a silent type. Cries for nothing, too. Not your
fault,” Nong Tashio, from behind the counter, said. “She had an
accident couple years back and she wasn’t the same since.”
But Dylan was troubled.
That girl… she was haunting. She was sad. Dylan felt the urge to
comfort her. He wanted to go back to her and tell her he would try to
make things better. After the girl and her friends ate, they paid and
That afternoon, he and
Mario toured the city. He was surprised to see a place called the
His father told him of crowded open spaced markets. This was no
crowded open spaced market. It was a well-organized cornucopia of
shops in an enclosed building that was bright and cold. He was glad
he was wearing clothes.
Mario showed him the girl
that was his soul mate. She was tall and her hair was cut short. Then
Dylan realized Mario’s hair was cropped short too. “She likes it
this way,” Mario said. He told Dylan that the girl was a
They earned their living by cutting and washing people’s hair. He
was waiting for her to finally say yes to him and they would be off
and into the sea.
After the day’s
adventure, they went back to the bay. It was crowded in the
afternoon. People strolled along the boulevard. There were people
selling and people buying. He also saw people singing and people
painting pictures. He thought it was interesting so he stayed and
observed the painters.
That night, he dreamed of
his first day’s adventure. He dreamed of missing the ocean, the
mall and the girl. The girl, was crying in his dream. Dylan wanted to
make her smile. When he woke, he couldn’t understand why he was so
sad. He vowed to see that girl again.
Next day, they went to a
different type of market, one where you buy foodstuff to use for the
café. Nong Tashio called it supermarket. Indeed, for Dylan, it was
super to find all you need at one place. He had a good time sampling
the food called “chips” that Nong Tashio was so fond of. Though
he regretted it later when his stomach revolted and made him sick for
a couple days. He cursed the lost time he spent in bed. While he was
sick, Mario went to fetch his own mate and left for the sea. Dylan
wished he was as fortunate as Mario. He left some things for Dylan
just in case he left without word. “It’s paper. It dissolves in
water so you can’t take it with you. Use this pencil to draw or
write on it,” Dario instructed. Mario told him not to give up and
follow his instincts. It was sound advice from his friend.
Dario on the other hand was
close to convincing his love of the sea life. He was busy now and had
no time to entertain or to train Dylan. He was left to explore on his
own as his other Nymph friends were busy wooing or searching for
Dylan loved sketching on
the sand and the rocks. He realized he could do draw something more
refined with the pencil and paper. When he finished his shift at
Flounder’s, he went to the bayside to capture his beloved sea.
Nong Tashio had given him
currency or money to buy things in the mall. Dylan bought paper and
pencils. After the mall, he raced to the seaside and began sketching.
He experimented with colors and different strokes. His sketches were
drawing a crowd to him. They were intrigued by his vivid imagery of
the sea life.
Terra watched as the dark
male gazed into the ocean. His sea green eyes captured the setting of
the bay. He was sketching the sunset over the water. She wondered why
she was so taken by this man. Was it his eyes that reminded her of
the ocean? Of her silent dream?
She wished she could talk
to him. Nong Tashio’s nephew was a handsome but somber man. He
didn’t speak a lot but he had a serene disposition about him. If
only she had the courage to approach him.
A week had passed since her
latest bouts of water works and she finally returned to the bay. Her
friends still shadowed her wherever she went. They were more
babysitters than friends. She regretted that loss of deep meaning
Terra knew they took her
out in the afternoons because they pitied her. Her parents asked them
to entertain her. Since Terra’s father pays them every time they go
out with her, they took advantage of the excursions with her. At
least they liked to go to the bay and seaside.
But she didn’t want this
Wretchedly, she turned her
gaze back to the dark beauty with the eyes of the sea. He was
enigmatic. His smile took her breath away. Terra felt a small
contentment watching him sketching and smiling.
She sat beside him as he
sketched. That was all her nerves could muster. She wanted to talk to
him, to tell him how she wished she could swim in the sea. He smiled
at her then began to sketch some more. From time to time, he showed
her his progress. If only she could hear what he was saying.
Dylan watched idly as Terra
ate in silence. Flounder’s was always full but he can spot her
anywhere. Her friends were busy chatting but she remained
“She th’ one, lad?”
Nong Tashio asked.
Dylan was snapped back to
reality as Nong Tashio’s words registered. He nodded. “I think
so. I can’t seem to get her out of my mind. My heart is drawn to
Nong Tashio smiled. “Yup,
just as I thought… Lad, you’re in for a hard ride. I don’t know
why fate gave you such a difficult task.” Dylan couldn’t
understand how hard his task would be. “She’s deaf, can’t hear
your sweet siren words of the sea and the life underwater. There are
no songs to lure her to the water.”
Dylan was flabbergasted. A
Sea Nymph could sing to his mate and make her see the ocean in his
voice. He could talk sultry poetry
and woe her. Deaf? Nong Tashio’s words sunk in. Surely, there would
be other ways to make her understand. Could there?
The next few days were
agonizing. He kept seeing the girl watching the bay like a zombie.
She did glance at him once or twice. He continued to sketch. It was
the end of the week when he developed the courage to talk to her. He
described the ocean knowing she couldn’t hear him. He showed her
pictures of the sunset and the weedy ocean floors. He sketched the
reefs with fishes and corals. She smiled a bit. Then her friends
pulled her away for it was getting late.
There was a kind of
understanding passing through them. They formed a routine after she
visited Flounder’s. They began to meet every day. Every day, he
sketched for her. He drew his home and the places he wanted her to
visit. She smiled and kept the pictures, musing over them, hoping to
understand what he was telling her.
But a smile was not enough.
Desperately he wanted her to understand that he was inviting her to
go to the sea. To go to his home. To be with him.
“You must go home
tomorrow, lad. If you don’t you will dry-up and stay here like me.
It’s not a good life for one such as you. With or without her, you
must go home,” Nong Tashio told him. He was right, Dylan thought.
Tomorrow was the last day he could stay. He didn’t want to stay
here but he didn’t want to go home without a mate. Dylan was torn.
Terra paced the length of
her room. Nothing interested her. Not her clothes, nor her collection
of jewelry, nor anything else her parents showered her with. What was
the point? They were not there. They showered her with money and
bribed her friends because they were too busy for her.
Her green-eyed beauty swam
in her mind. If only there was something more he offered than
sketches. If only they didn’t need to speak through words. She
wished she could go to the places he sketched for her, to his watery
But the water was no longer
accessible to her. Ever since the accident, her parents turned
distant. They showered her with money and things but only from a
distance. There were no more family excursions, no more beach
If only it was an
invitation to another world. If it was, then what? Is she willing to
Dylan did not work that
morning. He remained in his room sketching the last pages of the
papers he had. He was leaving. Perhaps in another century, he could
try again. His silent beauty would be but a memory. Still, he wanted
her to know of the beauty of the sea and the love he was offering. If
only fate was not so cruel to a girl like her. She would be now
singing with him, jumping into the waters and being carried to their
underwater home. His sketches would be his only parting gift to her.
He made sure each sketch was detailed. His last sketch was a portrait
of what could have been.
Afternoon just before the
sunset, he bade Nong Tashio a farewell and thanked him. He waved to
the other Sea Nymphs who just surfaced to find their mates. They
wished he could fare better next century. Since he didn’t want
lengthy good byes, he started early to the bay.
Dylan crossed the streets
to the bay and waited for Terra one last time. She would come. She
had to come.
Dylan, that was his name.
She noted his sketches had that name signed on the edge. She didn’t
know why but she had the urge to go to him. Her friends haven’t
come by due to schedule conflict but she wanted to go now. There was
a feeling of urgency.
Terra found herself hailing
a cab and writing on a piece of paper where she wanted to go. The
driver nodded and took her to the well-worn route to the bayside. The
sun was about to set.
She found him in the bay
Terra sat beside him. He
wasn’t sketching today. He simply sat on the bentch with the stack
of papers tucked under his left arm. Terra smiled. She rarely smiled.
This smile was brighter than the times he showed her pictures of the
sea. This smile was genuinely for him. He smiled back but it was a
sad smile. Tenderly, he handed her his last sketches. She perused
She gave a silent gasped.
These sketches were brilliant. They were so realistic. She noted each
sketch was of a different scene but all of them were of the sea.
Her dark beauty stood up
and climbed atop the safety railing of the bay side. He stood
silently before the ledge. He looked like he wanted to jump, she
mused. Terra approached Dylan alone.
Confused, Terra looked at
the sketches one more time. They were of Dylan’s watery imagination
but the last few sketches, he was in it. He swam naked but the
loincloth of seaweed hanging about his midsection. There were others
about him swimming in the same fashion. Then on the last page, there
was Dylan and her! They were lovingly embracing in the serene water
She looked up at him. Dylan
stretched out a hand. Was this the invitation she longed for? Was he
taking her to the sea?
Was this for real? Was she
crazy to believe this? With no words, he was trying to tell her to
come with him.
Her heart beat a mad tattoo
as she took his hand and he lifted her to step on the railing. She
nodded to him. Dylan smiled and gave her a soft kiss. Holding hands,
they took the leap into a different world.
Dylan and Terra
Her disability was not a
hindrance to understanding the deep, blue ocean. She saw the silent
beauty around her as she felt the water around her. To feel! That was
what she longed. Now here she was, immersed in her dreams. The
seaweeds were slippery, the corals rough and the schools of fishes
that cascaded around them tickled her. There was no sadness here, not
Dylan rarely lets her hand
go. He wanted to hold her and she liked it too. The sorrow in her
eyes was gone. It was replaced by immense happiness. They were both
happy, incredibly happy that they emanated this joy throughout their
He introduced her to his
family and friends. Terra recognized some of them having worked at
Flounder’s. They accepted her as she accepted them.
The underwater kingdom was
surreal. It was located in a secret place in the Pacific. The sun
reached the waters and castles or corals greeted them. Dylan brought
her to his own coral castle near his friends’ castles. They had
everything they needed here.
Terra was so happy. Her
melancholy had lifted. She no longer felt trapped in her own little
world. There was a vast ocean to explore. Dylan held her hand and
swam with her everywhere. He showed her worlds she didn’t think
possible. She knew this was fate. Her life was in the ocean.
Terra and Dylan lived
centuries together. They populated the water world with ten healthy
boys and they all were as lucky as their father in finding their
mates but that would be ten different stories. For now, we end with
Terra and Dylan.
you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a
moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer?
Maita Rue is an author,
designer and blogger. She’s the mother of four dogs and an aunt of
one grumpy cat. Maita loves to read and is now finally writing the
things she loves. The characters in her books have their own lives
and she claims they demand their own destinies. She writes stories
for Talecraft Publishing, Sachet Novels (coming soon) and
self-publishes a lot of her own works.
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