Destiny's Island

this is for one of the picture competitions. I hope everyone enjoys it !
Manannan mac Lir is a sea god in Irish mythology. He is often seen as a guider of souls to the afterlife. His role is not to judge but simply provide a safe passage. He also features in my book ;)

tiny update: yeah, the competition deadline's gone, but hey, it's not over till it's over!

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3. Kai's Island

The last of the fiery streaks of sun between the dark clouds finally disappeared. Kai lazily took his eyes off Natalia and looked at the sky the time registering on his face. "Holy Crap! Natalia! You have to go. You're so late!" he said urgently as he dived into the water.Natalia sighed.

"uhh... i don't want to go. I want to stay here with you." Kai reached out for her hand and pulled into the water.

"Don't worry. I'll find you in the crowd. and tomorrow, we'll start our new lives." he said as he planted a kiss on her forehead.

 "Ok... " Natalia pulled him in closer for a last kiss. " It'd be awkward if they chose me, right?" she laughed as they parted. Kai laughed into the distance. "I'd be done for!"

Kai easily mixed in with the busy crowd back under the water. Everyone were rushing from one place to another, focused on beautifying their little princesses for the ceremony. Kai never really got the point. Essentially.. they're going to die. Why would you need to look specifically  pretty for that? Funnier still, everyone wore full gowns and shirts. The one time of the year they didn't mind turning into humans. Still, he knew Natalia would look particularly stunning. She had that royalty beauty no other mermaid could hope to posses.  She hid most of it under her messy tangled hair, but when she wanted to she could really make a powerful impression on someone. Kai smiled to himself. She didn't need to. She had him. No doubt she'll look glamorous tonight.  He'll be so proud to parade her around. Hm... speaking of which he wasn't too sure how that would work. They'll surely try to stay here in the comfort of their family, but they might just have to run away or something. Anything for Nataila. It didn't matter as long as they were together. His stomach was full of butterflies. Finally, their lives would truly begin. A little part of him was worried about the ceremony; what if Natalia DID get picked. He's only ever seen virgins take the step. One year a particularly bitchy, spoiled girl was chose as sacrifice. But it was no different than any other year where the heavenly girls entered into paradise, only this girl entered hell instead.That's what they were at the end of the day-a sacrifice. They made it out as if they were heroes- brave little girls putting the lives of others in front of them. But in the end, whether they did it out of good nature, or had to be dragged there kicking and screaming, they were sacrificed all the same. The overall effect on the kingdom was the same, whether the girl was good or bad material. It was just a shame if you knew them and had to see their family miss them.  Sometimes Kai wondered what happened to the others. The elves, the giants, the sprites and spirits. They were gone from this world, But they could't just... die. There was an afterlife.  He just knew it. Otherwise, what would all the fuss be about?  Maybe where they were now was't so bad, Maybe it was better than this.  For centuries mermaids had to fight for their rights on earth, as humans began overpopulating it. The only way to stay hidden was to please the gods by sacrificing a virgin every year. All the mermaids felt extremely smug about his- none of the other creatures were offered such a luxury. They would all slowly die out, while mermaids remained. So, what would happen if Natalia was chosen? Kai decided he wouldn't let himself even think of such a thing. It'd be bad enough if she was gone from him, but the closeness of their relationship bought on another question: what happened to the girls that weren't ... pure? They couldn't go to hell, they just couldn't. And anyway, he and Natalia were married now. Well... engaged. There was nothing wrong with what they've done. He busied himself with his thoughts and didn't look where he was going. He bumped into someone, who happened to be his mother.

" Where do you think you've been?!" she bellowed. "Your sister isn't even ready yet and you're just moping about out here! Quick, give me a hand with this." And just like that, with a flick of a switch or a bump of a head, Kai was forced to switch of his brain and focus on helping his mother help his sister look her best for her first ever ceremony as a potential sacrifice.

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