Creatures Of The Blue....

I've always been obsessed with mermaids so what happens when i find out i am one?


1. 'We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. Until we find the one.'

I pack my bags once again. My father's a marine biologist so I've lived in more countries than most people would travel to in their lifetime. Sometimes I wish I had a normal life. To live in one country, go to the same school all year, have friends I can say I've known for years. But I wouldn't trade my life for the world. I've been to Chile, Uruguay, Brazil. I've lived in Egypt for nine months whilst my father studied the River Nile. I've seen places which I can only describe as paradise. So even though I've never had that special best friend or a stable boyfriend at sixteen( Well I’m sixteen in a matter of weeks), I’ve met some wonderful people, can speak many beautiful languages and whilst most of the scientific research my dad rambles about is boring, I've seen animals most people don’t know exist. I was born somewhere between Italy and Greece (my mother gave birth on a boat!) but I have a British accent as I spent the best part of my childhood in England. So thinking about it, spending my whole life back in rainy Cornwall doesn't sound as exciting as crossing the seven seas with my father.

“Wake up Coral darling, we are here in Italy, the beautiful city of Messina!” I hear my father’s Italian accent somewhere in the depths of my sleep forcing me to wake up. He was especially excited about this trip because he was born in Messina. I was still annoyed with him because I really wanted to go to Venice or Florence anywhere but near Grandma, she drove me round the bend.

“Hey Coralia did you know that the Ionian Sea is thought to be where Atlantis was!” My father says. My eyes snap open staring out of the plane window at the sparkling sea where my favourite mythical creatures once lived. Some people loved dogs, shopping, dancing. I loved Mer people, Atlantis. It all interested me to the point some people might think I was obsessed. Dad might tut at me every time I mentioned them or debated with him that they were real but it was his story that started the obsession.

As a little girl I wanted a mum, I needed a mother but I didn't have that and no matter what Dad did, he couldn't fill her shoes.

“Where’s mummy?” Six year old me said, “Why have I never seen her?” At that age I couldn't understand what my father had told me when I came of age. That at the first sight of me my mother ran but of course he didn't put it quite like that. He said her family wouldn't have approved of him seeing as they weren't married and my father lived a simple life, he said she had responsibilities, other priorities but I knew better. I mean what’s more important than your baby, she was probably like those women on the Jeremy Kyle show a cheater, a liar or maybe she didn't think my father was good enough. But she couldn't have been good enough to leave a man like my dad on his own with a days old baby. I mean he was a marine biologist and if that didn't sound like a good job I don't know what did. He had dimples the size of saucers and big brown eyes that made everyone smile. Yeah maybe he thinks he’s cooler than he is with his mini hooped earrings and the way every so often he spikes his dark brown hair up ruining his curls but he’s a warm hearted sweetie.

So wherever my mother is or was he made the best out of what he had, telling me the story that even now as a teen enthrals me and inspires my love of Atlantis.

“There once was a little sailor boy from Messina called Joey Giovanni who loved the sea,” Father said.

“But father, that’s your name!” I exclaimed and he winked at me as he carried on.

“He loved the sound of the waves as they lashed against the rocks and all the beautiful marine creatures but one day he stumbled across a beautiful creature he never knew existed. Her hair cascaded down her back like a fiery flame and she had the top half of a beautiful women but where her legs should have been was a glistening tale that looked surreal Joey was sure if he reached out and touched it it would disappeared but it didn’t, she was as real as you and I,”

“She was a mermaid!” Little Coralia said.

“Everything she said sounded like a new song, a new sound to his ears and very soon Joey fell in love with Niva the mermaid…Joey found out Niva was to have a baby girl but she could not keep her, she would be human like Joey and couldn't survive in the underwater world of Atlantis so Joey took his daughter Coralia Giovanni and was to raise her by himself…very soon later Niva became Queen of Atlantis and Coralia and Joey flew around the world finding new things everyday, Niva loves her daughter very much and knows she is safe and sound, the end!” Dad said.

“So mummy’s a mermaid?” I asked full of excitement.

“Yes now go to bed!” He said had a faraway look on his face.

“Ciao bello!” I said to Dad trying to cheer him up, I didn't understand that mum had left us not because she had to but because she wanted to.

“Ciao bella!” Dad chuckled, kissing me on the forehead. Ten years later I remembered that story, word for word and I knew now that my mum wasn't a mermaid but that didn't stop me from being fascinated by them. Back in Cornwall there were Cornish folk tales about mermaids like the mermaid of Zennor and there was the goddess of mermaids Atartgatis,so my passion for mermaids thrived and I adored all things mermaid.

Suddenly the taxi pulls up to the back of a row of houses which must lead out to the seafront. They're beautiful all different pastel colours but I like the look of the yellow one the best.

“This isn't Grandma’s house!” I say turning to my dad who’s grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“No Grandma’s sick and I have to be healthy for my diving expedition so I rented this apartment!” He says pointing at the yellow one.

“Yes!” I shriek, “I mean its such a shame Grandma not well and-“Dad tuts at me,

“C’mon Coral if you like the outside I’m sure you’ll love the inside!” I leap out of the car.

The apartments beautiful oak panelled floorboards, cream curtains, a patio but none of the usual decorations compare to my room. It's mermaid themed. My bed opened like a shell and what’s more it was a water bed! The ceiling was a murky blue as if my bedroom was underwater and the wallpaper was Atlantis. There were Mer people pushing buggies and holding hands and seaweed was in every corner of the room. The wall on the far side was a built in aquarium with every fish under the sun and books all about my favourite Mer folk tales were in a bookcase made entirely out of coral. I’m amazed. I hug my dad tightly screaming in excitement for about twenty minutes. I thought I would be staying in Grandma’s stuffy spare room along with all the creepy crawlies and knats but now I might as well be in Atlantis itself.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” I squeal forcing my father to jump up and down with me.

“I’m glad you like it, you can stay in here and do your homework, not go to the beach looking for boys, Messina boys are no good for you, I should know!” Dad says.

“Uh Dad please I’m sixteen in a couple of weeks, I think I can take care of myself!” I moan looking out at the view of the Ionian sea where Atlantis once was.

“So Dad I was thinking-“

“No you are not going into the sea!” My father snaps.

“But why?” I sulk.

“You know why, your allergic to the salt water in the sea!” he replies.

“How do you know if I've never tried going in the sea!” I argue.

“Your mother is and it’s in your blood!”

“But dad I’m a good swimmer, at every school I've been to I've been captain of the swim team and how is a chlorine filled pool any different to the sea-“

“Coral, no!”

“But I could find something that will prove Atlantis is real, I was born in the Ionian Sea, I won't go too far out-“

“Coralia Giovanni I SAID NO!” My father yells, I turn my back to him.

It wasn't so bad in England not being able to swim in the sea, no one did anyway it was always too cold but in a place like Italy going to the beach is what every normal teenager does. I am almost sixteen years of age and I have never been allowed near the sea; my father won’t allow it despite me being an amazing swimmer the only water I’m allowed in is filled with chlorine. Just once I want to feel the ocean waves on my skin, glide through the bottomless salty water. To one minute feel the calm flowing water and the next be swept away with the high octane rippling waves. To lie flat and float for hours not hit the hard tiles of a swimming pool. To see the sky against the sea like blue crushed velvet. Just once but my father just won’t have it, it was the one thing I wasn't allowed to do.

As I go to sleep, my windows open. I couldn't help smell the salty sea whisk pass my nose and as I looked out onto the Ionian sea, I can't help but feel more and more tempted to disobey my father. I fall asleep dreaming of the sea…


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