It is said that when large bodies gather near the seas, the sirens and merfolk would sing their song, not to feed but to just sing. And the safest time to listen to this incredible event was on the First Tuesday.
So it became custom that the first Tuesday of each month, the fishermen and sailors would gather on Canta peak, a ridge several feet above the treacherous seas they all love so much. They wouldn’t bring a single match, relying on moonlight to guide them up the mountain, a six feet away from the edge of the peak, and they sat. They brought blankets, small forest berries and a small ration of chocolate. And they sat, ready to be enchanted by the lovely vocals below. Not a soul dare speak, for fear of ruining the beautiful music and for fear that the creatures would change their song and they’d all be hypnotized to their deadly symphony.
It isn’t the first time Eric joins the sailors, his father took him once when he was in his early teens. He’s disguised as a peasant, a worn out shawl covers his head, and Max, an Old English sheepdog, trots happily beside him. Eric sits himself right at the edge, a couple feet away from the group that gathered.
“You know, if the creatures were to see you, they’d change their song quickly.” A figure emerges from the shadows and sits beside Eric.
“Hello to you too, Hawkins.” Eric smiles as he claps a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “How’ve you been?”
“All right, I guess. Silver let me go early so I could come here, beats being stuck in the kitchen.” The young man smiles. Jim Hawkins has been a sailor for several years, and the only person Eric knows that has encountered a mermaid and lived. Though Jim had him promise to keep that secret. He’s trouble maker, but Jim holds to be a great companion, and he makes his way through the kingdom.
Eric strokes Max who lies down in between the two men and looks out to the ocean, watching the waves as thick as blood creep up to shore.
“You know, I’ve been thinking, Jim.”
“A dangerous thing.”
“Shut up.” Eric chuckles, “Anyway, since my birthday is coming up, and in a few months it’ll be decided when I will assume the throne, I want to go on a getaway before all that. Sail the waters into a nearby kingdom and just relax.” Eric glances at Jim and smiles. “I want you to come with me.”
Jim’s eyes light up as he struggles to keep his voice down, “Are you serious?” he half whispers.
“Completely. I’ll pay you handsomely too, so don’t you worry-”
“You had me at getaway.” Jim grins, petting Max and scratching the dog behind his ear. Not a second after, Max’s ears perk up, his nose twitches and he stares into the depths below. Eric pays attention too and everyone grows deadly silent.
It starts with a hum that grew to a series of Ah’s filling up the silence and wrapping each soul with its presence. Max stays alert but Jim leans back, closing his eyes, soaking in the song. Eric leans forward, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sirens or merfolk. He stares into the water, hoping that the creatures would come close enough.
It was beautiful; their song was food for a starved soul, a light in the darkness of evil. It’s a godsend which is ironic. As beautiful as each creature is, they were murderers with a taste for human flesh. Jim is lucky to be alive. No one knows how or why he survived but it was a miracle.
The group of sailors had their eyes closed as they lean against one another. And Jim is so deeply entranced that he lays himself down, using Max as a pillow. Even the dog is falling asleep. But Eric grips the edge, leans further, and stares harder, practically glaring at the ocean.
“Show yourself,” he whispers, ever so softly. It could have been a coincidence but after several minutes his wish came true. It’s a small dent at first, if Eric wasn’t scanning so intensely he would’ve mistaken it for a large mound of seaweed or a protruding rock. But it’s definitely not seaweed and it looks too soft to be a rock. Eric nearly slips from the edge of the peak. He can finally see the head of the creature as it bobs up and down and Eric could’ve sworn it was looking right at him. It rises a bit more and Eric distinguishes the body to be female. She gives him a friendly wave and Eric childishly waves back. Mermaid. It’s a mermaid.
He’s tempted to rush down to her, to get closer but before he could move, she ducks back under the waves. The music doesn’t change; it’s still safe to listen. Eric shows no fear to risk the lives of the other sailors. How could something so wonderful be so bad?
He searches the water again, looking for another one to emerge; half scared she might come back and change her song. But she never resurfaces. The sirens and merfolk keep singing, Jim and Max asleep beside him and Eric finally leans back and listens to their song.
Peter has done this a million times before, but the little fairie on his shoulder still grimaces as they pass the familiar structures that tell her that they were no longer in Neverland.
Her friend loops and circles around the castle of this kingdom, swooping down to the village below, the moon illuminating his figure but never casting a shadow. The boy laughs carelessly, running on top of every roof, every little hovel and shack as they make their way to the sea. Tinkerbell can hear the sea creatures from here, sounding nothing like the ones back in Neverland. When they try to attract food, these sea creatures sing a lovely tune, while the ones in Neverland sit quietly in their waters, waiting for any poor creature to wander in. They like splashing at Tink, throwing water in hopes that she’d drown. At least these merfolk have manners.
Tinkerbell flies frantically, trying to keep up with Peter and tell him to slow down. It doesn’t help that fairies are mute.
“Come on, Tink!” Peter calls back to her. Tinkerbell huffs and flies faster, and she finally grabs Peter’s shoulder and holds on, resting to catch her breath.
The singing is getting louder and louder, until the two were right above the sirens and merfolk. Tink glances over at Peter, who’s looking for one sea creature in particular. He never bothers to check if the sailors see him. Rumor has it that there’s an evil trickster that haunts the village, playing and taking away their children at night. There’s a reward for any man that can find and capture this trickster. The rumors weren’t entirely false. Peter is no kidnapper. He simply offers what most children want; Freedom and a chance to never grow up.
“There she is, Tink!” Peter exclaims happily, diving down once more. In a corner, far from the eyes of curious princes’, was the unofficial choir that sang. There isn’t much of a difference between the two species. Mer-people look like humans except for their flippers (obviously) and gills on their necks. Sirens have a faint tinge of blue to their skin, their hands webbed, unlike merpeople. Both equally beautiful, and equally dangerous. Not that this matters to Peter.
“Come all you pretty fair maids, whoever you may be,” sings Peter, just as he nears one mermaid that is sitting on a rock, humming along with the others. She smiles and starts untangling her mess of red hair with her fingers. “Who love a jolly sailor bold that ploughs the raging sea.”
“Oh, enough of that old song, Peter!” The mermaid giggles, “Haven’t you heard anything new?” Peter smiles and hovers above the young mermaid, “Hey there, Tink.” she smiles. Tinkerbell gives her a nod of acknowledgement, looking around. Few merfolk notice her and Peter, which is good.
“Aw, come on, Ariel. That song isn’t old.” The boy smiles playfully and tugs on the girl’s hair. She pulls it back from him and gives him a look.
“Peter, you’re like a hundred!” she exclaims. Some of the mermen look at her and tell her to shush before they resume to their singing. Peter only laughs louder.
“And I’m still better looking than you are.” he smirks.
“You wish.” Ariel giggles, “So what games have you come here to play this time, Peter?”
“None. I just wanted to see you.” The boy turns over in the air to float on his back. “The lost boys have gone to sleep, so I decided to pay a visit.”
“Hook still a problem?” Ariel asks, as she plucks Peter’s small green beanie from his head and puts it on. “I hear you almost fed another body part to ol’ Tick Tock.”
“That codfish will never be a problem!” Peter scoffs, snatching his beanie back. “I may look young but I’ve been around longer than he has. Hell, I brought him to Neverland! The old coot should be grateful.”
“Well you did cut his hand off.” Ariel smiled thoughtfully. Peter gives her a look and reaches over to Tink, who settles into his palm.
“Yeah well, we were just playing.” Peter turns over and tugs on Ariel’s tail. “Let’s go flying, Ariel. Grab your human legs and let’s go!”
Ariel laughs, her fins slapping the rock she sits on, splashing Peter and narrowly missing Tinkerbell.
“Grab your legs... oh if only it were that easy!” Ariel exclaims, slipping into the water. She rises back up and splashes at Peter. “The possibility of that happening is so small so just forget about it.”
Peter pouts. “You’re no fun, Ariel.” he sulks.
“I’m loads of fun!” The girl protests, “Just the other day I narrowly missed death by shark for a dinglehopper!”
“Have you ever narrowly missed death by canon?” Peter asks, cheekily.
“No but a shark is worse!”
“Nope, canon,” Peter argues.
“Shark!” Ariel repeats. Peter flies up to her face and gives her a smug smile.
“Canon,” he says, kissing her temple. Ariel rubs her forehead and splashes Peter again.
“You’re so obnoxious.” she giggles.
“You know you love me.” he winks. Ariel shakes her head. Peter sighs and looks up at the moon. “You know… I’ve also been visiting two other worlds,” he states.
“Oh?” Ariel perks up, curious to here this. She rests her arms on the rock eagerly. “What other worlds?”
“One trippy hippy dippy kind of place, it’s so weird over there; Neverland has more logic to it!” Ariel smiles widely and leans her head on her palms.
“And the other?” she asks.
“That place is sad. It’s where I get most of my lost boys,” says Peter, still looking at the sky. Ariel examines his face. It all screams 15 year old but his eyes tell the truth. No one knows how long Peter has been around, not even Peter (at least that’s what he claims) He’s still a boy inside and out but some days it’s as if the adultness he has avoided catches up to him and take over his eyes. His beautiful brown eyes.
“Maybe you can take me over to the hippy dippy place one day,” Ariel says, as she swims around the rock.
“Maybe you should come visit me in Neverland.” Peter smiles. Ariel shakes her head.
“I don’t get along with the girls there.”
“Aw they’re just jealous cause you’re so pretty.” Peter tweaks Ariel’s nose and she swats his hand away. Tinkerbell flutters over to Peter’s face, her small frame shivering and her frown set.
“You’re pretty too, Tink.” Peter laughs. “I think it’s time I leave.”
“Off to your other girlfriends?” Ariel teases.
“You know it.” Peter smirks. He reaches for Ariel’s hand and she jumps up the rock to give Peter a hug.
“I’ll see you later, Peter,” she murmurs. The boy just winks and both he and Tinkerbell leave with gold dust trailing behind them as they fly.