- Vol. 09
- Chapter 03
I ran to the door. There was no one in sight, but I spotted a small package tucked between two large flowerpots. It was lighter than I expected, and exquisitely wrapped in high quality Santa paper. The attached tag bore my name but not the name of the giver, a secret admirer perhaps.
I resisted temptation and didn’t unwrap it until Christmas day. There was a little note saying that the packing was biodegradable and could be disposed of with garden waste, and it seemed that packing was all there was. Eventually, I grasped a small sachet. It was Fearless red, the same as my nail varnish, and there was bold, black writing on it.
Magic Mermaid Crystals.
I turned it over and there was smaller writing.
Tip all the crystals into your bath. Close your eyes and relax. Works best with salted caramel scent.
Now, I’m not really one for baths. I usually only have time for a shower, but I decided to make an exception for this, and after a few minutes searching I located a salted caramel scented candle. I ran my bath, tipped in the crystals, and lit the candle. I stepped in, lowered myself and closed my eyes, as instructed. Oh, the sheer luxury of soaking in warm water. As I was relishing the feeling, I felt movement on my leg and opened my eyes to see a mermaid sitting just above my knee, looking as though she had just swam out of a Waterhouse painting. She smiled, then sang a note of such clarity and beauty. The response seemed to come from afar, but soon some of her sisters surfaced in my bath. Two came in their sealskins, one took off her sealskin after she arrived, and another came in her mermaid form.
My bath was transported to a place where the sea and the land meet, a place where they love, where they fight, where the soft land is worn by the restless sea, leaving proud headlands of the hardest rock thrusting out. The sea was calm, but she didn’t disguise her ability to turn and to cause havoc.
The mermaids sang. They sang of their joy playing hide and seek with whale calves while their indulgent mothers looked on. They sang of swimming in Poseidon’s wake as he surveyed his kingdom. They sang of their love for each other. They sang of their grief at giving their love to mortal men, a love that could never be returned. Then they climbed onto the edge of the bath, blew kisses, waved farewell and dived into the sea. My bath returned to my bathroom.
My heart ached, for the joy of seeing them and the melancholy of never seeing them again. As I was drying myself, I stared into the mirror, at the tears streaking my face. The door swung open, and there on the shelf was a Fearless red sachet.