Kammdar closed his eyes and grinned as he rapidly swam through the pure and refreshing salt waters of Diveen. He dove close enough to the floor to feel its sands lightly brush against his bare muscular chest before twisting upward. Seconds later, with one powerful thrust of his smooth gray tail, he shot up and crashed through the surface into the air. He let his arms extend on each side and embraced the joyful sensation. Then a purple and white flash of light at the shore caught his attention before he splashed below the waves again.
The portal has opened! Kammdar thought. We have not had visitors in at least two solar cycles. I wonder who it is?
He and his podmates had been taught by the Podmother from a young age that the portals were naturally occurring gateways between the known worlds. They allowed for strangers to come and the inhabitants of Diveen to leave. But such choices had to be measured carefully, she had told them.
“The portals often bring new friends,” Podmother had said, an angelic smile spreading below her sparkling crystal blue eyes. Her long turquoise hair with silver streaks framed her soft, round face. “Friends such as the humans have proven their kindness and love of the Mer. They are welcome here and we love them in return. Pairings between humans and Mer even led to the creation of hybrid Mercinnian children, our beautiful brothers and sisters. Some of us even build individual homes on their own small islands to live part of our time with human friends or mates.”
“But not all who come through the portals are friends. Long ago, the portals brought invaders, a large faction of ones called Kalli,” she continued. “And only the strength of the Whalemers and Mersharks, combined with the cunning of the Dolphinmers and the prayers of the Wisemers repelled the evil ones.” It was a warning all younglings were told to never ignore.
New friends to play with! he thought in the present. Who is it? Could it be humans? I’ve never met a human before, but I’ve always wanted to. Will they like me? What should I say to them? Do they eat fish, too? Can they swim fast? I can’t wait to meet them!
With vigor, the young man swished his tail back and forth, weaving through the waves towards land. But as he got closer, a new sound pierced the liquid around him, and he recoiled as if struck.
A scream! he thought, now alarmed. Someone is in pain!
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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