So the next installment of Beyond Endless Tides comes out in 6 days on the 3rd October. The Gradonzaras is the third novella in the trilogy series, and the last for a while. It wraps up the story, but leaves it very open for me to return to the undersea world in the near future, after I've written a few novels from Evania.
Before I go into that, I'd just like to say a few words about the debut series. My original idea for a merfolk story was an amalgamation of fantasy with sci fi. I sent this to John Jarrold, and he told me a few things that I was doing wrong with my writing, but more importantly he thought the concept in that story, odd. It got me thinking and the idea of merfolk needing to live on land came to mind, but I wanted to start from the beginning, ergo Morg's story. (Though, some may argue, this isn't the beginning, and I'd have to go farther back to when the very first mating took place. Which may be another novella at some stage.)) I've been fascinated with the ocean my whole life, and when I lost my best friend at 8 years old in the Zebrugge Ferry Disaster, I found a little comfort, on some distorted level in the back of my conscience, in believing in merfolk, and thinking he was rescued by one, changed into a merboy and has lived ever since in the depths. This is to a degree why I dedicate these books to Andrew.
Evania is what I'm about now, and what I'm scribbling notes on, well, I've been doing that a whole lotta years, but now I'm concentrating my attention on the world, where magic is drawn on from your Source in the body, with various ways to 'power up', dragons are in this world, but since the Great Purge, no more than two exist, though most only know about one. One must find the other for them to rise again. Will this happen? You'll have to wait and see, but Daykkor plays a pivotal role in their story. Daykkor is a rare breed himself for he is a natural, a very powerful magician. Having been kept apart from the world, like so many others when non-magicians became scared of magicians and started killing them, he knows nothing of his parents, and wants only the truth. Harried by nightmares of the large flying dragons in his dreams, if he should ever leave Ardonia, he will first find his true identity, then resign to discover more about why he's been having the nightmares.
More will follow as I write the first novel, and if you sign up to my newsletter you'll get the news first. Plus a free copy of The Little Miracle which is set in Evania. See right pane.
OK it's the same cover, but with an updated title. The Aquithus Bearer is the English vernacular edition of The Mur of Aquithus. Out 6th February.
Here's the first paragraph of the newly rewritten novella.
Morg watched from beneath the surface, unwilling to let her presence known. A human male walked the edge of the ocean, his form danced as she watched through the water. His short hair looked strange, and unattractive. Things clung to his body, covering his nakedness. How they did it, she had no idea, nor much cared. Why though, was another matter. They were a hindrance and had to be removed before the human could thrust its reproductive organ inside the mermaids who had been here before her, doing what now was asked of her. The thought of letting him put his thing in her made her want to vomit. It was wrong, just wrong. When she was ready for mating, it’d be with a young merman, not a land dweller. She watched his movements ripple with the current, watched his legs as he walked. She stared at them crossing one another. They were what this was all about. Leader Lyon had said they had to mate with humans, and this would allow their young ones to grow the legs they needed to leave the oceans and walk the land. It was their only hope of securing the future of all merfolk.
Having finished the last polishes of the second in the Beyond Endless Tides mini series, I thought I'd share a sneak peak. Here Morg and Ethos, along with their young one, Sherez, are just beginning their journey nic, (north), when they come into a spot of bother.
You may need the Glossary for this to make sense in places.
‘It’s OK,’ he said in a whisper, perhaps not wanting to wake Sherez. ‘Nothing moves,’ he whipped his tail and his body lunged forwards and down. She followed. Keeping low she followed him as they made their way nic. They hadn’t swum ten strokes when Morg was sure she saw slight movement ahead, maybe twenty strokes from Ethos. She didn’t mention it, sure Ethos would have seen it too. His eyes were more accustomed to the dark and were accurate when hunting. Onwards he swam not altering his direction, unafraid or uncaring of the potential lurking danger.
After ten strokes, there was another motion in the gloom. Whatever it was hadn’t changed its position, and she was certain Ethos would change course, but didn’t. Afraid he had missed it somehow, she was about to warn him, when two limbs shot forwards and wrapped around his tail and torso. In the instant she saw the limbs and just before they latched on to Ethos, he had let go of both his bill and Sherez.
‘It’s a tentalien, Morg. Get away. Swim.’
He’d warned her about them many times and had made her promise if they ever encountered one and he was caught, to leave him and save herself. Once it had its grip, there was little she could do to change his fate. Even the sharpest of bills couldn’t cut through the tough skin of tentalien limbs.
Instinct wouldn’t let her turn, she swam ahead, hard and fast, and soon had Sherez in her arms. She spun. Before she could whip her tail again, a strong limb, with its strong suckers wrapped around her tail at its base, and then another grabbed her a little above her tail-torso line, clamping her tight and held her fast.
Looking down at Sherez, her eyes, resembling her father’s, looked back frightened.
‘Go! Swim and hide. We’ll find you.’
She had no idea how much Sherez understood the words she spoke. Most young ones didn’t start talking until they’d seen seven revolves of the soltaire. And though her words were whispered with absolute conviction, she knew she nor Ethos was getting out of this and their remur would be out there alone − fending for her life.
Something changed in Sherez’s stare. Her eyes glistened with understanding, and Morg, part reluctant, released her stone grip.
Sherez whipped away and disappeared into the dark. Once gone Morg struggled and wriggled against the taut grip of the tentalien limb higher up her body.
Another limb, thin to begin, growing thicker to twice the size of her arm, shot past her on her right. It headed in the same direction Sherez had gone. Unable to move, Morg stopped taking in water. Then in a desperate plea she sucked in a little too much and called out to Ethos.
‘I know, Morg. I can’t get loose, this things grip has me.’ His words were those of one who understood the situation and hated it because he could do little to alter it.
He was behind her and she pictured him trying all he could to get loose. If he was unable the chances of her doing so were slim.
She had to get loose, had to get out of this and save her remur. There was no way she was going to allow this thing to take Sherez as well. She thumped a little harder and thrust her tail wilder.
In the blackness beneath, a light came towards her. It pulsed and glowed a greeting. Ethos’s bill. Disorientated and panicked she hadn’t realised she was being pulled backwards. With haste and determination, she flailed her arms in wild desperate movements to get lower.
And she sunk.
She watched the bill and readied to strike. It came closer and closer. As she stretched out to grab it, the limb about her tugged a little more and all she managed with her effort was to clasp empty water.
The bill disappeared into the stillness of the dark.
I'd like to share with you a children's short story book by author couple, Peter and Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi. Though I have not had a chance to read this, it promises to be a great hit with younger readers and I urge you to take a glance. Simply click on the pic to view on amazon, and check out the 'look inside' function.
Here is the first page of the second story of Morg's adventure to find a way to stop the nghoza mating madness.
Are They Real?
I was visiting a friend of mine a few weeks back and we were discussing the release of my first novella, The White Queen. His brother was visiting and asked me this question, Do you believe mermaids are real? At the time I of course said yes, but didn't really back up my claim.
In this post and in the next few months I shall try and convince you all that indeed yes, they are real. There really are mermaids, down there somewhere.
I do believe we can't be the only humanoid to have come through evolution. Everything you see around you, the trees, the birds, the fodder we grow, all derived from the ocean, many millions of years ago. I believe there was a split, we emerged on land as ape forms in the beginning, whilst in the water, the first early human cross fish occurred.
So you ask. How can they be so elusive? Why haven't there been any sightings?
Well there has, Before I delve into those sailors who have accounted such fascinating tales, let me share with you a video.
Could merfolk be the masters of illusion too? It would explain why we humans rarely see them don't you think.
So what were those accounts you mentioned Charles?
Here is what I know.
Christopher Columbus, who I'm sure needs no introduction, accounted seeing mermaids, three of them off the coast of Haiti during his first voyage in January 1493.
Of his sighting, these words were included in his account,
"..came quite high out of the water,"
"...not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow the faces look more like a man's,"
There is an antiquated historical text known as 'Speculum Regale', or the 'King's Mirror. It was written in Norway of 1250, and said of a mermaid sighting,
"not as a beautiful woman, more like a semi-aquatic Neanderthal like creature,"
Another explorer of the early 17th century had this to account.
‘This morning, one of our companie saw a Mermaid, and calling up some
of the companie to see her, one more came up...From the navel upwards,
her back and breasts were like a woman’s...her body as big as one of us;
in her going downe they saw her tayle, which was the tayle of a Porposse,
and speckled like a Macrell.’ Henry Hudson, Explorer, 1608.
Our very own Orkney had a frequent visitor to Newark Bay, Deerness and many hundreds of people swore they'd seen the mermaid. One such account says,
"It is about six to seven feet in length, has a little black head, with neck, a snow white body and two arms, and in swimming it just appears like a human being. At times it will appear to be siding on a sunken rock, and will wave and work its hands."
And in 1903, the Orcadian newspaper ran this report,
"Ralph Taylor and crew, when visiting their lobster creels the other day, saw a strange creature, which looked like a mermaid, close by the foot of the Old Man.
"It rose out of the water to the height of three feet and looked like a lady with a shawl round her shoulders, and streaming down her face.
"This is the third occasion it has been seen at close range by them. The oldest people have never seen anything like it before, and wonder what it can be. Some think it must be the Deerness Mermaid on tour."
The Orcadian, Saturday, September 13, 1913
So you see there are or have been many sightings throughout the world.
Going back to my other statement about evolution. (jostling mind), have you considered some species which live on land yet have cousins who spend all their time at sea. The one leaping to mind is of course the, turtle and tortoise. Whilst turtles need to visit the land to lay eggs, they spend their lives at sea. Yet they are close relatives to their land fairing cousin, the tortoise.
So why not a close relative of us humans living in the sea.
Charles F Bond is writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction. He wishes you much merriment in the pursuit of good reading.
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