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Abyss of the Deep


Just a few miles off the shores of a distant land is a dangerous strip of sea. Pointy rocks surround the undersea world, preventing any ship from slipping past. And despite being relatively close to land, the ocean floor seems to drop.

This untouched realm had been measured to be about 15 miles in diameter. The locals of the towns near the strip of sea forbid going past the sharp rocks that fence the area since anyone who came in never was seen again.

For this reason, the locals call this area The Abyss of the Deep. It is in this dark realm where our story begins.

~

Ib stared at the tangles of rubbery seaweed as it waved with each gentle current. She flicked her small red fish tail to keep balanced in the water. Her straight, shoulder-length brown hair billowed out behind her as tiny, unnoticeable gills on either side of her neck accepted the salty water graciously into her system.

“Ib!” a shrill girl’s voice came to her ears. She turned her red eyes to the direction of the call; just in time to see her sister come barreling at her. “Happy 9th birthday, Ib!”

“Thank you, Mary.” Ib answered quietly. She allowed her older sister to give her an enthusiastic hug.

Mary was the polar opposite of Ib. Her hair was curly and golden. Her eyes and tail was a greenish blue. And while Ib was quiet and withdrawn, Mary was wild and playful.

When Mary released Ib from her hug, she continued to stare at the seaweed. Mary rolled her eyes at her. “You’re going to go crazy looking at that thing, Ib. Besides, I’ve got something to tell you.”

Ib turned to Mary with curiosity in her eyes. “Mommy says we can visit the surface today. This is our first time, and I’m so excited! Oh, but we have to follow her rules. We have to stay within the walls, and we have to be back by nightfall.”

Ib nodded in understanding and took her sister’s hand. She followed her to the wall.

From the bottom of the sea, the wall was a large rock formation that wrapped around the undersea city in a protective bubble. Only the spaces between the spikes of the pointy rock formation allowed the mer-people to leave the city. But the girls had never swum that high before, until now.

“If we start now, we’ll have more time to play on the surface.” Mary reasoned.

“We won’t get in trouble?” Ib asked quietly.

Mary reassuringly squeezed her hand before letting go. “We have permission, now let’s go!”

With an excited laugh, Mary swished her tail to motor herself upwards with Ib following not so far behind. “I can’t wait to feel the sunlighttouch my skin. I hear it’s warm , like Mommy’s hugs.” Mary rambled.

Ib smiled at the idea. Warmth would be nice, especially since the waters were turning colder.

Mary continued to talk as the waters around them became less gloomy and dark. “I hope we see a boat or swimmers. Teacher says I’m not old enough to enchant visitors, but I think my voice is pretty enough. Don’t you?”

Ib nodded solemnly, making Mary crack a smile at her. “We’re almost there!” Mary suddenly observed. Before they touched the surface, the blonde turned to face her sister. Ib stopped too and waited for Mary to speak her mind.

“Now remember Ib, the surface is made of something called air. Teacher said to inhale and exhale with your mouth and nose.” Mary reminded her.

With that being said, they gave a final flick with of their tails to pop their heads out of the water for the first time.

Ib felt like her head was heavier. Her hair plastered unnaturally against her pale skin. Even worse, she couldn’t breathe! Her gills weren’t taking in any of the heavy substance Mary called air.

‘Use your mouth!’ she thought. She uneasily took a short breath with her mouth. She continued to take short gasps of breaths until her breathing was less painful and easier. Looking over at Mary, Ib found that her sister had recovered from the effects of air more quickly. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” she asked while smiling at Ib.

“No.”

“Ah… Feel that sunlight! And look up! There’s fluffy white stuff above us. I wonder what it is…”

Looking up, Ib could see that there were indeed whit wispy things drifting by in the sky. She stretched her hand up to feel the wisps, but she couldn’t reach them.

“Hey Ib!” Mary tried to recapture her sister’s attention. “What do you want to play now that we’re here? Oh I’m getting excited just thinking about it!”

~

“Alright class, close your books.” The professor told the class. There was a collective sigh of relief as art books thumped closed. A lavender-haired student with a tattered dark grey coat glanced up at the clock. It was time for their assignment.

“Now that we’ve studied Guertena, I’d like you all to reach inside yourselves for inspiration. Each of Guertena’s pieces were a reflection of his soul. I want each of you to create a piece that is a reflection of your soul. It can be either a painting or a sculpture.” the professor went on before dismissing his students.

The lavender-haired man walked over to the professor’s desk and waited for his attention. “Oh Garry, did you have a question?”

The student nodded his head. “Yes, sir. I was wondering if the last project we did could still be turned in for credit.”

The professor stared at Garry sadly. “No, I’m afraid it’s too late. But if you do really well on this project, you’ll have a better chance of passing this class.”

Garry sighed and gave his teacher a polite smile. “Of course. Thank you, sir.”

Garry strode out of the classroom and started for home. He took a lemon candy from his pocket and popped it in his mouth thoughtfully. He was rather tall and thin for a sophomore in college. The gentle features of his face rarely show signs of anger. His purple-blue eyes unknowingly broadcasted his every emotion to the world.

He walked out of town and down a small path he knew well. The path took him to the sandy beach by the sea.

He paused for a moment before he walked along the shore. Tightening his coat against him for warmth against the chill coming from the sea, he could feel his brain whirring for ideas he could use for his project.

“Hmmm… a reflection of my soul, huh? This is going to be a tricky one.” He mused aloud, “I do like lemon candies and macaroons, but I doubt that’s a reflection of my soul.”

The water crept up as the tide moved in. Garry carefully adjusted his walking position so his shoes wouldn’t get wet. “Water? Doesn’t that symbolize change? Maybe ‘change’ is part of my soul that sould be portrayed. I did transfer this year and switch my major…” he continued to spin off ideas to himself as he continued down the beach.

~

While Mary watched the seagulls fly lazily over their heads, Ib wandered away on her own to explore the surface. She swam bravely until she could see her sister no more.

She went to the edge of the wall where she could clearly see something in the distance. It was brown and jutted out of the water. This thing was far off, but it filled the horizon.

“What is that?” Ib asked herself softly. She wanted to get a closer look, but she wasn’t to cross the wall.

After a moment’s hesitation, she reached a hand out beyond where one spike of the rock formation ended. When nothing happened she carefully slipped between the spikes. She felt guilty for disobeying her mother, but her curiosity drew her to the thing jutting out of the water.

The thing never moved, but it was huge. As she came closer, she could see that it was even bigger than the wall. It certainly looked like a rock formation, except it looked like a mesh of patterns and colors.

“This must be land.” Ib realized as she looked on fascination.

Feeling a bit tired, she swam over to a rock that jutted out of the water rather close to land and laid on it to rest her tail. The cool breeze blowing from the sea was just as refreshing as the warmth of the sunlight.

Ib  hadn’t even known she had dozed off until she heard a person talking from the direction of the shore. She flopped onto her stomach and peeked over the top of the rock.

A young man with wavy lavender hair was on the land. He moved on two limbs covered in tan cloth. He seemed to be talking to himself. “-really need to get this project done right. It’s not my fault I’m not easily inspired. I’m going to fail if this doesn’t go well…” He smacked at the sand beneath him with one of the limbs below his waist while the other kept him upright.

Ib gasped in awe. She had never seen anything like that man before. She didn’t know what those limbs were called, But they definitely weren’t tails. The way he moved on them… it wasn’t graceful, but it wasn’t clumsy either. It was just interesting.

Hearing her gasp, the man swung his gaze to the rock she was resting/hiding on. “Hello?” he called out gently, “Is someone out there?”

Ib crept closer on the rock to see him better. Their eyes met and he smiled kindly at her. “There’s no need to be afraid. What are you doing all the way out here?”

Ib stared at the man in silence before answering, “Resting on this rock.”
The man nodded understandingly. “Yes, I see that. You must have swum here.”

Ib smiled back at him. Since he mentioned swimming, she wished she could see him swim with his limbs-that-weren’t-tails. Would he look silly or graceful?

She was drawn from her thoughts when he said, “How rude of me not to introduce myself. My name’s Garry. What’s your name?”

“Ib,” she told him.

“Ib you say… Well Ib, isn’t it a little cold to be swimming today?” he asked.

The question had Ib confused. “Not at all. The sunshine makes everything warmer.” she explained.

Garry frowned a bit at the answer. He didn’t exactly understand her reasoning. “But the water is cold and your clothes are wet. If you stay in wet, cold clothes for too long, you’ll get sick.”

“I’ll be fine.” she assured him with a smile. After a moment of staring at him, she asked curiously, “What were you talking about earlier? Do you have a problem?”

Garry ran a hand through his lavender hair. “Actually, I was just stressing over this art project I was assigned today. I’m not sure what my teacher wants me to paint. It’s so confusing.” he glanced away in embarrassment.

Ib tilted her head in thought. She didn’t know what paint was, but she understood art. Her mother was obsessed with carving things in the wall of the tower-like cave they lived in, claiming it was creative and artistic.

“I’m sure I’ll find the answer anyways.” Garry continued with an assuring smile on his face. Ib’s lips twitched happily in response.

“By the way Ib, don’t you have to get back to your parents? They are probably worried. Do you want me to help you find them?” Garry offered.

Ib frowned, glancing up at the sky. The sun did see awfully close to the horizon. Mary would be wondering about her whereabouts.

But she didn’t want Garry to come with her. She was taught all her life that if she met an intruder, she should bring him down to the city. He wasn’t considered an intruder yet, and she wanted to keep it that way.

“I’ll be fine, Garry.” she said with a smile. She hesitated a moment before asking, “Um… would it be okay if I saw you again?”

Garry’s eyes widened in surprise. “Er, sure, as long as it’s okay with your parents. I’llbe here about the same time two days from now. Could we meet then?”

Ib nodded. “I’ll be here.”

Before Garry could remind her to ask for her parent’s permission again, the little girl slipped into the water tail first behind the rock and swam off.

She was so relieved to be underwater again. With seawater rushing through her gills, and her hair and clothes not plastered to her skin, she felt more at home. She gracefully swam in the direction of the wall.

She slipped between the spikes of the rock formation and swam around aimlessly until she found Mary.

“Where were you Ib? I was starting to worry about you. Oh, you were probably exploring on your own, weren’t you?” Mary chided her younger sister.

Ib nodded silently. Encouraged by the gesture, Mary went on, “Well, we’d better go now. Mommy will be making a special birthday dinner for you.”

The blonde dove with her quiet sister following behind. The water grew colder the farther away they swam from the sun, but the girls didn’t dare complain. They were just happy to have had their adventures.

At the floor of the sea where the mer-people lived, wide towers of rock rose up. These rocks were hollowed hundreds- maybe thousands- of years ago. They were slightly taller than one story houses. The towers were where the families lived.

The tower that belonged to Ib and Mary’s family was just like any other. There were gaps all over to allow easy entrance and for water to flow in and out.

Their mother was putting together a dinner of sea greens and fish. “Hey girls.” she greeted them with a smile, “How was the surface?”

“It was great! I saw the sun! And there were white fluffy things flying in the sky and birds! It was so much fun, Mommy.” Mary chattered away.

Ib’s mother flicked her red tail gracefully, making the skirt of her red dress billow around her beautifully. “It sounds like you two had a lot of fun. I wish I had been there with you.” She said as she set the dish of sea greens on a flat rock.

“By the way, the fluffy white things in the sky are called clouds. Sometimes clouds drip water from the sky.” Ib’s mother informed them.

“Oh, that sounds cool! Can we see that someday, Mommy?” Mary asked, swishing about in excitement.

Ib swam calmly to the flat rock with the food. Her mom smiled warmly at her. “Maybe some other time. Sky water can happen randomly.”

~

Garry stood at the shore facing Ib’s rock where it stuck out of the water. The little girl was smiling softly down at him. She wore a red scarf with a cream colored blouse. Her wet clothes clung to her as her damp hair did.

Even though her wet street clothes seemed odd, something was definitely off about the girl in front of him. But he couldn’t tell what it was exactly.

As he thought this, the tide came in, lapping at his shoes. Garry backed away from the rising water level. “come down from there, Ib.” Garry called out to the girl. “The rock will become too slippery to sit on.”

Ib shook her head at him. There was a mischievous glint in her red eyes.

“Seriously, Ib. You could get hurt!” Garry’s voice rose over the roar of the waves.

Suddenly, Ib wasn’t there anymore. Panicked, Garry ran into the water despite the liquid filling his shoes. He wadded to the rock and went behind it to check if she was alright.

There was no sign of Ib, but he saw a flicker of brown and red in the water heading deeper into the sea. “Ib? Ib!” Garry shouted as he gave chase.

He eventually stopped. Even though the water only came to his waist when he stood, he had the feeling he was very far out at sea.  The land was nowhere in sight.

Without warning, the ground beneath him fell away. He fell in the water with a stream of bubbles escaping his mouth in surprise.

Blue water filled his vision, except her he could see a red rose floating in front of him, just out of reach. The petals of the red rose fell away one by one, as if the water was pulling them out. All the while, he could hear a shrill girl’s voice singing, “Loves me, loves me not,” until it was a bare stalk.

It was then that Garry woke up from his frightful dream. “That was… unsettling.” he said as he got up and prepared for the day. “I wonder what it all meant…”

He got dressed in his usual attire of a green shirt, khaki pants, and his tattered coat. In his pockets were a few lemon candies, a lighter, and some money.

After a moment of internal conflict, he decided to take a sketchbook and pencil with him. “In case I get an idea for my project.” he said to himself as he locked up the house. “Now where to go…”

He started to walk to town. He took the path that cut through the forest rather than the shore this time. His walk to town was tiring and left him hungry and parched. Coincidentally, there was a café nearby.

There was a line in front of the counter, but Garry didn’t mind the wait. A heated conversation between two people in front of him drew his attention from the threat of boredom.

“-can’t believe you still believe in that nonsense, Maggie.” A boy clad in grey said. He had messy brown hair, pale skin, and eyes as black as coal.

The young lady with whom he was talking with stamped her foot at him in frustration. “No, you are wrong, Chris! I’m telling you, that place is cursed or something!” The lady was dressed entirely in blue. She had straight brown hair, and dark eyes that held Chris’s firmly.

Chris rolled his eyes at her statement. “The Abyss isn’t cursed, it’s just dangerous.”

“Excuse me…” Garry interrupted as politely as he could. Both of them stared at him in surprise. “I don’t mean to intrude, but might I ask what you two are talking about?”

Maggie smiled at him pleasantly. “Of course. I’m Maggie Blue by the way.”

Garry took her hand and shook it in greeting. “I’m Garry.” Chris glanced down at his feet and mumbled something. Garry stared at him in confusion. “What was that?”

“I said that my name is Chris Hangedman.” Chris introduced himself, his face flushing in embarrassment.

“Oh…” Garry tried and failed to find a good response. All he could think of was what a sad name the boy had.

Maggie cleared her throat, bringing his attention back to the lady in blue. “We were talking about the Abyss of the Deep. Have you heard of it before?”

The name brought an image to his mind. “Do you mean the floor painting by Wiess Guertena?”

Maggie shook her head. “No we were talking about the place. It is an unexplored part of the sea just a few miles off the shore a ways away from here.”

“And Maggie here believes the place is either cursed or haunted. It’s just dangerous because of the sharp rocks around there.” Chris interrupted.

The lady in blue glared daggers at the Hangedman. “Yes the rocks prevent ships from passing, but explain how the ship last night managed to go off course through that area! Something must have drawn it there!”

“What, a ghost?” The Hangedman teased. “It was probably a wind or current. Just because there’s a rumor-“

“It’s truth I tell you! My mother used to warn me to never swim or sail anywhere near that area. The ship last night is only proof that she was right.” The lady in blue retorted.
Garry glanced from one to the other in confusion. “A ship last night?” he asked.

“Yeah,” the Hangedman said. “Some freak accident. The remains of a ship was seen floating around this morning. Everyone assumed Fishing Hook smashed into the rocks of the Abyss. It was last seen taking off at about 2:30 the day before.”

“But none of the crew has been spotted yet, dead or alive. Something drew the ship to the rocks and caused the crew to disappear. The place must be cursed.” The lady in blue pointed out.

The conversation came to an abrupt end as their turn came next to order. Chris and Maggie ordered their drinks and went over to a table.

Garry ordered his coffee and macaroons and went to one of the unoccupied tables. The tables all had a vase with a red, blue, and yellow rose.

‘Could an area in the sea really be cursed? It is rather eerie that an entire crew would disappear miles from land.’ He thought as he munched on his snack. ‘Hm… Ib was swimming yesterday. I wonder if she knows. I’ll have to warn her.’

He looked over to the table where Chris and Maggie sat, sipping their beverages. The lady in blue’s eyes sparkled as she delicately took the blue rose from her vase and proceeded to pluck off the petals. Even though he couldn’t hear her, he knew she was singing as the petals fell on the crisp white tablecloth.

“Loves me…” pluck, “Loves me not…” pluck, “Loves me…” pluck, “Loves me not..” pluck.

Garry turned away, unable to understand why he felt s unsettled by an innocent girl’s game.

~

Ib and Mary quietly floated in the waters of their teacher’s tower. Their tails flicked at the water as their teacher turned to them with a bright smile plastered on her beautiful face.

Their teacher was a young lady with flowing brown hair, crimson eyes, and delicate features. She had an enchanting voice that could bring in any visitor who dared to come within hearing range. Both her tail and her dress where red, earning her the nickname ‘Lady in Red’.

“So how was the surface, my dears?” she asked.

“Oh, I loved it! There were clouds and sunlight… and a boat!” Mary admitted.

The last bit of information was new to Ib. Lady in Red’s eyes widened. “Oh my… I hope you weren’t seen.”

Mary’s smirked in pride. “I enchanted them. I invited them to play.” She said, “And so we played.”

Lady in Red’s lips formed a firm frown. “Mary, we’ve talked about this. Enchanting visitors is too dangerous at your age.” While Mary sulked, the lady turned her attention to Ib. “Why didn’t you try to stop Mary, Ib?”

Ib cast her eyes down in shame as she explained, “I wasn’t there to stop her, Teacher. I had gotten lost for a while.”

Lady in Red closed her eyes, swishing her tail faster in anger. “How very… disappointing…” she seethed. She glared at the two girls. “I expect you to stick together and stay out of sight if you see any humans the next time you go to the surface.”

Ib and Mary nodded in agreement before Ib asked in her soft voice, “What are humans?”

Lady in Red seemed surprised and pleased to hear her quietest student speak up. “Humans are the people who dwell on the surface in places called land. They look like our kind, except they have limbs called legs they use to travel on.

“Sometimes they come to the sea where we invite them to play with us. But they don’t last very long in the water.” Lady in Red explained.

Two different reactions came from this new piece of information. Mary smiled in fond remembrance of her fun yesterday. Ib’s eyes widened in horror at the mental image of Garry ‘not lasting very long in the water’.

“Do we have to play with the humans?” Ib asked.

Both Lady in Red and Mary frowned at Ib. “What? But it is so much fun! When you sing, they all try to get as close as they can to you and they go under, never to come back up again!” Mary squealed in delight.

Ib felt sick thinking about this. “Ib, if a human were to see you, then a whole school of them will be coming to kill us.” Lady in Red said firmly.

Ib nodded sadly. Mary started prattling again, but her sister was too lost in her thoughts to pay attention. ‘I should still go tomorrow to see Garry. I want to at least say goodbye forever.’

~

In art class the next day, Garry stared at the blank canvas in front of him with sleepy eyes. While the other students already had at least an image in mind, Garry only had a nightmare to go off of.

‘Maybe a rose in the sea… Nah, that would seem like a mix between Embodiment of Spirit and Abyss of the Deep.  That dream isn’t helpful at all.’ He thought as he contemplated the blank canvas.

Garry eventually developed a headache from staring into nothingness for too long. He sat in his chair and started sketching mindlessly. When he looked at his paper again, he saw that it had a rose stem surrounded by petals and bubbles.

‘I need to stop thinking disturbing things.’ He thought as he flipped to a new page. ‘Think happy thoughts.’

The next time he looked at his paper, it had an image of Ib with a sweet smile on her face. Surrounding her face were floating macaroons. Garry smiled as his stomach growled. ‘I guess happy thoughts make me hungry.’

But this drawing exercise reestablished his thoughts and he lightly sketched his new idea on his canvas before it escaped his mind.

‘There,’ he thought when he finished the sketch. ‘That should do for now. I’ll start painting tonight.’ He packed his things into his backpack at the professor’s dismissal and left, bringing the colorless canvas with him.

He walked along the path to the seashore. As soon as the ocean was in sight, he peered out at it, trying to imagine where the Abyss of the Deep was and what exactly goes on there.

~

Ib was typically a good student. She always had good attendance and she was very smart (although she wasn’t too wild about participation). So cutting class was not something she did before.

“Ib, are you alright? You haven’t even touched your greens, and they’re your favorites.” Ib’s mother looked at Ib with concern etched on her face. Mary looked on curiously as she ate her own lunch.

Ib glanced up from her untouched food. “I feel unwell.” She stated bluntly.

Her mother placed her hand to the child’s forehead tenderly. “Are you ill? Do you want to stay home from afternoon lessons?”

Ib nodded. She was lying though. She was not ill and she wasn’t planning on staying at home. But she stayed silent as Mary hurried off to Lady in Red’s tower. “Mama, is it okay if I take a nap?” Ib asked.

“Of course, dear. I’ll wake you when dinner’s ready.” her mother told her.

Ib nodded again and went to her room. She covered the entrance with an old quilt then swam out the window. After making sure that no one was watching her, she swam towards the surface.

It was a little scary going alone, but she knew that she could do it. Her head broke through the surface to the warm afternoon air.

Once again, she felt breathless, like she was suffocating until she remembered to use her mouth and nose. She started swimming around until she spotted land. With fresh energy, she swam between the spikes of the wall and made her way to shore.

It took her awhile to find the rock where she met Garry. The rock was warm and dry from being exposed to the sun for hours. Enveloped in the warmth, Ib dozed off again on the rock.

She snapped back into reality when she heard someone call, “Ib! Ib, are you there?”

The little girl yawned and peeked over the rock at the lavender-haired man. “Yes.” She replied.

Garry smiled at her. Ib rubbed her eyes sleepily and suppressed another yawn. “Were you napping over there?” Garry asked.

Ib nodded, causing him to frown slightly. “That’s not safe, Ib. You could accidentally fall in and drown.”

‘Drown?’ thought Ib. Out loud she said, “I don’t know that word.”

“What, drown? That means to die from inhaling water.”

Ib nodded in understanding, Even though she couldn’t die from inhaling the water, she could see how he would make that mistake.

Garry raised a white, flat object with light marks where she could see. “I brought my art project with me. I hope you don’t mind if I work on it with you.”

Ib stared at the white thing and shrugged. “I don’t mind.” she said quietly.

She watched as he sat down on the sand and positioned the thing in front of him. Unsure of what to do, she stared at him quietly as he worked. Every so often he would glance up at Ib from his work. “You’re kinda freaking me out with your staring.” he said with a laugh.

Ib giggled a bit surprised. Garry understood that she was just joking around. Whenever she’d stare at Mary, she would ask if Ib was okay, which wouldn’t make the joke funny anymore.

The pair became silent yet again, listening to the waves crashing on the shore. It was like the sea was trying to reach Ib from her rock. Ib thought carefully what she should say next.

“Hey, Garry?” the girl called. Garry looked up at her with undivided attention. “What exactly are you doing?”

Garry repositioned the white thing for her to see correctly. “This is the canvas I’m going to paint for my project. I’m just sketching the details so I won’t be as likely to mess it up.”

Ib squinted at the canvas. There was a horizon and squiggly lines that represented the waves of the sea. Above the waves was a massive rock. Ib’s eyes widened as she realized this was the spot he sketched along with a figure on the rock.

She pointed at the canvas. “Is that me?” she asked. Garry nodded, grinning brightly. Ib peered closer. “What is that in my hand?’

“Ahhh!” Garry exclaimed, growing awfully red in the face. He quickly brought the canvas close to him again. “I’m not done yet! It’s supposed to be a rose. I got the idea from a crazy dream of mine actually. Unfortunately I’m not good at drawing flowers…” he babbled on.

Ib was confused at his reaction. She thought it looked fine, but she’d never seen a surface flower before. “I’ve never seen a rose before.” she confessed aloud.

“Oh? I’m going to have to show you one another time then.” Garry said.

At this suggestion, Ib’s heart sank. How was she going to tell her friend that she wouldn’t be seeing him again?

Oblivious to her inner conflict, Garry went on. “Speaking of showing you things, I brought you a gift.”

Ib couldn’t help but perk at the surprise. “You didn’t have to do that-“

“But I wanted to, Ib. You helped me with my project and you are my friend.” He dug into his backpack and presented a small paper bag.

He approached the water until he was in front of it and held out the paper sack for Ib to grab. The little girl stretched her arm as far as she could, but she was too far away. She frowned as she inched as far as the rock would allow.

Her balance couldn’t hold as she stretched in this awkward position. Ib pitched forward into the shallow water, her tail and arms flailing in fear. She landed on her stomach, causing water to splash at Garry’s shoes.

The paper sack was dropped into the seawater from fingers limp from shocked bewilderment as Garry stared at the red tail below the waist of the girl he had just called his friend.

Ib looked up at Garry sadly as she picked up the paper sack. “Garry-“ she tried to say before he reacted.

“Eeeeekkkk!” he jumped backwards in fear of the oddity.

Ib didn’t show offense. She simply waited for him to compose himself again. “Ib! You’re a mermaid?!” he asked incredulously.

She nodded and he sucked in a breath of air. “Why…? How…?” the lavender-haired man seemed really confused.

Ib’s eyes began to tear up. “I’m sorry Garry, but there won’t be a next time we meet. This is goodbye, friend.”

“Wait.” Gary said frowning, “You aren’t coming back? Is it because I found out your secret? I won’t tell anyone.”

Ib shook her head sorrowfully. “I don’t know if I’m coming back, but it isn’t your fault. Bye, Garry.” The mermaid was quick to turn and flick her tail, shooting into the deep water.

She was temporarily blinded by her emotions, but Ib swam in the direction opposite of the shore. She didn’t hear Garry’s frantic calls to return as she fled home with a soaked paper sack in her hands.

~
I do not own Ib. Most of the places and people are works of art in the game, I just tweaked them for the sake of the story.
Yeah, this is a long one. I had to cut this thing in half so it would fit. don't worry though, there's a second part. [link]
Don't forget to comment. I want to know if you like it or dislike it. Thanks!
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