Wooden Box

by

Maria Castricum

In a large wooden box were dozens of pearl necklaces, diamond earrings, red ruby bracelets, solid gold lockets, countless diamond and emerald rings, and most beautiful of all, a silver diamond tiara.


Cecilia

Cecilia is 17 years old and is a mermaid. Unlike other mermaids, she is ugly. Cecilia has sickly colored white skin, pale blue eyes, crooked buck teeth, and blondish white hair. She also is very skinny and has freckles on her face, back, and arms. Cecilia has a cheerful, loving, and fun nature. She secretly longs to be beautiful, but never complains. The only one who knows her secret wish is her best friend, Alexandra. Despite her appearance, Cecilia is a graceful swimmer. She also loves to sing and explore the ocean with her best friend. She lives in a quiet and pleasant kingdom known as Pearl Reef. Cecilia is of a race of peaceful merpeople.


Pearl Reef

The merpeople's kingdom of Pearl Reef is located deep in the ocean. It is protected by magic, so no human can see or enter the city. The kingdom is large and beautiful. The streets are made of glass, and when the sun hits them it's like walking on a rainbow. The houses are tall and are made of seaweed and seashells. The king's palace is built of seashells, pearls, and gold. The roof is made of stained glass, and depicts scenes from coronations and parties from ancient times to the present day. Exotic plants and flowers grow around the palace, adding to its beauty. The climate, thanks to magic, is always perfect. It is never too hot or cold. Almost all sea creatures are allowed to swim through the city, except for sharks and other predatory fish. The Pearl Reef merpeople stay within the confines of their city. They'd never leave unless it was a matter of extreme importance.


Alexandra and Stefan

Alexandra is 17 years old, and is the princess of Pearl Reef and heir to the throne. She is tall and slim, with snowy white skin, straight black hair, icy blue eyes, and full red lips. No one in the kingdom can rival her beauty. Alexandra is known as kind and generous. She loves to perform plays and make jewelry out of seashells and pearls. She hates exploring, but goes anyway for Cecilia's sake. Alexandra is a quick thinker and swimmer, and has saved her friend from many dangerous situations. She also was born with a special gift that enables her to talk to and understand almost every creature in the sea.

Alexandra has a pet dolphin named Snickers.It was given to her by Cecilia as a birthday gift. She brings Snickers with her when she goes exploring with her best friend. When he senses danger he makes snickering noises, hence the name. Alexandra can, last but not least, cast spells, unbeknownst to anyone in the kingdom.

Stefan Sykes is 17 years old, as well, but with one exception: he's human. He is medium height, with tanned skin, coffee brown hair, and light brown eyes. Stefan is thoughtful and sweet, but can be shy. He's cute in a dorky way. His family, which consists of just him and his parents, is very rich. Every year they vacation in their private summerhouse on the beach. Stefan loves the ocean, and spends a fair amount of time swimming and surfing. He looks forward to summer vacation all year round, but not for the reasons most people think.

Ever since Stefan was a little kid he has been secretly friends with a mermaid named Cecilia. He's never told anyone about her because he is afraid they might try to hurt her or capture her. His other secret is that he is in love with her. Even though he knows she loves him back he has never told her because he sees no future for them. Stefan loves to read, and is always looking for stories or myths that explain how to make a mermaid human. Although very doubtful he will ever find an answer, Stefan refuses to give up.


The Necklace

As Cecilia fell asleep one night on her bed of seaweed, she had a strange dream. She dreamed she was sitting across a table from two boys. They looked about 13 or so. One boy had light brown hair and the other had startling red hair against fair skin. Even though it was a large table, the two boys only sat at it. Cecilia looked around.

There were lots of other tables in the room, crowded with kids eating and talking so loud Cecilia could barely hear herself think. This feels so real, Cecilia thought. She brought back her attention to the two boys. The brown haired one was eating a sandwich and the redhead was talking excitedly to him. She leaned in to hear as best she could, trying to block out the noise around her.

"I'm worried, James. I mean I've studied really hard for the math test, but I'm still worried I might get my first B". James nodded his head and continued to eat his sandwich. "You can only study and do math problems so many times. After awhile your head feels like it's gonna explode!" Cecilia wondered what was so hard about math problems. She'd never thought they were so hard. She watched as the kid James swallowed and spoke for the first time. "Alroy, we go through this every single time there is a test. You have never gotten a B in your life, dude, on any subject, probably never will, so relax". James said this calmly and went back to eating his sandwich.

Cecilia was glad to finally know his name was Alroy. He leaned his elbows on the table and stared blankly into space. James smiled sadly and shook his head. "Alright, hand me the text book and I'll quiz you". Alroy immediately roused from his stupor at those words.

Cecilia was eager to know what would happen when she felt her dream start to fade. She heard a voice call to her. Then shake her awake. "Cecilia, it's time to wake up," she heard her mother say. "I'm awake," she said. Her mother smiled and swam away. Cecilia sat up and thought about her dream. It had been so real. It was nothing like she'd ever seen before. Something from the world above. Something human. She'd have to tell Stefan about it. See what he made of it. I wonder why I dreamed it, Cecilia thought and got up.

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