The Little Mermaid (SH22-Style)

Chapter 3

by Casey (Jedi at aemail4u.com)
2/1/04

And the ongoing saga continues.....

The sunrise was red and the sunset clear a full cycle of the sun had come into effect as the dark shadow glided across the coral floor of his shelter. Waving a hand towards two dirty golden rods in a corner, he muttered a few words and settled down to watch his magic in play.

"BETH!!!!!!! JOSH!!!!!!! GET IN HERE NOW!!!!!!" bellowed a strong, irate voice from within his chambers. Cringing, the two merpeople gently swam in, checking the time and unsure of why they had been summoned.

The mermaid with her partner slowly stopped before the merman seated at the back of the room. Silence prevailed before she cautiously asked, "So, ummmm, we were just about to begin investigating the Jurelo...."

"Do you not know why I have summoned you here?" the man asked darkly.

Exchanging a quick glance, Josh answered, "No, not really, sir."

Drawing himself up to his full height, which didnít seem to be that much, the merman glared upon the pair before answering sadistically. "I have reports of two Aquatic Gaurds, a male and female, drawing an enticed shark into inhabited waters. Reports say the two resembled you."

The two just floated, not moving, not uttering a word for themselves or against themselves; just waiting an inevitable punishment that seemed to never come. The wait was always the worst. One can forget the upcoming consequence of an action until judgment rests moments away.

Hearing the continuing silence, the elder merman sighed before returning judgment. "The reports said that you, Josh, were the one leading the shark. Therefore, you will be required to do thirty-two hours of service reconstructing the damage of the area. If you finish before your time is up, I will find other work for you to do."

A pair of light blue eyes flickered open only to stare at the floor, replying quietly, "Yes, sir."

Then turning to the mermaid, he said, "Beth, you on the other hand, from the witness reports, were following the pair, not leading the shark, but following it. This is your final warning. Donít waste it."

Deep blue eyes popped open filled with hatred and unfair circumstance, as she grudgingly growled, "Sir."

Feeling the disciplinary action light yet severe, Chief Inspector Greyson returned to his chair and began barking orders. Beth didnít quite hear what he was saying, thoughts racing through her head and her eyes narrowing at the stony bottom of the chamber.

"Dismissed."

The sharp word brought her back to reality as she drifted with dignity after Josh and towards the exit.

As soon as both were out of earshot, the Chief Inspector of the Aquatic Guard let out a heavy sigh. ĎThose two are going to be the death of me.í

The young merman glanced softly at his equally young counterpart. ĎStill seething. Itís gonna be a while till I hear the end of this one.í He thought smiling softly to himself. ĎSheíll gripe about this one for weeks. Oh well, I donít mind.í

"Can you believe that," the mermaid stated, rather than asked, through clenched teeth. "That was so untrue! I led the shark into the town. You were the one to distract it by getting it to follow you out of town." Still seething, and fists clenched, she swam in front of Josh, refusing to let him pass. "And just why do you put up with me, again?" Then she ended regretfully, "I donít deserve it."

Mouth gaping, and thoughts racing, he found himself hard pressed for an answer. "Well, ummmmm. I just do." ĎIdiot.í Then finding a suitable train of thought, he quickly finished, "You deserve my toleration just as much as everyone else does, Beth! And we both know why Greyson did that. Donít sweat it. I can handle another thirty-two service hours. Itíll improve my character by forcing me to do menial tasks to improve the image of the Aquatic Guard." He comically smiled back at her, trying to pry a grin from her still angry face.

"I should get the same punishment as you." Sighing, she stared off towards the segment of water they were to patrol that night. "Just because...."

As he reached out and grabbed her wrist, she turned with a quizzical face to him. "No more hiding behind that wall of royalty. Yes, you are treated differently, but it might have been the witness reports from when the shark left that he was judging from. No more. From now on, stop seeing how people treat you different and more how they treat you the same. Okay?"

"Well, you always treat me the same...."

Slowly shaking her head, she smiled solemnly and looked up at the quickly darkening surface.

ĎUh-oh....thereís that mischievous twinkle in her eyes again....í

"So, you donít think anyone would catch us at this time if we went to the surface now, do you?"

The pure mischief in her voice was begging him to go, but Greysonís earlier yelling was telling him no. "Well, I guess we could...but isnít that a ship?"

"Huh?" she said, turning her head back towards the water to see a ship beginning to anchor. "So it is...."

Grabbing his hand, she dragged him to the surface before he could say a word.

On to Part 4!

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