Title: The Flying Mermaid
Series: The Volcano Chronicles, Book 1.5
Author: Eule Grey
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 09/19/2023
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Genre: Fantasy, mystical, sea lore, coming of age, artists, action/adventure, great escape, air balloon, wartime, refugees, oppression, tyranny, racism, family drama, female friendship, beloved pet
“Craw city has always been magical, at least to Luce. No boring war could ever make her love her seaside home any less. There’s the beach, where she and Adu can mess around and cause trouble, as well as the
ancient songs they love to sing. Legends state that a vengeful mermaid named Sea Mother will protect the children from war. Why worry about politics and fighting? Nobody would risk the wrath of an angry sea serpent. Would they?
So why are groups of people fleeing the city, and why do Luce’s parents disappear every day to partake in mystery war work? What exactly are they doing, and why doesn’t Luce’s artist mother invite her along?
One day, Luce spies something that rocks her beliefs and changes everything. Her faith in the sea, and all she holds dear, will be sorely tested. But love is fierce, and so are sea goddesses.
This YA novella can be read as part of The Volcano Chronicles or as a stand-alone.”
The Flying Mermaid
Eule Grey © 2023
All Rights Reserved
Dear Craw Advisory Board,
I’ll keep the introduction and credentials brief. My name is Luce. I’m the daughter of Arker Fi, the mermaid artist. I was born in central Craw and fled ten years ago, on the day the bomb exploded. I haven’t returned. How could we, when the city’s frozen in time by Sea Mother’s curse?
I’m sure you know our history as well as I. No rivers or waterfalls will flow into Craw. Not a drop. Crops and plants don’t flourish. Houses collapse. They say soldiers guard the gates, and the streets are riddled with diseases… That’s all we know.
In my opinion, the curse is fair and just. Sea Mother warned you what would happen, but you didn’t listen.
Why am I writing? Be patient, and I’ll get to it. You might say a buzzing little bee is to blame. It sped through Mainland carrying a precious message. That gift was passed from person to person, and one day, it landed at my door.
Maybe you’ve also heard the rumour? Craw is recovering. I can hardly write without jumping up and down. Recovering, I tell you!
I didn’t believe it at first, and neither did Ma. It was too wide a leap. We did what Crawians always do in times of trouble—turned to the sea for answers.
“What do you think, fish?”
There was no reply.
“Seals? Have you heard anything?”
It seems they hadn’t. But the Fi family are rather stubborn and don’t give up easily. Towards dusk, something blew in with the scuttling turtles. Ma heard it first, and then I did. It was the essence of a whisper; a promise from far away.
Sea Mother, she shall rise.
The rebirth of Craw? She’s inviting us home? I’m not ashamed to say I cried. My city that fits like skin. I want it so much, so much. Home. Home. How difficult to write that word which wiggles and squirms like a bag of snakes. It’ll never be still.
So anyway, advisors, I’ll get to the purpose of this letter. It’s about your precious advisory board. Who’re the members? Leaders who fled, is it? Rich folk who donated money to weaponry manufacturers?
Shame on you. How dare you! What gives you the right to represent Craw without inviting—begging—Arker Fi to advise you? I’m sure I don’t need to list my mother’s achievements, but I will do, all the same.
Have you seen the mermaid statues that line the streets? And the town square that’s protected by a hundred stone women, each with more majesty and dignity than you can imagine? My mother made those, as well as thousands of mermaid dolls. When the lights of Craw dimmed, what do you think those kids reached for? Your guess is correct—Ma’s mermaids.
The last mayor declared Arker Fi a forever guardian of Craw. In recognition of her work in schools and around the city. Because of her visionary art. No filthy war can delete such honour. A board of self-appointed advisors can’t pretend it didn’t happen. You know I’m right, cheapskate though you may be.
I ask you this: Can a city be born without foundations? Can there be birth without a mother? You know the answer as well as I.
I’m moving too fast. Sorry. At least we both know where we stand.
Consider this letter an application for a role on your advisory board on behalf of my mother. I won’t apologise for my boldness or beg for our rights. I never was much good with manners.
My account is a diary. It tells of the most powerful love—that of a thirteen-year-old girl. That was ten years ago. I’m twenty-three now, so I should know. If you don’t like it, you can shove potatoes up your nose.
Oh, but we climbed inside the heart of a mermaid. The very heart, I tell you. It was colder than ice and as tough as a clam shell. I didn’t think we’d survive. But then, nothing worth having is easy. You already know this. Afterwards, we were changed. The parts of us that were already strong grew as tough as mermaid pearls. The other parts? We don’t talk about those.
This is my story.
Meet the Author
Eule Grey has settled, for now, in the north UK. She’s worked in education, justice, youth work, and even tried her hand at butter-spreading in a sandwich factory. Sadly, she wasn’t much good at any of them!
She writes novels, novellas, poetry, and a messy combination of all three. Nothing about Eule is tidy but she rocks a boogie on a Saturday night!
For now, Eule is she/her or they/them. Eule has not yet arrived at a pronoun that feels right.
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