A World Under The Waves

Sun filtered through the waves above like light through crystalline stained glass. The beams danced in yellow patterns across the sandy floor of the mid-shallows making the white sand sparkle like the ground was made of crushed diamonds. Little fish of every colour and size swam above, occasionally casting shadows as they darted through the shafts of light.

A pair of small webbed feet touch down on the fine sand sending up a small dusty plume. Stepping from the cloud trying to wave the sand away. Her mess of red hair twirled around her face like the kelp around her. “Heck.” she said, pulling it from her face and mouth, as it came to rest in voluminous curls around her shoulders and back. “Now…” she mumbled. “Where is it?” Mariana said, taking a few steps forward to try and get away from the strange shade the sand cloud was causing. “Barry said it would be here.” she said, narrowing her eyes “Unless Shellby lied…” she grumbled, as she continued her search. Taking careful steps to make sure she didn’t step on anything sharp. The real prize was far off, but when ships sank things floated off as it drifted to the seafloor, and Berry had mentioned that Shellby mentioned that he saw shiny human stuff around here. Which was good enough for her to come looking, even if it was a waste of a few hours. Mariana made a mental grid in her head, and started walking, going from one end to the next and repeating till she filled the grid, lightly dragging her feet to touch anything buried in the sand.

It wasn’t long before her foot caught something heavy and she stumbled forward. Flapping her arms slightly floated before righting herself. “Whew…that was close.” she said, moving her arms and legs to float back to where she tripped. Sinking back to the ground she started to dig, uncovering a huge intricately carved wood frame mirror. “Oh!” she said pulling it out and sticking it upright, a quarter buried in the sand. Looking at the reflective face revealed it was badly cracked and even missing a large sliver. “Drat.” she said poking the empty spot where mirror should be. “It’s still pretty though, and the only other one of these things I have is hand held.” She pondered a moment before laying it back down. “Okay, I’ll keep you.” she said, “But, I’ve got to keep looking for more nice stuff.”

Mariana spread out her toes and fingers exposing the webbing, and kicking off the seabed. Paddling a few yards before spotting something shiny. Letting herself sink again. Landing softly in the fine sand, and starting to dig. The first thing Mariana spotted of the object was a large gemstone about the size of a baby’s fist, attached to a metal sphere. Uncovering more it revealed a giant sword. Shaped like a elegant longsword but it size was that of a zweihander. Had it been in land Mariana wasn’t sure she’d have been able to lift it. Holding the hilt and studying it for a moment a sudden voice came to her head, not from around her but inside. “A new mortal hand has taken up the blade. The Monarch of…” before the booming male voice could finish Mariana dropped it back into the sand, staring at it. “Nope. Not treasure.” she said, wiping her hands on her tunic, that it would do anything was unclear but it was better to be heedful after all who knows where that sword had been.

A faint muffled voice came to her again. “I do understand if you do not wish for the responsibilities of a monarch, however might I persuade you to at the very least drag me ashore and allow someone who does to take up my blade?” the sword asked.

“Fine. I’ll come back for you after I get done collecting things.” Mariana said.

“Oh, wonderful a million blessings upon you. I have been down here so long.” the sword said, before going dormant again as Mariana got farther away.

“Who’d want something like that yapping in their ear all day? Especially something that heavy.” she asked herself, swimming closer to the shipwreck. Passing a trail of useless gold coins strewn about leading back to a mostly crushed and water rotted chest. “Dry-Landers and their metal disks, seems silly to put the same face on all of them.” she said to herself. “Doesn’t really make much sense.”

Swimming to the wreck through the hole that presumably caused it to sink. It likely hit the rock shelf a few kilometres away in the direction she’d come from and limped here before fully sinking. Despite the hole the inside was still a treasure trove of Dry-Lander treasures. Strange globes of glass with metal bottoms that always had a gross smelling liquid inside. Flat circles made from brittle rocks. Metal cups with a nose. All manner of silvery doo-dads, some round, some with bits for poking like a crab sided trident.

Mariana took her time sifting through what she’d consider junk, Dry-Landers might consider the real treasures she gathered it all in a ratty tablecloth and slung it over her shoulder. Swimming back to where she left the sword, taking it back up in her hands and kicking towards the surface. Taking a breath before breaching the waves getting her directions straight and to make sure people were not around before swimming to the beach near the shallows.

After about a twenty minute swim she reached the beach. Taking another deep inhale before stepping onto the surface. It always felt so weird, arid…that was the word arid. How did Dry-Landers put up with this.

“Okay Mr. Sword.” Mariana said. “I’m sure someone here will find you.”

“But you must take me to my place of forging so you may take the throne.” The sword said.

“I can not do that, I will die. Dry up and die.” Mariana said.

“Oh… a dead queen is no good…” the sword said, “In that case I free you from your duty as the sword bearer you may return to your undersea home.”

“Don’t need your permission but thank you…I guess.” Mariana said, walking back into the water to take her new treasures home.

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