I’m going to take you down a different path this week, by sharing one of my ideas for a fantasy fiction novel.
This story came to me in a dream, fully formed and in perfect sequence. This has happened periodically throughout my life, at least as long as I’ve been tuned in to my desire to write professionally. I’ll dream about a story, and my subconscious mind will play it out for me like a film while I sleep – beginning, middle, and end.
When I wake from one of these dreams, I typically write everything down in as much detail as I can remember, and with as much knowledge of the untold story as though it’s been in my head for years. The result is that I have several of these outlines, with everything mapped out, and with no accountability for actually turning them into pages in a book.
I’d like to change that. I’m hoping that by releasing one of my ideas into the universe, I’ll open a doorway to deeper potential, as well as the possibility that someone other than myself will want this story to be told.
I’ve always loved fantasy, fairy tales, folklore… Anything with magic and romance. One of my favorite mythical creatures is the Mermaid – I’ve had a ‘slight’ obsession with Mermaids since I was a little girl, which began with the movie Splash. Even as a 32-year-old woman, I still wish that Mermaids were real, and yes, I’ll admit – I wish that I could be one.
My heroine is a Mermaid named Mairin, which means ‘Goddess of the Sea.’ Mother Ocean is the creator and nurturer of all Mermaids. She is an omniscient entity, with magical powers and the ability to communicate with all creatures who reside in her waters.
The nemesis of the Mermaids are the Dragons – Children of the Sun, created by Father Fire. Dragons are thrown as balls of fire from the sky to battle with the water on Earth. The Mermaids exist to keep the fire from extinguishing the sea, and ultimately, from consuming our world.
My mermaid, Mairin, is especially gifted with using her ability to control the water around her to extinguish the fire being thrown at her by the Dragons. Mother Ocean guides her all over the world to fight the fire; and while she is pleased to use her talents to keep Earth safe, she has a sadness within her. A longing for something she doesn’t understand.
After winning a fierce battle in the middle of the Pacific, Mairin settles into the current to rest, and to be carried by Mother Ocean to her next destination. When she awakens from her underwater slumber, she finds herself in a place she’s never been before. She also sees the coast for the first time, and the land beyond.
Confused and scared, she tries to communicate with Mother Ocean, asking her why she has been brought here. “Trust me, my child, and follow me,” is the answer she receives.
Following her innate link to the water around her, she swims closer to the coast, staying hidden from view. She watches the boats and the humans aboard them, which until now had been a mere legend to her. They stand upright – they have legs. No sooner does she make this realization, than a pair of legs replace her Mermaid tail.
She also realizes that she can no longer breathe underwater, as her gills are gone. She is no longer a Mermaid; she is a human.
As she is learning to use her new pair of legs, she allows the current to keep carrying her in a direction closer to the coast. Before long, she hears something coming up behind her, and turns to see a fishing boat. Frightened, she attempts to conceal herself behind some rocks not far from the shore, but it’s too late – she’s been seen.
The boat slows as it approaches her, and the men on deck call out to her, asking her if she needs help. While she suddenly understands the language they’re speaking, she remains silent, still wary.
One of the men on deck calls out to the Captain to come down from the above deck. This is when the Mairin first lays eyes on the hero of the story, Jon, as he descends the stairs leading to the upper cabin of the boat. He is tall, with light brown hair, pale blue eyes, and the shadow of a beard.
He rushes to bring her aboard, shocked to find her naked in the cold Alaskan waters. Even more unsettling to him, is that she appears unharmed and unaffected by being stranded at sea. While he can’t put his finger on why, he knows that something about her makes her different from anyone he has ever met before.
To avoid giving too much else away, I’ll simply reveal that my story’s major conflict will be Father Fire wanting to hurt Mother Ocean by killing the Mermaid, even though as a human, she is no longer a threat to his Dragons.
I see the truth about her identity being revealed when Jon’s fishing boat is targeted by a Dragon out at sea, and Mairin, attempting to use her gifts with water to save him.
While I was dreaming this, the name of the town where Jon lives was Alexander Island. The next morning when I was writing all of this down, I did a Google search for Alexander Island, Alaska, with little hope of it being an actual place. Turns out, it wasn’t… But there is a town called Port Alexander, which is located at the Southeastern corner of Baranof Island, Alaska. It’s a small fishing town with less than 100 permanent residents, and it’s only reachable by charter plane.
I remember looking at the online images of Port Alexander, with my mouth hanging open – I had literally dreamed, in vivid detail, about a place I never knew existed.
Ever since this happened, I’ve been daydreaming about Mairin’s story. I’ve been daydreaming about traveling to Port Alexander, and staying there for a few months while I turn this from a dream into a book. If only life were this easy, and if only resources to make this happen flowed as freely as my subconscious.
All the same, I want to tell this story. And someday, I want to see the place my sleeping mind showed me. I want to see the tiny fishing town where my Mermaid finds her Prince.
There you have it, friends: Shades of Blue – A Dark Mermaid Tale.
Note: I claim the above as my personal and intellectual property. Rights to this story belong solely to Molly S. McGowan.