Lilac stars danced in the warm night air. They never were still but blinked and moved moved about. Not many could catch a glimpse of their colour, for something had gone awfully wrong. Chimneys blew ribbons of smoke. Cars leaked into the shallows of our water. Metal posts made artificial light that clouded those in the sky.
Only in a pool, amongst dormant volcanic rock, could a glimpse be seen of their faded colour. For now they were a shimmer of what they once had been.
On a night in June, one had fallen and caught in Tils hair. The same purple hue of her eyes. It shot down through the sky. I thought myself mad. From that moment onwards, Tils was named Queen of all mermaids. Even the unicorns bowed their mane to her. And the arrogant creatures hadn’t bowed to any other than her, or so I believed. It was most difficult to record such tales underwater. But we, like some others, were most resourceful. A new rune-mer was anointed every moon cycle, by the Queen no less.
Unlike so many before me, I happened to be the youngest of them all. Each had different methods. Some bound seaweed to imitate an image, others told tale through numbers upon a sunken ship. I, well I carved rock. I fashioned it to what I thought it ought to be. I had, prior to my duty, carved a most charming dolphin once.
But in this tale, it had been my mistake that had almost exposed us all. In my new position, I began to craft the likeness of our immortal Queen. I had found the most unusual stone. It was pale with streaks the colour like that of blush, which fanned across it. Most unusual indeed. I begun by carving out the tips of her slender fingers and the curve of her majestic tail.
How was it so that it was majestic? Why some called her a rainbow mer, for she had scales like all ours combined. That is, a scale of every colour. With only a blink of moonlight left to go, I began to carve in detail. My blade etched out the flicks of her wavy hair, and the hope star that nestled in it. The star never strayed from her hair no matter the current. Like a magnet it stuck, it had chosen her.
At last I had completed my task. Our ruler in stone.
When all saw the artistry of my work they bowed and wept at its startling magnificence. None could know of its destruction, not yet. The unicorns were first to be hunted. Some say the humans only spoke of them now as myths, or in story for their young. I didn’t know how they could know such things. But those among us that told of the destruction caused by humankind carried the sight. They hadn’t however seen a sign of what was to come. But rather, what occurred in the present. Events that left their own mark beyond our realm.
We were so very careful but as it happened, a large tin machine dangled on the surface of our world. A beeping sound rang through my ears and it lowered its hook. It did not grasp a single fish nor us -for we had our methods of hiding. It did however take my statue. Disputes among the mer erupted. Some wished them who had stolen our statue dead. Some wished me dead. But we stayed hidden and undisturbed. That was until the word of mouth let loose, and others tracked our whereabouts. We left. Out far and down deep in the blue abyss. Not even a bubble would rise to the surface to signal our presence. And so it has been ever since. We have remained hidden.