There have been a few people who have read my book Pouraka. Even fewer that know about the prequel short story I wrote titled Sasha: The Secret of Barnacle Bay.
This short story came out as a Kindle ebook when I released Pouraka, but since I am no longer publishing these stories on Amazon, it’s unavailable. So I decided I would post Shasha on my blog for you all to enjoy. I might even continue it from time to time. I am thinking of writing a sequel to Pouraka this November for NaNoWriMo. I already bought their stainless steel coffee cup…*smiles.
So without any further ramblings, ladies and gents, I present to you the prequel to my Series of the Sea.
The quiet little beach town of Barnacle Bay holds a secret that Sasha longs to embrace.
An introduction to the novel Pouraka
@2015 Dianne Lynn Gardner All rights reserved
Sasha dug her freshly polished toenails into the crunchy sand, wiggling her feet deeper until they disappeared under the white granules. Thick strands of kelp inched its way up the beach, nudged by the foamy breakers. Sand fleas hovered over the mass, a buzzing aura waiting for the tide to ebb so the tiny insects might crawl in and out of the hollow bulbs.
Sasha waited even though she knew she’d get into trouble if she didn’t get home before dark. Soon the sun would sit on top of the sea. The magic hour of day. She couldn’t miss it. Not tonight, not like every other night when she was always led away from the beach by her big sister, Beth. Tonight would be different. The day was too perfect. Warm, quiet.
Sasha had told Beth she’d be at the deli across the street buying burritos. Sasha still had the five dollar bill in her pocket. She hadn’t lied. She had every intention to go there. The deli stayed open after dark, so she wouldn’t be late and she could easily think up an excuse to tell Beth what took her so long. Doing so was risky, but worth it. Sunset was the most important hour, especially on a clear day like today. Everyone in Barnacle Bay knows that at sunset the mermaids come to the surface.
The mermaids never break the surface near shore, Sasha knew that. She’d have to squint and look out to the horizon. That was the only time she’d see a mermaid in scales.
Beth was friends with some of the mermaids. Occasionally one would come to her house and Sasha could sit and talk to her. Cora was her name. Sasha liked to talk to her, but what was sad is that Sasha and her friends were never allowed to see where the mers disappeared to when they left.
Beth would never answer her questions either. Where do they live? What do they eat? Why do they stay near Barnacle Bay? How many are there? How do they turn into people and back again? Why?
So many unanswered questions.
That didn’t stop the neighborhood children from talking. Even if their questions fell to deaf ears at home, they would ask each other.
“Where do you think Cora went?” Sasha had asked her friend Linda, who lives two doors down. The older girl flipped Sasha’s pony tail and laughed.
“I think she slithered out into the water with the morays.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because the morays are dark, like Cora’s hair, and they swim along the bottom of the sea and wait in the shadows. They hide. And if you went there you’d never know they were with you.”
“How do you know what morays do?”
“I’ve seen them in the aquarium on the mainland. There are lots of fish there to see, but the morays are the creepiest.”
“You think Cora hangs out with creepy things?”
Linda nodded. “Yeah. Mermaids are creepy too.”
Sasha didn’t like that answer so she hadn’t listened to anything else Linda said. Linda was always teasing her about the mermaids. The older girl walked away and Sasha had watched her skip down the sidewalk, past the date palm, past Sammy’s house and up her stairs.
“Mermaids aren’t creepy.” Sasha whispered now to the wind and like the wind her voice carried out over the breakers to open waters. “And I hope you never hear anyone say that to you. I hope Linda never sees you.”
Sasha would have liked to hear an answer from the merfolk, but instead she heard her big sister call her name.
“I can’t see them yet.” Sasha replied, though no way could Beth hear her. “And I’m not going home until I do.”
Sasha lifted her head and squinted, searching for that sparkle on the water that she knew would be coming. The glistening colors that told her the mermaids were dancing on the swells. But before the sun settled, before the light shone on the backs of the sea creatures, a warm hand folded over hers.
“Let’s go Sasha, before it gets any later.”
“But. . .” Sasha began but Beth tugged at her.
“No. You aren’t even supposed to be down here by yourself. Come on home. Now.”
Beth pulled the girl away from the water. Sasha looked over her shoulder, but she tripped and Beth helped her gain her balance.
Sasha wouldn’t see the mermaids tonight. It wasn’t fair. It’s never fair having to always go home.
Sasha turned and walked with Beth, a pout on her face but in her heart she knew. She’ll be back. She’ll see them someday.