meena iyer
Caution: A very long story.
P.S: I forgot to add credit to Varun for creating this story with me on GTalk on one boring evening few months ago. I am sorry for waiting this long to complete this story dear.. And its nowhere near what it was supposed to be.. I know... but I atleast completed it :P :P 

They say words have magic. Words. How many tongues twirl around them, savoring them, confiding in them, saving it in memories and then  repeating them, enriching them with their experiences and weaving them into a legend a story par excellence.  

Legends. They are so fantastic , so improbable that they cannot be anything but true. They cannot be fiction. And today I am going to tell you one such legend. It is not a story of heroes and valor. And yet, it is a story that would keep you riveted till the end. (hopefully)

Oh yes! The legend is about mermaids. Luscious females with beauty that had no rivals. Full of magic and of treasure hidden deep in the sea that only these mermaids knew about.  

Once upon a time, oh yes, most of the stories don't say just when, for its immaterial.  So, once upon a time, in Germania, there was an oasis of ice called Meerjung. Surrounded by very thick evergreen forests and impregnable rocks, shrouded in mystery--

It was said that in the land of the mer people, deep into the ice-land, under the enchantment of full moon night, mermaids came to land to roam and to play.  Turned into humans. And anyone who can catch these mermaids become the owner of the secrets of the 7 oceans "

 Just how did the ice remain frozen? How is it that the forest surrounding the oasis was so thick with trees and yet this patch remained barren, untouched, pristine.... And most important of all.. from where did the mermaids come to the pond? It was nowhere near the sea. It was inland surrounded by mountains and forests! No one knew.

For generations, this story enthralled the people equally -- the one who told the tales and the one who listened.  No matter how many times its been repeated, it still remained  fascinating. Many have tried to go to this land but none of them  ever successfully returned from there. And yet, the legend survived. It was whispered long in the night by harried mothers while putting their children to sleep,  discussed under the willow tree in the play grounds by teenagers late in the afternoon. It then sneaked into dreams of adventures and persisted till these boys grew  into adolescence wherein they dreamt of finding a mermaid and falling in love. Poets wrote about it longingly and heroes-in- making planned for the conquest.

Tales have an amazing way of travelling to places that men haven't even heard of! And this one reached the distant land of Glitzernden Lichter ,the Land of glittering lights.

Emperor Yakuski, who ruled this kingdom with aplomb, was an accomplished sorcerer who liked to use his magic on weak and unsuspecting beings. For dangerous campaigns he used his cohorts, a legion of females who were both lethal and beautiful. Courtesans with skills of an assassin, they were quite well known for their infamous conquests. He called them his jewels. Yakuski's jewels.

 When the emperor heard about this land of treasures and beautiful maidens, he was so intrigued by the story that he just had to plunder it.  As days passed by, this fascination turned into an obsession that he couldn't let go.

Soon he announced rewards for anyone who could capture one mermaid for him. Many brave and valiant souls took up the challenge over the period of years. Alas none returned.  Then the emperor bid one of his best warrior, Lena, to try her luck. The emperor waited for her painstakingly every evening until 11 years passed by. And then, he finally gave up.

Few weeks later a curious incident happened. A female visited his court and demanded his audience. She claimed she could make sure that a mermaid was captured for the king. This was so outrageous that the king first got annoyed and then amused by the daring of a mere female, that he granted the permission.

This female was a witch with many hidden powers and even more cunning. Robed in a turquiose flowing gown and studded with precious stones, she looked intimidating. She was very beautiful with seductory eyes and mysterious ways. She completely captivated the emperor at first sight.  She extolled the virtues of the emperor until he was red behind his ears with pleasure. And then, only then, she told him that she could help him  in his quest as she was an extraordinary  witch. She told him about the treacherous forests and the wolf like dogs which were neither animal nor human and of their avarice to human blood. She told him about the enchanted mirror that made a man lose his way..

Finally she told him about the spell of doom that made a man go into enchantment that makes him writhe in pain while it gave exquisite pleasure. A madness that had no cure and the land that had no gateway. And yet, she assured him, that these spells are ineffective on women. And whatever could effect them, she had the potion to nullify the spell. For she planned to go with them. The only stipulation was that the army accompanying her should be all females.

She said she has travelled a long way to come to him, to request his all woman army.  Also that, he was welcome to keep the mermaids for she had no use for them, but she needed a certain stone that was important for her witchcraft and he could use all the treasure.

He couldn't believe it. It was too good to be true. He can keep everything. Even that stone that she talked about for you see he was a sorcerer and could make use of such a power as much as the witch. Once the mermaids are captured this female can be disposed off even if she is a witch. His foxy jewels can be trusted with it.  Delighted with the plan, he agreed.

They set out one week after  the meeting with loads of provisions. A group of 26 jewels. Each one of them extremely stunning, it seemed like a procession of angels and all of the kingdom came to bid their beautiful daughters good luck. Amid lot of pomp and glamour and celebrations, they left for Meerjung.

The journey was without doubt full of adventure. They first crossed the land of shifting sands where the sand buried them to death if you don't keep moving. And the howling winds filled your ears with roar so much that you can't hear what the person next to you says. And in the night the desert snakes and deadly scorpions lurked. The food was rationed so was the water. They did have anti dote of snake bites and yet they lost two people.

  Three weeks down the line, they reached the marshy lands. They had devised an ingeneous method of throwing the stones to find quick sands if any. And the witch enchanted the stones to float and the girls jumped on the stones to reach the safety. Even the witch's sorcery couldn't save the poor girl who slipped and fell into the quick sand.

Days passed by and they reached the Dancing rocks. Every day the mountains danced at sunset and the stones fell from height and the mountains changed shape. Witch had to take every girl on her broom to and fro before the sun set. It was incredibly risky few of the times. Luckily they didnt lose any one.

Once they crossed the mountains, they reached the enchaned forests. In this forest everything was topsy turvy. Sometimes the flowers walked at others the birds crawled. The pathways changed position every 5 minutes. It was like being lost in a jigsaw puzzle.  Even the witch couldn't save them from being lost. The closer they came to Meerjung, it seemed like the witch's power diminished. Still the girls were glad that the witch was there with them. They knew they would have been long dead if it wasn't for the witch and were very grateful. 

By the time they crossed the enchanted forest and reached the land of optical illusions, the oasis of ice, only 9 of the Yasukhi's jewels were left. 

They were so startled by the sudden change in the topography. For long they kep waiting for the view to change. But it didnt and they marched forward. They found themselves getting into a tunnel like formation. Only it was hard to tell what it actually was. The icicles and the mirror like quality of frozen snow and the reflected sunrays blinded their eyes.  And yet, they were not cold.  Each of them tried to explore and to find out the way to go forward. But it was hard to find out . Suddenly a snow leapord appeared in front of them. And yet, it was half human and walked on 2 legs. It roared and its slated silvery grey eyes glittered... The mirror-like snow reflected the image of the leapord-men thousand time over.  It was difficult to know how many were there. There were certainly more than one. ...

The roars echoed from the walls and the image leapt around. It was eerie. The witch's magic had failed completely and now they were left to their own wits to defend themselves. And defend they did with tremendous bravery and skill and yet it was not enough. They were all saved by a lucky coincidence. One of the snow slab had broken down when one of the females fell on it forcefully,  breaking the spell and in turn losing her life. 8 of them remained.

The broken slab also showed them a way out towards the ' der Meerjungfrauen', the land of mermaids. Enthused that they are at the end of their quest, the mermaids eagerly rushed towards the lake. The mermaids would come in the night yes but they finally could bathe and be clean. With a rush they jumped into the water. When they came out something sinister happened..

The enchantment that held this world together crumbled and these girls could see the world as it really was. The witch was an ugly woman, raxor thin with crooked nose and pointed fingers, like claws. 

Wasting no time she told them that they had only two choices, either to become a mermaid and be trapped here until they die or to die now and let the witch drink their blood. Blood that would enhance her magic and make her the most powerful witch in the world. 

They promptly replied her in kind. Reveling about their skills and tried to attack her. They knew instinctively that the witch's spell won't affect them now. However, they were wrong. The witch was stringing them along for a long time. She simply disappeared until the night.

In the night, they would either be killed or turned into mermaids. These women were not afraid to die. They were after all warriors. However, dying in a strange land and their people never knowing about their fate was too dismal to think about. And to think they would be snacked on by the witch was too much to contemplate. Being the "doers" they decide to explore for the escape route.

How much ever they try they never could escape. 

The witch cackled invisibly at their misery. She mocked at them and then told them that the whole mermaid story was her enchantment to trap females who then strenghten her. And they were extra special coz of their warrior status. She elaborately told them about her rituals of killing. 

Slowly the story tumbled out. Men who came to catch the mermaid were not important for the witch. Yet they provided ample blood and bloodthirsty instincts. Since she killed them, they never came back. However, she travelled like a gypsy and kept the legend alive. Like a black widow, she had spun this elaborate trap . Soon she was supposed to become the most powerful witch and then rule the world.

Soon it was night and moon appeared. Swiftly, she killed the strongest of them and turned others into mermaids.

Thus the legend of the The mermaids and the Yakuski's jewels came to an end. The stories of the witch still make rounds in the country side by the fire place. I guess her ruthless acts would keep making rounds around the world.... 

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11 Responses
  1. Reflections Says:

    U've weaved the story well...& I cd imagine it like a movie while reading but I really thot u'll make it a positive ending this time.
    Well u cant blame me coz these these mythical stories usually end happily with the evil being vanquished & all.

  2. You should know about me by now :D

    Have i ever given a happy ending?

  3. Indyeah Says:

    awesome!specially the opening lines:))
    ''They say words have magic. Words. How many tongues twirl around them, savoring them, confiding in them, saving it in memories and then repeating them, enriching them with their experiences and weaving them into a legend a story par excellence. ''

    trust you to give a unique ending:))

    ((Hugs)) you write beautifully:)

  4. Indyeah Says:

    awesome!specially the opening lines:))
    ''They say words have magic. Words. How many tongues twirl around them, savoring them, confiding in them, saving it in memories and then repeating them, enriching them with their experiences and weaving them into a legend a story par excellence. ''

    trust you to give a unique ending:))

    ((Hugs)) you write beautifully:)

  5. Ah thank you dear.. :D :D


  6. Yogesh Says:

    You have everything to be a writer but I guess you know that already :)

    Good story, I was expecting something in the end but the way you ended was good and different

  7. Archana Says:

    I need to come back leisurely top read this one. Will do in sometime :-)

  8. Varun Says:

    Wow, nice, its 1000 times better than how we talked it that time, awesome. You are a pro.

  9. Nance :P :P

    Yogesh thats too high a praise. I am good but not that good :) Thank you!

    Archy.. I shall await your response :D

    Varun.. I am sure the sequel would be even more better now that you are writing it :D :D

  10. Illeen Says:

    How beautifully you spin your stories..i was enchanted..