Author's Name: Kimberly Bea
State of Completion: Mostly polished
Preferred Critique Style: A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: Both, but petless
Tea or Coffee: Tea
Neri, the sea king's unwanted daughter, angers the gods by saving the life of the human prince Edmund. She can atone by trading a life taken for the one saved, and seeks to ally herself with Edmund to secure his aid against her abusive father. But when a noble human girl appears claiming to have been Edmund’s savior, Neri’s plan is jeopardized, and the “life taken for the one saved” may be her own. A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid.
Neri lived on the ocean floor, in a cave full of human bones. Even her sisters were forbidden to visit her in those twilight waters, so dangerous and dark. Her sisters were princesses, cherished, protected, and most of all wanted, and Neri was none of these things. But even a princess might sometimes disobey.
Neri’s body cut through the water with the speed of a sailfish. She dove behind a giant rock formation with the tip of her tail sticking out. If hiding from a predator, she would have stayed behind the rocks completely, silver scales scattering light and her green-black hair waving like sea grass around her. But no predator was in her wake, only her elder sister, Twyla. Neri had every intention of being found.
But where was that girl? Neri didn’t like to waste a moment when Twyla stole away from the palace. She scoured the murky waters for a glimpse of her sister or of a shark or squid she’d have to fight off. Twyla was a weaker fighter than Neri, despite being three years older. If something happened to her, Neri couldn’t live with herself.
She burst forth from behind the rocks, swimming like a shark pursued her—and Twyla darted out from behind a bush. The two nearly collided, and Neri found herself in Twyla’s arms.
Twyla giggled, silver eyes twinkling. “I caught you!”
“Don’t scare me like that.” Neri glowered and made a half-hearted attempt to shake her off.