Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Friday Fantasy ~ Number Twenty

The Merfolk’s Dilemma

~ The Merfolk were a generally happy people until they discovered their Great Problem.

Mysterious poisons from unknown parts across the ocean were killing the coral of their habitations—their homes, in the cliffs below the shelf off the shore of the island, were decomposing.

None were yet sick from the poisons but all felt strange sensations

Their Shaman was away on a Spiritual Exploration and their leader, Sheiwan, had called a General Consultation.

The playful stragglers had finally arrived and all were silent.

Sheiwan began the Consultation with their Most Powerful Prayer:

“Lord of Grandeur.

“Most Powerful, Most Forgiving Lord.

“We bring Thee our Perplexity.

“We ask for Thy Most Great Inspiration.

“Bless our Consultation and, if it be Thy Will, enable us to discover the Path Thou wouldst have us take.

“We pray this in Thy Greatest Name.

“So Let It Be

There was not a ripple of movement.

All were wrapt in devotion.

Sheiwan began to utter the subsonic Most Holy Ululation that set them all to adding their own heart-felt, wave-inducing propitiations.

The undercurrents swirled out from their Gathering and, eventually, reached the Shaman, Roalan.

He set his course for Home immediately.


The Consultation was into its second day when Roalan arrived—arrived in great pain

Sheiwan went to him:

“Roalan, I fear you come from where the poisons are strong.”

“Yes, my Lady, I never reached the Place of Noesis. I lingered in the poison stream to acquire knowledge of its properties.”

“Your perceptions, Sir?”

“We have little time. The currents carrying the poisons have merged, to our detriment. I must prepare my adepts for a treacherous mission

“I will leave you to your work and instruct our Family to maintain their prayers and supplications. I await your Counsel.”


Roalan was with his three adepts:

“You have never embarked on a quest such as this.

“You can have no preparation but utter devotion to our Family and consummate courage.

“I send you across the island to the mountain.

“I send you to your deaths

“You will swim through the river to the lake under the mountain.

“You will use the Most Holy Ululation to induce powerful riptides in the lake.

“You will continue until the mountain crumbles around you.

“And, you will meet The Most Great Lord in the World of Light.”


The Plan was simple, though three had to perish to accomplish it.

The Merfolk swam to the depths of the ocean, beyond the island’s underwater shelf, beyond any person’s previous travels—except for, perhaps, the Shaman.

The Plan unfolded.

The adepts began their trio of Most Holy Ululations.

The riptides roared.

The mountain shook violently, then fell in on itself.

A ring of rogue waves surged.


Oceanographic instruments on the shores of the continents sensed the waves.

Warnings went out and coastal cities prepared for an incursion estimated to cause no severe damage except from, possibly, bore tides sweeping up a few rivers.

When it was over, a radio station in a major city broadcast this message:

“An island in the very middle of the Great Ocean has disappeared. For unknown reasons, its mountain collapsed into the sea and set up the powerful wave-action that, thankfully, has only slightly injured three people.”


Days later, the poisons the Merfolk had escaped were concentrating along the coasts of the continents—the industrial poisons that had been generated by the people on the continents and spewed into the ocean for years

Copyright, 2014, Alexander M Zoltai
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4 responses to “Friday Fantasy ~ Number Twenty

  1. penpusherpen April 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Enjoyed this and a dilemma indeed, Alexander, but one which was sorted…. mayhap not to the continents wishes, but …. they should’ve taken more care… Now the cleanup will start…:D xPenx


  2. Alexander M Zoltai April 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Oh, my, yes, Pen, “Now the cleanup will start.”

    Would that Earth’s continent dwellers would do the same


  3. Jane Watson April 23, 2014 at 8:03 am

    This may be a story set in myth and fantasy but it touches very strongly on the truth, especially concerning the Great Barrier Reef in Australia whose coral is in danger …..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexander M Zoltai April 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    As you know, Jane, the first idea I ever had for a novel was a post-nuclear-apocalypse-setting with folks arriving in the Gulf of Carpentaria—they’d cross the Great Barrier Reef, no?


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