She longed for land.
She wanted to feel the ground, cool and sturdy, underneath her sand colored feet and take deep gulps of air. She wanted to love the seagull symphonies and listen to the mighty lion’s roar. She wanted to watch the flowers open their jewel-toned petals with a flourish and see the stars without any distortion. She wanted to sniff at the salty air and catch a whiff of a blossom. She wanted to taste dry food and the taste the air just after it started to rain.
Alas, she was held to this underwater castle—which, in her opinion, was more like a prison. The ceiling in the castle was so tall that she had to crane her neck all the way back to even catch a glimpse. And from this tall maximum, garlands of pearls hung. If someone swam up close enough to the ceiling, they could touch the soft beauties and marvel at their delicious coolness. The pearls were always a few degrees cooler than the current temperature. But the king did not allow such vulgar behavior. Subjects, including his one daughter which he treasured, were supposed to listen to the king’s words. And they did.
In the doorway of this special daughter’s bedroom, long strands of pastel colored seaweed hung in the doorway to give her privacy. Next to her bed but on the floor was a conch shell, to be used for calling her maid over. A few dresses spun from harvested seaweed, which when spun felt softer than silk and had a more liquid quality than satin, laid on the large shell-studded bed. In the dresser were more dresses—dresses were not vulgar by the king’s standards—which were of almost every color imaginable. Yet on the bed the only color of abandoned dresses were earthen tones of green and brown. The blue dresses were shoved into the farthest, deepest corner of the dresser.
The jewelry was pristine in its coral case. There were all kinds of jewelry imaginable—pearls and coral and shells and rainbow scales and the envied jewels dropped on accident by the Landers above. She herself could have been called a jewel dropped on accident by some Landers because of how much she longed to be with them. It was hard to distinguish whether it was the land she was in love with or if she was enamored by the idea of loving land.