This was something new, something or someone was rising from the waves. The water parted to let them through.
Ivan had spent the night on the island beach since he’d fell overboard.
‘This can’t be happening; I must be dreaming or hallucinating.’
‘Then I am too human.’ The crab looked at him.
‘Have you seen this before?’
‘They took human into the sea.’
‘Did they drown?’
‘Human’s bodies were not found. Legend said they were the chosen ones. What name do you have human?’
‘What do you mean ah?’
‘You’re human nine.’
‘Adam, Benjamin, Charlie, Dennis, Edward, Fred, George, Harry ... Ivan.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘The sea people need human to stop them dying.’
‘How can I help?’
‘Human mate with sea woman, sea woman bear seahumans.’
‘Are you saying?’
‘The sea Queen is only Queen when she is able to bear sea children. When she cannot, there is new sea Queen. Royal Sea people must mate with humans to bear sea children. Queen can lay with human but new Queen needs new human. You are new royal human for new sea Queen. She will come for you.’
‘I’ll say no.’
‘If you refuse you die. It is fate. You were sent to her.’
‘It wasn’t an accident me being here.’
‘The sea people waited till time was right. They brought you here to collect.’
A young woman with long dark hair came across the beach and took Ivan’s hand. A fierce wind cast the sand into a spiral round the pair. A rope snaked round them binding them together and they were carried into the sea.
A hole opened up and the pair were pushed down a chute landing in a cellar. Ivan looked up and all he could see was the roof and a staircase.
‘Who are you? Where am I? What’s happening?’
‘I am Talia queen of the sea people. Today we will be married. This is our sea palace.’
‘But we’ve just met… and …’
Talia handed him a goblet.
‘Drink Ivan and all will be well. I will bear you many children. One day our daughter will rise from the sea and find her King, her J. But you are my ‘I’ and we will live our lives together.’
‘What if …’
‘Do not stress. Sea people have no problems. If you wish it, it will be so.’
‘Can I go home?’
‘This is home. Fate cannot be changed. Wish for us to be happy. Wish for us to have long futures. Wish for us to have many children. I wished for you, and you were sent to me. Wish for me and I will give myself to you.’
Ivan drank from the Goblet.
A few minutes later he was dressed for his wedding.
‘Talia my love, I wish for many happy years with you, I have loved you since I was a boy, I wish you to bear me many children. All I have is yours.’