In the southeastern United States, in the tiny state of Maryland, there is a town called Santa Marina. In this town of Santa Marina, there is 500 people. One of those people is a girl named Cordelia Hudson. She is tall, standing at five feet eight inches, has sandy blonde-red hair and deep blue eyes as crystal as the sea. She lives in a house two minutes from the waves, the beach, the sand and the shore that has aroused her and brought her peace and curiosity for her entire life. Each day she goes down to the shore and puts her toes in the water, one by one, then her legs, then her hips, then her waist, and so on and so forth until she is completely under the water. And there she floats, and there she thinks, and there she looks up at the sky for the guidances of the day and a direction, a pull, an answer for what to do. She goes to school and she comes home at the end of the day, but all her free time, all the time she is truly herself, the time she spends with friends, the time where she truly learns, is at the dock of Santa Marina Bay. Breathing and breathless, still under the water, floating along with the waves.
Underneath the tiny town of Santa Marina, in the state of Maryland in the southeastern United States, is a kingdom. A kingdom not like any other, it holds its court under and beyond the waves, with houses and castle made of sand, stone, shell, clay and seaweed. Its people are beautiful like never before seen, with hair that glitters in the filtered sun, floating gently around them, eyes of the deepest sapphire blues and emerald greens and amethyst, skin pearlescent with a sheen similar to precious opal, and tails that glitter, gleam and gloss in the glow of the ocean. There is the kingdom of the humans of Santa Marina, the businesspeople, the artists, the surfers, the chefs, the students, and unknown to them, a few miles beneath the shores in the city they call home is a community of mermaids, blissful and beautiful and harmonious as they dance in the waves.
Of course, there are legends about the mermaids. There always are. There always have been. In all seaside communities, hushed whispers about siren's songs and mysteriously thin tails and human-like features from creatures too far from shore have been spread around for millennia. In most seaside communities, these whispers are just so. But in Santa Marina, the whispers are justified.
Perhaps one of the most well-known legends of Santa Marina is the story of Eulalia, a name given to a legendary mermaid who comes up every twenty or so years on a full moon in summer to teach one pure hearted child the ways of the mermaid and gifts her with powers at summer's end. This was Cordelia's favorite story growing up- she remembers it fondly, her mother whispering it to her as she slowly and gently combed her daughter's sandy hair after a long day at the beach, skin tanned, ears waterlogged. Her normally rambunctious child now hushed and calm, listening intently to the story of mermaids and magic.
Cordelia was sixteen now. She wasn't sure if she believed the story of Eulalia as intensely as she did when she was young anymore. But then, she wasn't sure if she didn't believe it.
Perhaps that's why she always went out a little too far on her morning swim. Maybe that's why she always strived to dive deeper in the hours of the moonlight, when it was too dark to see where she was going.
Perhaps that's why Eulalia chose her. It was never hard to select the chosen one every twenty years- by that point, most of the teenagers of Santa Marina had stopped believing in mermaids and magic. But there was always one. Always one child who still had a touch of belief in her heart. That is how Eulalia picks her pupils.

During Cordelia Hudson's sixteenth summer, she went to the beach twice a day, as she had done all her life. As she always had, she stuck her toes in the water one at a time, followed slowly by her calves, thighs, hips, waist, head, and swam. She floated and she thought and she lay in peace, as she had all her life. But this time, she swam with mermaids. By her seventeenth summer, she had a secret, something precious and delicate as a pearl, that she would hold all her life.

Day 5 of the 15 Day Writing Challenge. Link :