Long ago, before humans created their unnatural lights to exile the pure starlight and moonlight from the night sky, there lived beautiful creatures in the blue ocean. Those beings were half fish and half human. Their fins shimmered in all the colours of the sea. Their scales were dark green, deep blue, bright green and turquoise. Any variation, any shade of blue and green was to be found on the merpeople’s fins. As their fins resembled and reflected the beauty of the ocean so they lived in harmony with the underwater world and its nature. The merpeople sang to the corals, the souls of the ocean and the sea plants. They made them grow and thrive and in return the merpeople could eat the younger branches of the corals and then they would sing to them again and again. It was the circle of life, the circle of merpeople and corals. So, generations of merpeople lived their lives under the cycle of moon and sun. And both celestial lights, shining bright at night and at day, admired the merpeople for their beautiful colours and their wonderous singing voices.
There was one mermaid, her name was Arameya, who had an exceptionally beautiful fin. Her scales were of a deep green and a rich blue and towards the end her dolphin-like fin glittered bright green. Her eyes sparkled green and blue and her hair was of a beautiful golden colour like the sun itself. Every mermaid and every merman admired her for her beauty but also for her outstanding singing voice. Her vocals let the corals thrive like no other mermaid could. This mermaid’s voice was so wonderful because she sang from the deepest depths of her heart. It was a truthful melody. She sang about loneliness and faraway places she imagined in her mind. Places above the sea and beyond the beaches she could see from the coastline. Places that were not cool and blue but hot or icy cold. Places that looked like the surface of the sun, golden and red or places that looked like the moon, white and ghostly. They were all places she knew she would never visit but she wondered about them in her songs every day and every night.
The inspiration of her tragic songs came from her nightly visits to the surface. Normally, merfolk did not venture past their coral gardens and their underwater palaces built of stone and marble. Everything beyond might be dangerous and dark. But Arameya was not afraid of the dark and when she surfaced at night there was no darkness. Because when she looked up into the night sky there were stars glittering and shining in all the colours a mermaid could imagine! Not only green and blue like her scales but there were also stars glimmering in purple, red, orange, white and yellow colours. Arameya wondered about these far away stars. Were there other worlds out there just like hers? Did other merpeople live there? Swimming within the darkness around the stars like she swam within the dark blue of the sea? Or was it simply light shining far away, cool and bright? For hours she wondered and imagined living there, swimming among the stars. But every night while she wondered, she was also waiting. She waited for someone to rise above the dark horizon. She waited for the moon. This star, this planet, this world up in the night was the one she longed for the most. The moon’s light was so brilliant, so pure, the mermaid wished to kiss the moon, but the moon was so far away. Whenever the moon rose over the horizon, the little mermaid would gaze up at the moon and long for the cool touch of its white surface.
After weeks of admiring starlight and moonlight, Arameya wondered if they would also enjoy her singing like the colourful corals did under the sea. So, she started singing, beautiful melancholic melodies. They were about her longing for the starlight and moonlight. Beautiful songs of places she wanted to visit, or maybe, she wondered sometimes, they were places she had lived in at another time, in another life and had forgotten all about them.
For three nights, she sat on a rock by a coral reef and sang about her love for the faraway places of the night sky. But she could not sense any change, any growth within the starlight or moonlight. Sad and disappointed she stopped singing halfway through the night and simply looked up. Maybe they were too far away to hear her at all? A silver tear fell down her cheek and dropped into the ocean.
‘Why do you cry?’ A mermaid asked Arameya.
Or at least Arameya thought it was a mermaid speaking to her. The voice was female.
‘Why did you stop singing?’ Arameya was asked again.
Confused she looked around but could not see anyone. She was alone in the black water.
‘I am here. Look up.’ The moon shone brighter and clearer than ever before as if a silver veil had been lifted and was now hovering like a spirit around the moon.
‘Is it you? Is it really you?’ Arameya asked astounded. ‘The moon, talking to me? Is it you?’
‘Yes, it is me, your moon.’ The moon answered.
Arameya smiled at the moon and could not believe it. She had answered her singing!
‘I cried because I thought you would never answer me. I thought you didn’t like my singing.’
‘That’s because every time you sing, you take my breath away.’ The moon answered.
‘You are so beautiful.’ Was the only thing Arameya could come up with. ‘And thank you. I am glad you like my singing.’
‘Thank you.’ She said. ‘You are beautiful as well. Your golden hair reminds me of an ancient lover of mine. You know her too. She is here when I am not. The sun.’
‘You and the sun are lovers?’ Arameya asked astounded.
‘We were once, in the beginning of time. Then, in order to create this world, we had to part. I have never seen her since. I miss her very much.’
‘Oh, I am sorry.’ Arameya said.
‘Don’t be. My sorrow is a different kind than yours. I am a celestial being, immortal. One day I will be reunited with my sun, so there is hope. When this world ends and all the others. But until then I am quite busy. I have work to do.’
‘What work?’ Arameya asked curiously.
‘To brighten up the night sky. To bring magic to the world and take part in the great balance of nature. I command the currents of the oceans and I am responsible for the tides. Without me chaos would reign.’
‘I see…’ Arameya said and wondered about the moon’s words.
‘It is quite tiring work sometimes. Your music comes to me as a relief.’
‘I am glad to hear that.’ Arameya said and commenced a new song.
It was not as sad as the songs before but as deep and truthful. It spoke about a newfound and unexpected friendship, like a thriving coral on the ocean floor, fragile, yet growing strong against the current.
In the coming nights Arameya would wait for the moon to rise and then they would talk for a while. Arameya told her everything about the world of the merpeople and the corals. And the moon told her everything about immortality, moonlight and starlight. How every light was memory, glowing was the language of the stars, planets and moons to talk about ancient times, long forgotten worlds only starlight could remember. Together, mermaid and moon spent magical nights together and with every night both longed for each other more and more.
One night, Arameya asked the moon ‘Have you ever visited earth and the ocean?’
‘No, I have only seen it from up here. My place is here. But I wish I could feel like you, touch you, smell you and feel your touch.’
‘Maybe you could come visit for a couple of days and a couple of nights.’ Arameya suggested and smiled at the moon.
‘Maybe I could come visit for a short time. I am sure the earth will be fine without me for a couple of days.’ The moon said.
For a moment, it was quiet and Arameya did not know what or if something would happen. Then the veil around the moon took a form, it shone brighter and brighter, it concentrated the entire light of the moon until only the starlight was left in the night and the moon suddenly vanished. Arameya turned around, afraid something had happened to her moon. She feared something might have gone terribly wrong but then, right in front of her, the moon appeared, transformed. Beautiful silver eyes looked at her. A pale face and pale arms embraced the mermaid. White hair fell over her shoulders and down to her fin that glittered in grey, silver and white. The moon had transformed into a mermaid. Then finally, after longing for each other so deeply, the moon kissed the mermaid, and both lingered within that moment passionately. It could have been less than a second, it could have been a thousand years. Moon and mermaid smiled at each other and together they danced and swam through the sea in the night. The starlight’s reflections covered them in magical light, making them appear as if they were swimming among the stars. Hours passed by and night turned into day. But the lovers could not let go of each other. They kissed and embraced each other every minute. Now they could truly be together. They were happy.
But as night turned into day something changed. The ocean grew restless. The currents became stronger. A storm, gigantic, they had never seen before, rose over the blue sky and turned everything dark and black. Waves towered up, crushed into the sea and destroyed corals and swept fish and merfolk away. Chaos reigned on earth and in the ocean.
‘What is happening?’ Arameya screamed in the storm.
‘I do not know.’ The moon answered.
They held on to each other in this hurricane of water and wind. Two lovers within chaos and darkness.
‘This is not natural.’ The moon shouted. ‘In all the millions of years, I have never seen a storm like this!’
But in that moment Arameya realised what was going on.
‘Oh, my moon! We were reckless! This storm is the result of our love! Our longing for each other. You stayed with me for too long! You must return to the sky to restore order! The moon’s rightful place must be up there.’
‘But I do not want to leave you!’ The moon wept when lightning and thunder rolled over the ocean like sharp teeth cutting through flesh.
‘I don’t want you to leave either! But you must restore the balance!’
‘I fear you are right!’
More thunder and lightning crushed into the sea creating waves as high as mountains.
‘This might be the end of the world.’ Arameya said terrified.
‘When this is the end of the world then let me kiss you one last time.’
And the silver mermaid kissed the green-scaled mermaid like no one has kissed anyone ever before or would kiss anyone after. They kissed each other so deeply that a drop of moonlight entered the mermaid’s body and remained within her. A part of the moon within the ocean. Arameya could sense the moonlight inside of her.
‘You must go.’ She whispered filled with sadness and let go of the moon to save the world.
It felt like ripping her heart out, ripping the world apart to unite the world once more. The moon faded right in front of her. First, her beautiful white fin dissolved, then her body and then her face, her hair and for a moment, her silver eyes floated within the stormy sky and longed for the mermaid but would never touch her again. Suddenly, the moon was gone completely. It could have all been a dream. With her parting, thunder, lightning, waves and storm ceased. Arameya looked around. The sun was setting, the storm clouds receded. She dived down to see what damage had been caused under water. It was a terrible sight. There were broken corals on the ocean floor, dead fish and wounded merpeople. But Arameya could sense the moon’s magic and love within her and she knew what to do. She simply began to sing. Now her singing was so much more than it had been before. Pure moonlight magic was at work. Her voice mended the corals and restored life within the fish who had fallen victim to the hurricane of chaos. Her singing restored the balance within the sea and her cool touch could heal all the merpeople that had been wounded.
But it took Arameya a long time. Months passed by and she had no time to visit her beloved moon at night, but she knew that her moon was alright in the night sky, watching over her, as she healed the ocean. The wounds inflicted by the storm slowly healed and growth returned to the ocean and to Arameya as well. The drop of moonlight within her was not only a newfound melody and magic but also altered her body.
After nine cycles of the moon she gave birth to a little mermaid with golden hair, green eyes and a silver fin. For the first time since the storm, she swam to the surface with her baby girl and looked up at the moon who greeted her happily.
‘I was hoping to see you again. But I thought it would be a while until you healed your underwater world. I am so sorry for the imbalance I have caused.’
‘Don’t be. It was my fault, just as well as yours. But it was all for a reason. Our love has inspired so much more.’ Arameya said and smiled at her girl with the silver fin and golden curls.
‘Does our daughter have a name yet?’ The moon asked.
‘I wondered if you had an idea. I wanted to choose a name with you.’
‘Maybe I do. Long ago, a star who has now faded into darkness told me about a beautiful warrior princess who lived in a world far away from this one. Her parents were parted as well. Why I do not remember anymore but what I do recall was that their daughter grew stronger because of it. Her name was Leilalun. And our little girl is of two worlds and will grow stronger because of it. And her voice and her being will enrich the ocean for sure. That I know.’
‘Leilalun it is.’ Arameya said happily.
The baby mermaid Leilalun opened her sleepy eyes and looked at her mothers for the first time, the mermaid and the moon.
‘Will you promise me one thing?’ The moon asked.
‘Whenever I am not there, when clouds cover me or the sun shines, will you sing to her about me? Will you sing to her about her mother moon far away but loving her more than anything within time and space?’
‘Whenever I sing to her, she will know.’