Wider than the Sea.
“There is a moment of confusion when a land animal enters the water. Beast, human or fairy, it doesn’t matter. The surface is broken and every sense is suddenly shocked.”
~ Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox.
“What’s a mermaid, daddy?” Two large blue eyes stare at Artemis Fowl II, who was in turn staring at a computer screen. He glances at his daughter for a second. Golden locks of hair tumble down past her shoulders, framing her fair heart shaped face perfectly. She smelled of strawberries.
She frowns as her daddy did not answer her.
“Daddy… What’s a mermaid?” She stressed on the word ‘mermaid’. She wanted to know what it looked like. And daddy was smart. If anyone knew it, it was daddy.
He looks at her again. This time, he speaks.
“A mermaid… Is something that is so beautiful, you couldn’t imagine.” He says. She frowns again. If daddy couldn’t imagine it, could she really?
“Could you please…” What was that word again? Right. “Could you please define this… beauty, daddy?”
He moves away from the computer and faces the girl. “She has beautiful aquamarine eyes, golden corkscrew curls like the sun, and, contrary to popular belief, the smartest girl you will ever meet. ” He felt like crying. But no. Father says it again and again: Men don’t cry, they think.
She puts down the book in her hand and rests her chin on her knees. She listened intently to what daddy had to say about mermaids.
“This mermaid, she has the perfect body, and her skin was of the smoothest sort, like silk.” She was in awe. She wanted skin like silk.
“Her voice, it’s like the waves you hear when you’re at the seaside, it’s thunderous and calm, soothing and strong. All at the same time.” He pauses for a moment and looks down. She looks at daddy, hoping he would continue.
“Go on…” She nudges him gently. He looks back up and smiles, ever so slightly.
“And her smile…” He swallowed.
“And her smile?”
“Her smile was wider than the sea.” He remembers.
She giggles. He asks her what was so funny. She replies, “She sounds like me.” She smiles. Her smile was wider than the sea.
“Yeah, she does, doesn’t she?” He strokes her hair, those golden corkscrew curls were the color of the sun.
“Do you know her?” She climbs onto his lap and props herself down.
“I… I do.” He tries to smile. He can’t. He looks at her eyes. They were of an aquamarine blue. When he looks at them, he sees her.
She smiles again.
Wider than the sea.