Copyright © 2023 Saymore Barauta

Published by Saymore Barauta




Ethren was at work when I decided to go out one afternoon. I had done some research on the internet on the area and the neighboring suburbs. In the lobby, I found the same guy that I saw the first day I got here, behind the desk. George was his name, if I remembered correctly.

      “Good afternoon.” He greeted.

      “Hi,” I said, heading for the exit. And to my delight, I could read him. So my power was not the problem after all. He wanted to ask or say something but he wasn’t sure how to. Before I got to the door, I turned and smiled at him.

      That gave him the courage. “You look lovely, miss…”

      “Shira, and thank you,” I stopped because I was interested in what he was curious about.

      “Lovely name…are you going for lunch, Shira?” he asked hesitantly.

      “No, just going for a walk, actually.”

      “Oh, it’s a wonderful day, which direction are you taking…maybe I can suggest some nice place to walk.”

      Right. He had been asked to watch me it seems. “Thinking of going as far as Camps bay.” I told him.

      “That’s a bit of a distance on foot, I can call Helmut to take you there.” He offered.

      Helmut, Ethren’s driver. “Oh no, it’s just a thirty minute walk, I can do that. Besides, I want to get familiar with the area. What better way to do that than walk.” I smiled at him as I turned and walked out of the building.

      Now, why would Ethren instruct George to watch me? Did he think I was going to leave without telling him? And if I left, why would that be a problem? I was beginning to think that I should really be worried about not being able to read him and also his kindness towards me. By now he should have found a place for me.


It felt wonderful to be out and about. I took the road on top of the cliffs. The buildings were built-in into the cliffs making it easy to see the impressive stretches of powder white sand and intense blue water of the ocean. On my left, the view of the mountains was just breath-taking. In just under thirty minutes, I was in Camps bay. I walked along the pavement by the side of the restaurants. As I had been instructed, I made sure my spiritual eye and mind were open to seeing everything. It would have been lovely to sit in one of those restaurants and enjoy watching people. After so many years of being denied the simple pleasure of meeting and chatting with people, I told myself to enjoy the experience I was having now.

      Something caught my eye by the Bus Stop as I was crossing the road, heading for the beach. About six people had formed a queue, waiting for the tour bus. A lady in the queue had her attention on the cell phone, she didn’t realize her hand bag was open. The man behind her, who obviously didn’t possess the quality of respect for other people’s belongings had his hand in her bag. Intent on pilfering what ever contents had caught his eye. Immediately, I created a vortex and sent it directly between them. Of course nobody would know it was me, I just had to think about it and it would appear. The vortex had enough force to push them apart and dumped both of them on the ground putting an end to the man’s foul intentions. Confusion showed on everyone around them as they all moved, agitated and no-one thought of helping the lady. I rushed forward to help the lady up onto her feet and pick up some of her stuff that had dropped out of her bag. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt.

      “Oh, thank you so much,” she said. “No idea where that gust of wind came from. Strange, so strong it actually dropped me, oh…and him.” Referring to the would be pilferer. Then she continued, “ah, but this Capetown, the winds are mad here. I shouldn’t have been surprised, really.”

      I smiled lightly. Poor woman had no idea what that bastard had been about to do. “Please close your handbag,” I told her.

      As she did I turned to look at the thief, my eyes slightly squinted. I was annoyed at him for what he had tried to do. He was already on his feet and his face a mask of confusion. Looking back at the lady, I smiled again and nodded once. She smiled with gratitude. I turned and walked on to the beach. On my right, I spotted big flat rocks. Ah, a perfect place to sit and watch the ocean.


I sat there for the longest time. Then in the distance, I saw something illusory—unattainable, almost like a mirage. Anyone else, would have believed it to be a mirage but I knew that even though it seemed unrealistic, it actually was attainable. It was her, watching from afar. Obviously, she had sensed me close to the water and came to check. Knowing that I was not alone lifted my spirits.

      Though I had not yet made progress, her watching over me meant she knew I would find a way, eventually.


“You didn’t tell me that you were going to leave the apartment.”

      My heart thumped when I recognized that voice. My head swiveled and I looked behind me, and there stood a formidable Ethren, looking down at me. In that moment, he looked imperial and larger than life. He was a man I had never seen before, someone whom I should cower at the sight of. I felt small and confused by what was currently happening, I remained seated and quiet. His eyes moved to where I had been looking. It was as if he could see something out there on the water, because his gaze turned a bit challenging, I think. When he finally looked back down at me, he extended his hand to me. Mutely, I put mine in his and he pulled me up. Ethren being here meant he spoke to George.

      “I wasn’t aware that I needed your permission to go out.” 

      All I heard was a deep inhalation, I couldn’t look in his face for some reason. Perhaps it was because his countenance so disturbed me. My eyes landed on our joined hands as an odd sensation chased up my arm. 

      I sensed…power. 

      An enormous surge of power. As soon as I felt it and I tried to focus on it, it just as soon disappeared. I lifted my eyes to him then. 

      Ethren was staring in my face, his eyes hard.

      Was he daring me to ask what I had felt? I frowned, wondering why such a thought would come to my mind.

      “What is it?” He demanded. 

      I shook my head, “nothing,” feeling small again. 

      He gazed at me a moment longer, pity wiping off the hard stare. “I will take you home.” He said softly. 

      I thought of being difficult and tell him I wasn’t ready to go and I was capable of getting back on my own but I decided against it. We walked to the parking area in silence. The car was a slick, two door impressive piece of machinery that I had never seen before. It screamed expensive, just like everything else he had. Even the suit he was wearing screamed a lot of money. So he came after me from the office. He did not bother to go home and change first.

      Within five minutes we were at the apartment. The entrance to the parking was on the roof. In his parking bay were three more cars, I knew the names but obviously the models were new. Just how wealthy was this guy?


Since I had been in the sun and my mind churning, trying to figure out the kind of power Ethren  possessed, I decided on a cool shower. After the shower, I filled the bathtub with water, placed my shell in it and got in. The shell amplified my power, and cleansed any negative energies surrounding me, if there was any. Negative energy could block and weaken me. It was time I understood what Ethren was exactly. Anomalies were things that required a close inspection in the world I now lived in. If there was danger to humans, it was now my job to do something about it. I had been chosen and given this power to help others. That’s what I was taught in the time I had been taken away from my family. 

      The memory of that day flooded back into my mind. 

      My family and I were at the beach. It was on a Sunday afternoon…our family day. My younger sister and I were playing in the water. At one point I dived under the water, picking shells. Something shiny drew my gaze a little further into the ocean. I lifted my head above the water and looked back to the beach where our parents were. My sister was on my right, her head and shoulders above the water, inspecting a shell she had just picked up. No one was paying close attention to me and my parents had drilled it in us to never go far from the beach. We never ventured too far out. I sank back into the ocean and swam towards the shiny object.

      I was about to pick it up when suddenly a woman appeared, making me still. She had appeared from nowhere, it seemed.

      An exquisite beauty. I ogled at her as she assessed all of me. Then her eyes met mine and she smiled. I was dazzled. Her smile—heartbreaking in it’s beauty, her dark brown skin seemed to be studded with tiny gold glitter.

      She turned and moved farther into the ocean. There was something strange about her legs but she wore a long white robe so I couldn’t see what it was. When she turned back to me, she smiled again and beckoned for me to follow with her hand. I couldn’t help but do exactly that.   

      When I got to her, she caressed my cheek and I started breathing under water. It didn’t register with me that breathing underwater without diving equipment should be impossible. She extended her hand showing me the direction we were to take. Slowly we swam under water. Every time we looked at each other she would smile…entrancing me. We went deeper and deeper into the ocean. I never complained or noticed that I had been under water for too long and I was breathing fine as if I had air. It didn’t even occur to me that I was moving away from the beach and my family. 

      We came to a wide canyon deep under water and we went in. It was dark, and only then did I realize what was happening. I turned and tried to swim back. She grabbed my hand and I heard a voice in my head. “You can’t go back. This is where you are to live now.” 

      The hell it was, I opened my mouth to scream and only managed to fill it with water. I tried yanking my arm from her grip. I didn’t manage, not even an inch. 

      “Settle down,” she said. “Nothing will happen to you. You are safe with me.” 

      What the hell, I thought. 

      She frowned at me. 

      In my panicked state, I didn’t care that she heard my thoughts, I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Inside, I was screaming, crying and I was imperially frightened. I was under the ocean, with a woman who looked like something out of a fairy tale. She was a stunning vision with tiny gold sparks all over her dark brown skin. And I had no idea how to get back. 

      When she touched my eyes, my vision became clear. The wondrous act she had performed was wasted on me. Too distraught with my predicament, I was in no mood to marvel at anything. Then she pulled me deeper into the canyon. Kicking and thrashing didn’t help. Effortlessly, she dragged me as if I weighed nothing. We turned horizontal and she kept a hold on me. I wasn’t making any effort anymore. Free-flowing, I went whichever direction she pulled me. At the edge of the canyon we went up, and it started getting lighter and lighter. Despondent, I was vaguely noticing what was happening. We came up to a vast open land. The White Ocean  City, as I would discover later. 

      Oh, but it was beautiful…magical. A world truly magnificent and difficult to ignore. I believe I started showing emotion then. It was what I would call a fantasy land. White and silver dominated the land. The homes were all white, and every being was dressed in white and silver. The sand was white and the path ways were silver. Even though they didn’t use legs, there were path ways. 

      My first night there, I learnt what these beings were…mermaids. On land we called them Marine Spirits. Of course we’d heard stories of children being abducted by Marine Spirits and thought they were just that, stories. Well…I knew better now, they were real and for some reason my ancestors had seen it fit to bestow a Marine Spirit on me.


It wasn’t evening yet but Ethren had started cooking. I didn’t join him in the kitchen this time. He brought me a glass of wine as I sat watching some comedy show on Netflix. There was acute silence in the apartment. If it wasn’t for the sound coming from the television and from the kitchen, it would have been like a graveyard in it’s silence. Was he actually mad at me for going out? 

      Occasionally, Ethren would look at me and his eyes would linger as if he was getting spellbound. I felt it. The shell had amplified my power. For the first time since I met Ethren, I could feel the energy he gave off. Hell, the man was powerful. But I didn’t know what kind of power it was. It wasn’t threatening, which I took as a good sign. 

      Every time he looked at me, Ethren warred with himself. He was fighting against being drawn to me. He found it disconcerting. But he was a strong man, so maybe he was going to win this battle against himself, I thought to myself. 

      Figuring out what Ethren was became my second mission. I decided I would stay on at his apartment, until I figured him out, just to make sure he wasn’t a threat. The times I had felt a bit threatened now made sense, he had exhibited strange behavior for a human. He never actually did anything that made me think my life was in danger. 


“I didn’t mean it that way, of course you don’t need my permission to go out.” He just blurted it out as we sat, eating supper. “But I would prefer to know where you are. I know you are hiding something from me about where you came from.”  

      By the depths…my eyes bulged but they stayed glued onto my plate of food. 

      “I wouldn’t be doing a good job of watching out for you if I let anything happen to you. You are staying under my roof that means it’s my job to keep you safe.” 

      Well, that’s something I never expected. He wanted to show me he was an alpha male…Well why not, who am I to stop him?

      Days went past and I still hadn’t figured out what kind of power Ethren had. He had grown more attentive though…calling me during the day, taking me out for walks every few days. We did a few lunches as well. Which I enjoyed, thoroughly. I got to learn a lot when we went out, there was so much to see and I would ask questions. And Ethren was ever pleased to provide the answers to my questions. 


One morning I woke up with a very good feeling infused in my body. I had a dream. I was back in the water and I was with her. The woman who’d made my life bearable in the ocean.

      We were in her house, which had been my home for the past eleven years, making necklaces using shells and pearls. An ambiance of peace cocooned us. It was just marvelous. 

      “I am so frustrated with all this, I haven’t made any progress. I don’t think I am the right person for the job. Can’t they send someone else?” I complained to her. 

      She gazed at me with soft eyes. “You must not  be frustrated, everything will come together in its time. When the time is right, you will crack this thing.” 

      “When will the time be right?” I grumbled the question. “Nothing is out of order. How does one go about finding a person who isn’t even doing anything to alert me to his presence?” 

      “You must remember you are not dealing with someone who is powerless or without resources, by now he already knows you are searching. You have seen this. So, obviously he is being careful. He will make a mistake eventually. And then, you will find him and do what you do best.” She smiled at me. 

      Then continued, “don’t let your heart be troubled. You are powerful and there is nothing insurmountable. Remember, you must always try to understand where a person is coming from, why they do what they do and also help where you can. I taught you to always look at the devil behind. In this case, the belief and power behind. You might be surprised with what might be revealed. All the good you encounter have had pasts. And the bad can also have a future, a different one if they are shown the right way. It’s about understanding and love.” 

      My heart was in a good space when I woke from that dream, of course I had expected to complete my task as soon as I got on land but life is not like that, is it? Certain things took time and during that time, there were lessons to be learned.


“I bought you something.” Ethren said, when he got home one evening. He held a shopping bag. 

      When he handed it to me, I went through the contents. And oh my, it was an exquisite red dress, a pair of shoes and a clutch bag. “Are we going some where?” I asked my eyes inspecting the beautiful things. 

      “Yes, we are going to a fundraiser dinner tomorrow night.” He stated. 

      Smiling with so much excitement, “I would love that and thank you.”

      It earned me a ghost of a smile. That was just the way Ethren was.

      In the time I had been living in his apartment, we had grown to understand each other and were comfortable around each other. Of course, we were both careful not to display our inhuman behavior in each other’s presence. I had a feeling that Ethren knew there was more to me as well. I was still determined to know but I never got to see anything, all I ever sensed was the power he wielded in his body. I was certain he was not the threat to humanity that I had been sent to vanquish. If he was, she would have told me or I would have known…he would have tried to murder me the moment we met on the beach so I didn’t foil his plans.

      In any case, my target was a cruel powerful dark deity. Ethren was different, he was caring. I sensed Ethren found me enchanting. He wanted to be near me and to please me. But that was the way Marine Spirits were. They could easily draw a person in. Anyone could just feel obligated to do for them anything or take care of them. I was sure Ethren was like that because of the Marine spirit I embodied. 

      In other countries they called them Sirens. There were others that were evil and there were others that were good. The ones that raised me were good. I had been taught a lot of different types of powers, the good and the bad. In the world I now lived in, it was vital to know and understand these powers. I knew which powers to let alone and which powers to destroy. 





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