Chapter 4

31.2K 1.9K 83

Jeffery woke up feeling light-headed, completely bound and restricted.

He screamed out, tugging hard at the ropes that held him down to the raised smooth stone surface.

"You're awake," a voice said as a merman came into view. He was holding an odd looking shell in his hand. A skin bag was attached to his waist by a belt.

Jeffery just stared on, wondering if he should be relieved or petrified at the merman's presence in the dwelling.

"You'll be better," the merman muttered, coming up to Jeffery. He kneaded something within the shell, taking some of the substance out to apply on Jeffery's throat.

Jeffery's sore throat soon felt better. He felt as if he could even manage to speak now.

"The numbing cloth always has this side effect, don't be surprised at how you're feeling," the merman continued as he went on to massage Jeffery's temple with the balm.

Jeffery's eyes narrowed at him. The merman had light hair with smooth pale skin and captivating blue eyes. His tail was equally blue. Jeffery watched in curiosity as the merman tended to him, the merman's tail swaying from side to side to keep afloat.

"The council members are nice merfolk," the merman said, trying to indulge in a conversation with Jeffery. He wasn't so sure about what the merman was going through, but he couldn't help but pity Jeffery in his condition. Jeffery looked confused and conflicted and the merman's heart went out to him. It was one of the reasons he was given the position of caretaker with a handful of other soft-hearted merfolk.

"You don't have to feel frightened," the merman continued as Jeffery continued to stare at him. "You can tell them where your cove resides, if you're lost that is. They'll help you find your cove. Our People don't raid or invade other coves."

Jeffery looked on as the merman talked. He really didn't fully understand what the creature was going on about, but it was obvious from the little he could piece together that there were more merpeople beyond this place.

The merman soon stopped babbling and went to drop the shell on top a table shaped erection of rock. He fished out a blade from the bag around his waist next. He examined it before nodding contently. Jeffery was intrigued, all the merpeople seemed to carry the pouch bag around.

Jeffery pulled his tail back and tensed up in reflex when the merman swan up to him with the blade in hand.

"I'm only going to groom you, don't fret," the merman said before gently scraping over a small part of Jeffery's tale with the sharpened blade as if testing it. Small dead scales fell off, exposing the shiner surface underneath.

"See, it doesn't hurt," the merman muttered in a soothing voice as he continued to scrap dead scales of Jeffery's tail.

Jeffery loosened up in a matter of minutes. Dead scales were scrapped from his tail and between his slightly webbed fingers. His nails were also cut short and buffed with a soft sponge-like material that made it shine.

"There," the merman muttered as he put the blade and ointments away. "You'll be fed soon," he muttered as he gave Jeffery a sad smile.

The merman ran his fingers against the ropes that held Jeffery in place. He wasn't exactly sure why the merman was here but he was sincerely sorry for the merman. He thought that Jeffery must have likely been separated from his clan and was not willing to speak for fear that they would invade his home.

The merman left soon after, leaving Jeffery to his solitude and thoughts. Jeffery stared up at the ceiling of the dwelling. The luminous creatures trapped within were still glowing in their various colors.

Bedazzled [MXM]✓Where stories live. Discover now