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A Second Tale of Emerys Treasure

A Second Tale of Emerys Treasure

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A Second Tale of Emerys Treasure

244 Seiten
3 Stunden
May 21, 2014


The adventures of Losten Deforest and Emerys Treasure continue. In this second tale, Emerys is summoned to Canada and requests Losten's assistance, which spawns a series of adventures involving a prosecutor, explosives, and even a polar bear. But, will Losten make it back home, or will he get 'losten' the Canadian wilds?
May 21, 2014

Über den Autor


A Second Tale of Emerys Treasure - Cliffie Coates


Chapter 1

We ran toward the tunnel’s entrance. We were just a few feet from it when a device detonated behind us. Emerys slammed against me and shoved me just past the opening. A few moments later, a pile of rock collapsed on top of her.



What do you mean there is a lot more to being a mermaid? I had asked Emerys. With my legs, I pushed the bench that hung from her family’s back porch roof. This day was warm for mid-December, but we still both wore sweatshirts.

Emerys looked concerned. Losten, she said, I’m not going to burden you with all our secrets. Not until you’re ready.

Not until I was ready? What did that mean? My eyebrows raised. Who’s to say when I’m ready? I think I’ve shown that I’m trustworthy, if that’s what you’re implying.

Emerys laid her head back on my shoulder. Losten, that’s not what I mean. Trust me, I’m not telling you for your own peace of mind.

I tried to look at her face, but this proved difficult since her head rested on my shoulder. Emerys, Crystellen said something a few moments ago that left me confused. Is it okay if I ask about that?

She tilted her head upwards and stared at me with her sea-foam green eyes. Yes, Losten, what is it?

I know there are certain secrets you don’t want to tell me, but I’m confused. Crystellen said that your eyes turn green because you feel a connection to me. I paused. How do I say this and not upset her, I wondered.

Emerys continued to stare at me with her green eyes.

Why couldn’t she just have brown eyes like me? Then I wouldn’t have to ask this. I’m not sure how to say this, but why are your mother’s and Cat’s eyes also green? Do they have some kind of attraction to me, too?

Emerys bent her head down and covered her face. For a few seconds I had no clue as to what was happening. She made some kind of noise. Was she sobbing?

Emerys, I said in a soft voice, are you okay? Did I offend you?

A muffled noise escaped through her fingers. Emerys lowered her hands and grinned at me. She hadn’t been crying, she’d been laughing.

Losten she said after a moment, never in my wildest dreams did I expect you to say that. She chuckled. On her wedding night, during her first act of intimacy with her love, a mermaid’s eyes permanently turn green. After that, even when she’s a widow, her eyes never return to their previous color. That’s why my mother, Cat, and Grammy all have green eyes. She covered her mouth to hide another outburst of laughter. And you thought it had to do with you.

Whew, I thought, that’s a relief. I put my arm around her and rested my head on hers.

Miss Treasure, a voice declared a few seconds later, what do you think you are doing?

I jerked upright. Emerys’ grandmother, Caryn, stepped onto the porch. This is not the proper way for a lady to behave, she continued. A young man will not respect you if you just throw yourself at him. And what are you doing out here alone with him? You know a young lady is supposed to be chaperoned.

Grammy, Emerys replied, we weren’t doing anything wrong and I certainly wasn’t throwing myself against him. We were just leaning on each other.

Grammy cleared her throat. That’s how it all starts. Don’t think I don’t know what it’s like to be your age.

Why don’t we give the young couple some space? Emerys’ mother, Emily, stepped onto the porch beside Caryn. Besides, Mom, they haven’t been alone more than ten minutes. She gave us a sheepish smile.

In all my life, I have rarely seen such a disobedient child as yours. Emerys’ grandmother turned to Emily. And you, of all people, ought to know that young men can’t be trusted. Caryn disappeared back into the house.

I glanced at Emerys, who now had a frustrated look. Does your grandmother not like me? Because I get the strong impression-

Mom’s just over-protective, Emily interrupted. Don’t take it personally. For several seconds she stared in our direction, before she turned and walked away.

Is everything alright? I asked. What was that about young men can’t be trusted?

Emerys pulled my left hand into her jacket pocket and squeezed it. No reason for our hands to get cold out here. She smiled and leaned her head against my shoulder. Someday I will tell you my family history, but not today.

Okay. I continued. And why did she imply that you were the disobedient one, because I thought that Crystellen would fit that category much more than you?

Grammy’s getting forgetful, she replied. She’s older than she looks.

I put my arm around Emerys and once again laid my head on top of hers. Okay, I thought, I’ll just add this to my list of things that don’t make sense about your family.


The next day I helped Mom pick out a Christmas tree. I had lobbied her to buy an artificial tree this year, so that we wouldn’t have to vacuum up pine needles after New Year’s, but she insisted on a live tree. It would remind her of our family, she said, which would be half missing this year. Last we heard, my brother’s ship was somewhere in the western Pacific and Dad’s was somewhere in the southern Atlantic. So, Christmas this year would be just Mom and me.

After we brought the tree home, Mom directed me to cut off the last couple inches of its trunk before I placed it in water to help it stay green longer. That was Mom. She still wanted our tree to look nice until after my birthday on January fourteenth, though we normally took it down the second day of the New Year. Mom claimed if the tree stayed up into the next year, it would symbolize my Aquarian ability to see the past and the future.

I didn’t believe it. For one, Mom didn’t believe in astrology. Second, I was a Capricorn, not an Aquarian. And third, Aquarius had nothing to do with seeing the future; that was the Roman God Janus, for whom January is so named. I think the real reason she wanted to leave it up was in case Dad or Karl were somehow home in time to see it. She could have just told me, but I think it amused her to create an elaborate reason to explain something so simple, which was where I inherited the other half of my odd humor. It wasn’t all Dad’s fault.

Mom asked me to place the angel on top of the tree, an honor which typically belonged to my father. After I did, she continued. Speaking of angels, have you got that young lady of yours a present?

My stomach tensed. Why did Mom refer to Emerys as an angel, I wondered. Did she know that Emerys was the angel who had saved me?

She’s a nice girl, I managed to reply, but I wouldn’t necessarily call her an angel.

Mom grinned. The way you describe her, that girl sounds flawless, like she’s a divine being. She glanced down at the base of our tree. Speaking of presents, have you bought your brother’s yet?

I shook my head. I guess we won’t have many presents to put under the tree this year, I remarked. Since I wouldn’t see Dad or Karl for a couple months at least, I hadn’t bought their presents yet. Other than Mom, I didn’t have anyone else to buy a present for, except maybe Emerys. I had already decided to bake Vino cookies, which I thought would be safe, in case he didn’t have anything for me. As for Emerys, I didn’t have a clue what to buy her. I had considered jewelry, but didn’t know her taste. I wanted to give her something besides cookies. What do you give a mermaid? Scented body lotion? Scented tail lotion?

Don’t be ridiculous, I thought. Tail lotion doesn’t exist.

There might be, a contrary thought replied. Remember, a few months ago you didn’t even know mermaids existed.

That afternoon I borrowed Mom’s car and drove to the mall. I considered buying Mom jewelry, but I didn’t have much money, so instead I walked into a bookstore. Near the back I found the next novel in a dystopian series that she was reading. I glanced at the blurb on the back cover. Just as I had suspected, it’s the fourth book in the series and everyone’s still fighting over food. How many times will that plot line be reused?

I considered buying the first book in this series for Emerys, but I didn’t know what else she might like besides classic British literature. I considered buying her a Jane Austen novel, but concluded that given how long she had been alive, she had probably read them all. I perused the bookshelves for over an hour and wondered whether to give her one of the multitude of vampire novels.

No, I thought, that plot’s gotten old too.

I paused when I came across a novel about a mermaid. Actually, the main character wasn’t just a mermaid; after a few pages, I learned that she was also a stripper. I placed the book back on the shelf. That was definitely not Emerys’ taste. Finally, after several hours of wandering down aisles, I bought her a fantasy novel about dragons.

When I got home that evening, I wrapped the presents, placed Mom’s under our tree, and helped her bake cookies. As I placed the last ball of chocolate chip cookie dough on that particular baking sheet, she asked, So, when do I get to meet this lovely young lady?

You want to meet Emerys? A lump welled up in my throat. I doubted this would go well, since I wasn’t sure how Emerys could avoid the subject of what she did in the evenings. Didn’t you already meet her in the hospital?

Mom placed the cookie sheet in the oven and turned back towards me. Yes, I saw her there, but it wasn’t the same as actually getting to have dinner with her. We spoke the last time you were in the hospital, but I was too worried to do much talking. Plus, she didn’t say much, probably because she was half-sick with worry, too. She smiled. So, when do I get to meet my future daughter-in-law?

My cheeks turned red. Mom, you know it’s nothing that serious. Besides, what would Mom and Emerys talk about, I wondered. The idea that Emerys hadn’t spoken much to Mom surprised me. But, then again, I wasn’t sure why. It would make sense if she was guarded around new people, although we had started to converse from the moment I saw her in the library. Or did Emerys behave only that way with me? I don’t know, Mom, I replied, after a much too long delay. I suspect Emerys will be spending Christmas with her own family.

I’m not suggesting Christmas day. Just sometime while you guys are off from school. She gave me a curious look. Unless it’s going to make you feel awkward for your girlfriend to meet your mom.

I smiled. She’s not my girlfriend, I replied. I just don’t know what you two will talk about, I thought.

Don’t be ridiculous, a counter thought proposed. You talk to her about a lot of non-mermaid topics. Emerys will be a great conversationalist.

Yeah, the first thought replied, you and Emerys frequently talk about math. That would make for great dinner conversation.


On the day before Christmas, I called Emerys and asked if she was available to see me. She seemed pleased by the idea, even though she said her family would need her that evening to put up Christmas decorations. It’s our family’s tradition, she said, to put up the ornaments after the sun goes down on Christmas Eve.

Alright, I said, I’ll be over as soon as I catch the bus.

Oh, don’t bother, Emerys replied. I’ll borrow Mom’s car and come pick you up.

You know how to drive? I asked before I had time to consider how it might sound. Although, in all the time I had known Emerys, someone else had always driven her. It made sense that she might, however, since Crystellen drove.

Of course I do, silly, Emerys replied with a touch of annoyance. Why wouldn’t I know how to drive?

It’s just, well, I mean, then why did you have Justin pick you up from school? Why did your mom pick you up that night we ate at Davy?

There’s a difference between knowing how to drive and having a car available to drive. Since we don’t go that many places alone, there aren’t very many cars in the family. Justin owns his car. The yellow car Crystellen drives actually belongs to the family, though she likes to pretend it’s hers. So, when do you want me to pick you up?

We set a date for two o’clock. Do you know how to get here? I asked. You’ve never actually been here, at least not by land?


Emerys arrived at a quarter after two in a green sports car that had probably been made twenty years before I was born. Wait, I thought, Justin drives a sports car. So did Crystellen. Did anyone in this family drive anything that’s not sporty?

I like the car, I said and sat down on the leather seat. It’s in remarkable condition for its age. I glanced up at her and smiled. Kind of like you.

Emerys tried to suppress a chuckle. You didn’t really just call me old, did you? For a moment, neither of us spoke. So, where do you want to go? she continued. You said you wanted to see me.

Well, I mainly wanted to give you your Christmas present. I smiled. Though, it’s always great to see you as well.

I leaned towards Emerys so I could more easily reach her present in my coat’s inside pocket. Before I had even raised my hands to unzip my coat, she put her hand on my shoulder. Not here, she said. This isn’t the appropriate place.

What does that mean, I wondered. What’s not appropriate about here in your car?

Emerys didn’t reply. Instead, she started the engine and drove down the street. I, for one, had no idea where we were headed. Before I could ask again, she pushed a cassette into the car’s tape deck and a song I recognized as from the mid-sixties played.

Mom doesn’t like my music, Emerys said. She reached over and held my hand, while she kept the other one on the wheel. She claims it’s too modern.

I smiled. My mom says the same thing about today’s music too, not that I listen to much of it.

Emerys drove us through a housing development. The road turned towards the James River and on our left appeared a Navy housing development. This looks familiar, I said. Is this-

Where I saved you? Emerys smiled and her eyes turned sea-foam green. Why yes, Losten, it is.

Why did we come here? I asked. I recalled the giant wave that washed over my car as it hit, how the water rushed in, and squeezed Emerys’ hand tighter. I’m glad you saved me, but I don’t have good memories of this place.

Emerys parked the car along a side street and opened the door.

Emerys, I said, it’s below forty degrees outside. Why can’t I give you your present in here?

It wouldn’t be appropriate. She grinned.

What does that mean, I wondered. Emerys had already gotten out of the car, so I followed suit, and we walked hand-in-hand to the spot where my car had plunged into the river. I stared at the water for several seconds and shuddered.

This is hard for you, isn’t it? Emerys asked.

I nodded. It brings back bad memories. But, it also has a good memory as well, you saving me.

We stared at the water for several minutes, gloved hand-in-hand. Emerys turned to me and smiled. I think I’m ready for my Christmas present now, she said. That is, if you are.

What did that mean, I wondered. I unzipped my coat, reached inside to retrieve her present, and zipped it back up to keep out the stiff breeze that blew across the river. I reached over to give it to her, but she didn’t raise her hands. No wonder; her eyes were shut. Emerys, open your eyes. Here’s your present.

She grinned. I’ll keep them shut, if you don’t mind, she said. It’s more romantic this way.

More romantic? How did me giving her a present with her eyes shut make it romantic? I touched the wrapped book against her free hand. Emerys, I said, open your eyes. Here’s your present.

Emerys opened her eyes and looked down at the wrapped present. What’s this? she asked.

It’s your present, I replied. Merry Christmas.

Her eyes grew wide. She stared at the present as if it wasn’t real. Wait, you mean you’re not going to kiss me?

What? I asked. Why’d you think I was going to do that?

Emerys stared at me for what felt like a long time. Finally, she spoke. We’ve been dating for a while now. And you said you were going to give me a Christmas present. And you know how I feel towards you, right? Before I could respond, she continued. Why else did you think I brought you here? Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of falling in love with a guy whose life I saved. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place for our first real kiss.

Emerys gave me a hopeful look.

I stared past Emerys. Did she just tell me she loved me? Emerys, I’m sorry, it’s just-

Losten, it’s okay, she interrupted. I can tell you don’t feel the same way about me. Emerys looked down at the dead grass. I’m sorry to put you in this position. She turned around and walked towards the car.

Emerys, stop. I sprinted and caught up with her. Remember we promised that we wouldn’t walk off on each other. She stopped. We both stood at the highway’s edge. The truth is, I think you’re great and wonderful, though I don’t know if I would use the L-word to describe it.

Emerys’ eyes grew wide and another hopeful look appeared.

But, I can’t kiss you, I continued.

Can’t kiss me? Emerys said. You’re physically not able to? Her eyebrows rose. Or do you just not want to?

A car eased into the oncoming lane to avoid us and honked. I led Emerys from the road back to where we had just stood. What I mean is, I’m not ready to kiss you. I paused. It’s not you; it’s me.

Emerys stared at me. "Losten, what does that even mean? I’ll be honest; one of the things I like about you is your modesty. I think it’s sweet. You’re a good guy, you really are. But, I’m confused. For the last couple months, we’ve held hands. The other day you rested your head on mine. I’ve rested my head on your shoulder. You really like me,

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