The Five Trials of Peru: Trial 3 Part 2

The men and Peru resided on the island a full year more. One night the prince left the makeshift camp the men built on the sands of the beach to wander the forests. Sitting against a tree Peru pulled from his pocket the portrait of his beloved Florette. Tracing the lines faded by wear and tear he sighed deeply, mourning for the two years lost to him. Surely she would be married by now and with child. What would he do if such and such had come to pass?

The prince looked up from his miserable gaze to see a small pond he had not noticed before. Without thought he stripped, hoping the cool water would clear his mind and steel his soul. No sooner had his feet touched the mossy bank than a beautiful melody filled his ears. Wading deeper he felt arms embrace his torso, filling him with wonder.

As if in a dream the image of Florette rose from the water, greeting him with a smile paling the glow of the moon shining above. Peru gave himself up to her whims as the joy he felt at standing before her completely overwhelmed him. Slowly she drew him farther into the pool until his chin treaded water.            

Peru felt his heart beat fast as he lost himself in her clear eyes. Reality crushed him like a wave. Sirens lacked souls making their eyes translucent, an unnatural color for any human. Crying out Peru jerked back, repulsed by the creature’s touch.

The siren ceased her singing and screeched, dismayed her spell was broken. A battle of wills ensued as the mermaid clung to Peru desperately as he fought towards shore. With one great heave he threw himself onto the bank, tearing himself away from the claws in his skin, sending the spirit swimming back to the depths of her home empty handed. Struggling to his feet Peru grabbed his sword and clothes and ran back to camp.

The men, hearing the unearthly sounds of the siren, gripped their swords and stood at the ready when the prince crashed through the trees. “We are leaving this island tomorrow.” He ordered and collapsed.

The next morning the prince led the men as they labored under the hard sun. Whether or not Peru was still in search of Florette was undecided, but the prince knew he and the others could not stay on the island any longer. With Peru’s intelligence and Lothar’s wisdom, for the prince knew much in theory but little by way of experience, they used what they had to cut and lash tree trunks together, forming a make-shift raft big enough to hold all contributing. Praying for safe deliverance to an island uninhabited by giant cyclops or witchy sirens, they cast off.

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