When Blin was born I dreamed of the sea, because so many of the stories my own mother told me in my young years described an endless sea, and the endless sea brought heroes home. I dreamed of depths and monsters, of fish the size of houses, of houses in the caves at the bottom of the blue of the sea. I imagined Lake Tenebro (where I swam each day in the warm winters of home) deeper and deeper than ever it had been: that was all I could imagine of the sea. Now that I can stand every morning with waves scattering themselves toward my feet, I wonder at how easily the truth overtook all that I imagined for so many years overtook it with such force that I have trouble remembering what I once imagined, and to remember Lake Tenebro now I must think of the sea being captured, contained, hollowed out until it is a shallow, quiet place where children swim each morning during warm winters.
The wind picks up again, and I huddle into my coat. I can see the silhouettes of far-off villagers, and I know they will need me soon to help haul in the mermaids' catch, the bulging nets of seaweed and squid and drowned sailors, the treasure that we drag like a rippling whale over the beach and bring to the sorters, cutters, weighers, gutters, salters, traders, priests, and cooks.
It is a cold, damp life here, and I hate the sea.