The Dark Adventures of Mermaid Lorelei
Author(s) BIO Shelley Wykoff spent her childhood growing up in the country playing in trees and creeks! An especially super day was when they caught crawfish or bottled lightning bugs. She was an avid reader supported by her mother who bought her the latest Hardy Boy mystery that was on the market each payday! Reading helped her through her parents’ divorce.
Shelley Attended Edinboro University where she majored in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She furthered her education at Mercyhurst University completing a Master’s certificate in Administration of Justice. A scholarship is also available there in honor of her late mother and maternal grandfather.
Shelley was first published in September 2011 in the project Women Warriors; Stories behind the Thin Blue Line.
This has garnered national attention in the industry, it continues to do well today!
Imagine being a fourteen year old again and finding an enchanted conch shell in the Pacific Ocean, a shell that seems to give off a neon light and spiritual energy of its own. The magical shell will only come to the rightful owner and share its’ purpose, and instructs you to put it up to your ear to hear your dark adventure. That's what happens in The Dark Adventure of Mermaid Lorelei, and what starts my protagonist off on a dark magical adventure that many youth and children of any age especially ones that love to see kindness triumph over evil and goodness and purpose win out over destruction and greed.
To My Nieces and Nephews
Mermaid, Magic, Fantasy, Thriller, Suspense, Adventure, dark, angels,aliens, gods, demons, devils, conch shell
“OMG! OMG!!! Ricky chortled mainly to his constant companion “Tijuana,” his beloved brown and white Chihuahua, who he affectionately called “Juan,” the minute he had laid his eyes upon him at the rescue shelter.
“Juan guess what, guess what.” Ricky had just ended the call on his Samsung Gear Smart watch with his father, a once prominent Oceanographer and Professor at the Scripps Institution at the University of California in San Diego. “Dad said he is going to take me to Disneyland next week, as he jumped off his bed, with Juan landing down beside him joining in the celebration. I have to FB (Facebook) my amigos.” His two best chums ever were Felix Scott Hernandez, “AKA” Scott and Donald Michael Jones, “AKA”, Donnie. Everyone that knew them told them they were like the characters in the “Three Musketeers” or the “Three Caballeros” animated films from Disney. They were always together like peas and carrots or red beans and rice.
Grabbing his laptop, which sat by his lava lamp on his desk, he curled up on his bean bag chair and brought up the Facebookapp.
He was trembling with excitement thinking about the popular theme park. His father was rewarding him for straight A’s on his report card.
He hoped Scott and Donnie could come too. He heard the Gran Fiesta Tour show and boat ride had just opened up over at the park. All of his friends were tweeting and facebooking about visiting the park to experience the ride. It was an interactive ride with the three beloved characters from the family feature film, the “Three Caballeros”!
Quickly, he sent off the messages and closed his laptop. “Time to mow, Juan.”
On his way out the door he veered over to the ice box to grab a carrot for his dog. As he tossed it to him Ricky said “be good and don‘t chew anymore of my gym socks.”
After mowing all afternoon, he was sitting on Mr. Smith’s stoop porch counting his money and waiting for his ride. Moments later Ricky saw his father turn the corner in his Honda Accord; he smiled when he saw Donnie and Scott’s hoodie shaped big heads in the backseat of his father’s car. He hurriedly stashed his money in his pack and ran towards the car. Ricky fired off a “hey squad” to his friends as he got inside the car. His father, Dr. Yves interjected “how about Chinese for supper boys.” Loud cheers met his suggestion. “OK, to the Duck,“ this was short for their “fave” Chinese place in the whole wide world. Ricky thought the fortune cookies were the best part of the food. After picking up the food, Dr. Yves began with “hey boys after Disneyland, I am on my way down to the islands of the Caribbean for a little bit of mystery and intrigue, are you game?
“If it is the Paradise Island in the Bahamas where you always go, count us in,” the boys chortled in unison. They began talking excitedly in the back seat about the fun they had at the water park there at the Atlantis resort last year.
He smiled at his teenaged son and his two best friends from the rear-view mirror, “I guess that is a yes.”
“Dad, you said you’re working on a very secretive and possibly life changing invention a few weeks back?” Donnie replied. Dr. Yves directed his stare to his only son across the front seat with a twinkle in his eyes and quickly gazed steadfastly at all of the boys again whom he considered sons as well.
So he had paid attention. “Yes son, the co-inventor will be in charge of the project, until I return. This is part of the reason I need to go down to the island. So, are you down for some adventure or what?” Dr. Yves added I heard there are pirates still operating in the waters down in the Caribbean? Scott and Donnie’s eyes bugged out from their faces while saying “Pirates, real pirates, dad? Did I hear you right? “You mean it, Dad? Now just a minute. Wow, I thought all oceanography was, was just scuba diving in the ocean and looking for new species of fish.”
“Mad cool! Thanks, Dr. Yves for the invite and having the confidence in us,” the boys exclaimed. The boys accepted with enthusiasm. He could hear the flesh hitting as they exchanged fist bumps and high five’s. “We are definitely down for Paradise Island.”
Later in the evening the agile and rangy, retired oceanographer was getting ready to show the proto-type underwater camera model to the boys.
“This way boys. It is out through the French doors on the patio.”
The boys quickly got up from the gaming chairs to follow Dr. Yves. With a lot of pomp and circumstance Dr. Yves opened the doors. A very sleek, technical gadget rested on a tripod. Dr. Yves walked up to it and stroked it like he did Juan, Ricky thought as he watched his father. He then added. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful. I hope to see this invention change the world.”
“How deep will this be able to take scuba divers,” Donnie queried?
“It all depends on the weather conditions,” Dr. Yves replied. “When conditions are calm, the bottom of the ocean is the only limit.”
“Really!” the boys exclaimed.
“We ought to be able to categorize new species of underwater life and a little more, I hope,” he chuckled while rubbing his hands together like his son did before digging into a double pepperoni pizza. The boys could not help but all laugh in unison.
How much distance does it cut away for the scientist to be able to see and identify a new species?
“I think about two and half miles out would do it,” Dr. Yves answered.
“This little gadget would be neat for our navigator boat someday too” said fourteen-year old, blond-haired Ricky, his blue eyes flashing in anticipation.
Felix, by birth, or “Scott” dubbed by his chums, who was six months older than his friend and less stoked, asked in a serious tone of voice. “Back to these pirates, Dr. Yves. Have you any ideas about the identity and how many of these so called pirates are involved and are they after this proto-type of yours as well?”
Ricky piped in cutting off Scott and whooped “modern day pirates.”
“Yes, I do,” Dr. Yves answered his son’s tall dark-haired chum. “I strongly suspect that a man named Artie Johnson is operating a modern day smuggling operation of ancient treasure artifacts from the sunken boats down in the Caribbean Sea. I’ll tell you boys more of the story over some hot buttery popcorn.”
Once they each had a bowl of hot popcorn, the renowned oceanographer went on, I have been in touch already with an international artifact security company which specializes in tracing stolen artifacts. The company thinks they are bringing them into the country through Freeport, the first island of the Bahamas, then up to the Key of Florida on the East coast, and then via the Gulf of Mexico then on to southern California on the west coast specifically. Blotter reports of thefts have come in consistently for the past twelve months. I’m sure these artifacts are being removed from one of the excavation sites my company operates in the Caribbean; the rate of their disappearance suggests a very large operation. Very, very clever. I suspect one of my employees, named Samuel Bell, as well. I went to the authorities for a myriad of reasons. Over the last several months Sam’s behavior has changed around me plus while conversing on a break with him, he let it slip that he came into a large amount of cash. For me, this piece of information was the piece that made the picture complete in my head.”
Ricky laughed, “now I see why you love our weekly puzzle and pizza nights, Dad.
“It just is a theory of mine so far. However, I am confident he is the ringleader.” Dr. Yves stated to the boys. “Boys, with your team work and a little Hardy Boy style sleuthing, I think we can crack this ring and return these valuable treasures to their proper maritime museums.”
Dr. Yves intoned a thread of arrogance in his voice. “So, when will we have a crash course on this camera program? This proto-type has such great potential and range that I am a bit leery of it. It really is going to push the technology into the new millennium,” he continued.
“Soon, I may just get all of us pocket adaptors for easier transport, too. I love having the prototype on the patio; I can also attach it to my telescope. They all loved an evening of gazing at the stars and constellations. Son, I am glad you can trust your chums, aka ‘The Caballeros’” Dr. Yves said.
Scott was a portly, good natured teenager who loved to eat walking tacos and was never caught without his trendy fedora hat. A closer second to his heart, was being with Donnie and Ricky.
The days could not pass fast enough before their exciting adventure would begin. Scott was already almost 6 foot and loved Spanish music. He was a natural with a guitar. It was a gift given to him by his grandfather on his twelfth birthday. Two years later, he treasured it even more since his grandpa had succumbed to lung cancer. Smoking never makes you cool he learned at an early age, cigarettes killed his beloved grandpa. He tooka lot of flak for it but always resisted the peer pressure at school. He would never forget grandpas words to him when he gave him his guitar. “Scott, you will never be lonely,” and pointed to the Gibson guitar leaning against the wall. “Take care of her, she is yours now.”
His thoughts shifted to his chum Donnie, who was athletic and loved to wear his Baja hoodie all over town no matter the temperature. He loved to ride his jet ski in the ocean on the weekends plus he tinkered with anything that had a motor.
Currently, he was trying experimental things on the Jet-ski motor, maybe he would be a top contender at the races next summer. He loved speed.
They were quite the crew he thought. The pirates would have their hands full trying to win out over them. Soon he thought, as he turned his attention back to his father.
The morning of July 23 finally arrived. “The Caballeros” as the trio liked to call their friendship sat waiting on the stoop, each looking like the other with matching backpacks and Samsung Galaxy gear watches on their arms. It was a short trip down the coast to Anaheim where Disneyland was located.
It seemed like forever passed before Dr. Yves opened the door and said, “Disneyland or Bust! Oh, and I forgot to tell you, Eric and Ariel, the next door neighbors, need to go see Ariel’s sick mother up north for a week, so Laura is going on the trip with us.”
Scott’s eyes lit up, Laura who was their age but lately almost over-night it seemed, looked like she was going on 18. They secretly exchanged a lookthat said bueno which was good in Spanish, then yelled “no problema” in Spanish back at his dad.
He loved that his bi-lingual friends taught him cool phrases. “Hey Ricky, go over and see if she needs any help with anything she is taking to the park.”
It didn’t take long to get to her porch. Once there he knocked politely; he saw her waving through the parted curtain, and pointing at the outside glider. He laughed and nodded back. Girls! He made himself comfortable on the chaise lounge. It seemed like an eternity had passed before the front door flung open. Finally, the noise of the door opening disturbed his nap, but what appeared in front of him was worth it. Strange, he thought, what is happening in my stomach? All he could liken it to was an alien invasion or that he maybe had swallowed a million of those black and orange Monarch butterflies he loved so much with the arrival of summer. “He would see her in his dreams tonight,” he thought as he swooned. Her eyes were the brightest, most intense, pure green, into the depths of the sea, color he had ever known. His dad gave him the textbookanswer regarding her eye color one evening. Dr. Yves told him the color comes out of the cyan range spectrum synonymous with aqua or aquamarine, turquoise. Her eyes were her most striking feature; he fell under a spell each time he looked at her. No other girl in school came close to having her eyes. Sometimes when they were out swimming in the ocean together the sunlight made her eyes sparkle like kryptonite. It seemed to put an aura around her but only in the water, which was even more strange. She loved the sea. OK, OK, snap out of it. She is standing right in front of you. But his brain remained on the same channel, his eyes staying on her, her long flowing natural blonde mane of hair was littered with tiny random braids, bejeweled with sea life charms, cascading down and all over, she almost looked like a royal sea princess. He did call her Princess Laura sometimes he thought. Her appearance today and always was immaculate; her dress color matched her eye color. Of course, around her neck was her favorite necklace, a mermaid riding in a conch shell charm. Her ears were adorned with long, gold conch earrings. She had matching gold thick bangle bracelets etched with conch shells and mermaids on her arms. Her shoes resembled ballet shoes with sea green ribbons that snaked their way all the way up her slender calf to stop just short of her knees. Laura Lee with her clear milk skin complexion was just exquisite and very beautiful.
He finally focused in on Laura, “ok, I am ready. Disneyland or Bust,” Laura shouted gleefully!
Traffic was heavy on I-5 as usual, but it was a short drive from their neighborhood.
“Kids, keep your eyes open for the Harbor Boulevard exit for me. This is the one we want to take for parking.”
Dr. Ives said, “The boys and Laura Lee rode in comfortable silence, after a good fifteen minutes passed, they all sung out together, “I see the exit Dad.” Surprisingly, the entrance to the park was free of congestion, and they sailed right into the huge parking lot and found a spot within short walking distance to the front gate.
The three boys and Laura Lee were chatting excitedly about all the rides as Dr. Yves said, “it looks like it is this way for the tickets, boys and girl,” he chuckled. After some discussion, Laura Lee did not want to go on the Grand Fiesta boat ride with the boys so it was decided that Dr. Yves and Laura Lee would experience Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride together, which was the other ride everyone was chatting about. Ricky knew she was in this “all mermaid” phase. Her parents had mentioned it last time they visited.
Ricky then said to Laura Lee, “we will meet you at the Grand Fiesta entrance afterwards, OK? We will message you, when we are heading that way.” Dr. Yves could see the spark of the excitement in his son’s eyes. And chuckled to himself, “ah, young love.”
“OK, go on ahead and take care of each other. I personally can’t wait to experience Ariel’s Undersea Adventure inspired by the Disney’s character The Little Mermaid, storied by Hans Christiansen in 1989. It’s been a Magic Kingdom attraction in the Park since 2011.”
“C’mon Laura Lee,” said Dr. Ives in a silly juvenile voice which made her laugh.