III - The Dragon King's Daughter
Christine flipped her tail and swam in the direction of the blue octopus's air bubbles, trailing behind his tentacles waving ahead of her in the distance. She thought she saw a smiling, pink starfish waiting patiently for a seafood meal. The giant, blue octopus eventually disappeared with the ocean tide and Christine kept swimming. She followed a path of pink starfish, schools of yellow and blue tang fish, blue and green seahorses, and the bell-shaped, iridescent, jellyfish who led the way.
After awhile, Christine grew tired of swimming and decided to rest near a coral reef covered in multi-hued shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple brain coral. She saw smiling dolphins swim past, a leatherback turtle carrying the world on its back, and fields of kelp, sea grasses, and reeds swaying in the ocean winds. Christine saw no sign of the orange octopus. She wondered what had happened to Evangeline.
Just then, Christine thought she saw Evangeline off in the distance. She saw the shimmer of a long, purple-colored, scaly tail and started swimming toward it. As she grew closer, the tail turned into a pair of claws and as Christine's eyes began to focus, she saw wings on the back of a girl dragon. The purple girl dragon sat perched on a rock and smiled at Christine in greeting.
"Welcome mermaid!" The dragon's tongue hissed out of her mouth and Christine swore she saw smoke fill the water off in the distance.
"What is a dragon doing here?" Christine was surprised. "I'm a mermaid! I'm looking for my friend Evangeline. We were supposed to meet some time ago on the other side of the reef, but she seems to have gone missing. I'm looking for the Orange Octopus to point me in the right direction. Have you seen him?"
The girl dragon breathed a smoke-filled breath again and gave Christine an exasperated look.
"We do not see the Orange Octopus here, but if you follow the trail of my smoke, perhaps it will help you find your way. Good luck Christine, and be sure and say 'Hi' to Evangeline!" Christine thanked the Dragon King's Daughter and swam off in the direction of her smoky trail.