12. Short Story
The legend of Pearl Lake was always that mermaids were very real and knew exactly how to cultivate pearls. If you were very lucky and if they favored you, they would allow a pearl or two to float up to you.
Sometimes, early in the morning in spring, you could come across Pearl Lake and find hundreds of pearls skimming the water. Presents from the clans, sharing the good harvest with humans.
She had grown up listening to the tales from her grandfather. She would sneak down to the lake as a little girl, her eyes searching desperately for the sign of a fin or a pearl. Anything!
When her grandfather was about her age he was gifted a large, green pearl and she was determined to get one too. Alas, she was never favored and now as she stood, all grown, looking down at the water. She realized it was because she selfishly thought she deserved one.
So it was that she looked down and saw, for the briefest of moments, a tiny hand let go of a small, pink pearl that floated up to the surface. Then a ripple and just the very tip of a fin.