Editor's Note: After last month's post about Blue, we are excited to dive back into this beautiful world and learn more about Tic-Toc and Julie! To stay up-to-date with previous posts, make sure to read them in this order prior to this one:
Make sure to check out the original artwork made exclusively for her novel by Linda McClure by visiting her site - www.amethystcraft.com.
So—she was an LA girl and she had an LA dog. Vader could become an LA dog, she assured herself. Vader was her dog after all, and she loved LA and Vader would love it just as much as Julie did.
When they finally got back there.
The sun was just starting to set. That’s the problem with the beach, Julie thought. It always seemed misty-magic So-Cal groovy --which was the part of California that Julie really didn’t like. She got so much hippy-dippy from her Mom.
The part of Cali that Julie liked? All the malls, and movies, and movie stars. And fashion. And of course, the highways that stretched for miles and miles. She couldn’t wait to drive, and she wanted a pink Cadillac, just so that she could sing that old song while she was driving. Pink Cadillac. She didn’t even care that the song was by Bruce Springsteen, who her Mom of course was “craaazy” for. She still knew all the words. Well, she couldn’t help knowing a lot of the words to the songs her Mom loved—come on. They had been sung to her often enough.
But those words. They were imprinted in her DNA, she thought. My love is bigger than a Honda/ Yeah, it's bigger than a Subaru/ Hey man there's only one thing/ And one car that will do/ Anyway we don't have to drive it/ Honey we can park it out in the back/ And have a party in your pink Cadillac….
Boy, had she tried to convince her Mom of that—whyyy she had whined can’t we have a pink Cadillac and just park it in the back? I can’t even drive it! I don’t even know how to drive! I just want to sit in it!
Her mother had reminded her gently at first and then firmly, “Julie, we don’t have our own back yard. Honestly, sometimes I really think you are not living in the real world.”
Of course, she was not “living in the real world.” She lived in LA. Who lived in the “real world” when you could live in the movies, in the music, in the Hollywood wanna-be-ness of it all? And her Mom was the last person to criticize her for that, she reminded her that time, and many other times, right after the breakup with that guy, at that time, and then successive guys.
Maybe now they’d get a pink Cadillac, Julie realized as she and Vader trudged off the beach. Now, when it wouldn’t even matter-- because who cared about driving around Cambria in a pink Cadillac? Crushed velvet seats/ Riding in the back/ Cruising down the street/ Waving to the girls/ Feeling out of sight….
The girls she had always thought of waving to, were her friends who would light up with jealousy, until she pulled over to the curb and they all hopped in. A full pink Cadillac of her black lipstick-ed friends. Spending all my money/ On a Saturday night/ Honey I just wonder what you do there in back/ Of your pink Cadillac/ Pink Cadillac/ Pink Cadillac/ Pink Cadillac….
And she had just fantasized about them gossiping and taking pictures of her driving and putting on make-up and generally driving everywhere where they knew anyone and showing off. Well, that’s not happening here. For one thing, she had one friend, and she was pretty sure that that friend could care less about a pink Cadillac or even wanting to drive—yet. There was no way around it—this was not LA and she had to stop being sad about it, or else she had to go back—with or without her Mom.
She left the beach behind her, walking slowly down the sidewalk that was really the sandy edge of these beach-type plants, that she now remembered they called the dunes. The last ocean expert in her class had said they were supposed to be very careful of the “vegetation at the edge of the dunes” and not to let “foot traffic” destroy the “fragility of the eco-system” there.
O.M.G. Julie had thought during that lecture. Foot traffic! She would love to see foot traffic at the Cambria beach, enough to destroy some of the “fragility of the eco system.” For instance, there was not a soul around her now, except for Vader.
No one could see her. And she turned slowly back to face the ocean.
She faced the setting sun. There it was, that feeling she tried hard to pretend wasn’t there ever. But, bingo! There it was. There was no denying that so much of Cali was the hippy-dippy super spiritual love vibe thing her Mom was full of, and it put Julie right back in Topanga with the veggie potlucks and the howling at the moon circle. She never thought she’d say this—but Cambria was a little better than Topanga, not quite so sopping wet with flower power.
Despite herself, however, Julie had to admit that sometimes, like now, she got that feeling. And when she got it-- there were things she did that she couldn’t help herself from doing—wishing on the last rays of a sunset, as she did now, especially if the sun fell perfectly into the ocean, drawing a wish in the sand and knowing it was being charged once a wave washed it away, having a rose quartz crystal around her neck to attract love, and yes, lighting candles to make change happen.
She couldn’t hide it. She was her mother’s daughter, a SoCal hippie at heart.
But she would, never, she thought let her Mom know that--if in fact, her Mom, didn’t already know it.
“Where are we at now?” wondered Tic-Toc. She felt completely adrift-not a good place for a mermaid.
Her father had come into their cove earlier that evening and told her that she was going to be “the next Emissary to Green.”
What the heck was that even? She’d asked her Dad. She had never heard there was an “emissary to Green.” Never mind the next one for the sake of the entirety of Blue—especially not that person being her.
Her father had explained that it was a secret mission—duh—and what it was, was that she Tic-Toc, had been chosen by Deep Squared 2 herself. Again, Tic-Toc had never even been completely sure DS 2 existed until this moment!! But OK, now she guessed that DS 2 must exist. Now that she had been summoned for a meeting she was sure that a 1500-foot albino octopus lived in the bottom of the ocean, lived a completely luminescent life and ruled Pacifica…and that she knew Tic-Toc.
Ok, I’m with you so far, Dad, she had said. I think.
There had always been one mermaid who spent part of her time under water – what part of her time? she asked her Dad. And part of it above water, he continued. Tic-Toc kept interrupting, What? What?
And this mermaid was part Green, her father continued. Tic-Toc was spinning in colors with all her questions, once she got over the shock and could speak.
Oh, for sinking out loud, Dad! She’d finally yelled. How does a mermaid spend half of her time above water?
That’s the trick to this whole story. There is something called the Blue-Green Alliance. What it means is that there has always been an “alliance” between Green and Blue, he had explained.
Well, I sort of know that…Tic-Toc had said. Meaning she only knew that for some reason Blue could not/would not wash over Green destroying it. But, she had thought it was a moral reason.
It’s not because we’re kind hearted, honey, her father had said. It’s because Morgan Le Fay….
She had interrupted. The famous mer creature of Atlantis—she was real?
Yes, and she birthed a half human, half sea creature being…and she started the lineage.
Well, Tic-Toc mused, I knew merfolk came from an intermingling of Atlanteans…but?
But this specific lineage, her father had continued, started with a creature like Morgan Le Fay herself who spent time on Green and in Blue. Le Fay blessed this lineage. The off-spring from this lineage would keep Green safe from Blue—if you can believe that. I must believe, he said, that if Morgan Le Fay had known how things would turn out she never would have given Green equal power to Blue. But you see, at that time, Blue was so much more powerful than Green. This was before—plastic, among other things. So, Morgan blessed her lineage, to keep them from harm.
What would Blue do to Green? What was she so worried about?
I guess, her father said ruefully, what you are always saying you and your Down With Green group would like to do to Green-- wash it away.