The Wish Trade: The Mermaid’s Voice (Part 1)

“Fortune.”

A blue diamond as big as a man’s fist rolled onto the square wooden table.

“Hope Diamond, they call it,” its owner, a huge dark-skinned man, explained as he clasped his sausage-like hands about his round belly. “Got a kingdom in exchange for getting it off their hands. Cursed, you know.”

“A kingdom?” The young woman on his right laughed. “Jabiri, I can sell your diamond for two!”

“Well, it’s yours if you win, girl.”

Twirling the edges if her long black curls, the woman raised a brow at Jabiri. “Given my age, I’m hardly what you’d call a ‘girl.’”

“You should take it az a compliment, Brey,” the small man across Jabiri said with a smile. “You don’t look your four hundred sirty yearz.”

“Thank you, Viggo, for announcing my age for all the universes to hear.” She crossed her legs, her thigh-high leather boots squeaking her displeasure.

Viggo inclined his head in a gracious gesture. “You are velcome.”

***

Jabiri called one of the maids working in the small dimly-lit tavern to wait on them.

“Ready to order?” A thin girl with a low-cut blouse asked as she approached their table.

“Yes, I’ll have a pint of beer, lass,” Jabiri told her.

The maid took a small notebook from her faded billowing skirt. “Aye, sir,” she said as she scribbled. “And you, sir?”

Viggo shook his head. “Nossing for me.”

“Sherry,” the tall man in a black suit on Jabiri’s left said.

“Sherry, got that.” Then she turned to the young woman. “And what are you having, Miss Brey?”

“My usual brew, thank you.”

***

When the maid left, the tall man in black turned to Brey. “You know the girl?”

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