Dearest Atty

I am writing you from the depths of the Lost Sea, you are my first letter home as I know your love affair with these depths.

Strawberry suggested we spend a season here, and while I was nervous about the journey, the overwhelming beauty of Gardot, the town we are in, is staggering. Much of it is below the “ground,” this being a relative term for an underwater community — maybe it is more accurate to say some areas are in caves and crevices? I’m still learning the terminology of everything.

On land, everything is largely level — even if you move up a mountain, most creatures must still walk or slither up. Here, there is an entirely new dimension to transverse. An entryway to a house or shop is equally likely to be on the “floor” leading down as it is to be standing up, like you would see on the surface! Or, as they say here, the Above!

Second Story Used Books in Peyroux. Year round Halloween book sale!

I got terribly ill on our second day. I felt tremendously guilty, and poor Berry was simply beside herself. On land, dryads are immune to animal and plant poisons — in the sea, apparently, not so much. Berry worries and fusses, you know, so if you get a note from her please take it with a grain of pollen and know that I am fine.

I’ve offered to go by my birth name rather than “Red Kelp,” which Strawberry named me when we first met. I didn’t want to be confusing or draw too much attention, but everyone insists on using what I have considered my proper name since the wedding. It is a breath of fresh air. Breath of fresh water? Salt water? Brackish? You know what I mean — anyway, the worry has fizzled into nothing.

Mermaids are able to breathe air and water with equal ease, but before the trip I worried over drowning in my sleep. Mermaid’s Breath potions are available everywhere here, so it isn’t an issue. After a dozen or so potions, you sort of sense how long they will last, negating the danger. The sensation tickles, a bit like a pre-sneeze.

I have been on the look out for the list of diners you gave me, but really Atticus, there are other types of restaurants and I promise they are lovely. I will send the requested candy as I find it, promise.

I’ve been picking up Mer at an astonishing pace, I may be able to speak it fluently by the time we return. Strawberry began teaching me before we left, but the immersion has been massively helpful.

We spend our evenings laying on shoals, watching the sun set and the moon rise, from beneath the waves. I love sinking my toes into the sand and watching the sky change as the waters crash above, pulling me back and forth. Berry can sense the tides as they change and, somehow, knows when a sunset will be particularly magnificent.

She redefines magic for me every day, Atty. She sings with the tide and after a bit it becomes impossible to tell the sea’s sound from her voice.

Come visit us soon, we both miss you. Please excuse the crossed out portion of this letter — Strawberry had me transcribe what she said was a “fish greeting” but, upon finishing, she confessed the words literally translated to “a fish greeting.” She is a maelstrom of giggles as I finish this! Oh my sweet, silly mermaid.

Oh, send a letter soon! Tell me the gossip of home, water my plants please, and steal back anything the Purple Paw Thievery has taken. Send me stacks of newspapers!

All our love, Red & Berry

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