hands . . .

Then she pulled away. She had to, now, before her heart shattered completely. “Go on, Dorian,” Luce whispered. “Go be a hero. I’ll remember.”

The gold of his eyes was so charged with grief and longing and exultation that it looked almost inhuman as he gazed at her for the last time. Then, like the hero Luce knew he was, he accepted it. He climbed over the rocks and half smiled at her before he straightened himself.

And turned away.

From the darkness of the bunker Luce heard his voice breaking out in a drawn-out, wordless cry. It faded gradually until it sounded like the last faint shimmer of a song.

Luce was staring again at that velvety patch of glow. Everywhere and always, a million bits of winking focus blurring through one another. Now there were two figures silhouetted in front of it: girls, visible from the shoulders up. They were waiting.

Her father saw them too from his vantage up on the roof. Luce remembered again exactly why she loved her father so deeply when she caught sight of his expression. She could tell he understood, and he was smiling down at her with such pride that her tears quickened all over again.

Nausicaa broke through the surface just beside her. “Luce! I told you before, we have an invitation. And if you wish . . .”

She saw the answer in Luce’s eyes and fell silent. As Nausicaa held out her hand the only sound was the rushing waves. The song of the waves rolled all the way to forever, and Luce pressed Nausicaa’s fingers in her own.

They didn’t have far to go.


I am especially grateful to my much-loved friends Tera Freedman and Jenny Lemper, both of whom took me on scouting expeditions around San Francisco Bay to locate suitable mermaid habitats. (Tera brought me to the encampment at Islais Creek, and Jenny showed me Mare Island.) The sailors hanging out at the Bay View Boat Club offered dubious information (“There’s a pod of whales out there, and they dance on their tails in the moonlight!”) but charming company. The Monterey Bay Aquarium was both thrilling and extremely helpful in forming a mermaid’s-eye-view of the area. And my wonderful husband, Todd Polenberg, first suggested that a blockade of the Golden Gate might be an effective strategy for mermaids in trouble.

* * *

In addition to the sources already mentioned in the acknowledgments for Waking Storms, I am indebted to Wendy Williams’s book Kraken for giving me an entirely new appreciation of squids.

Visit www.hmhbooks.com to find all of the books in the Lost Voices Trilogy.

About the Author

SARAH PORTER is the author Lost Voices, Waking Storms, and The Twice Lost. She is also an artist and a freelance public school teacher. Sarah and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Sarah’s Watery Den online at www.sarahporterbooks.com.

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