I'm not sure that this amounts to anything, but here's another small drabble. Please read, review and enjoy.

Ningyo no Mori and characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi, not me.


Mana stared into the depths of the flames of the campfire Yuta had built up. Her eyes were glazed over as she listened to Yuta's tales of when he had been an ordinary human; of his village, his wife, and of his parents.

Drawing her knees up to her chest, Mana began wondering about her own parents. Had they missed her, when the women of the mermaids' village had taken her? Had they searched? Were they still searching today, years after she had disappeared? What would they think if she met them? Would they recognise her?

(Probably not, she reasoned to that last question. To much time had passed, and she couldn't even begin to guess as to what they looked like.)

Where was she from, anyway? Which city, town or village? Which prefecture? She assumed that it was somewhere near the mermaids' village, but she doubted that Yuta would remember where the village had been.

Did she have any siblings? And if she did, how old were they? Would they be younger, or older than she was?

She sighed again, and leaned against Yuta's shoulder. He stopped talking to look at her, but she didn't see him. Her eyes were closed against the questions that filled her mind. Yuta seemed to respect her need for silence, and merely put his arm around her.

And so they stayed, until the fire burned itself out and the dawn stole the darkness of the night away.