My Little Mermaid Chapter 6 – Stumbling

The god smirked, his lips curled upward in an irritated smile as he eyed her in silence.

Frantically, she wrapped her skirts around her waist.

“You do not know much about the human world above, do you?” His weight shifted and he rested his head on his other hand, now amused.

Pulling herself up again, Ariel got her feet under her and wobbled back and forth while she tried to stand.

Rising from his throne, his sandals crossed the distance to her and as he did, a thick, humid breeze swirled throughout the cavern. The sands swirled and were blown away into nothing, revealing dark, violet stone below. The walls rose up high and lifted away around them, expanding more and more until they could no longer be seen.

Ariel stepped once and fell forward, his chest catching her again. Hades did not let her go this time. His large hands held her firm against his torso, and the underwater cavern faded away, revealing the large throne room of the underworld, a floating platform with pillars that came down from the ceiling and no end to the bottomless pit below.

Her eyes were large as she looked up and all around. Hades turned her chin to look at him, “Welcome to the underworld, my little mermaid.”

Pushing away from him, she stumbled again, then stood, looking out at the open space and glowing green light that rippled against the cavern walls from the void below. “What is this place?”

“Where human souls come after death, to spend all of eternity.”

Her legs teetered back for a moment, then she pushed forward and rushed to the edge, her arms wrapping around a pillar as she leaned over to look down at the swirling abyss below.

It fascinated him, the way her curiosity drove her into the unknown. Sirens really did live without fear.

“Those are people. Humans. Why are they wailing?”

“Those are human souls. Some rest peacefully, others, those, do not.”

“Am I… Am I dead?” She whipped her head back to look at him, a glint of worry in her eyes.

Hades lips spread into a wide grin, “My dear little mermaid, you don’t have a soul.”

Ariel turned her face away from him, her hands holding onto the pillar. With her shoulders tense, it was easy to tell she did not like the name.

Moving closer, his hand pulled hers from her grip on the pillar, and held onto it. “Unlike them, when you die, you will turn back into sea foam-”

“From whence I came, yes, I know,” Ariel spoke sharply.

His other hand twirled a lock of her crimson hair around his finger, “Sirens may live longer lives, but in the end, they become nothing, compared to the eternity of a soul.”

“… how do I get a soul?”

The yearning in her voice was riveting. He could see the desires in her eyes, all over again, as she reached out of the water for land, the first night he saw her.

Hades could not grant a soul. No, all he did was manage them after their body had reposed.

However, Ariel never needed to know that small detail.

Leaning down, he smoothed her hair behind her ear and spoke into it, “Nothing is ever free.”

As she turned her head to look at him, stone steps appeared off the platform, spiraling up toward the ceiling.

“But… I have no money.”

“Ariel, I am a god. I have no use for money.”

“Then… what do you want?”

He smiled again, then he finally stepped back, giving her the room to move away from the ledge. Hades motioned toward the stairs, then watched her, without saying a word.

Slowly, she stepped forward, tripping and stumbling. She had to hold onto Hades as they ascended the stairs. He let her struggle with her legs as she walked, staying behind her and only keeping her from falling to the abyss below.

She needed him to perform even the simplest of tasks, like standing. This was the way he wanted it. He wanted her to need him for everything.

Ariel fell a few times, landing on the steps, but each time she picked herself back up and pushed on. Finally, they reached the room at the top. The moans and groans of the dead were muffled in his office. 

Hades’ desk and chair were carved from a black stone, and all around were tall bookcases, stuffed with books and scrolls. There were no decorations. He brought her right up to the edge and the smoke swirled around her, forming a chair for him to let her fall in.

Hades did not sit. Instead, he stood next to her, looking down at her. “I want your voice, Ariel.”

Her hand moved up to her throat, “My voice… What are you going to do with it?”

“Do with it? Why, nothing. I want YOU to sing for me. Whenever I desire to hear it. In return, I will grant you your legs.”

Her features brightened. “That’s it? You just want me to sing?”

“Just? Oh, no. You don’t seem to understand.” His fingers gripped the chair she rested in as he leaned down. “I want YOU. If you want legs, if you want to walk on land, you will remain in the underworld with me and sing, whenever I want you to.”

Her eyes slowly became wide, “You… want to keep me here? In the underworld? No,” she shook her head, “No, I want to go to the human world, I want to see my family!” She raised up in her seat, not able to fully stand, but came right up to him. “I will not be your slave.”

“You would rather remain a mermaid?”

“Than be your slave? Of course!”

His mouth turned upward into that slow grin, and the chair Ariel held onto for balance, dissipated into a puff of smoke.

“Ah!” She let off a small gasp of surprise and clung onto his robe instinctively.

The smoke wrapped around her legs, up her torso and to her neck. Letting go, her hands grasped her throat as she began to choke.

Hades watched, a deep chuckle in his throat. The smoke faded and she had been returned to her original form.  The mermaid turned and fought as she suffocated.

“When you are ready to make a deal, Ariel, just say the word.”

Bringing her arms to her chest, her gills flicked and flexed once, then closed. She was holding her breath, when there was no water in her lungs to hold onto.

Hades’ grin slowly faded into a look of contempt. Sirens could hold their breath for up to ten minutes. But without water, she should have been begging for her life.

A thought crossed his mind. Ariel could be stubborn enough to die before she gave in. He had no intention of letting that happen, not when she was so close to his grasp. Of course, Hades would not give in. He always got what he wanted, in the end.

But, the seconds ticked by, one by one.

Thirty eight, thirty nine.

Fog rolled over Ariel as Hades reached his arm down. It lifted her up to him and he gripped her chin, pulling her to him. She looked into his eyes and her gills flexed once more. She had mere seconds. Her gaze has a glossy sheen to it, unable to focus properly.

Pressing his lips against her, his fingers moved through her hair as he kissed her roughly. Her fishlike fangs sunk into his tongue as he pushed it passed her lips. They quickly dulled as they were replaced with human teeth. Feeling the change, she bit his lip one last time, then tore away, still pressing her arms against his chest as her legs wabbled, gasping for air.

“Do we have a deal?”

She took a deep breath, “I never really had a choice, did I?”

“I always get what I want, in the end.”

Her hands moved from his chest to his arms and she held onto them, raising herself up to meet his gaze. There was loathing in her eyes. But, Ariel said nothing. A tear rested on her eyelash. “You promised you would teach me to walk.”

“Did I?” He paused, “So, I did. You didn’t take my hand.”

“I didn’t know you, then.”

“And now?”

“Now…” her eyes searched his.

“Now, you still desire what I can offer. Yes?” He tilted her chin to examine her features, but she pulled away again. Her hands almost lost their grasp on his body, an arm pulled her back against his chest tightly. His nose grazed her cheek. They were so close, Ariel could still feel his breath, no matter which direction she turned her head. “Your curiosity betrays you,” he leaned into her ear, “No matter how badly you want to fight, you yearn for the unknown, more.”

His other hand traced down between her shelled top, to the navel she now had and even lower, to her stomach. “Don’t try and lie. It is my job to see through lies,” he pressed his hand against her tightly, “You can feel it, here, deep within you. That fluttering feeling. And no matter how much you try and fight it, it will never go away, not until you feed it.”

He loosened his grip. Then, she turned and looked him in the eyes, “I want to walk on the shores and feel the sun on my skin,” she was searching for a give in the glint of his orbs, pleading.

“Sing for me, siren. And I will think about it.”

Ariel pushed on his chest again and he let go of her waist and grasp her hand instead. Struggling between her balance and his grip, she shook her head, “I can hear you but I won’t.” She pulled again.

Some look for trouble while others don’t.

There’s a thousand reasons I should go back to my cave

And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away.”

“But you wont.”

“You’re not a voice,” she yanked on her hand once more and he released her hand, “You’re just a ringing in my ear.

And if I believed you, which I don’t, You will just chain me here.”

Stumbling back, wisps of smoke pressed against her back and lifted her arms, to keep her from falling as she fought to stand. “Everything I’ve ever loved is-”

“Here within these walls.” Hades leaned back, watching, learning.

“I’m not your secret siren, and I’m blocking out your calls,” she fought back, balling her fists.

“You crave this adventure.”

“I don’t need something new.

I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you

Into the unknown!

Into the unknown!

Into the unknown!”

“What do you want? ‘Cause its been keeping you awake

Am I here to distract you, is this all a big mistake?”

Her change in tone was surprising, she was twisting this around on him. “There is no one out there who is the least bit like you. You know, deep down, this is what you’re meant to be.”

“Every day’s a little harder as I feel your power grow

Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go

Into the unknown?

Into the unknown.

Into the unknown!”

Steadying herself, she flung her arms out to push the smoke away.

“Whoa

You are right here!

Do you know me?

Can you feel me?

Can you show me?

Ooh!” She turned her body away.

Hades walked closer, commanding the tendrils of mist to return to his side and move away from her form. Her legs trembled, but Ariel remained planted where she stood. And indeed, she did stand. Her arms at her side, her hands formed tight fists as she stood still. “Where are you going?”

“Just leave me alone!” She turned and faced him.

“How can I follow you

Into the unknown?”*

As her last notes rang out, he reached a finger up, inches away from her neck, and raised his hand up to her lips, then toward him. As he did, a golden, glowing ball followed, carrying her last note with it.

Ariel clutched her throat, in shock, but unable to utter a single cry.

Hades sneered. holding the orb of light, he brought it to his lips, then held it out and leaned down close to her lips. “I told you, I wanted your voice-“

Whether he was caught off guard, or she still retained her quick reflexes, Ariel slapped him as hard as she could. Then, she grabbed his robe to keep her balance and snatched the orb from his grasp.

Yes, he had silenced her, but the siren spoke wonders through those dancing eyes.

XXX

“Talking”

“Singing”

Song*: “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II.

Featured Image: By Axsens from Deviant Art.

I love how in the last actually chapter, I’m like, “Yeah! I’m back in the groove of things, you guys won’t have to wait as long for the next chapter!” Yeah…

Thank you so much for all the reviews, guys. They are really inspiring and they help to push me to keep writing. I had to force myself through this chapter, but in less than a week, I was able to finish it. I was not planning on adding a song at the end, but “Into the unknown” just popped into my head and it fit so well.

I don’t want to promise that I will have another chapter up, soon, but I have started on it. I’m diving into so much Greek mythology, I’m so excited.

My Little Mermaid Chapter 5 – Desires

A Worker’s Flame

The world is bathed in yellow shadow,

Yet, I work through the day.

The sun a blood red moon,

And here I am slaving away.

Smoke seeps through the warehouse walls,

I take a deep breath and never pause.

The ash will fall, the fires will burn, the apocalyspe will dawn,

And you will find me clocked on, head down, and working hard.

Winds whip the fires violently, the grass has no mercy.

Homes gobbled and still I cannot stay away.

Why, you say.

As the buildings fall and the earth quakes,

So long as there is demand, there is trade.

We have bills to pay, we have mouths to feed.

Taxes wont rest and neither will we.

Our hearts burn for those we adore,

It is their lives we cannot ignore.

Pottery class

Writing is like clay. You can shape it and mold it to how you want it to be, no matter how much you cut off or add on.

The more you work with it, the easier it is to handle.

Your pot will always be your own, even if it looks like someone elses.

It came from dirt, but it’s your inspiration that gave it beauty.

And even after its been fired, glazed, and stamped with a “for sale” tag, if you don’t like it, you can always break it and make a new one.

Stumbling over the Edge

The next week I felt numb. My father came on visiting day, but I didn’t really hear what he had to say.

Lover nurse brought me more pudding, and we messed around a few times during his breaks.

But mostly, I smoked. The more numb I became during therapy sessions, the more drugs they gave me. I think that’s what I wanted all along.

It was not until that next Thursday, after visiting day, that he appeared again.

I sat on the rooftop, spending my time making smoke figures when I felt a tingling on the back of my neck.

I glanced over near the door, where he was. “Thought you’d had enough.”

“… Nah, crazy girl…” his voice sounded broken.

“Then, what do you want?” I should have been nice. I should have crushed my blunt then and there, and said to hell with the drug, and turned and apologized.

I faced forward again and started making green smoke rings.

“I’m going to show you what I can do.”

He didn’t move, he teleported, pulled the weed from my lips and crushed it under his polished boot.

Reggie had dressed up.

In my stoned state, I reacted slowly, not able to stop him as he pulled my hand toward the ledge of the three story building, then jumped, taking me with him.

Edge of Hysteria

I laughed at him. I just laughed, seeing, knowing how much it hurt in his eyes.

I didn’t know whether he was real or not, whether he was telling the truth, or why I didn’t care. I just laughed, dismissing his advancements.

I laughed.

I laughed so hard.

I laughed like I couldn’t control myself.

I would later blame my lack of tack on the herbs, those sweet leaves that turned ceilings into waves. But, I knew better. I laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt. Then, I gripped my chest and laughed some more.

I thought Reggie was going to cry. Reggie Edge, or whatever his real name is.

Revealing his deepest secret to me, I should have been honored, hell, scared, baffled even.

But, I covered that fear with jokes.

Reggie was gone when I opened my eyes. It surprised me, then the guilt set in.

Going back to my bed, I sat there, staring at the wall, with an unopened pudding up in my hand, wanting him to come back.

Twins of Another Kind: Emotionless Ties

Rhythmic beating, mechanical lights, electronic hums and silent whispers. The bloodiest of war rooms. The ER.

Brian’s temporary “fix” to his best friend’s current slaughter break.

It was far more thrilling watching people desperately save the life of an innocent, than to watch a murderer slowly die on the inside as his body was mutilated on the outside.

No one ever questioned his presence in the surgery viewing rooms. To the staff, he was simply another suit.

This visit, however, would be vastly different.

Her perfume filled the whole floor. A mixture of artificial raspberry and spice. Brian had informed her how awful her perfume was, many times, though she never listened.

Apparently, pregnancy had not deterred her from wearing it, either.

The murmurs got louder, then quieter again. No change.

Opening and closing his flip phone, Brian checked the clock once more, questioning why he was wasting his time here.

She already had the devoted husband, pacing outside as he watched his whole life teeter on her deathbed.

“Take responsibility,” were his mother’s words. She wanted him “to be there for them”. Brian did not understand why, they already had loving families of their own.

Of course, one cannot simply tell their own mother that she was wrong. That only formulated a response like, “Then, why did you plan to impregnate Kira and Ashley, Brian?”

And that kind of question led to Brian standing in the surgery viewing room, making sure his “mistake” did not cause further chaos, because god forbid he was ever allowed any fun without serious, detrimental consequences.

Even if it did go wrong, there was nothing he could do about it. He could not stop the surgeons from pulling the plug, or force them to keep working.

Brian was as useless as Evan right now. Opening his phone, he eyed the empty inbox, then closed it. There was the other option of dropping down two floors and visiting his spawn. A word Drake would use to describe them once he found out. And he would, everyone would.

Brian had not seen them, but the nurse’s station was full of gossip about the two little albino boys that looked nothing like their siblings’ fathers.

The murmurs slowly morphed to whispers, then small chatter, and Brian left the viewing room.

They were finally done.

Exiting out of the left door, Brian circled back around to the main entrance of the surgery, and paused just before he turned the corner, where the husband would be waiting.

“Evan Mitchells?” The surgeon called out.

“Yes, is Ashley alright? Please tell me she’s okay.”

“We were able to stabilize her. Her uterine wall ruptured and caused internal bleeding. Her body and bone structure were not designed to handle giving birth to twins. And with her twisted pelvis, I’m sorry, but she won’t be able to have anymore children.”

“Is she safe?” By the tone of Evan’s voice, it was safe to assume he had a hold of the surgeons shoulders, gripping them a little too tightly from his anxiety, while he tried to remain calm.

“Y-yes, she is stable for now. We will monitor her closely. But-”

“When can I see her?”

“We still need to do some tests, sir, and she needs her rest-”

‘“When can I see her. When can the children see her?”

“Please, go back to your room, I will have a nurse come get you when we have moved her out of the ER.”

Evan was reasonable. But, he would only return once he was able to see Ashley again.

Brian turned back down the corridor, away from the conversation. He had heard more than enough to know this was his fault.

Out the nearest window, and down two stories, Brian slipped into the sleeping patients room, silently.

Ashley would not be returned for another hour or two, and Evan would wait by her side patiently, before returning to his new children.

He stepped past the soundless Daywalker and Kitten’s hospital bed, to the two bassinets, as the room was much too small for any more, and glanced at the strange four half siblings with emotionless eyes.

The paperwork in Vincent’s lap stated that the oldest, his only son, was Aiden, which meant Kira’s porcelain doll was Asher.

Brian scooped up the albino infant in one arm, Evan’s nameless baby girl in the other, and switched their bassinets.

Brian did not possess a single paternal bone in his body. So it came as no surprise when he felt nothing, as he stared down at the two children he had selfishly bore. No emotion at all. No pride, no shame, no joy at the new life that carried his gene.

He thought of Evan, and his fear of losing his wife. Then, perhaps the anger he would carry against Brian for ruining the chance at him and Ashley ever having any more children. The pain that would kill him inside.

Just the thought of feeling Evan’s emotional pain was orgasmic.

That made Brian smile.

Ashley’s little babydoll, Ian, began to stir and wrinkle his face to one of her signature ugly frowns.

Brian would never understand what his mother wanted him to feel by coming here. Guilt was pointless, and making himself apart of these two spawns’ lives was out of the question.

Yet, he still smiled. He pulled a knife from his suit coat and pricked his finger. Then, he placed it against Ian’s lips, so the child would feed instead of cry.

The child latched immediately, his half vampire side shining through from birth.

Perhaps there was some form of entertainment he could derive from these two hatchlings, after all. Of course, nothing even close to parental guidance. But, there would certainly be much chaos in their lives, Brian would see to that.

“Shh, there’s no need to wale. Daddy’s here now.”

Edgie State

Stumbling backwards, I reached for the wall behind me, then fell to the floor. “Edge? Your name is Colt.”

“Nah,” Reggie shook his head, “Edge is my real name. Colt is just a cover-”

“The fuck it is,” I responded bitterly. “Tell me what the hell is going on, why couldn’t he see you?”

My friend sighed. He ran his hands through his greasy hair, then rubbed them on his pants again. “… Magic isn’t a good enough answer, is it?”

“No.”

Another sigh, “Alright, alright. Just… Don’t be pissed at me?”

I eyed him, waiting for an answer.

“Okay, so I don’t just do magic, I make potions, too. And then I turn those potions into powder and, well, sell them. Let’s just say… You got a bad a batch. … A really bad batch.”

He was lying. He HAD to be. But, that nurse never once acknowledged him.

“You were less pathetic when you were just a drug dealer.” I snapped, standing back up. That was the way I dealt with things I could not handle. I insulted them.

“Aw, come on, Trini, I can prove it.” He reached out to grab my hand, but I slapped it away.

“No, you can leave. I’m going to eat my pudding and go to bed. And you’re going to leave.”

“Hold on, you’re not even the least bit spooked by this?”

I was terrified. And that fear fueled my anger. “For all I know, you could be another hallucination. And let’s be honest, Reg, you couldn’t intimidate a bunny.” I insulted him again. Up until now, he was always a pushover. Now, he was some supernatural being who could turn invisible? And that was assuming that I had not made him up completely.

“Come on. I really thought I was gonna pull off the whole supernatural bad boy thing.” Reggie rested his hands in his pockets and glanced down.

“Even if you were some wizard who could do magic, you wouldn’t hurt a fly. You don’t have the guts.”

Reggie looked at me. Then, he walked up to me, pretending to be cool as he rested a hand against the door behind me, his arm above my shoulder. “So, come with me, and I’ll show you what I can do.”