Reggie Edge

A knock came at the door, and when I did not answer, it opened.

“It’s Bruce. Just coming in to check on how you are doing.” The male nurse called into my room.

I said nothing as I continued to stare at Reggie in disbelief. Bruce waited a moment or two before deciding my silence was consent to enter.

Reggie’s grin only got bigger as the man walked in, paying no attention to the ginger resting in the corner.

“… I-I’m fine,” I answered quickly so he would not call a doctor in concern of my silence, “… Thanks.” I added as well, trying to be polite. I took a breath and looked toward the nurse in white with a nod, trying not to focus too much on the dorky friend he had failed to acknowledge in the corner.

“Okay, good. If you need anything else, just let me know.” Setting a tray down on the table Reggie sat at, Bruce brought over my evening psychotic pill, which I was pretty sure was just made of sugar, and a cup of water. “How is the high? Coming down okay?”

My attention averted from Reggie to the nurse, and I tried to ignore the black eye he was sporting from the week before. “Oh, and the kitchen had some extra pudding cups, so I snagged you one instead of the normal applesauce.”

I assaulted this guy the day before, and now he was being polite? The dude did not seem like the type to cower, so why was he being so nice?

“Uh… thanks…?”

The male nurse smiled at me and held the water and pill out for me to take.

I took the water and pill quickly, and stared at him until I realized that he would not leave until I had taken them. I glanced at Reggie for just a moment, then quickly swallowed the pill and drank the dirty hospital water.

Once Bruce was satisfied that I had taken it, he took the cup back and headed for the door. “Have a good night.” He called out, then waited at the door to see if I would answer him back.

Another moment of silence and the nurse finally left.

Jumping out of bed, I rushed to the door and quickly locked it. “Yeah, he totally wants to bone you,” Reggie commented, nodding with his stupid grin.

My whipped back at Reggie, “What. The. Hell.”

“I know, right? You would think that after you clocked him, he would transfer to a different floor or something. Hm, must enjoy the abuse.”

“Not lover nurse! You! What-! How-! How are you even here?!”

“Meh, its complicated magic stuff,” Reggie waved his hand, then grinned that dorky grin of his. “I’m not a ghost or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“… But… What?”

“I’m still the same me,” he commented. I stared. Standing, Reggie rubbed his hand on his shorts and held it out. “Name’s Reggie Edge, nice to meet you, crazy girl.”

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My Little Mermaid Chapter 5

Ariel sunk back under the surface for a moment and took a deep breath. Was it time? Could it not wait? Could he not wait?

Looking into those eyes of darkness, Ariel assumed the god never had to.

His broad shoulders relaxed, his gaze tracing her form in the water, he looked calm, for now. His figure, a dark, wispy outline against the flickering light, felt bold, defined. A clear tone atop a hazy picture.

She had never met a man before, not really, nor a god, for that matter, so she could not describe his stature as such. But, he was commanding.

With nowhere else to go, and unable to stay still, she emerged from the water and came back to the surface’s edge. “Nothing is ever free.”

“Still not trusting me?” Hades countered. He smiled, then raised his hand, creating a path on the wall next to them, both of land and sea. “Come with me, Ariel. Or, is the surface world not worth the risk?”

“But, I…”

“But, you could never fully trust me,” the god repeated her words with a coy smile. He stepped toward the tunnel, and paused, his back toward her. “I won’t offer again.”

Her heart pounded, and she took one final glance behind her, where her escape used to exist.

This dream to walk on land, to explore the world above, was it now or never? She would never forgive herself if she never took this chance, but at what cost? What of her friends and family? Flounder, and Daddy, would she get her chance to say goodbye? Would this even be the last she ever saw of them? And this god of the dead, what would he want in return?

Ariel released the grip of the cloth tablet and let it slip from her arms to the sea floor below. Then, she ducked under water and darted forward, into the path, before that was lost forever, as well.

Ariel would not wait beside him, she continued her swimming along the tunnel, staying underwater while keeping next to the path he mostly likely walked upon.

The further she swam, the darker the tunnel became, until Ariel had to slow down, putting her hands in front of her to find her way.

The liquid felt thick, like wet sand, and swimming became more difficult. She kicked harder and harder, not afraid of hitting anything, just determined to get out. No matter how much she kicked, her body still sludged forward like a snail.

The thickness made it harder to breath, as well. Her hand moved from the front of her to her neck, as she clawed at her gills to get them to open up. Nothing seemed to be blocking them, yet, she could not breath.

Her hands reaching forward again, she grabbed at whatever she could as she began to suffocate under the water. Her fingers touched thick sand, and she clawed at it, pulling herself to it.

Ariel slowly crawled out of the dark water, gasping for air as she coughed up sea water from her lungs. She pulled her body up onto the shore, sliding her knees forward slowly to escape the black river.

She took deep breaths of air, then started to cough and shiver from the sudden cold. She reached up to her gills again, to find the skin on her neck was bare. Her breathing quickened in a panic.

“Do I have to teach you to breathe as well?”  She heard the god ask from above her. Looking up, her eyes squinted through the droplets of water as she continued to cough. Breathe? As in air.

She pulled her legs up to her torso from the cold, thick river, when her heart stopped. Glancing down, her hands reach out and brushed off wet sand from her smooth, creamy legs. Legs, she had legs now.

She felt his hand touch her arm and her body was pulled forward abruptly. There was no time to admire her new limbs, no time to learn to stand. Ariel stumbled forward, gripping his clothes as she leaned against his chest.

Managing short, quick breaths, she could hardly control her heart rate. Before she knew it, she had been granted what she always wanted, and yet, standing in front of this god, she felt an emotion mermaids did not know how to comprehend.

Shame, embarrassment. Ariel was not just cold, she was naked, exposed and unsure how to cover herself to feel secure again.

Carved, jeweled shells that were normally worn as a sign of royalty, and fashion, were reduced to the only piece of clothing that covered her skin from his eyes.

She could not breath, could not think. And as the god held her upright, without holding her for comfort, she felt hot, burning water drip from the corner of her eyes and slide down her cheeks. It was salty and her throat held a tight knot, keeping her from speaking.

Surely, she was dying, her body melting away, unable to make the change.

“Apparently, I do.” Hades slid his hand from her arm, up her shoulder to her neck. Then, he tilted her chin and pressed his lips against hers.

Her whole body warmed from his touch, and she felt the knot melt away. It was like he breathed life into her again.

Ariel pushed on his chest, needing to exhale, until their lips broke away. She turned, then stumbled and fell back down to the sand, coughing up water from her lungs. She took long, deep breaths, now that she knew how, and looked up at Hades, wiping those hot streaks from her cheeks. “I… I have legs… I have legs! You gave me legs!”

Finally, the realization set in, and joy began to fill her whole body. Pushing her hands into the sand, Ariel struggled to get back on her feet.

“I-oh!” Finally putting weight on her new limbs, she felt them give way and collapsed to the ground once more.

“I shall have to teach you to stand, as well,” the God of the underworld spoke from above her.

“Thank you… I don’t know how to thank you.” She turned and reached for his garment, to help herself stand again.

“Nothing is ever free,” Hades replied with a smirk.

Looking up, her eyes met with his and she felt that shame again, that feeling she could not describe as his gaze peered over her form.

“So many new emotions a mermaid is not used to feeling,” He knelt down, holding a folded cloth over his arm, “Your heart beats wildly, your body frozen, not responding to that natural flee response you are so used to relying upon.”

She kept her eyes turned away, her arms covering her chest protectively.

“Relax, Ariel,” his palm touched her cheek and he raised her chin to meet his eyes again, “I will teach you what those emotions mean, in due time.” Pulling the cloth from his arm, Hades draped the blue silk over her shoulders.

Despite her covering her chest, Ariel took the garment and wrapped it around her waist twice, tying it off on one side. He understood her shame, and how to make it go away, but he offered neither knowledge nor comfort in her distress.

Arial slid her legs out in the sand and pushed herself up to sit on her knees. “What is it that you want from me?”

“I want you to sing, Ariel. I want you to sing for me.” The god stood. “When I first saw you, your voice let off the most enchanting melody to ever reach my ears. Want and desire poured through every word,” his steps in the sand circled around her. “Beauty is dull and so vulgar these days. Skin deep and only as thick as the ink that makes it so.”

Ariel felt him touch a lock of her hair and she turned to look up into his eyes.

“But, the sounds of your chords are something even angels are envious of,” he gave a slight smirk at the irony of his little joke, but Ariel only stared up into his eyes, not knowing what an angel was.

“Your voice is something I cannot possess on my own,” he paused as he looked down at her. Then, Hades knelt down again. “I want you, Ariel.”

His fingers touched a lock of her hair again, then moved to brush her lips, before he stood and walked back toward his throne. Hades sat down and stared at her. “Now, sing for me.”

Her hands slid through the sand, and she took a deep breath, testing her new lungs.

“… Nerves, don’t fail me now,

Courage, don’t deceive me,

Wont turn back, now that I’m here.

Merfolk always say, life is full of wonders,

No one ever imagined this.”

Sliding her hands through the sand, Ariel slowly found her balance, placing her weight back on her knees.

“In a world that seems so vast,

I’ll take this journey, don’t let it pass.”

The dry sand felt so different as it slid through her fingers.

“Somewhere down this path,

I know there’s so much waiting,

Years of dreams just can’t be wrong!”

Shifting her legs back and forth, she slowly crawled, putting weight on the balls of her feet.

“Valleys old and wide,

Mountains tall and frosted,

Finally now where I belong.”

With her weight on her new feet, Ariel pushed herself off the ground, holding her arms out to try and balance herself.

“Well, starting now, I’m learning fast,

I’ll take this journey, won’t let it pass.”

Stumbling, Ariel slipped and fell again, her heart beating wildly with wonder.

“Home, sea, family,

Was there once a time they were enough for me?

Home, friends, family

I’m not turning back,

Now that I am free.”

With a new breath from her lungs, she steadied herself again and stood up, resting her weight in her heels.

“One step at a time,

One foot, then another,

Who knows where this path may lead.

Back to who I was,

No, that’s not in my future.

Much my heart still yearns to know.”

Her breath quickened with each successful step, excitement overtaking her.

“Yes, let this choice be mine

Let me control each time

My feelings burst with joy.”

Ariel stood tall, finally able to stable herself. Then, she held her breath and took her first step.

“And set me free

At last!* Oh-!”

She slipped in the sand and fell back on her butt, her legs sliding out from under her. Her cloth skirt was pulled apart from her fall, exposing herself to the god again. Her cheeks heated, feeling embarrassment for the first time for her performance.

Though, meeting his gaze, she could see how pleased he was. Please, yet very unsatiated, as he looked down at her with those black eyes.

XXX

“Talking”

“Singing”

Song*: Journey to the Past from Anastasia

Featured Image: I do not own the rights to this image. I believe the original source comes from DeviantArt, but I could not find the artist.

Edges and Waves

I laid on my bed, staring up at the white ceiling as it turned different shades of green and blue. A ‘high’ is what they called it. A medical induced one, anyway.

“I thought weed was supposed to calm you, make you feel really chill.”

“Aren’t you chill now?”

I sat up slightly and glanced at the wobbly Reggie, who leaned back in the one chair in the room. Flopping my head back down, I sighed, “I would be if the ceiling would stop moving.”

“Ooh, whats that like?” he asked, the legs of the chair dropping down as he sat up straight.

“Like being in the belly of the beast,” I replied. Then snorted.

Reggie did, too. “Id say its more like floating beneath the ocean,” he nodded.

“Or, above it, as you stare down at the crashing waves below you, just waiting for the moment you fall.”

“You’re so dramatic.”

“This ceiling is dramatic,” I retorted.

I allowed the silent crashing of ceiling waves to fill my head for five minutes. Then, I spoke up again, “I’ve never been to the ocean.”

“That’s ’cause you’re lame like that.”

They started to turn pink and yellow. “Do you think people see monkeys as red when they’re high?”

“Why, are you seeing monkey?”

“No, just thinking about them.”

“I don’t know what people see when they’re high.”

“Haven’t you ever been high before?”

“Nope. I sell drugs, I don’t do them.”

“You’re lame.”

“If I smoked my own weed, Id be out of a job.”

“Oh. True.”

I exhaled. “What day is it again?”

He snorted, “Last time I checked, it was Friday.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s right. My dad came to visit me the other day, Wednesday.”

“Oh? He did? How was that?”

“Apparently, smashing a pudding cup into the table because it wont open is considered violent behavior.”

Reggie snorted. “Really? Is that what those bruises on your wrists are from?”

I raised an arm and stared at the red marks. “Nope. Those are from the male nurse I punched. Apparently, that’s frowned upon too, so they restrained me.”

“Why’d you punch a nurse?”

“Because he wouldn’t give me a replacement pudding cup. I was still hungry.”

Reggie burst into laughter at that.

I smiled a little, too. The ceiling seemed to shake with his laughter.

“I wonder if my dad will visit next Wednesday.” It was the only day we were allowed visitors

“If he’s not too ashamed to call you his daughter,” he snickered again.

“Hey, Reg,” I sat up again and stared at him. He dropped the front legs of his chair and looked at me, a smirk still on his features as he nodded my way.

“Sub, crazy girl?”

“… How did you even get in here?”

Red Edges

“Hey, dad,” I sat down across from him and set my spoon and pudding to the side. The man looked exhausted.

“Hey, kid,” he nodded at me, but sighed as well.

“So, come to visit, or take me home this time?” Now that the greetings where over with, I picked up my pudding and struggled to open it.

“Come on now… I get daily updates from the doctors, they said you got into another fight again.”

“Yeah, and? This place has crazy people, dad.” The stupid plastic cover wouldnt pull off the stupid pudding cup.

“Yeah, it does, kid,” he nodded with another sigh.

Why couldn’t they serve GoGurt in this place. My stomach was gnawing on my insides from the munchies. “And Philips asks me the same damn questions every day, this place is boring.”

“Hey, I heard one of your friends from school has been visiting you.”

“Yeah, Reggie is cool like that.” I nodded, focusing on getting the pudding. The sweet, chocolaty, cheap pudding, like everything else in this place.

“Oh, and who is this Reggie?” Dad raised an eyebrow, playing the overprotective father for five minutes.

“Just some guy at school. He was hoping I would be out before prom, but that’s obviously not going to happen.” Stupid pudding!

“Well, he should understand that you’re here to get better.”

“Yeah, whatever. If you’re not going to let me out, at least make yourself useful and allow conjugal visits, Reggie is getting bored on the outside.”

“Trini!” The man sat up straight, staring at me with surprise. “You are not-”

“Gah!” Standing, I turned the pudding cup upside down and smashed it into the table several times, until it popped and the chocolate squirted onto the table. I continued to smash the plastic container against the metal table, crumbling the trash in my fist.

“Trinity!” My dad stood and gripped my shirt in both hands, shaking me from my rage. “Look at yourself!”

I stopped at stared at him, rather surprised at his sudden outburst. “Look at what you are doing!” he threw a hand toward the pudding mess. “This isn’t normal!”

“Well, I wanted pudding-”

“You’re not like this. You’re not violent! Why can’t you see that?”

“It wouldn’t open!”

“You’ve lost over a hundred pounds a one month, you’re not even eating, Trinity. Looking at yourself, you look like a skeleton in a medical gown.”

“Yeah, thanks for the compliment, Dad, you look kinda terrible yourself-”

He slapped me. His hand shook afterwards, and he instantly let go of my shirt. “This isn’t a game to me,” he looked sad, and horrified. “Trinity, you think I want this for you? You think I want you in here? You think I like being at home by myself? I don’t understand what is going on, but you’re not well.”

“Oh, stop being dramatic!” I yelled back at him. “You probably love being able to sleep with your new wife wherever you want to in the house! And that witch overreacted, it was just stupid perfume!”

“Eve is in coma, Trinity!” He yelled louder, but the man was on the brink of tears. The room went silent, as we had every inmates attention now.

Oh. … Whatever, I didn’t hit her that hard. I… “Why’d you have to get married? Why’d you have to betray mom like that!”

“You’re mother left us! She abandoned us years ago! You have never been attached to her. Eve was nothing but kind to you. She’s the one who insisted you needed more freedom, more time to stay out late, she bought you your phone and the car. You love Eve! Why don’t you remember, Trinity? I only married her because you told me you wanted her to stay with us.”

I… I loved the witch? No, that was not right… She… she was mean to me, so mean… She… She did something, right?

I shook my head. No, I would not listen to these lies.

“… Trinity… Please tell me you remember. Please.”

I shook my head again, then looked at my father. “… I… I hope she stays in that coma.”

White Edges

I inhaled, sighed, then sucked on the burnt paper, exhaling through my nose as smoke swirled into the air. “I get locked up for doing drugs, and what do they do when I get here? Give me drugs to help me recover.”

It was nice to be outside, enjoying the sunshine after all of the rain we had the last week. I could still smell the damp wetness from the rooftops.

“Yeah, but they’ll never legalize the good stuff,” Reggie nodded from his resting place on the other side of the picnic table.

“Good stuff? Like what you gave me?” Whatever it had been, this medical weed didn’t compare.

He snorted, “Sure, you could call it that.”

I sighed when I did not get the answer I wanted and took another drag.

“Your dad come to visit?”

“Don’t think he can stand the sight of me right now. Besides, he’s on a business meeting overseas. I still can’t believe that witch locked me in here. It was just stupid perfume.”

“Didn’t you bash her face in the mirror of that vanity, first?”

“That’s beside the point.” I replied with a small smile. “Even so, that would mean its your fault I got locked in here.”

He chuckled, “Meh, worth it.” He sat up and rested his elbows on the table. “Think you’ll be out in time for prom?”

“In your dreams, Reg.”

He snorted at that, “As long as I’m allowed to dream.”

I shook the ash from the blunt, then looked back at him, “What about Sonya?”

“Oh, she switched sides.”

“Ouch, that sucks, man.” I faced forward again to hide my smile.

Another inhale of medical induced bliss, and I crushed what was left in the hospital provided ash tray. My treatment for the day now over, they would take me back inside to the white rooms, where I would wait out the high before I was brought food, then taken to Dr. Philips, the jerk with a PhD.

“So, when do they allow conjugal visits?”

I cut my eyes in his direction but smiled anyway. “When I’m eighteen.”

“Well, that’s boring.” Reggie stood up and tasted the smoke on my lips. Then, he stepped on the other side of the park bench to leave. “See you around, crazy girl.”

“Enjoy your lonely evening, drug dealer.” He gave a bow at my comment and exited the roof as two nurses came through to retrieve me.

Edges

Just one puff. I just needed something to cool me off, make me relax. Reggie after class said it would help me forget what a horrible week I had.

I shifted my eyes between the many white rooms on either side of the hallway. She had overreacted, that trashy stepmother of mine. I just trashed her vanity and broke all of her expensive perfume that she used to lure my father into marrying her.

I was just tweaking, that’s all. It was just one stupid puff, that witch. Is that any reason to ship me off to the state mental institute?

My Little Mermaid Chapter 4

In another world, a newer time, and better storyline, Ariel would have saved the dinglehopper. Shined it, cared for it, and put on display, just left to the thingamabobs and below the galore of whatsits.

She tossed it to the side, instead, and torpedoed deeper into the sunken ship. That voice and those eyes of the strange, smoky blue figure. He felt… Familiar, like she had heard of him before. And like all things land, she swam down to the largest collection of whose-its to skim through layers of thin tablets to find him, before the delicate etchings faded away.

As she flowed and swayed, to and frow, to the waters current, she hummed its tune, to make numb the pain in her chest. Last time she had been down here, flounder almost lost his tail…

And daddy had to listen to a dozen schools of fish complain about how much of a bad influence the youngest princess was on their many children.

Ariel, of course, still protested and blamed it on the shark, to which Flounder had joined in to agree and protest as well.

In the day’s current, though, she swam alone. There was no reason to danger another creature with her wildest passions. And, Flounder had been… Well, to put it bluntly, Flounder was growing up. And growing tired of the olden days of Chase and Explore, like her young guppy games were merely that. Games. And Flounder had his future to think of, of course.

Well, Ariel had hers to. And when they discovered her plans, well…

She swayed this way and that, gliding over the leather-bound wonders as she pretended to read each foreign symbol etched into their bindings. And as she swayed, she hummed, then parted her lips and let out a soft melody that traveled through the waters around her:

“I need another story,
Something to get off my chest.
My life is kind of boring,
Need somewhere that I’m not oppressed.

My sisters made their bed
They won’t listen to see past, instead
The mask they think I don’t wear.
Thought you saw me blink, so,
I can hardly breath, so

Tell me what you want to hear,
Your voice has been so unclear,
So sick of being insecure,
I just wanna let go and fly away.

This time, I pray that you’re not a lie,
Don’t care if I cross the line,
I’m gonna let go and fly away.

But, if only my family knew,
What would they say?
So sick of all the insincere
Why won’t they just let me go and fly away?

I’ve tried, hidden messages in lullabies
Won’t let my feelings stand by
Why won’t they just let me go and fly away?

They won’t miss me if I’m not here,
They won’t come no matter how much I let them in,
They can’t see that I’m so insecure
Why can’t they just let me go and fly away?

These ties, broken so easily when family dies,
Won’t care about me either way,
If they just let me go, I would fly away.”*

Her fingers paused against one of the bindings, and she knocked the fragile tablets to the side and picked up the largest one on the bottom, as easily as a leaf of seaweed. Spiraling to the top of the boat, Ariel opened it up to the fading pages and let the book fall to the shipwreck floor as she followed it down. It made no sound as it touched the sand below and she settled down in front of it, her tail swaying back while she studied the strange language, like a young girl swings her feet back and forth as she is reading a good book.

Slowly, she turned each page, caught between amazement and wonder and the beautiful creature and how those humans understood a single character that was written on these thin, clothlike pressings. Her heart picked up when she turned a page, and caught sight of the blue male figure, the one she had spoken with up on shore.

Her eyes darted to below the portrait, and her fingers ran back and forth along the foreign languages, recognizing the repeat of many characters, but not quite able to understand them. But the pictures of the man, Ariel could understand those. Pictures were like ballads of shapes and figures. His especially were a whirlpool of color, striking every mental nerve with a sharp pluck. He was like a song, was the only way she could describe it, a song she learned to sing and scream and bellow, but could not for her own life, form the words to.

Red locks floated and hovered for a moment, as her head dipped down and she brushed her lips against the blue figure’s with a chaste passion. She giggled at her own silliness, then sighed as she stared at the portrait, longing to kiss it again.

“A-Ariel!” Her head jerked up with sudden fear and shame, and she quickly closed the book.

“Flounder?” she called out, looking all around. He would not understand her at all. But, her heart beat fast with excitement. Perhaps, he had changed his mind? Yes! Perhaps now, he would try, really try to understand her feelings.

“Flounder! I’m down here!” Pressing the large leather-bound tablet to her chest, she lifted herself up off the ocean floor, and circled around to scan the broken openings in the ships hole. Where was he?

“Ariel!” there was his voice again! Above her? No, it had been fading.

“Flounder, wait!” She giggled again, and swam through the hatch to the top deck. “I was down looking at pictures again. I found what I was looking for!” Her tail turned in twirls again, expecting to see the yellow sea creature floating just behind her, but there was no glimpse of his blue stripes, nor his tiny fin. “Flounder, I told you I was going to the shipwreck.” She called out, swimming further on to where she believed she had heard his voice.

“Ariel!” She heard his voice again, this time around one of the coral reef’s tunnels.

Her best friend, she had to catch him! They would play one last game of Chase, before she told him her plans. Ariel needed Flounder to support her on this. She could not do it alone. “My, Flounder, you’ve gotten rather fast!”

Slowing down to the entrance of the tunnel, her gills pulled in fresh saltwater, then she torpedoed forward, and around the bend. “Ahah- Flounder?” She paused again. He was not… there.

“Ariel!” Again, his voice called out, and she swam after it. This part of the reef did not look familiar to her. Perhaps he had found a new hideout for them? Yes, one last game of Explore before she moved on.

“You can hide, Flounder, but you can’t swim very fast!” She laughed again, chasing after his voice as she held the book to her chest. Yes, she would catch him, then show him what she had found! Just like they used to do!

Around more corners, and through deeper tunnels, she followed his voice again and again as he called out to her, never quite able to catch a glimpse of him. He must have been at the end, and had planned this, for his voice traveled very well through the tunnels. Obviously, that must have been the case, because there was no way Flounder was that fast.

Suddenly, Ariel turned around a corner and reached a dead end. But, there was no Flounder. Above her, though, the water stopped, and opened up into an air pocket. Her and Flounder had come across a few of these before, but he had never willing gone through one.

“Oh, Flounder, you can’t hide, either!” She chimed out, then broke through the surface with alarming speed, and halted quickly before she dolphined through the air. The cavern was brightly light, the burning, flickering heats that she had seen so many countless times on land, rested on either side, before the short shore. Her hand reached out to it in longing.

That burning, flickering heat, she had longed to lace her fingers through and grasp, not matter how badly it scorched her flesh. But, then… “Flounder…?”

“Oh, is that what you call the Cheesy Filet?” Her heart caught in her throat, and she held the binding to her chest protectively, though she knew it was meaningless compared to whom that voice belonged to. He stepped out from the shadows and into the glowing light, the wispy smoke following behind him as he reached the water’s edge.

She moved back instinctively, and every bone in her tail urged her to run. But… “Where is Flounder?”

“Not here,” he grinned, “I used his voice to lure you here.”

Shame swept her features as she had so stupidly followed his lure, and had kissed his portrait so carelessly. “W-why…?”

“Don’t you think it’s time we talked,” his hand raised up and she felt the waters shift behind her. Spinning around, she watched the entrance she had swam through close up with thick fog, the kind of fog that was warned could swallow a mermaid whole, if they got too close. She moved back away from the smoke, then turned to face him, now at his feet, on the shores edge. “Without interruptions this time, Ariel,” he added with a smile.

XXX

“Talking”

“Singing”

Song*: Secrets by OneRepublic

Featured Image: I do not own the rights to this image. Unfortunately, I cannot find the original source, either.