Page 1, My modernized version of The little mermaid. For nickystokes contest.
Deep within the Atlantic, deeper than any man could see, deeper than any anchor could reach the soft sand that is the ocean floor, where the water was such a rich blue the fish could hardly seek their destinations. So deep in fact that nobody knew there lived such mysterious creatures, creatures this world call “mythical” and frown upon the people who believe they exist, creatures known to call themselves...
There at the bottom of the ocean the mermaids lived in a small kingdom, run by the King of the Atlantic region, along with his three beautiful daughters and their stepmother.
The King had long ago lost his queen and only recently married again. The stepmother was not of the queen variety and so the Kings mother did not approve of the marriage and threatened to cut off contact with her son if he should marry such an unfit woman. But the King loved the stepmother with all of his heart and took the risk and saw his mother shake her head, her long silver head waving in the water, and she swam away from the kingdom. She was never heard from again.
The three sisters had been greatly wounded by their grandmother's abandonment, but neither were hurt so much as the youngest of the daughters. She had been so close to her, and that she left without uttering a goodbye hurt her more than anything. Her grandmother had been the one to dress her for her first night above water, she had promised to place pretty little red sea flowers in her flowing dark hair and to stick those horridly painful oysters on her tail, showing off her high rank as one of the princesses of their region. She had told them stories of her own about her first night and the many others after that.
“But it has changed very much, I'm sure.” the grandmother had said. “It has been over a hundred years since I had been above these waters. In all of my two-hundred years of my life nothing has ever stayed the same up there. From the dresses to the cottages, to the mansions to the telephone. Nothing stays the same. And I am sorry I cannot tell you more.”
The rules of the kingdom were that every mermaid or merman had to be at least 16 to visit the surface. And to the youngest disdain she had to wait the longest. Each sister was born three years apart and so the youngest had to wait nine years before she could surface and see for herself what her sisters had reported to her after they had come back.
They would say that these odd box shaped metal things called cars made very loud sounds like a whale had been shot and was screaming for its life! And that there were plenty of trees and flowers that smelled heavenly (underwater flowers had no scent) spotted on all sorts of wonderful places, and they saw dozens of far away mountains all over the island their kingdom was near with little houses dotted here and there upon the tree clustered hills.
The second sister to go up had reported the people on land had no tails but two little sticks their grandmother translated as legs.
“But who would want two clumsy legs when they can have one beautiful tail?” the first sister said, showing off with a somersault and giggling.
“Because they do not need them, they can swim with their legs. And they have no need for tails for they cannot even breath underwater.”
The sisters bombarded their grandmother with more questions after that but soon the youngest sisters lost interest and went to her chambers to sleep.
The next three years leisurely passed and the first sister was finally aloud to surface.
Her stepmother, in place of her grandmother, decorated the mermaid beautifully but instead of the red flowers like she wanted she instead placed blue and white.
“To symbolize purity in such a young girl.” the stepmother explained.
The youngest thought the flowers made her look deathly pale and her dark hair very near black. And the oysters she stuck on were so painfully pinching her tail she hollered and cursed her stepmother.
“Hush, child! It takes painful measures to be beautiful.”the stepmother had said, pinching on more of oysters as she scolded the mermaid of her foul language. And even threatened to forbid her from surfacing tonight!
That made the little mermaid go quiet.
It had been nightfall when she surfaced for her first time the moon was high in the starry night sky. The first thing she noticed was a long white brightly lit boat, it looked like one of those yachts her sisters had told her about. It looked as if a party was going on and barrels of hooting and hollering rang from the yacht as . So many people laughing talking not even noticing the young mermaid swimming close by. She peered into the large round lower-deck windows and spotted the hottest guy she had ever seen! His hair was dark not unlike hers and his eyes were a glorious hazel-green and piercing into the eyes of a girl he was talking to.
She was not pretty, at least not as pretty as herself, but the young mermaid felt envious of her. She got to talk to the super hot guy while she, fish tail and all, sat in the salty water stalking what seemed to be a really nice guy.
She ended up leering into the window the whole time on her first night up and she watched as the party-goers slowly fell asleep tremendously drunk anywhere comforting to them on the boat. But one person wandered around drinking from a bottle of wine (or at least that's what she assumed it to be, if her sisters info on alcohol had been correct) stumbling around, hiccuping with every step.
It was him!
The super hot guy!
And he was DRINKING?!
She swam away from the boat afraid that he would see her and as soon as she turned her head to glance back she saw him stumble over the railing tumbling into the calm dark waters.
He sputtered and kicked determinedly though uselessly to keep himself afloat... but he was still sinking!
The young mermaid speedily swam to save the inebriated boy just as he passed out under the sea.
She dove down and dragged him to the surface, his eyes closed but his heart steadily beating.
“Such sexiness, should not be wasted to the sea!” whispered the young mermaid, learning the phrase from her sisters some years ago.
She swam the boy to the beach, holding him by his handsome head and torso.
The boy eyes started to flutter and he his mouth tried to form words.
“W-what, h-h-happen...” was all he could muster.
Frightening the mermaid she nearly dropped him! But instead she sped up her leisurely pace and let the tide drift him ashore near a little house where the people were just waking up.
She quickly hid behind a rock and watched him, hoping that someone would notice him- who wouldn't notice him!
He was just so hot...
A young couple rushed out of their house in a panic, immediately pushing buttons on the cell phones (that was an assumption as well if her sisters were up to date on electronics). They obviously knew who he was because they were extremely careful with him, as if he were a delicate Sephimous ( a very fragile yellow flower under the sea), and not a muscular man with a strong jaw and eyes like Poseidon himself!
She had to force herself to swim away, it was almost dawn and she was not supposed to be out that long.
But before she dove under the water the mermaid had not known that the boy had seen her dark hair swirl around as she turned and her fish tail when she dove. He assumed it to be a trick of the light, until she poked her head back up for another view he knew he eyes did not deceive him.
The young mermaid had not noticed the boys eyes on her when she had peeked up for that last time. But she knew she wanted to see him again, and she did, but only incognito was she able to see him, his beautiful hair blowing in the wind as he rode around on his jet ski, and his tanned skin sprinkled with little tears of water.
She gawked at him on most days but soon became insane with the restriction she was under, she wanted to touch him, to kiss him. And most of all she wanted him to fall in love her.
She had fallen in love with the boy at first glance and wanted him to feel the same way as her.
And so during a ball the King was having to celebrate his marriage to the stepmother, the young mermaid slipped out and wandered out to the most dangerous part of the sea.
The White Witches Cove.
Although the witch was completely white there was no purity in her activity. She was frighteningly white with black eyes and no white and her body was not unlike the mermaids but she had two tails instead of one and her miraculously long white hair spread and flowed through the water. It was rumored that if you should cross the witch she could command her hair to grab you and strangle you until you breath no more.
And she dealt with dark magic and dark magic alone.
Maybe to contradict herself?
But the young mermaid was desperate. She swam fiercely to the White Witches Cove, and begged the witch to hear her request.
“My dear, I knew you would come to me for this. I shall grant your wish, but silly girl, you cannot wish for someone to fall in love with you. I can give you the legs to walk among his kind, but I shall want your voice in return.” said the witch with a sly grin, showing her shark-like teeth. “But I must warn you these legs will feel fire when you stand and your feet will feel as if you are stepping on needles.”
“I don't care! Just do it!” cried the mermaid.
“Young princess, there is a greater consequence: You must get him to fall in love with you on your own, you will only have a month to do so. If he should not express his love for you your heart will break and you will die.”
The mermaid hesitated, mermaids could not cry but she so very much would have been if she could.
“As you wish, princess.”
And so the witch gave the mermaid a potion but to told her not to drink it until dusk.
The young mermaid obliged and swam swiftly back to her home.
Dusk arrived and the mermaid swam to the surface to drink; it caused her great pain in her legs and her head, and soon she passed out from all of the pain.
She awoke with a tanned hand on her cheek, and bright hazel-green eyes gazing into her own.
She sat up quickly , her body instantly flooding with pain as she let out a silent scream.
“Whoa! Chill! Are you alright?” saidthe boy, holding her shoulders to calm her down . “I just want to help you...you look familiar, have we met?”
The mermaid forced her self to nod and pointed to her throat.
“You have a soar throat?”
She shook her head and tried to speak but her throat burned and she let out another silent scream.
“Oh shi- I- I mean wow... you can't talk..”
She nodded and smiled wearily. She was suddenly exhausted and nearly passed out again. But the gorgeous boy noticed her tired eyes and lifted the mermaid up into his strong smooth arms and carried her to his empty yacht.
She spent her first night upon the yacht listening to the boy as he told her about himself;
he was the governor’s son (whatever that was) and he was currently a per-law student (whatever THAT was) at Columbia.
And his name was Michael.
He told her about his childhood and his hobbies and how his father got elected.
They spent their days walking along the beach and having moonlit picnics there as well.
She met his family and had dinner with them.
Although they hadn't known what to call her so, but Michael given a name on the spot and called her Cele, which he later told her meant heaven.
“I think they loved you, Cele.” he said as they left dinner with his parents. “I'm not too surprised I mean you are gorgeous you were nice to them.”
He continued to compliment her as they walked and she mentally muted his chatter when she saw her sisters poke their head s out of the water and were staring right at them not a long distance away. They looked so sad to see her waste her life on such an idiotic boy. But they knew there was nothing they could do now and so only stared upon them gravely.
Thirty days had swiftly passed and the boy had not told the mermaid he loved her.
She was becoming fearful now and would start to shake and shiver in her bed as nightmares intruded upon her wonderful dreams. Michael had been having to wake her numerous times to stop her silent shrieking and wild tossing. Yes they slept in the same bed but only because the boy wanted her close.
Not for pleasure.
On her final day of life the mermaid panicked and tried to play charades with him, she beat on her chest and played dead and pointed to the sea and even drew a broken heart and a dead corps on a piece of paper. All the boy did was laugh, amused at the girls naivete her the silly faces she made.
The mermaid silently yelled and cursed him.
“Jeez! What the hell is the matter with you!? Cele calm down!” he grabbed her shoulders and shook her a bit to get her to stop her hysterics.
But before he let go of her shoulders the mermaid wrapped her arms around his neck, pulled him close and kissed his lips.
The boy kissed her back, pulling her closer to his body, the mermaid melting into him and they stood there and kissed as the sunset.
The boy pulled away and took a few steps back, his face looked wary and his posture slouched.
“I-I'm sorry, Cele, I can't do this with you... I'm engaged.”
The mermaids eyes bugged out and her mouth agape.
'Why had he not told me this before!” the mermaid though.
She fell to her knees and silently cried, and beating on the sand with her little hands.
“Cele, please try to understand... I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to happen. Please forgive me.”
The mermaid glared up at the boy, staring daggers into his eyes, she slowly picked herself up and slapped the boy across his chiseled cheek. Hurting her hand in the process, she wailed silently and danced around in pain holding her hand as the boy held his hand to his stinging cheek.
And to the mermaids surprise he laughed, laughed at her dance and her injured hand, and took her healthy one in his. He led her back to the yacht and bandaged her hand while she glared at him.
He told her to get some rest and he kissed her on her forehead. Chuckling still at her little fret he went to bed later himself.
The sun began to rise and she soon heard the voice of the witch.
“It is time now, princess. The boy has not fallen in love with you and you must now jump into the water to die. If you do not jump you will start to rot where you stand. The clock is not ticking. Jump now.”
And so the mermaid sneaked out of her quarters, climbed onto the ledge... and jumped
The boy had searched all morning for the mermaid only to find the boat empty of any other presense. But he had not found her and never would.
© Copyright 2014AemmaBella All rights reserved. AemmaBella has granted theNextBigWriter, LLC non-exclusive rights to display this work on Booksie.com.