Peter Clarke

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Peter Clarke, studying to be a biologist suddenly falls in love with a 'mermaid', until death want's her soul. Only problem is that in this story, nobody seems to be who they really are.

Submitted: November 04, 2011

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Submitted: November 04, 2011

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“My boy is all grown up. Please call me as soon as you get home, be careful, and find yourself a girlfriend would ya’?” That’s my mother. She’s always watching over me, no matter what. I haven’t seen her for the last two years. Since I left to college, only one thing has been on the top of my list; Study. Unfortunately, I’ve had to put her second on my list of priorities.
She’s always been alert for my calls. I always try to explain to her that I don’t like to make any calls, and that I prefer to write letters and receive them back. But mom would always insist by saying, ‘I want to hear my sons voice, it’s the least thing I survive by.’ She’ll always win, so once or twice a week I would call her.
“Mom, please, you are embarrassing me!” she always found a way to make me blush and flutter in front of my pals. One thing my friends loved about my mother was her cooking. I have to say, she cooks like a Goddess. “I have to go; I don’t want to miss my plane. Besides, I need to go home and finish up some homework that I left undone. Now take good care of her, Tom.”

He’s my stepfather. My Father died when I was seven, he always believed that mythological creatures existed. He died of a heart attack. Tom, ever since my fathers’ death, has been a blessing to my mothers’ life. I respect that. As long as she loves him and he loves her and protects her from all harm, then I am happy for them.
“I sure will.” Now mom starts to cry, sobbing like a small child being screamed. She wraps her arms around me whispering kind words a mother would say before her farewell. She knows I won’t be back in a couple of years, I blame myself for that.
“Take care Peter, and if you ever need somewhere to be or someone to talk to, remember that your mother will always be available. It doesn’t doesn’t matter if it’s in the middle of the night, I’ll always be there for you in body and soul.” She holds me even tighter in a sad embrace. My two friends on the other side begin to sniff and walk away towards the car. I can’t hold it anymore; my tears are to show. “I love you little bit.”
“I love you too, mom.” And like that I walk away from my mothers arms, wave ‘Good Bye’ to Tom, and get in the back of the car, closing the door, not looking back.

There are only two things I have to admit that I am not good at; Falling in love, and saying goodbye.
Actually, it’s been a long time since I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen in love with Ice Cream, Dogs, Cars, sharks....but no girls. I can say I liked a girl or two, kissed a girl or two. But I’ve never fallen in love; really fallen in love. I pray every day that that day never comes, because I know that somehow I’ll end up breaking her heart.

~

First thing I do as I open the door is run towards the phone, pick it up, and dial my mothers’ cell phone number. She picks up, groggy and sleepy, because it’s way past midnight. I tell her how my flight was, how Danny cried all the way to the airport, how Keith survived without his phone, and how I felt as soon as I got off the plane; alone.
“I know honey; probably next time that you decide to visit us you’ll bring a girlfriend and give me a couple of grand kids before I leave this world, y’know I’m not getting any younger.” Ever since I turned 22 my mother has been insisting that I have a girlfriend. She thinks I’m always alone, or that I might be shy. She worries about my social activities.
“Don’t worry mom, someday not today nor tomorrow, will I visit you with a girl at my side. Will that make you somewhat proud?” I ask in a teasing way. I can hear her smile, wipe away a single tear. She clears her throat and replies ‘yes’.

We said our goodnights hanging up, both of us, crying, and missing each other. I then throw myself on the bed too tired to take a shower, open my books and start to study. After all, I have a final tomorrow which I’ll have to pass if I want to continue to reach my dream of becoming a Biologist. “Biologist Peter Clarke sounds good to me.” As usually I fell asleep with the lamp light on and my books open, still with the same clothes I came with from seeing my mother.

My dreams start to wonder into nightmares. Usually I dream about me drowning and the guys diving in to help me. But not tonight, I dreamed that I was drowning in a lake black as the night, I can feel somebody pulling me down but I can’t see who it is. When I finally dive in, I take a quick glance at the person who was pulling me under, and deeper; my father. I awoke with sweat dripping from my forehead, my heart beating two times faster than the normal beat, my hands shaking from the sight of my father in my dreams. “It felt so weird...” I lifted my body from the soaking bed, walking towards the bathroom when suddenly my phone rings. “Hello?” but no answer, so I hang up. I walk into the bathroom, turning on the water waiting for it get a little warm. I yank my shirt off, taking off my jeans when I suddenly saw scratches on my ankles. I look at it with a face of horror. “What the hell?”
I got out of the shower still shaking like if I had taken a long shower with cold water. I only had boxers on because the heat was unbearable. I cleaned my bed putting away all my notes and books inside of my book bag, throwing it into a corner of my room. Turning off the lights, I laid my shaking body back to bed. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow feeling the coolness of my sheets, and then I started to dream.
I dreamed about the lake.
I dreamed that it was cold and black.
I dreamed that I was drowning,
And this time, a beautiful girl was saving me from dying.

~

“Dude you look like shit. Don’t tell me you had another nightmare?” Danny said to me as soon as he saw me entering the classroom which now was full of students gossiping about other students.
“Thank you, and yes I did actually. I don’t want to talk about it right now.” Our professor walks in the classroom with a fancy style, catching the eye of every female assisting this class, with a look of ‘awe’ in their eyes. Pathetic if you’d ask me.
“I heard he was gay.” Keith from the other side of me suddenly whispered.
“Shut up.” I hissed back at him. The professor then caught our attention as he mentioned our names. I wasn’t ready to get into no arguments right now; I needed to be at my best for the final. If not, I’m damned.
“Mr. Clarke and Mr. Smith, would you like to tell the joke to the rest of the class so we can laugh with the both of you?” What an asshole, I wasn’t even laughing. The only idiot here laughing at his own stupid remark was Keith not me. Would you look at that? I sound like a little kid complaining.
“No. But Thanks for asking.” The rest of the class started to burst out laughing, Keith had a stupid grin plastered on his face, the professor had a look of anger. ‘Oh god, if looks could kill, Keith would be burning to death right now.’
“Everybody be quiet, I’m going to start giving out your finals. You have only 28 minutes to complete it. As soon as I give out your papers you may start your tests.” His voice was stern and heavy. He looked right directly towards us, and I suddenly felt like I was sinking under my own boat.

After the bell rang, we left the classroom heading now to the cafeteria. I wasn’t hungry so I just decided to accompany Keith and Danny. Keith was eating some sort of sandwich which stank the whole table, and Danny just had a Monster drink. The cafeteria was packed, and loud. I never enjoyed loud places.
“The Robinson Twins are having a party by the old lake; he asked us if we were going to be there and I, of course, said yes.” Keith was always the heart of the party. Everybody thought he was a God for entertainment. I thought otherwise. I believed he was just looking for attention, the more he breaks up with girls, the more naive he becomes.
“I’m in.” Danny says across the table from me. He’s a little of a follower. I don’t blame him. I consider myself like that too at times.
“Not me. I have to study.” My voice was flat. They both looked at me, eyes wide open. I just kept looking around the other tables. I noticed that almost everybody was talking about going to the lake party. ‘Did you hear about the party? I’m going.’, ‘I’m going in pink, so don’t wear pink. I want to stand out.’, ‘Tonight my boys, we are getting laid.’
“What the hell are you talking about? You are going with us you like it or not. We haven’t gone out to a party like this since you last failed a test. When was it Danny?” Keith’s voice was suddenly pitching louder; I looked towards Danny giving him a look for him to shut up.
“Um, that would be never.” Danny said with a smile that if we weren’t here in the cafeteria, I would have slapped it off his face.
“My point exactly bro, think about all of the girls that are going. You might get lucky.”

I gave up.

“Alright I’m going.”

~

Next thing I know, I’m at the party. It’s around six o’clock and everybody is already high on weed, or drunk. Keith is in the water calling out for Danny to join him, but he’s too busy fancying a girl who could look like Miley Cyrus with a bad hair day.
“Peter, jump in it’s warm!” he signals to me with his index finger a girl next to him who can’t be older than eighteen, high and drunk. She keeps falling asleep on the edge of the lake. Soon the poor girl will pass out.
“Nah, I’m good. It’s warm over here too.”
“Stop being a Punk Peter.”
“I am not...” I then felt somebody lift me up and throw me into the lake. I try to swim my way up but something is holding on to my ankle. I dive down to see that it’s a rope out of nowhere holding on to my ankle. I try to take it off but just then I’m out of breath. I try to swim myself up to the surface but the length of the robe is too short. Suddenly I feel my chest tightening, and a burning sensation creeps up my throat. I found myself doomed into the depths of a dark cold lake.
Just like my dream. I panicked, started to swim frantically upward. I felt my self open my mouth and breathe water into my lungs. I look back down, not looking at the rope, but now a pair of yellow-green eyes looking up towards me smiling. I felt like blacking out, when I felt the hands let go of my ankles, and a pair of hands embracing my torso lifting me up towards the surface.
I gasp for air, dramatically. I can still feel whoever this person is pulling me towards the edge of the lake. As we both reach it, I lay on my back until I gain enough strength to pick my body up. That’s when I saw her beautiful green eyes, filled with a worry stare, looking down at me. Her red hair dancing around my face, he pink colored lips pronouncing words I no longer understood. She strokes my forehead with her cold wet hands, staring into my weakened eyes searching for my soul. This I know because I do the same.
“Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye...” it was all I could say to her the moment she blinked away shouting for help. I took her face in my hands sitting up, admiring those green oak tree colored eyes.
“”...and where care lodges, sleep will never lie.” She replies back to me, finishing my Shakespeare line. With a smile on her face, she lets go of a single tear. As it rolls down her fragile face, I wipe it away with my thumb. I cup her face in the palm of my hand; she lays it fit in it. Still smiling, she looks up to me with kindness in her eyes. The warmness was so familiar that I could have believed I’ve known her for so long.
“Dude, are you okay?” Keith came from the other side taking my head in his hands, shaking me like a puppet doll, screaming for no reason. I looked back to where the girl was; the only problem is that she wasn’t there anymore.
“Where is she?” I asked in an exhausted tone of voice. I looked around but couldn’t find her red hair anywhere among the crowd.
“Who are you talking about? We need to get this man to a hospital.” Said Danny.
“Nooooo!” I got myself up just to fall back to the muddy ground. I can still smell the honey perfume she had.
“Yes. Now let’s go!” Danny and Keith held me up; I stood there for a minute enough to look out to the lake. It felt like someone was calling me from out there. Keith started to walk me back to the car when I glanced one more time towards the lake, and then I saw her red hair and those green beautiful eyes. She was looking back at me with a warm smile, and then she turned around and swam down the lake. Since then I knew, for sure, that I had to have her.

I needed to have her.

~

Mom called me the next morning as I was lying in bed, looking out of the window, searching for the biggest star that would look like that mysterious girl who had saved my vulnerable life. She was worried. She was crying. And I was feeling dead guilty for that.
“Peter you had me scared to death!” she was raising her voice over the phone. She was stressing out over nothing.
“Mom....”
“I am not ready to lose another loved one!” she broke out into tears at those last two words. I was tired and I really wanted to go back to sleep. I wasn’t ready to go back to classes because I knew that I was the daily gossip.
“Mom, I understand. It was just an accident...”
“...an accident where you could’ve died!”


Hours later from my phone call with my worried mother, I tried to go to sleep but couldn’t. Something was distracting me away from my sleep, and I knew what it was; the girl with the flaming red hair and emerald green eyes. Everytime I go back to see her beautiful fragile face, my hearts skipped two beats.
There was a loud ‘tap’ at my window. I lowered the radio, and listened to any footsteps instead. There was another loud ‘tap’, I opened my window, looked down, and I couldn’t believe what my eyes were looking down at.
“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that the entire world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.” Her face was lit up with the moonlight, her smile widened when I didn’t answer her. “Are you allowed to come out and play?”
“Yeah, give me a second.” I ran down the stairs in my pj pants, opened the door, and walked out without a shirt. I hadn’t noticed that I didn’t have one on until she looked at me with a puzzled look.
“Did you run out of shirts my young Romeo?” she said with a wink. She smiled and stretched out her hand. It sat there in mid air asking for mine. “I won’t bite.” I then walked towards her, touching her hand, and holding it tight. I then felt the warm electricity run through all my body. My legs went weak and my stomach went a little out of control. I thought I was going to be sick. “Now, now don’t be shy.”
I couldn’t find the words to ask her what did she meant, one thing I knew; I didn’t care.

~

We walked for hours, stopping here and there to look at bugs. She had a look of amazement Everytime she saw a lightning bug.
“Look! An angel...” she would run after the bug trying to reach for it. When she finally caught one, she walked back to me, opening her hands, letting the bug with a big light on its ass crawl all over her palms. “...make a wish, Peter.” She was still looking down at the bug with a beautiful smile on her face. When she finally looks up to me, her eyes were sad, “Please.”
My eyes were suddenly transfixed in her eyes; everything around us went quiet, and a tear roll down her beautiful face. “I wish...I wish...” Her eyes light up as soon as I started to think what to wish about, c’mon Peter. “I wish that someday, this beautiful girl in front of me will give me the chance to fall in love with her.” I took the lightning bug in my hands and let it fly, high into the cold night sky. She then took my hand, and dragged me across the woods. “Wait, where are we going?”
“I want to show you something.” We ran so fast that the trunks of the trees were a blur to my eyes. I looked up to the moon; it was as bright as the sun in the middle of a summer’s day. Strangely there were no owls, no bugs, nothing making noises. We stopped my not leaving hers. “We’re here.” I looked out to the place where we stopped; my heart was beating fast, my legs shaking.
We were at the same lake where I first thought I was going to die.

***
I took his hands between mines. I felt his body shaking, his lips were dry, his eyes were tearing and his heart was beating fast. I knew he was scared. But the moment I saw this human creature, I knew my heart was to belong to him.
I want to be free.
I want to be free and leave with Peter.
I want to die old and human.
“....all I want in this world is you Peter.” My thoughts were escaping, becoming words I never knew I would say.
“W-what did you say?” he asked. He seemed to be out of breath. I lifted my head up towards his, and softly I brushed his lips with mine. He didn’t refuse, at the contrary, he kissed me even harder.
He took me into his embrace, holding me tightly, locked to him so I wouldn’t escape. “Don’t worry my dear Peter, I won’t leave.” I was losing my breath, grasping little by little for air. I couldn’t take this warm desire, the passion that was cursing through my cold hearted body.
“I want you. I really, really want you.” And that is what it took for me to give my all to this boy who I once saved from the monsters below. Without knowing my name, he took me by the hands and lied me down on the dampened floor, passionately kissing me, caressing my fragile body. “Who are you?” I didn’t answer. Not just yet.
If you only knew.
If you only knew....

***
Everything was happening so fast. My body was entwined with this girl that I barely knew. She was kissing me and I was kissing her in return, slowly caressing her fragile boy, tracing all of her beautiful curves with the tips of my cold fingers. Her body was cold, and I was wondering if she was freezing out here just to be with me.
This unknown girl is as beautiful as a starlight night. My blood starts to boil to the touch of her fingers on my chest. Her soft lips brushing mine in a way I never experienced before.
I pressed my ear to her chest; I wanted to hear her heart beat. I wanted to know if her heart was beating as fast as mine was at this right instant. But I found nothing. I looked up with a puzzled face that she quickly noticed.
“What’s wrong?” I kept trying to look for something that wasn’t even there. I got up to my feet, jumping from a sudden noise from the trees. A shadow went right through. I wanted to scream but it was stuck in the middle of my throat. “What the hell was that?”
“He’s not here for you.” Her face sank into an ocean of despair. Her hair covered her face as she just sat there cross legged on the ground. “He’s here for me.”
“What the hell do you mean?”
“Have you ever heard of the Reaper?”

~

 

The solid dark shadow was still surrounding us, going through my body like if I wasn’t even standing there.
“What do you want!” I screamed. I was getting scared because there were more shadows coming in towards us. I tried to run, but the read headed girl gripped my wrist.
“Don’t run, you’ll only make it more difficult.” She was getting up when all of a sudden one of the black shadows came towards her, with a thin and sharp nail, slashing her back. She cried out in pain. I ran towards her, but another shadow held me back. For some kind of reason the darkest one who she said was the Reaper couldn’t touch me. “Why is he doing this to you?” She didn’t answer for a while, when she finally spoke the Reaper came and slashed at her again, this time, causing a deep cut across her abdomen.
“He came to collect what I owe him; my soul. My father tied one of my ankles with a thick rope, and a rock as a weight. He threw me into the water, watching me as I drowned. I prayed and prayed for somebody to come and save me. Of all people that was there to help me, was the Reaper. He gave me a chance to live, not as a human form, but as a mermaid. Until the day that I found true love, I was to be killed once again and pay him with my soul.” She kept breathing calmly like if this was a sport for her to be hunted and killed like a wild animal. I couldn’t stand the sight of it, so I lifted her from the ground and settled her into my arms, running towards the water. I dropped her in. She swam away, deep into the lake. I don’t know why I did this, I just felt like I should do it.

I saw her swimming up towards me at the same time that the other black spirits started to fly towards me. She lifted her body up to the air pulling me down, smacking one of the ghosts with her tail, going deeper and deeper in the water.
We swam at the middle of the water where the current was strong. “They don’t like the running water.” I was scared to death. I was in the water again and I somehow felt it was my last time. I promised mom that I wasn’t going to do anything reckless and here I am at the verge of death.
“How can we stop them.” Something in me was building up. I felt myself boil up with anger, I wanted them to go, I wanted them to disappear and to leave me and this beautiful mermaid girl alone.
“I d-d-don’t know how.” She stared to cry, her tears were pure this I could see because she was staring at me, purple lipped, freezing to death. I turned around as fast as I could in the water, still shivering. His blurred face was mere inches from mine. If he had eyes, they would be looking right at me; somehow I felt like he was looking right through them seeking for my own tormented soul.
“I want to make a trade.” My voice was firm. I didn’t know exactly what I was saying, but something beyond me was putting these ideas in my head. And then there was a bright light next to me, it wasn’t the girl, it was someone else. I could see his features, and I recognized them. Dad.
“Grrrrr....” He started to sniff the air around me; Dad was still next to me holding on to my shoulder. I felt calm and not frightened anymore. I glanced over my shoulder and saw nothing behind me.
“Where is.....” she was right in front of me. He skin was a lime-ish green; her eyes were black as night, her lips purple, and her body was limp. “Let go of her! Stop it!” I shouted at the shadow of what was left of the Reaper.
“A trade must be only made of another who’s soul is darkest than the night itself. Evil must run through the veins the human body I take. You are in no position to do that exchange, your soul is pure. I see only light; no darkness.” He kept snatching her soul of her body but something was holding it back. Then I knew what I was suppose to do, in order to sacrifice on loved one I have to give up another.
“Not me. Keith Smith.”

~

That same night Keith was in his room, listening to music, and getting it on with a girl who wasn’t that old at all. “Damn baby don’t fall asleep on me now!” the girl looked like she was going to pass out.
“Leave me alone!” she mumbled. He was angry because he thought he was going to get crazy tonight with one of the freshman girls. He was finally falling asleep when all of a sudden his windows burst in, shredding thousands of little sharp glasses. The brown skinned girl jumped out of the bed and ran out of the room, Keith just stood still. When he saw the dark shadow growing bigger on the wall and getting closer to him, he let out a panicked scream and threw himself out of the window. Problem was, his dormitory was 8 stories high.
Keith’s body fell to the concrete floor, his skull was busted open, brains were scattered every where, people was screaming to call the police, others fainted. The Reaper was standing right beside his body; if he could have smiled he would be laughing.
“I have a job for you boy.” He said to the embodied soul of Keith Smith. "Peter Clarke." the reaper said, and realization and memories that weren't Keith's flooded to his brain. When The foul smelling reaper knew he had this soul in his hands, inwardly he smiled. Lifting his hooded face up toward Keith’s, he put an arm around his shoulders like old buddies and walked him down the street away from his body.
“When do I start?”

***Epilogue***

Eight months later Peter was sitting by the lake with his mother and stepfather celebrating his birthday. He still felt extremely guilty for the death of his best friend, but it was time to move one. Actually, nobody cared about his death. Everybody lived day by day like every each other day with parties, studying for finals, and celebrating special occasions like the one Peter was celebrating.
“How are you feeling?” his mom asked him, noticing that he was looking out at the lake where he almost died two times in one week, eight months ago.
“Old. I’m feeling old.” He chuckled a little bit, it came out fake. His mother was a little bit worried about Peter, she saw him slimmer, and a little bit pale.
“Are you eating? Because you look a little bit slim.” His mom was worried; he couldn’t hide anything from her.
“I’m a little upset about the death of Keith, mom. It’s my fault. It was my fault that he threw himself out of the window.” He started to sniff a little fighting back tears that were threatened to come out.
“No Peter. It wasn’t your fault.” They were silent for a long time, enough to believe it was a bit awkward. “When your father died, I thought it was my fault. I thought that if I was there with him he wouldn’t have died. But everything that happens in life, happens for a reason unknown; and you have to live with that like it or not.” His mother had a point there. But what she didn’t know was that he traded Keith’s soul for the girl he loved. If you only knew mom....
“Sweetie how can you wear those boots in a sunny day like this?” she asked the girl who stole my heart.
“Mrs. Clarke, they are comfy. Would you like a pair?” she asked my mom in a mockingly way. She chuckled at the end.
“Well, since you asked.” My mom laughed at what she said. I couldn’t see my mom wearing boots in the middle of summer. But my mom loved her. I was grateful for that.

The sun was settling in, and they were getting ready to pick up and leave. The next morning his mother had to catch a plane to get back home. She was asking Peter how he would feel if she moved out here with him. “I would be so happy to have you around mom.”
“So, shall I just head back home or crash in your bed tonight my Prince Charming?” she always knew how to make him smile. After all, he chose her.
“Mmm. I would LOVE to have you with me tonight.”
“Nah I’ll just go straight home and...”
“But they said it was going to be cold tonight” he wined.
“It’s over 90 degrees!”
“It will always be cold without you, and I need you to be there to warm me up.” he smiled a crooked smile at her, teasing her was his best quality.
“Silly, but I love you Peter.” Her eyes were as dreamy as when she was a mermaid.
“Can I now know your name, my precious mystery girl? I hate lying to mom, and Carla does not suit you.” Peter had to ponder this, what was so secretive about her name? But all she said to him was, "Let it be a mystery, my love. I know you like those."

As Peter kissed her forehead and headed towards his mother who was calling him from afar, the Mermaid girl looked over the lake, spacing out of the world. Her eyes turned black as a sharks', her body became shaky, and a foul ordor escaped her. Sulfur. Coming back to reality, she smiled. A frighteningly beautiful smile.

"Mmm. Such a soul full of heavenly light, all just for me."


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