I want to dedicate this part to Pristine! She has been my inspiration to keep this going and she is constantly forcing me to publish these things faster! If it weren’t for her, I would probably only post a part a week! So this one is for you, Pristine! I hope you enjoy it :)
Ariel dropped the bottle and it shattered as it hit the floor. She clutched her stomach and started to gasp. This was unlike any pain she had ever felt before. She looked at her abdomen and tried to scream when she saw a sword protruding from her belly button. But when she tried to scream, no sound came out. She collapsed on the floor and started convulsing. The wicked sea-witch was laughing hysterically, but her laugh wasn’t hoarse or scratchy, it was beautiful. It sounded just like Ariel’s laugh, but Ariel was not paying attention to that.
She was kicking her tail violently, trying to escape the pain, but to no prevail. She flipped onto her back and squeezed her eyes shut against the pain. Her kicking tail split down the middle and Ariel’s eyes flew open. She was astonished to she her tail now in two separate pieces, but it was still green shimmering. With another flash of pain the scales disappeared, and in their place was smooth, flawless skin.
The pain started to subside and Ariel tried to get up, but found that she couldn’t swim as gracefully as when she had her tail. She also started to notice an ache in her chest. She started to take a breath in, but was quickly cut off by the rush of water entering her mouth. She clutched her throat, gave the sea-witch one final glare, and swam as fast as she could out of the cave and up to the surface.
She felt herself slowly dying as she tried feverishly to get to the surface. Just before it was too late, her head broke through the surface and she took in a huge breath. She carefully tried to stay above the water, testing her legs with each kick. She quickly became aware that she did not have anything covering her.
She spun around and found that she was closer to the shore than she had expected. There was no one on the beach today, and Ariel thanked Poseidon for this small gift. She slowly swam to the shore, keeping her head above the water, and kicking with separate legs.
When she reached the shore, she was exhausted. She pulled herself out of the water and found a large, rough piece of cloth. She wrapped it around herself and found a rope to tie around her waist. She sat on the sand, still unsure of how to work her legs, and looked around the beach and thought, “Now what?”
She then heard a strange noise coming towards her, it sounded like a seal barking, but was deeper and a bit more intimidating. She clumsily crawled behind a large rock and peeked over the edge. The strange creature came bounding across the beach, jumping on four legs. The barking noise continued as a human came walking behind it. “Come on, Max.”
Ariel gasped as she saw the man. Her heart skipped a beat and her hands grew clammy. The animal stopped in its tracks and noisily sniffed the air. It barked once more and came charging at Ariel. She gasped and tried to scream, but again, it did not work. The animal came up to her and jumped into her lap. It started licking her face and panting as Ariel tried to push the beast off of her. “Max! Stop it!” The beast jumped off of her and ran back to his human.
The man came around the rock and gasped as he saw the beautiful woman cowering against the rock. “Who are you? What are you doing here? Are you okay?” He knelt down to try to look her in the face but Ariel averted her eyes, embarrassed of her clothing.
He gently placed his hand under her chin and slowly raised her head to meet her eyes. Ariel searched his face for any sign of cruelty, but all she could see was his striking features. “What is your name?” Ariel opened her mouth to answer him but no sound came out. She slowly closed her mouth and lowered her eyes. “You can’t speak?” She shook her head and felt a tear slide down her cheek. His thumb caught the tear before it fell and he whispered gently, “It’s okay, let me take you home with me and we’ll get you fixed up, okay?”
She nodded her head and accepted his waiting hand. When he pulled her onto her feet, she took one careful step but collapsed with a gasp. When she took the step, it felt as though she had walked on broken glass and the shards were sticking straight up. The man grabbed Ariel before she fell to the ground and tried to right her again, but she collapsed again, unable to handle the pain.
“What’s wrong?” Ariel pointed to her feet and scrunched up her face. “It hurts to walk?” She nodded her head and in one swift motion the human picked her up and cradled her in his arms. “Max, come on buddy.”
Ariel was astonished at the vast array of gowns. There were shapes, sizes, colors, and fabrics that she had simply dreamed of. She was overwhelmed by the dresses, but chose a simple green dress that reminded her of her tail. The housemaid exclaimed that it was a beautiful dress and brought out the sea-green color of her eyes.
The housemaid’s name was Marlain, and she talked enough for herself and Ariel; and Ariel was fine with that since she couldn’t communicate with anyone. Marlain left to room so that Ariel could get out of the tarp and into the rich dress.
She stepped out of the room and the woman gushed at how beautiful she was. Ariel gave an embarrassed smile. Marlain took Ariel’s hand and said, “Would you like to join the Prince for lunch?” Ariel nodded her head vigorously and the woman led her to a large room with one very long table, and an overwhelming number of chairs. The sea-castle was a mere shack compared to this palace.
She saw the Prince sitting at the head of the large table. He was in a deep conversation with an older man sitting to his left. She wanted to leave and not interrupt them, but Marlain still had a hold of her arm and was dragging her to the empty seat next to the Prince.
The Prince looked at Ariel and his face broke out into a smile. He got up and offered his hand to her. She didn’t know what to do with his hand so she grabbed it awkwardly and he shook it swiftly. “I’m so pleased to have you join us! Father, you won’t mind an extra guest, will you?”
The old man looked up from his bowl of red soup and smiled at the girl. “Of course not, Eric. What is her name?” The man had lines all over his face, but Ariel could tell that he was once as handsome as his son.
“Her name… I’m not sure what her name is. What is your name?” Ariel opened her mouth, but nothing came out. How do I tell him my name? she thought. She looked at the man named Eric and tried to think of a way to show him what her name is.
Ariel didn’t know how to read or write but she knew how to pronounce her name and what it sounded like. “Why isn’t she talking? Are you mute, girl?” Now the old man had an intimidating scowl on his face. Ariel shyly nodded her head. “Well, can you write?” She answered with a shaking of her head. The old man coughed and looked at his son. “So how do we find out what her name is?”
“Uh, let’s try guessing some names. If we’re close stick your tongue out, if we’re way off, shake your head.” Ariel nodded her head and was excited for this game.
“Beth?” Ariel shook her head. “Victoria? Emily? Anne?” At that last one, Ariel stuck out her tongue since it started with the same letter. She held up one finger. “The first letter is A?” She nodded her head and he started guessing what the second letter should be. “Amy? Alaine?” Ariel continued to shake her head for she hadn’t heard the “r” sound yet. She started to wave her hands and saw that Eric was enjoying the game as well.
“How about I start sounding out letters and you pick the one that sounds like your name?” She nodded her head and he started. “Al… An… Aw… Ar…” She stuck out her tongue and Eric let out a sound of excitement. “Ar…” he looked to his father and asked him, “What kind of name starts with ar?”
“Ariel?” Ariel jumped out of her chair and ran around the table to hug the man. He was startled but Ariel didn’t care, he had found her name!
Prince Eric was laughing joyously. “So your name is Ariel? How beautiful!” Ariel turned to him and hugged him too. His arms were strong as they lifted her off of the ground. When he set her back down, the sharp pain came back. It was just a numb pain before, but after having a moment of relief, the pain flooded back. But she carefully walked back to her chair and sat down.
“So Ariel, how do you like the place?”