Black Pearl

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"Borrowing Ally"

Alima and Victoria eventually got things sorted out. Both Ally and Freddy were recovering, and with a speedy chant, Alima cleared the ice. The kitchen was pretty much completely destroyed but no one was seriously hurt.

“What happened?” Ally said as she sat up from the sofa. But as soon as she did, she collapsed back on to it again.

“Don’t try to exert yourself, your body is still trying to cool down.” Alima gave Ally a glass of water and she chugged all down, not leaving a single drop.

“But seriously, what happened to me?” Ally asked and handed Alima back her glass. Alima refilled the glass with icy cold water and Ally poured it down the hatch. Ally coughed and asked for another glass. Alima figured that Ally would just keep asking for more so she handed her the whole pitcher.

“Well...your powers are coming in which is a bit peculiar.” Alima turned to Victoria for her opinion but Victoria gave her a shrug.

“Don’t ask me, I’m not familiar with this type of stuff.”

“Very well then,” Alima said and rewet Freddy’s towel and placed it back on his head. Freddy’s eyes were closes shut and his face was turned to the side. Freddy was still knocked out but it wasn’t serious. “Freddy had informed me that you are of Australian descent.”

“Yeah, but on my mother’s side. My mom was born here but my grandmother was from Australia.” Ally drank the last gulp of her pitcher and held out the empty pitcher, asking for another batch. Victoria was slightly annoyed and gave a soft grunt before she took the pitcher and went back to the desecrated kitchen to refill the pitcher with the some-what working faucet. “I still don’t know what that has to do about the explosion.”

“News flash blondie, it was YOU that caused the explosion!” Victoria yelled from the kitchen.

“Victoria is right Ally, it was you.” Alima said while nodding her head. “But don’t blame yourself too much. Your kind has always been known to be a bit...well...unstable.” Alima went back to Freddy to rewet his towel again. She took the towel and dunk it into a bowl of ice water, squeeze it to rid it of the excess water, and she dabbed over Freddy’s face and down his neck. Ally watched closely as Alima gently washed his body and how serene her face was. She’d done it so gracefully as if it was her profession.

“Do you like my brother?” Ally asked. Alima paused to turn around to face Ally and turned her back against her once more to continue washing Freddy.

“I barely know him. But he was good to me. He was the one who showed me the slightest mercy. Unlike you, he didn’t want to kill me.” Alima said this and Ally turned her back to Alima and snuggled close to the sofa’s cushions. Ally cringed at the memory. Ally remembered how scared she was when Alima whispering about all the men she’d killed and eaten. Alima was a monster, a siren to be specific. Ally was so scared of her until Alima had tricked her into crossing into the Great Barrier Reef. Alima had shown her a different world. Ally didn’t really know what to think of Alima. She was deadly but gentle all at the same time. Ally wished that she’d saw Alima’s gentle side first. Things could’ve started out so much more differently.

“Please do not blame yourself on that either. I would’ve done the same thing,” Alima said and began to unbutton Freddy’s shirt. “The world does not need a creature like me.”

“Don’t say that!” Ally said and immediately sat up.

Alima sighed and said, “You know in your heart that it is true.” Alima shivered and apologized, “Sorry about that. I got off topic again. Anyway, because you are an Oceanic mermaid, you’re most likely able to manipulate of ocean magic.”

“Ocean magic?” Ally said.

“Yes. It’s a bit tricky to explain it all since there are always exceptions and occasional rule breakers. But around the region of Oceania, or Australia, what ever you may call it, there is the Ring of Fire. It’s basically a cluster of underwater volcanoes that forms a large ring around the coasts of north America, south America, east Asia, and especially New Zealand. The mermaids from there are always causing eruptions.”

“But what about the exceptions?” Alima’s eyes lit up with passion. It was apparent that she loved lecturing about mermaids and magic.

“That’s where you come in. Mermaids fall in three categories,” Alima put up her fingers as she explained. “There are the land-walkers, the control-freaks, and the sirens.” Alima made a slight wince. “They actually have a proper name but if I told you that, a week would pass by as quick as a flash. First up are the land-walkers, that’s you,” Alima pointed to Ally and Ally carefully listened.

“Land-walkers are exactly like their names. These mermaids, unlike the other two, have the ability to switch their tails for legs. All they need to do is get them dry and poof, you’ve got legs.” Alima felt Freddy’s forehead with the back of her hand. His forehead was cooled down and she slipped back on his shirt. “You’d think they would be the most envied of the two other types but you would be wrong. I mean sure, you’ve got legs and a tail. It’s the best of both worlds, right? No.” Alima’s voice became grave. “They are total outsiders. The other mermaids shun them for being freaks while they also have to hide their tails from humans as well. They’re the freaks of nature.”

“That’s awful!” Ally cried.

“They also possess no other magic besides the leg and tail switching which qualifies them as absolutely useless.”

“But...I have powers.” Ally rested her hand onto her chest. “That makes no sense.”

“And that’s what makes you an exception. You’re a rare case, Ally, and so was your grandmother. Your grandmother must’ve been a land-walker as well and she must’ve gone to the human world where she fell in love and stayed there. She had kids and her kids had kids and thus, you were born. You’re not a full mermaid, Ally. You’re a quarter-blood.”

“Right…”Ally said. Ally was more disappointed than she was before. She always felt like a freak. People would always tease her about how cheery she was or that she was a dumb blonde, or the fact that she was terrified of the water. Now she’d just recently found out that she wasn’t even human and there was something else bothering her as well. Ally pushed these thoughts to the side; they could wait later.

“What’s next?”

“The second category, the control-freaks. These mermaids are the classic mermaids in the paintings. We also have a control-freak right here in this room.”

“Hey,” Victoria said. She was sitting in a chair from across from them.

“These mermaids can’t grow legs but they make up for it with their ocean powers....” A thought had occurred in Alima’s mind. It made her feel stupid but mostly panicked. Alima turned to Victoria and said, “How did you get your legs?”

Victoria then extended her hand. Alima and Ally had to squint to see that there was an ivory ring fitted on her pinky pinky finger.

“It’s made of walrus tusk. The queen had it forged for me.”

“No…” Alima shook her head. “It can’t be. Control-freaks don’t have possessions, only land-walkers can.”

“The queen casted a spell on me to make me part land-walker. I have a limit of seven months, but until then,” Victoria hopped off the chair to strut. “I’m enjoying these awesome pair of legs.”

“The queen did this to all the other mermaids as well?” Alima was still in disbelief. The queen had never done this before. The queen didn’t believe in using unnatural magic like sorcery. It just proved how the queen was willing to bend the rules to get her sister back.

“Yes,” Victoria said.

“Okay,” Alima breathed out a shaky breath. “Um...let’s get back to the explanations.” Alima was finding it difficult to get back on topic because she kept worrying about the other competitors. It was unnatural that the other mermaids were two-parts. Now, they were more powerful than before. They could now search on land and the sea, and create havoc in both worlds.

“Control-freaks possess powers that vary from region to region and also the individual mermaid. For example, since Victoria is from the Antarctic waters, she could freeze things and create ice and snow. Mermaids from more tropical places, however, can manipulate water and create tides or move it and such. And mermaids around the ring of fire, like you, can split open the earth and flood the world with lava or cause volcanic eruptions.”

“And the sirens?” This time it was Victoria who had asked.

“Oh right, the sirens,” Alima said and rubbed the back of her neck. “Sirens are the deadliest. Unlike the last two types, they cannot use ocean magic or grow legs. But they can, however, use the curse of song. Our songs change the weather, make men go mad, we can even manipulate other elements as well. That was how I got your flames and lava to cool down.” Alima paced around the room to reflect on her past. “Sirens are so deadly that once you hear our song, it is impossible to escape. Sirens are also the masters of seduction so that doesn’t help it either.”

“Do you still eat people?” Ally asked.

“No, not anymore. And that’s why I’m so weak.” Alima rubbed her stomach and it growled. She sighed and said, “I’m always hungry.”

“How are you still even alive?” Victoria said in disbelief. “You should’ve starved to death.”

“I’m the siren queen, I stay immortal until I give it up.”

“Siren Queen?” Ally squealed. “No way!”

“Yes, I was a queen.”

“What happened?” Ally asked.

“I__” Alima was interrupted when she noticed the two familiar figured that stood behind Ally.

“Sorry Siren Queen but we’ll have to borrow your friend right here.” It was Maria and Garai. They were both out of water and had legs. Ally whimpered and gagged when Garai put hooked her dark muscular arm under Ally’s chin. With her other arm, she held Ally’s arms together from behind her to prevent her from breaking free.

Maria gave them a smirk and said, “Hasta la vista.” Maria winked at them and swiftly grabbed the three thorned roses from her hair and threw it at them. The roses spun in the air as they flew towards them. Alima and Victoria were too slow at dodging them and the thorned roses grazed the sides of their faces. Their faces stung from the gashes and they bled red blood. Maria urged Garai to run and they took Ally with them who squirmed in their grasps.

“Freddy is not going to like this.” Victoria said and stared at Freddy who was still unconscious.

“We’re going to chase after them,” Alima said. “There must be a reason why they’re so desperate to nab Ally.”

“But what about Freddy? He’s going to wake up wondering where everybody is?” Victoria said. Alima realized Victoria was right and came up with a quick solution. She bent down next to the sofa and leaned in to sing in his ear. Victoria did not understand a single word that came from Alima’s lips but the middle-eastern tune was pleasant to her ears. Victoria felt her eyes flutter and her body sway but she kept in focus. When Alima had finished her song, they were now ready to chase down Ally’s nabbers.

“I’m so going to kill them.” Victoria said and laughed darkly.

“Count me in.” Alima said, and they ran.

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