Black Pearl

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Ally's First Kiss and Drowning Freddy

Maria didn’t want to admit it but Xi Shi really knew her magic well. They had gotten to the Caribbeans within one trip. Maria breathed in the familiar salty tropical air, she scrunched up her toes against the powdery white sand, and she let her eyes feast on the magnificent cerulean blue waters that surrounded her and her allies. She was home.

“There’s not another soul in sight.” Ally said, breathtaken. She kept spinning around. Her hungry eyes struggled to absorb all the beauty.

“It’s a private island,” Alima said and pointed to a beach house half-a-mile from them. Alima also spotted a hammock that was wrapped around two trees.

“This is so awesome!” Freddy said and ran to the hammock. He fell backwards onto it and got himself all snugged and cozy. “I hope those scientists take their sweet time finding us.”

Maria was glad that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Even Garai, who was still a bit down, was at ease. But Maria, however, was not. Home was the last place she wanted to be. Maria had even took up this mission just to avoid home.

Victoria must’ve noticed Maria’s anxious vibes because she asked her, “Maria? Are you alright?”

Maria swallowed a lump that had developed in her throat and replied, “Yeah. I’m alright.” She nervously looked at the beach house and then back at Victoria. “I’ll be in the beach house if you need me.” And she ran off.

“Something’s up with Maria,” Phoebe said and she leaned against a palm tree.

“She’s running away.” Alima said grimly. “I know that look from anywhere.”

Ally took a step forward to the beach house and said, “I can go talk to her.” Ally ran off also.

Xi Shi sighed and said, “Are we all splitting up then?’

“I’m not planning on it.” Victoria shrugged. “How about you, Garai?”

Garia shook her head silently.

“Me too,” Phoebe said.

Freddy looked at his friends uncomfortably and said, “I’d like to spend some time alone if you girls don’t mind.”

“Sure thing,” Alima smiled. “Just come back before sunset.”

And with that, Freddy left the scene as well. And with Alima, Victoria, Phoebe, and Garai left, they decided to go for a quick dip in the Caribbean waters.

“Mariaaaa!” Ally’s voice echoed in the roomy beach house’s bathroom. “Mariaaaaaa!” “M-” Ally spotted her curled up in the empty bathtub. “Maria?” Ally crept closer. Maria’s head shot out of the large marble bathtub.

“Ally?” Maria said, her voice sounded just like a little girl’s. “Were you looking for me?”

“Of course I was!” Ally said and sat on the brim of the bathtub. “It’s a nice place, huh? It’s so fancy!”

“I guess…” Maria said and leaned her head on the edge of the tub.

“What’s wrong? You can tell me.” Ally said and she stroked Maria’s curly tropical hair. Maria’s scalp wanted to thank Ally for her miracle hands.

“You won’t understand. You’ve lived most of your life as a human,” Maria grumbled.

“I can try.” Ally said and she gave Maria a little noogie.

Maria playfully slapped her hand and said, “Stop! Fine, I’ll tell you.” Maria sighed and said, “I was born as a control-freak. And if you don’t know what that means, it’s sort of like being a full time. You can’t leave the water. No legs.” And in turn, Maria extended on her long tan legs out of the tub.

“What happened?” Ally asked. She kept her volume at the lowest and her ears open all the way.

“I visited the sea-witch. And don’t get me wrong. She was a close friend so she didn’t scam me or anything like that. But in turn for the potion, I had to trade in my powers. Ally,” Maria said and flipped over her hands and looked at them closely. “I used to be capable of turning over ships and summoning the worse of monsoons and tidal waves! And I traded it all for legs.” Maria locked eyes with Ally’s. Her heart felt like it wanted to stop for a moment. It was the first time she ever poured her heart out all at once to a person. It felt so good, so relieving. It was like she was untying all the chains that had once held her down.

“Do you regret it? You know, trading in your powers?” Ally cocked her head to the side as if she was trying to process all this information.

Maria shook her head. “No. I don’t. Once got my legs, I was able to explore the human world, the world I never thought I’d be able to step a foot on.” Maria let out a short laugh. “The first thing I did was shopping. But I guess it doesn’t count because I didn’t know you had to pay for stuff.”

Ally laughed. Maria thought it was the most beautiful laugh to have went through her ears. “So what’s the problem now?”

Maria leaned back her head on the tub’s rim. “I-I just never thought I’d ever be coming back to this place ever again. When I left, I thought I was leaving for good.”

Ally nodded her head. She understood everything now. “You’re just feeling a bit nostalgic, that’s all. It’s your home, Maria. Don’t ever forget the place you came from, no matter how bad. It’s a part of who you are.”

“You’re right,” Maria said. “It’s just, I’m afraid of seeing some of my old friends again. Wait, were they my friends?” Maria scratched her head.

“Uh...you tell me.” Ally grinned.

“I mean they a bunch of self-absorbed, vain, gossipy, bubbly, sociopathic, man-lovers.” Maria said with a shrug.

Ally laughed and stopped almost immediately. She looked at Maria with an expression of bewilderment. “Did you just say sociopathic man-lovers?”

“Yes…” Maria said suspiciously. “That shouldn’t be surprising.”

“Freddy!” Ally screeched. “We need to find him, stat!”
Maria hopped out of the tub and gave Ally a single nod. “Let’s go, but first__” Maria took both of Ally’s shoulders and pulled her in for a soft kiss.

“Uh…I don’t...” Ally was pink in the face and left confused and speechless.

“I’m not sorry about that. Now let’s go save your brother.” Maria said and pulled Ally out the front door.

Freddy breathed a sigh of relaxation. His feet made soft splashes as he took a stroll by the island’s shore line. It felt wonderful to have some alone time. It was just him, the shore, and the sounds of nature. But suddenly, he heard another splash from a distance. He made an immediate stop. Was it one of the girls? Or was it a big fish?

SPLSHHH

There it was again. He looked out to the distance but he saw nothing but the blue Caribbean waters and the changing colors of the sunset.

“Hola,” said a voice.

Freddy looked closer in the distance and made out a silhouette of a humanoid creature swimming towards him. He saw a long graceful golden tail. When she was as close as possible to the shore without her risking to be beached, her head poked out of the water’s surface. She was gorgeous. Her hair was cut short to her neck but it was so springy and wildly exotic. And her eyes were the normal brown but there was something about it that made Freddy feel like he was being sucked into a vortex. But her lips were the most mesmerizing of all. He wanted to memorize it’s curves and colors all day.

“Me llamo Cassandra.

Freddy barely remembered his highs school Spanish. He awkwardly apologized. “L-Lo siento. Solo hablo inglés.”

The girl laughed and said, “I speak English too. I was just messing with you.”

Freddy let out the most nervous and ugliest laugh he ever let out. There was even a snort. He wanted to slap himself. But Cassandra didn’t seem to mind. She just smiled and effortlessly looked pretty.

“I like you Freddy.” Cassandra said. Her tail swished in the water as if to match her feelings as well.

Freddy rubbed her arm and said, “You’re not so bad yourself.” His eyes went to her golden yellow tail and he asked, “Why don’t you come here on land so we can talk?”

“I can’t.” And right away, she looked so sad. Freddy had a strong urge to help her. “I have a tail. No legs.” The girl looked at him with pleading eyes that reflected the cool orange of the setting sun. “If only I can get closer towards you.”

Freddy waddled in the waters. His legs sunk deeper and deeper. A cruel smile grew on Cassandra’s lips. As Freddy dwelled deeper, she swam further, luring him further and further from shore.

“Come closer so I can kiss you,” Cassandra said in a low smooth voice.

“How about two kisses?” Freddy joked monotonously. The water had now reached his chin.

“Freddy!” Freddy heard a faint voice from shore. “Stop! Go back! She’ll drown you!” Freddy forgot who it was. He was starting to forget what was happening. He forgot he was even in water. All he could pay attention to was his burning desire of Cassandra. He just needed...one kiss.

“Almost there.” Cassandra said and stopped swimming. She waited for Freddy to reach her.

“Nooo!!!” There were two splashes. Maria and Ally jumped in the water and kicked their tails as hard as they could.

Cassandra scowled. “You’re close enough.” Cassandra trapped Freddy with a suffocating embrace and dragged him down to the ocean floor. Freddy snapped out of his trance. Bubbles of air escaped from his lungs. His eyes burned from the sting of the salt water. Seawater entered his body. Freddy was drowning.

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