[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] MIRACLES (Temp. Title)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY.

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

Bubbles gently floated towards the surface as Rose’s bright reddish-pink hair swayed in the ebb & flow of the water. Rose’s relaxed sleeping face complimented the light breaths coming out from her mouth. 

“Mmmm…can…dy…” she mumbled in her sleep. 

She flipped over on the sea moss-covered rock she was sleeping on. Her arms, which had been close to her chest, rolled off to hang off the sides of her rocky bed. 

Slowly, Rose began to float from her rocky bed.

She gasped. Her eyebrows lifted, her eyes still closed. “I’m…zz..fly…ing…wow…zzzz…candy!” 

She rose up through the depths of the ocean and up to the moonlit surface. The waxing gibbous moon and the glittering stars reflected on the ocean’s waves that carried Rose away.

The ocean continued to carry Rose across its surface, carrying her further and further away from where she had been. The moon and stars above soon began to fade into the oncoming dawn. 

***

Mellany closed the door to her beach house behind her. She walked down her steps and onto the sandy beach. Her boots caused the sand to make crunching sounds beneath her as she headed towards the shoreline. 

You could still see the darkness of night up in the sky, but dawn was quickly approaching just beyond the horizon of the ocean. Mellany stopped at the shoreline, faced the orange-coloured sky, and took in a deep breath. The air was just crisp enough to satifsy her. 

Mellany closed her eyes and smiled, listening to the gentle ocean breeze running past her ears and the seagulls calling to each other. She soon turned her face towards the sun, peaking up over the ocean. 

“Good morning, sunshine,” she greeting. 

Now, what to do today… 

Mellany began to walk once again along the shoreline. 

This was a typical morning routine for her – there was something about the cool ocean breeze, the gentle crashing of the waves, and the noisey seagulls all before the sky was fully lit that helped to clear her mind and set up her day. 

She looked out into the ocean as she contemplated her day, awaiting for an idea to drop into her head like it normally did. Sometimes something would happen in the water that would give her mind the exact jolt she needed to come up with a great plan. Sometimes it would be a dolphin jumping up in the far distance, other times, a wave that was a bit bigger than usual. Regardless, it was something that fully woke her up and inspired her through the whole day. 

Mellany halted as something bobbing a short distance away caught the corner of her eye. She curiously looked at it. 

“Hm?” 

She took a few more steps forward to get a bit of closer look, stepping into the waves. Her eyes widened and she gasped. 

Mellany turned around, calling into all directions of the shore: “Lifeguard! LIFEGUARD!” 

Mellany stared out into the shoreline void of any human life, besides from herself. 

“…#&@!” 

She grabbed her head. 

There’s no lifeguard at this time in the morning! 

“UUUUUUUUGH!” 

Mellany began to take off her black fingerless gloves. “Welp, I guess it’s something I just gotta do myself.” 

She began to remove the rest of her clothing: her white-midrift jacket with rolled-up short sleeves with black cuffs & collar and two breast pockets, matching white shorts with black cuffs, black socks, and black boots. She was left wearing her black bathing suit that acted as her regular shirt. 

Mellany laid them all down far enough from the ocean waves. 

As soon as her last piece of clothing was removed, she hopped into the water. 

She swam over to the head bobbing just above the water’s surface and wrapped her arm around their waist. She swam back to shore as fast as she could, holding the person tightly. 

Mellany quickly scanned the person. A girl, mostly likely around her age, with bright reddish-pink hair, two necklaces, a belt, and a lacey baby doll that split just under her chest down all with a rose motif and…

…fins and a tail. 

Mellany screamed and promptly dropped the half-human creature. She scurred away on her hands and feet, just as the creature stirred awake. 

“Huh?” the creatured murmured. “…wet…sand…water…foaaaaaam….aaaaaaiiiir…” 

The creature’s eyebrows raised, her eyes flittering open. “Hmmmmmm?” 

“Oh, did a float to the surface again?” the creature mumbled. She pointed to her lips in thought, looking down at the sandy beach. She lifted up her head, finally noticing the bewildered Mellany. 

“Who are you?”

“WHAT ARE YOU?!” 

The creature giggled. “Oh, I’m a mermaid, silly!” she said as she lifted her tail full out of the water. 

Mellany stared at the mermaid. 

“…” 

Then she let out a scream. 

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” 

The mermaid’s face lit up with delight. “Your name is ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH’? Wow! What a pretty name! it sounds a lot like ‘ah’!” 

Mellany stared at the mermaid once more, this time less bewildered and puzzled. She wasn’t sure if she was supposed to laugh, scream, fight, or what. 

“No,” finally replied Mellany. “I’m Mellany.” She raised an eyebrow. “Who names their kid after screaming?” 

“Ooooh!” the mermaid said, clapping her hands together. “I thought that might have been some weird human thing! Tee hee!” 

“I’m Rose, nice to meet you!” 

Rose, the mermaid, began to crawl towards Mellany. In a panic, Mellany crawled further away. 

“No way,” Mellany rasped. “You CAN’T be real!” 

Rose pulled her head back in surprise, just before giggling again. “Oh, Mellany! You’re so silly. Of course, I’m real! I’m right in front of you.” 

Mellany’s eyes glanced over Rose. “Yeah, I know.” 

She then looked Rose straight in the eye. “You’re not going to drown me, are you?” 

Rose paused for a moment, just before letting out unabashed laughter. 

Her arms buckled and she fell down to the wet sand, grasping her stomach. She began hitting the sand with one of her hands. 

“Drown…DROWNING…drowning someone…DROWNING!!!” 

Tears began to stream down Rose’s face. “Ow! My stomach..my stomach hurts now!”

Mellany tensed up. “That wasn’t supposed to be a joke.” 

After a good moment more of unrestrained laughter, Rose quieted down. She looked up at Mellany from where she laid on the ground, still holding her stomach. 

“Gee-whiz, you humans sure are funny!” She wiped a tear from her eyes. “Nobody does that anymore!” 

Rose paused for a moment.

“Well, almost nobody.” She shrugged. 

Rose took a deep breath, fully regaining her composure. She pushed herself up off the ground, giving Mellany a big, friendly smile. 

“Certainly not me, no siree!” 

Mellany stared at Rose’s glittering eyes intensely.

She finally let out a sigh. She let her tense body relax for a moment, before getting up off the ground. She brushed the sand off from herself. 

“I thought you were someone drowning, so I tried to save you.” 

“Oooh! That explains a lot! I was wondering why I was so close to land! I don’t usually float that far.” 

Mellany began putting the rest of her clothes back on. “You normally float to surface?” 

“Yeah, all the time! I don’t know what it is, but I can’t seem to keep my body heavy enough to keep me down below!” Rose giggled. 

“You’re weird.” 

“Am I?” asked Rose. She paused for a moment. “Well, I guess I am, even by mermaid standards…” 

Mellany yanked her jacket forward, her shoulders raising up with it. “Do you know how to get home from here?” 

Rose looked over her shoulder at the ocean. Her eyes narrowed. “Hmmmm…” She turned back to Mellany. “Yeah, I think so.” 

Mellany forced a smile on her face. “Great. Now, shoo.” 

“Huh?! You want me to leave?!” exclaimed Rose. “But…but I want to know more about you!! Are all humans like this?” 

Mellany held out her hand, turning away from Rose. “I want to go back to denying your existance.” 

Rose became dejected. 

“D-deny me? Isn’t that like me denying a human?” she cried. 

“…you’re a mermaid. I grew up being told mermaids aren’t real. Yet, here you are, in front of me…” 

Rose fell back into the sand, laying on her side. She took the bottom of her shirt, knawing on it. “But I AM real…and I DO exist…why are you humans so weird? Don’t you have stories about us?” 

“Yeah, we do, like fairytales and stuff.” 

“What are ‘fairytales’?” 

“Fictional stories.” 

Rose turned to bury her face in the sand. “Fiction…we are…fiction…” 

Rose began to sob. 

Mellany flinched. She turned her eyes towards Rose’s tail smacking the water between each sob. 

Mellany brought her hand to her chest. Her shoulders lowered. She let out a sigh. 

Mellany took a few steps forward and knelt in front of Rose. She placed one hand on the mermaid’s shoulder. “Hey, I’m sorry…don’t cry.”  

Rose perked up. Mellany quickly retracted her hand. 

Rose sniffled and rubbed her eyes. “You’re forgiven.” 

Mellany and Rose exchanged smiles. 

“Are humans always up this early?”

Mellany shrugged, leaning back to easily talk to Rose. “I dunno. Some are.” 

Rose shifted her own position, using her tail to act like a chair. “Ooooo. What were you doing up so early?” 

“I usually wake up this early. It’s quiet enough for me to think.” 

“Do you have hard time think at other times of the day?” 

Mellany shook her head side to side in thought. “Hmmm..sometimes.”

She stopped nodding her head. “I plan the best in early morning.” 

“What were you planning to do today?” 

Mellany frowned. “I was figuring that out when I saw you.” 

Rose covered her mouth and giggled. “Oh! Oops. Sorry about that.” 

***

He could see the two young woman – one a human with coal-grey hair half-shaved, half fashionably cut that was shorter in the back than in the front with bangs, a neckalce, dark tan skin, and white clothing with accents of black; the other one a mermaid with bright reddish-pink hair that jut barely reached her shoulders , messy as if the wind pulled it into a thousand directions, with cream-coloured skin, fins, a tail, and an overall rose-motif to her clothing & accessories. 

He had been watching from behind the shack since the human pulled the mermaid out from the water. If he had been completely honest, he had arrived early to specifically look for others. It seemed, however, the universe was on his side today. 

He’s lips twisted up and lifted his wand that glinted as the sun hit its tip. 

“Perfect. Targets.” 

*** 

Mellany held out her hands in front her. She looked like she was about to laugh. “Are you sure you aren’t going to try and drown me? I mean, I was pretty nasty to you a few minutes ago.” 

Rose gasped, then puffing out her cheeks. She put her fists on her hips. “Mellanyyyyyy,” she whined. She crossed her arms. “You dare you think that!” 

Rose then puffed up her chest,  tilted her chin high into the air. She placed one fist on her chest ,one on her hip, looking proudly off into the distance. “I am a merperson of the Kingdom of Undinia, in the Region of Oceanica! Long ago, we used to drown sailors who would mess with our oceans or with us, but we no longer need to do that because people now care or they don’t interact with us!” 

Mellany pointed to the ocean behind Rose. “You’re from that ocean?” 

Rose nodded. “Mm-hm!” 

“…there’s a kingdom under that ocean?” 

Rose nodded. “Yep!” 

Rose excitedly clenched both of her fist, looking at Mellany with glittering eyes. “Yeah! It’s a beautiful place!” 

Rose let out a sigh and frowned. “Well, our Queen’s a big meanie and no one really likes her. The King isn’t too bad.” 

“That sounds like it sucks.” 

“Oh, no! It’s not all that bad!” Rose’s face lit back up once more. “Princess Nina is THE best! We can’t wait until she takes over!” 

“Princess Nina?” 

“Yeah! She’s the Princess of Undinia. She’ll take over for the king once he either steps down or dies. Well, I guess she’d also take over for the queen as well…but anyway, she’s SUPER nice! She cares about all of us! Including the groups that are usually ignored, like the other sea creatures.” 

“You guys talk to sea creatures?” inquired Mellany. 

“Yeah, of course! Don’t you talk to land animals?” 

“No.” 

Rose seemed confused. “Huh? You don’t? But I’ve seen you guys talking to them…” 

Mellany thought for a moment. “Oh. I guess we do talk to them, but we don’t understand what they’re saying. Are you guys able to understand them?” 

“One hundred PERCENT!!” 

There was a brief pause.

“…okay, more like…60%. We don’t all speak the same language, but we can learn how to from each other!” 

Mellany shifted her legs into pretzel style. She placed her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands. She stared out into the ocean behind Rose before turning back to her. “I still can’t believe you guys are real.” 

Rose giggled. “I can’t believe you humans forgot we are real.” 

“Some still believe,” replied Mellany. “They also believe in things like fairies and dragons too.” 

Rose’s mouth dropped. “Humans think those are fictional too?!” 

Mellany opened her mouth to speak, but she paused. She was literally have a conversation with a mermaid right now. If mermaids were real, then why couldn’t fairies and dragons be too at this point? 

“Well, yeah. I wouldn’t have believed it either until just a few minutes ago.” 

“Huuuuh? Really?” asked Rose. She pointed to the charm on Mellany’s necklace. “Then why do you have a fairy star?” 

Mellany looked down at her own necklace. “This?” She grabbed it and lifted it up. “It’s a family heirloom.” 

Mellany’s pendant was a slightly raised bronze disk with a heptagram etched into its surface. There were specks of black from where the metal had been coloured once before, although most of it had rubbed off by then. 

Rose leaned in, intrigued. “Your family had it? Who originally owned it?” 

Mellany shrugged. “I don’t actually know. It was gifted to me on my thirteenth birthday.” She tucked it away. “It brings me a lot of comfort, so I like to keep it on me at all times.” 

Rose grinned. “I can see why!” 

Mellany raised an eyebrow. 

Rose blushed with delight. “Oooh, I wish Starry was heeeeere!!!” 

“Who’s that?” 

“My friend who’s battling dragons right now! She could literally tell you a thousand stories about all the different creatures out there!!” 

“How does a mermaid battle dragons?” asked Mellany. “Unless they’re water dragons…?” 

Rose waved her hand. “Oh, no, Starry isn’t a mermaid!” She placed her hand on her chin and scrunched her face. “Hmm…she’s like…something like a cross between a priestess, a knight, and witch.” She balled her fist and delightfully exclaimed, “She’s SOOOOOO amazing!” 

CRUNCH CRUNCH

Rose and Mellany went silent. They exchanged looks. 

Neither one of them had been moving enough to sound other than a quiet whisper of a shift in the sand. 

Just as the two looked to the sound, lightning struck and the sillhouette of a young man appeared, leaping through the air. The bolt highlighted his edges, including an object in his hand, and provided just enough light to see his twisted smile. 

Startled, Rose and Mellany screamed. Mellany jumped backwards, out of the way of the man, moving herself next to Rose. 

The young man landed on one knee with his head down, eye closed. 

Rose and Mellany were both wide-eyed. 

The young man lifted up his head slightly, opening his eyes. He smirked. 

“Heh.” 

The young man had dirty blonde hair with a bowl cut. His green eyes drooped and his face was spotted with freckles across his checks and over his short nose. He wore a long black robe with large sleeves and a golden clasp, leaving it open to reveal his light blue button-up shirt, brown belt with a silver buckle, and his dark-coloured jeans. He wore black slip-on dress shoes. 

He slowly stood up, bringing his left arm forward, revealing the object once sillhouette by the lightning: 

A cheap, plastic pink princess wand. The rhinestone-embedded star outline with a crown was a pale metalic pink, while the rod that the man grasped was a bubble-gum pink, wrapped with a pale metalic pink sticker.The  three pieces of light pastel pink tulle hung underneath the star at its base gentle rustled in the shoeline wind. 

Rose and Mellany’s eyes were quickly drawn to the wand.

And then they gaffawed. The girls’ unrestrained laughs echoed through the beach air, causing a flock of seagulls to scurry away in the distance. 

“Is that…is that…a..PINK PRINCESS WAND?” asked Mellany between laughs. “From the DOLLAR Store?!” 

The man gritted his teeth. He thrust his finger forward at her. “How DARE you insult my GREAT and POWERFUL wand!” He then proceeded to hug it. “After I broke the wand the Mistress gave me, she refused to get me a new one until I could prove I could be responsible for myself! So I grabbed THIS!” He held out the wand. “And it has been my most powerful companion EVER SINCE!” He then bent his arm across his chest. “And I do not take insulting it lightly!” 

Rose and Mellany stared blankly at him. 

The man looked annoyed. 

“Uuuuum,” said Rose, raising her hand. “Who are you?” 

“Me? I am DALTONEO! And I am the most GREATEST WIZARD around here!” He stood proudly. 

Mellany rolled her eyes. “First a mermaid, now a wizard. What’s next, a fairy?” 

Daltoneo smirked. “There won’t be anything next.” He pulled back his left arm and thrust it forward. A bolt of light shot out from the crown tip of the plastic wand. 

Rose and Mellany gasped. Rose quickly leapt into the water. Mellany rolled out of the way, dodging it by a hair. 

Daltoneo cackled. 

Mellany’s fist tightened. Her brow deeply furrowed. She let out a warrior cry and leapt to her feet. She pulled back her fist and swung it forward at Daltoneo’s face. 

Daltoneo’s lips pursued as he moved out of the way of Mellany’s flying fist. He aimed his wand at her once more, attempting to strike her with magic. 

Mellany and Daltoneo went back and forth. For each swing Mellany took, Daltoneo fired back with magic. 

“Come back here, creep!” snapped Mellany. 

“Heh heh.” Daltoneo smirked. 

The two of them moved around the area in square. From the wet-sand shoreline to the crunchy dry grains underneath their feet, they moved all around. Rose looked on in awe from behind a rock – the battle almost looked like a dance. 

Mellany began to throw kicks into the mix of her flying punches. 

Daltoneo’s face lit up, before twisting once more. He tapped his head with his wand just as Mellany went in for another kick. 

“Huh?!” 

The next thing Mellany knew, she was kicked in the back and landing face-first into the dry sand. 

Mellany lifted up her body and spit out sand from her mouth. “What the f––” 

Daltoneo stepped on her back once more, pointed his want at her, and struck her with a beam of ice blue light. 

Rose gasped. 

Daltoneo whipped into her direction. He smirked. 

Rose dove back into the water in a panic. She frantically scurried away as fast as she could. 

Daltoneo stood on the water’s edge. He lifted up his arms, genty placing his right hand over his left. As he quickly brought them down, the body of a serpertine-like creature came into existance and dove right into the ocean as it continued to form.

The creature sped forward at a frightening pace, quickly closing in on Rose. 

Rose closed her eyes and continued moving forward, silently hoping that whatever was behind her wasn’t out to get her. 

The serpertine sea creature swam just above Rose, opened its jaw, and dove down chomping her around the waist. 

Rose shrieked and soon blacked out. 

*** 

Daltoneo dropped both Mellany and Rose on the stone floor of his lair. He grabbed the keys laying beside the jail cell in front of him and opened the door. He grabbed Mellany’s body and chucked her inside. He slammed the gate shut and locked it back up. He put the key back where it belonged.

He grabbed Rose’s body, lifted his wand, and they disappeared.

They reappeared in a spacious room. There was a row of 3 long bookcases, packed to the brim with mostly books and journals, although random bobs & bits were tucked into odd places. A desk sat not too far from the third book case, cluttered with books and papers, as well as a few candles and writing pens. There was also a bed and a table that looked like it would be useful for operating. 

The platform with the bookcases and papers only took up about half the floor. Beyond the battlements appeared to be wide open space and large doorways that you couldn’t get to, although a quick look over the edge would make you see that several feet below was water. 

Anything in the room that wasn’t an object was grey-purple. 

Daltoneo dragged his feet and huffed as he approached the table. He lifted up Rose with all his strength and pushed her onto it. 

He wiped the sweat from his brow “Phew. Are mermaids always that heavy?”

*** 

Mellany felt soreness all over her body. Mind you, it wasn’t her whole body, but just parts. Her face, the upper and lower parts of her arms, parts of her legs, and especially her back. Oh, especially her back. 

She slowly flipped over to her back, feeling the cold of polished stone underneath her. 

She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. 

That creep kicked me and…

“ROSE!” 

Mellany hopped onto her feet. She ran over to the steel bars and began to call out for the mermaid. 

There was nothing but the echo of her voice reverberating back to her. 

“AAAAAARGH!” cried Mellany. She swung at the steel bars, first with her fists, then with her legs. 

In defeat, she fell to her knees. She hunched forward, grasping the pendant on her necklace.

I know that CREEPY locked me in here. Did Rose get away? 

Mellany paused for a moment, raising an eyebrow at herself.

Wait, didn’t I want Rose to leave? Why do I care about her now? I just met her and she’s a mermaid! 

She frowned. 

The creep is a wizard…does it really matter? 

She let out a sigh. “I would rather be around a mermaid than a creep of a wizard.” 

Rose isn’t that bad of a person either…

Mellany threw her head back.

“I just want to get OUT OF HERE!” 

RING RING 

CLANK

The faint sound of small bells chimed in her right ear and faded away across the room, followed by a light clank. Mellany slowly lowered her head, looking into the direction of the sound. There she saw a set of keys laying on the ground within reach. 

She grabbed a hold of the steel bars and peered out into the dungeon’s hallway. There was definitely nobody else there besides her. 

Cautiously, she reached out her hand from the cell and grabbed the keys. She stood up from the ground and quickly unlocked herself from the cell. 

She slipped the keys into her pocket and ran off down the dungeon’s corridors. 

***

Daltoneo finished pouring the last drop of a glowing lilac-coloured potion over Rose’s body. The potion seemed to take a life of its own, spreading perfectly across her body into every nook and cranny. The wizard smiled. He plopped down the empty potion bottle on the desk behind him. 

He rubbed his hands together, then grasped the edge of the table. He pulled it towards the edge of the battlements and tipped it over, Rose’s body sliding off like a bar of soap in a wet hand. 

Rose tumbled into the water down below, beginning to glow even brighter than before. 

Daltoneo’s sinister laugh echoed through the study. 

*** 

Mellany frowned as she peered up into the giant window up above her. If she wasn’t mistaken, the weird entrance in front of her lead out to the water she was seeing in the giant water. It had to: she had already been up several floors and every single time, there was a giant window with nothing but water and an entrance way that seems just…strange. 

The “door” appeared to be more like a bunch of layered rubber sink gaskets that got smaller the closer to the middle they got. 

Did Mellany have any idea where she was going? No. But something from within and around her seemed to be pullling her up towards the top of the castle. 

“That water’s gotta end somewhere…” she mumbled. She clicked her tongue. 

Just as she went to turn, a bright purple light filling the water caught her eyes. She ran closer to the entrance of the water and peered up into the window to get a better look. Her eyes squinted as the light became brighter. 

Then she gasped. 

“ROSE!” 

As she heard the cackle of Daltoneo echoing in the distance, she pushed through the entrance way, holding her breath. 

Her guess had been right: on the other side was the water and there was Rose, gently sinking towards the bottom, glowing bright. 

Mellany quickly grabbed ahold of Rose by the waste and yanked her back through the way she had come. The two poured out from the entrance, almost riding the water like a slide. 

Mellany took a big gulp of air before fixing her hold on Rose. “Rose. ROSE!” 

The liliac glow began to fade from the top of Rose’s head and the bottom of her tail. 

..her tail that was disappearing. 

Mellany began to shake Rose in a panic, looking back and forth between where Rose’s tail was disappearing and the mermaid’s face. 

Rose’s face twisted in agony. 

Mellany grabbed her face. “Rose, wake up!” 

Her eyes finally fluttered open. “Huh…what…what happened…” 

“I don’t know, you tell me!” 

“Ummm…” 

Rose rubbed her eyes and looked up at the familiar face. 

“MELLANY!” she hugged the girl with all her strength. “Oh! I was so scared! I didn’t know how I could help you, so I started running, but then that evil wizard kidnapped anyway!” 

“Where’d he take you?” 

Rose shrugged. “How should I know? The last place I was was the ocean , being bit by a giant sea monster!” she said. Rose giggled. 

“I don’t think that’s something to laugh over.” 

Rose smiled. “Why not? What am I supposed to do instead? Be mad? But you’re here!” 

Mellany blushed.

“He did something to you,” said Mellany. “You were glowing purple and uh…” 

Mellany pointed down at where Rose’s tail had been, 

Rose curiously followed Mellany’s finger to her own lower half.

Rose grinned and looked back at Mellany. “Oh, I have legs now!”

Silence. 

Then Rose shrieked and grabbed her face, falling into Mellany’s arms. She stared down at her new pair of legs in horror. Her face became pale. 

“I-I have LEGS! He gave me LEGS! How did I get those?!” 

“I don’t know,” replied Mellany. 

Rose began to sob. She buried her wet face in her hands. “HE GAVE ME LEGS! HE. GAVE. ME. LEGS! I’M A HUMAN NOW!” 

Mellany cringed. She took a deep breath and put her hands on the sobbing Rose’s shoulders. “Hey, it’s not all that bad. I’m human and it’s not all that bad.” 

“B-but, I NEVER WANTED to be HUMAN! This is…this is…HORRIBLE!” Rose turned around and buried herself into Mellany’s chest. “I want my TAIL BACK! How do you even USE these things!” 

Mellany grumbled. “Can you move them?” 

“I DON’T KNOW!” 

“How would you normally move your tail?” 

“Like this,” said Rose. She sniffeled as she bent her legs and feet in unison. Her face twisted. 

“OOOOW, it hurts.” 

“It’s probably because you just turned into a human.” 

Rose began to sob again. 

Mellany shushed her. “The creep might hear us.” 

Rose looked up at Mellany. “Mellany?” she said. “Can you carry me?” 

Mellany put her hand out in front of her. “Uh-uh, no way. I am not carrying you. What if I have to battle? That would be inconvienent.” 

Rose’s eyes blubbed with more more tears. 

Mellany closed all but her index finger. “But I can teach you to walk.” 

*** 

It took them longer than Mellany had wanted, but at least Rose was now walking. Mellany had to massage Rose’s sore legs and feet, coach her in being confident in actually moving her legs and feet seperately, and finally onto walking. Rose stumbled and tripped a lot at first, but she got the hang of it. She no longer looked like a baby deer attempting to stand. 

The two of them made there way up the stairs. Rose huffed the more stairs they climbed. 

“Humans do this all the time?” 

“Yeah.” 

“How can you?!” 

Mellany rolled her eyes. “You’ll get used to it.” 

Rose whimpered as they entered the next floor up. Mellany paused to listen down the corridor, but noticed the giant window of water again. 

“Just how far up does this castle go?” 

“I don’t know…” said Rose. She leaned against the wall. “Can we stop here?” 

“No, we need to go get that little creep,” replied Mellany. She yanked Rose by the hand. “Come on.” 

Mellany and Rose continued going up several more floors. Rose increasingly slowed down, prompting Mellany to tug her along. Rose whimpered and yawned every couple of steps. 

They entered another floor. Mellany took a look down the hall, noticing a subtle difference in the way the light filled the room. She let go of Rose’s hand and walked down towards the giant window and the strange entrance way. Rose collapsed against a nearby wall. 

Mellany jumped with glee. She whipped back around towards Rose. “Rose, we must be close! There’s no water out there!” 

Rose swung her head towards Mellany, her eyes half closed. “Oh…that’s…great…” She slowly slid down to the ground. 

“Are you okay?” 

Rose weakly lifted up her hand has she slumped over. “Yeah…yeah…I’m fine…just…zzz”

“Oh no! Come on!” Mellany rushed back over to Rose. She began shaking her. “We’re almost there! Wake up! Come on, Rose, wake up!” 

“#*$&…” 

Rose didn’t respond. She just continued sleeping. 

*** 

Daltoneo raised his wand high in the grand finale, watching as the glowing pool glowed even brighter. Sparks began to dance about in the air like lightning. “And now your soul SHALL BE MINE!” 

He cackled as the dancing sparks exploded into an array of colours and the pool glowed once more before everything faded. He promptly grabbed a glass bottle and shoved it out over the pool and waited. 

And waited.

And waited. 

Silence. 

There was nothing but complete silence. 

He waited a moment longer before shattering the glass bottle in his hands. He chucked the remaining pieces onto the stone floor and stomped his way over to his desk. He slammed his onto his table. He leaned forward and carefully peered over his book.

“I didn’t do anything wrong…I DIDN’T do anything wrong!” He whipped around angrily. “THEN WHY IS NOTHING HAPPENING!”

He quickly shoved his wand in the air. “SPIRITS, come to me, your master needs you for a DEED!” 

Dark purple light shot out in multiple directions and in front of Daltoneo appeared shadowy entities. The stared at him with glowing eyes. Their wispy tails flowed behind them. 

“Yes master?” one of them asked. 

Daltoneo stomped on the ground. “Tell me what’s down there! NOW!” 

“Yes, master,” replied the same spirit. The rest of the nodded in agreement, just before they all turned around and dove into the water below.

Daltoneo began to pace around, periodically stopping to either stomp or tap is foot. He kept grumbly and mumblng about how he didn’t do anything wrong. Perhaps the spell he had been given was wrong? No, he had cross-referenced it, including to others who had successfully performed the spell. There was no way HE could be this incompetitent! Someone else was at fault, clearly, but who? 

“Master?” 

Daltoneo whipped around, seeing his group of spirits. He clasped his hands together and waltz over to them. “Ah, yes, what did you find?” 

“Nothing, master.” 

“…nothing?”

“Yes, nothing. There was nothing down there but water.” 

“Nothing…” Daltoneo repeated. He grasped his forehead. “Nothing!” 

He threw back his head and began laughing, occassionally saying the word “nothing” in between his laughs. 

The spirits exchanged looks. They watched as their master manically laughed.

“Master?” 

Daltoneo paused. 

He turned to his spirits. His face dropped into scowl. His eyes shrunk. 

Complete silence. 

Daltoneo violently cut his wand diagolonially through the air. “GOOD FOR NOTHING, INSOLENT FOOLS!” 

A red & black bar smacked into the spirits. They yelped and dissipitated in an instant. 

Daltoneo screamed. 

*** 

Mellany had stopped pacing around as soon as she saw the lights grow brighter and sparks dancing around. She ran over to the sleeping Rose as soon as they faded. “Rose, rose, I think we need to get out of here. NOW.” 

Rose stirred. “Now…? But I’m…sleepy…few…more minutes…” 

Mellany balled her fist. I know I wanted to fight, but if what he was doing is dangerous, then it might just be better to get out. 

She turned her head towards the window, watching as shadow figures darted downward. She grabbed her head. 

Please don’t tell me those were demons! 

She began to pace around once again. First I meet a mermaid, then I meet a wizard, then the mermaid gets turned into a human by the wizard, and now there might be demons?! I don’t have any time to process this! 

Mellany headed towards the stairs heading back down. She took one glance back to Rose, bit her lip, and started heading down the staircase. I can’t…I can’t deal with this #$&*. 

Guilt slowly rose up from her feet, up her legs, and into her stomach. It slithered its way from her stomach to her heart, and up her neck and  into her head. She stopped midway down the steps, spreading her arms and legs wide so they fllled the width of the stairwell. 

I am not okay. I. am. not. okay. I am not okay with the fact mermaids, wizards, and demons exist. I am not okay with the mermaid being asleep, the wizard summoning demons, and that I was trying to go fight him with nothing but my fist. 

She lowered her head. 

Am I okay with leaving someone behind, though? 

She balled her fist. 

“NO!” she exclaimed. 

She turned on her heel and ran back up the stairs. As soon as she reached the top, she turned the corner and into the corridor, where Rose was still sleeping. She knelt down beside her. 

She could hear footsteps coming down from the stairwell heading upward. Each step was accompanying by a quiet laugh and incoherent mumblings. 

She began shaking Rose away. “Wake up,! Wake up! We REALLY have to go now!” 

Rose rolled her head over to Mellany. “Huuuh…?” 

Rose then jolted awake. 

Mellany whipped her head around.

Daltoneo gave them a sinsiter, toothy grin. 

Mellany stood up, reading her fist. Daltoneo lifted his head and stood tall, placing his fists on his hips. 

“What’d you want, creep? Leave us alone!” 

Daltoneo laughed. “‘Creep’? ME? That isn’t very nice. My name is DALTONEO!” He pointed his finger at her. “Call me the right name!” 

Mellany let out a laugh. “THAT’S your name?” 

Daltoneo’s brow furrowed. “I already told you that earlier.” 

“I don’t remember that,” said Mellany, smirking. She glanced behind her at Rose. “Do you, Rose?” 

Rose put her finger to her liip and looked up into the air. “Uuuumm…maybe?” She shrugged. “I don’t remember.” 

Rose and Mellany exchanged smiles. “That’s a silly name though, right?” asked Rose.

“Yeah. Who names their kid ‘Daltoneo’?” 

Daltoneo thrust his wand forward, clearly angry. “SILENCE! How dare you insult me good name!” He turned to Rose. “And what about her, hmmm? Who names a mermaid after a flower?!” He switched to Mellany. “And YOU! Your name is! …is…” 

The silence that filled the room was awkward.

Mellany raised an eyebrow. “You know our names?” she asked, finally breaking the silence. 

Daltoneo shifted, looking extremely smug. “I have been watching you two from the shadows when you met!” 

Rose and Mellany nodded. 

Another awkward silence. 

Mellany fixed her stance, which had become looser during the course of chatting. “What did you want us for?” 

Daltoneo winked, brushing his wand underneath his chin. He then lifted his wand up into the air and placed a hand on his hip. “For your SOULS!” 

Mellany scoffed. “Why would you do that?!” 

Daltoneo shrugged. “I don’t know.” 

Mellany was dumbfounded. Rose was confused. 

Mellany extended her hand out to him. “You’re…collecting souls for no reason?” 

“No! There is a reason…” Daltoneo bit his lip. “I…I just don’t know it yet!” 

Rose giggled. “I get why’d you take Mellany, but why me? I’m a mermaid!” 

Daltoneo flashed his teeth to Rose. “I know. That’s why I turned you into a human!” 

Rose took a look down at her human legs again. She gently touched where the fins behind her ears would have been. And then she began screech-crying. Daltoneo cackled. Mellany cringed. 

Mellany scoffed. “You did that on purpose!” 

Daltoneo flashed her a smirk as Mellany covered her ears from Rose’s shrieks. “Did what on purpose?” 

Mellany groaned. 

“HUMAN! HUMAN! He made me human! I’m going to be stuck with these ugly legs FOREVER! How am I supposed to go hooooome like this?!” 

Rose’s cries became louder.

Daltoneo’s smirk slowly wiped from his face. He brought his hands up to his ears and covered them. “Can she shut up?” 

“It’s your fault, creep,” accused Mellany, raising her voice over Rose. 

“I can’t heeeeeear you.” 

Mellany nodded her head towards Rose. “But can you hear her?” 

Daltoneo looked at Rose. The former mermaid’s face was blotched red. Tears bubbled incessantly from her eyes. Snot was beginning to drizzle out from her nose and down her face. 

“AAAAAH, shut up already! You’re gonna get my floor dirty!” snapped Dlatoneo. “All this because I turned you human!” 

Rose didn’t stop. 

Mellany thought for a moment before looking at Daltoneo. “Hey, creep?” 

“Get her to shut up!” 

“…wouldn’t her soul still be a mermaid, even if you made her into a human?” 

“…………………………………………………………………………………………….” 

“AAAAAAAAARGH, JUST SHUT UP!” screamed Daltoneo. He lifted up his hand holding his wand. It glowed a faint blue colour and shapeshifted into an iron double-edged sword. He dashed towards Rose, who turned up the volume of her shrieks in response. 

Mellany quickly moved, kicking Daltoneo’s hand holding the sword out of the way. Daltoneo turned and hit the wall instead of Rose. Rose gasped, seeing Daltoneo just a short distance away from her. 

Mellany quickly hopped directly in front of Rose, fixing her fighting stance. “If you’re gonna fight, fight me.” 

“Heh, what are you, a knight in shining armour?” 

“Close enough.” 

The intense glares between Mellany and Daltoneo nearly lit up the room with lightning. Mellany tightened up her stance, as Daltoneo readied his sword. 

Rose’s face slowly started to dry up as she watched two small human-like figures with wings come into focus on Mellany’s shoulder.  One of the creatures grabbed Mellany’s necklace and gently shook it. 

Mellany could hear a quiet jingle in her left ear. She grabbed the pendant to fix its positioning. 

Rose pulled herself up off the floor, using the wall for support. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “Mellany, the necklace!” 

“Huh?” Mellany looked over her shoulder at Rose. 

Daltoneo laughed, leaping forward. “Thanks, mermaid!” 

Rose covered her mouth as Daltoneo slashed at Mellany. Mellany tumbled backwards, falling at Rose’s feet. 

Daltoneo then went in for another swing. Rose jumped out of the way and Mellany rolled to the side. 

Rose stumbled across the room, while Mellany somersaulted backwards and got back up on her feet. Daltoneo reletentlessly slashed at her, finally backing her into the corner at the end of the corridor, between the water entrance way and the wall. 

Daltoneo crept forward, flashing his teeth.

Mellany glanced around. Her face paled – there was no way she was escaping. Even if she could duck, Daltoneo could easily slash at her again. 

She clasped her necklace and closed her eyes. I don’t want to die! 

At that moment, words pushed through her throat and out her mouth, in a language she had never heard before. She wasn’t even sure it was real, not that she had much time to think about it – Daltoneo was coming to her in slow-mo and there was a bright glow coming from a short distance below her, filling up her vision. She closed her eyes as the light seemed to cover her. 

The light faded and her hands felt heavy. She opened her eyes and saw that in her hands was now a staff topped with a 7-pointed star in the same colours as her necklace. Although there was no more light, Mellany could feel power puslating through her fingertips, into the body, and back out into the staff. 

Her eyes looked up and time seemed to move forward again. In an instant, she positioned the staff diagonal across her body. Daltoneo’s sword clashed with its center and bounced off. 

Daltoneo was horrified. 

Rose cheered. “I KNEW the fairies wouldn’t fail you!” 

Daltoneo gritted his teeth, slashing forward once more. 

“I don’t know any fairies,” replied Mellany, clashing Daltoneo’s sword with her staff. The force pushed the wizard backwards, enough for Mellany to move out of the way. 

Daltoneo and Mellany began to dance around the room, their sword and staff respectively clanking and crashing with each other. 

Mellany could feel something she could only describe as a stream of electricity work its way up through her fingertips and up to her lips and her brain. As she continued knocking away Daltoneo’s sword slashes, she could see in her mind a powerful blast coming from the top of the staff. 

Daltoneo pulled back his arm to slash once more.

Mellany shifted her staff’s position and out from the star, just like her vision, came a powerful blast of light. 

How…? Mellany furrowed her brow. 

Daltoneo’s eyes widened as the light hit him in the stomach. His body slammed into the ground. 

Mellany slammed her staff’s head into Daltoneo’s stomach. Words in the unknown language began to pour from her mouth once more. Her staff glowed a bright red light. 

Daltoneo coughed up blood. HIs eyes were filled with fear as he stared into Mellany’s. 

What are you?” 

Mellany furrowed her brow. “I’m human.” 

Daltoneo shook his head as his body disintergrated into nothing. “No, you’re not.” 

He completely disappeared before Mellany could say anything back. 

Mellany shivered. 

Mellany stared at the place Daltoneo once had been. Rose stared at Mellany. 

“Mellany, that was AMAZING!” exclaimed Rose. Mellany stood up as Rose dashed over. The former mermaid wrapped her arms around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. 

‘No, you’re not…’ 

Rose continued to smile at Mellany, despite Mellany was lost in thought. 

Rose smile grew bigger. She looked at Mellany with glittering eyes. “Can you turn me back into a human now?” 

Mellany snapped out of her daze. She briefly looked at her staff and back to Rose. She scratched the back of her head. “Yeah…I…I guess. But…I don’t know how.” 

Mellany heard faint bells once more rush past both of her ears and up the stairs. Rose’s head turned in timing with the fading chimes. “I think they want us to follow them!” 

“Who?” 

“The fairies!” 

Rose began running up the stairs. “Come on!” 

Mellany hesitantly followed Rose. 

***

Mellany and Rose continued walking down the spacious corridor. It wasn’t like the rest of the floors in the castle. It seemed to be longer, but wider, with no windows and less doors. It felt as if it was easier to breath in a way. 

“Hey, where’d you send Daltoneo?” asked Rose. 

Mellany shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I killed him?” 

Rose giggled, waving her hand. “Nuh-uh, no way. That was not a killing spell.” 

“You understood what I said?” 

Rose shook her head. “The energy of the spell wasn’t a death spell.” 

Mellany raised her eyebrow and let out a doubtful laugh. 

“What does a death spell even look like?” 

“Hmmm…well, either green or almost solid. Something like that. I’m not one-hundred percent sure though since I’ve only ever heard stories or read about.” 

“So you don’t really know, do you?” 

“Hmmm…” Rose shrugged. “I guess not. But I bet Starry knows!” 

Mellany rolled her eyes. “Your dragon-fighting witch friend?” 

“Yeah! She is Lady of the Shooting Stars, after all!” 

“What does that even mean?” 

“She has access to special knowledge that none of us know about!” 

“Like the death spells?” 

Rose paused for a moment. “Maybe?” 

Mellany rolled her eyes once more as they reached the end of the hallway.

The entrance at the end of it was much smaller than the other entrances, most likely becaue of the lack of water. Instead of the strange layered rubber of the previous floors, this was a regular door that had no difference whatsoever to the other doors in the hallway. 

Mellany opened the door, Rose following in after her. 

They looked around at the packed bookshelves and messy desk, as well as the other furniture here and there. 

“This must be it,” said Mellany. Rose nodded in agreement.

After surveying over the area, Mellany walked towards the bookshelves. 

“Can you read?” she asked Rose, without turning to her. She scanned over the bookshelf and grabbed the first book that sounded like a good match. 

Rose giggled. “No, of course not, silly! Not human writing, at least.” 

Mellany sighed. “This is going to take a while.” 

Rose smiled and plopped herself down on the bed. “Okay!!” 

Rose peered over the edge of the battlement as she hummed to herself. She could see, ways down, was water. She turned to Mellany and pointed towards the water. “Look, Mellany! The water! That must have been where you pulled me from!” Rose leaned over once more. “How did I even get down there? That’s a long way down!” 

“I can’t look right now – be careful.” 

Mellany cracked open the book and began to skim through its contents. Every couple of pages, she kept glancing over at Daltoneo’s desk, where the journals were scattered & stacked all over. 

“Mellany! The fairies are pointing to the books on the desk!” 

“What fairies?” snapped Mellany. 

Rose flinched. 

Mellany frowned and turned to Rose. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to snap. What about the fairies?” 

Rose pointed to the desk. “They’re over there.” 

“I don’t see anything but books.” 

Rose raised her eyebrows. “You can’t?” 

Mellany shook her head. 

Rose shrugged. “Maybe I can see them because I’m a mermaid?” 

Mellany rolled her eyes. She put away the book in her hands back on the bookshelf and walked over towards the desk.

Mermaid, wizard, demons, and now fairies…

Mellany began flipping through the journals on the desk. Witth each book she moved, the stacks around her began to shake. 

Suddenly, the left-side stack collapsed and the books fell to the floor. One book, a tattered faded brown journal with a red bow etched into it, landed in front of her feet. Mellany couldn’t help but stare at it. She hestitantly picked it up, flipped it open, and there inside was a formula and incantation for turning a creature back to its normal form. 

Mellany gently rubbed her fingers over the page. Her mind began to fiill with adjustments to the directions that would better suit the magical ability of the staff. 

Rose closely observed Mellany as she moved her hand down the page. Mellany looked as if she had gone somewhere far away, if only briefly. She watched as the fairies peered up into Mellany’s face from in front of the book, without opening their mouths. 

Mellany closed the book with a single hand and placed it down on the desk. She lifted up her staff and turned back to Rose. “I found it.” 

Rose clapped. “I knew it!” 

Mellany walked over to Rose and tapped her lightly on the head with the tip of her staff. She stared at the point as she recited the words: 

“Reverse the spell;

All the way back;

Turn this creature; 

Back into that;

What it were;

Originally;

What it were not; 

No more to be.” 

Mellany’s body tingled as the staff faintly glowed an assorment of colours. Rose shivered with a smile on her face as the colours engulfed her body. Her legs disappeared and twisted and stretched into a tail. Her fins reappeared near her ears and on her upper arms. 

Mellany pulled away the staff from Rose’s body.

The light faded and Rose shook like a dog shaking off water. She stopped and hopped up, her arms open wide, embracing Mellany in a hug. 

“I knew, I knew, I KNEW you could do it! Thank you so much!” 

Mellany was a bit taken a back. She looked at the glowing Rose, just before gently hugging her. “You’re welcome.” 

The two hugged each other for a good moment, just before content Rose inquired: “How are we getting back?” 

Mellany’s eyes went wide, then she fell to the ground. 

Rose curiously looked at her. “Are you okay?!” 

“I…I hadn’t thought of that.” 

Mellany was annoyed. 

With her face frozen with annoyance, she got up off the ground. 

A brushing ran underneath the right side of her chin and she heard the faint jingling of bells in the air. She followed it over to Daltoneo’s bookshelf and pulled off a book with dull purple-brown binding. 

After a quick skim through, she turned her face back to Rose. 

Mellany placed the book open to a page simply entitled “Teleport” on the bed. She hugged Rose with one arm and lifted her staff with another.

“Oh, magic of old 

I conjure thee 

To help bring me 

To where I please 

Take me to the beach!” 

In a flash of bright lilac-purple light, the two disappeared and reappeared faster than they could even process. 

They were back on the beach. 

*** 

The sounds of the bustling beach crowd echoed off in the distance as the sun continued to lower on the horizon. The sky tinted everything orange. 

Rose sat on a rock , dipping her fins back into the water. Mellany sat beside her, although her feet did not touch the water. 

“Aaaaah! It feels so nice to dip my fins back into water!” Rose smiled. “Wow, what a day, don’t you think?” 

Mellany glanced at her. 

Rose flinched. She curiously put her hand to her mouth. “Wait, do humans usually have events like that happen to them?” 

Mellany sighed. Her lips curled up  as she looked out at the orange-tinted glistening water. “Nah, we don’t. I’m surprised I even had that.” 

“I hope we don’t ever have to see a guy like Daltoneo again.” 

“Yeah,” agreed Mellany. 

The sea breeze lightly tossed their hair around. 

Rose’s smile shrunk and her eyes lowered. “Do you think we will meet up again?” 

“Who? Daltoneo?” 

Rose let out a laugh. “No, silly, you!” 

Mellany put out her hand, looking as if she was about to burst out laughing. “I was gonna say ––!” 

Rose took Mellany’s hands into hers. “It was so great meeting you! I really hope we can see each other again.” 

Mellany shrugged. “Only if you want to come out this far. You’re farther out at see, right?” 

Rose nodded. 

Then Rose’s gaze turned to Mellany’s shoulder. 

Mellany turned her head to see where Rose’s gaze had landed. Her eyes shifted between the two of them. She raised her eyebrow. “Don’t tell me it’s the fairies.” 

Rose giggled. “Yes, of course it is! Why else would I be staring over your shoulders, silly!” 

“What are they saying?” 

“They’re saying for me to come back when Shooting Star is back.” 

“Why Shooting Star…?” 

Rose turned her gaze back to Mellany’s shoulder. Mellany turned her own at the same spot. She shivered – was there REALLY something there? And if there was, did she really want to see it? 

Rose’s usual playful demenor shifted. Her smile was devoid of laughter, but instead of wisdom. 

Mellany flinched. 

“They’re saying it’s almost time for you to know your family’s legacy.” 

Mellany raised her eyebrow. “I don’t care about that!” Her brow then furrowed. “…whatever that is.” 

Her body shivered once more, the sensation moving towards the staff still in her hands. The staff seemed to glint at the top. Mellany and Rose exchanged looks. 

Mellany swallowed. She knew, somewhere deep down, what Rose was saying was true. 

“I guess…I will then.” 

Mellany turned her head towards the sunset, looking out at what appeared to be an endless sea. 

A large, pleased grin spread across Rose’s face as she turned her own head towards the setting sun. 

*** 

His vision came to as well as it could in the dark. He groaned as slightly moved his body and looked around. 

“Argh…” 

The only places of light seemed to be a sunlit, tall-stained glass window that was just several shades bright blue that the rest of the darkness around it. He could make out the grayscale designs of the window from a distance.

Dalteoneo sprawled himself out on the floor and huffed. 

He closed his eyes once more. 

And then he opened his mouth. 

“WHERE AM I?!” 

Despite his aching body, he sat up and slammed his fist on the ground. “CURSE that girl and that mermaid!” 

He jumped up, continuing to ignore his aches. He ran towards the only illuminated area in the room. “If I knew where I was, I would go out,, and show them what I can really do.. I am the GREAT DALTONEO, after all! How DARE they!” 

“I could say the same for you.” 

Daltoneo’s hairs stood up and his body ran cold. His head twitched like a glitchign robot as he turned towards the voice. 

Out from the shadows, he saw a gleaming green eye and long, wavy ginger hair. He gasped in horror. 

The older woman emerged, standing underneath the same illuminated area as Daltoneo. “Now that I have you here, should I curse you too?” 

Daltoneo stumbled backwards, holding out his hands. “No, no, please!” 

“Oh, what, Daltoneo? You can curse others, but your teacher can’t place a curse on you?” 

“Please, please don’t! I…I’m sorry!” 

The woman reached out to his chin and wrapped her hands with long, tapering painted fingers nails underneath it. Her nails gently carrassed his face. 

Daltoneo shivered. “Uh, um, hey! Madam, we could, uh, work to get out of here! And then I could serve you once again?” 

“And have you betray me again?” she asked. Her voice became seductively low. “I don’t think so.” 

She then forcisibly grabbed Daltoneo’s neck and lifted him off the ground. 

Daltoneo managed one final scream before he couldn’t make any more than grunting sounds. 

***** THE END *****

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