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…
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!
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!”
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.
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!”
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!”
“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!”
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.”