Alicia la Reveuse
Have you heard of Little Mermaid's story? The one where she becomes a seafoam because she couldn't stab her prince?
It was Mai's favourite story of mermaids. Compared to the folklores that she could hear non-stop from her father, this story really made Mai look up to mermaids. Even though it has a sad ending, she couldn't just stop herself from thinking that that mermaid who turned to seafoam had already reached where no mermaids had gone to.
Because of her love of the story, she had her small room filled with her drawings of mermaids – beautiful maidens with flowing long hair swimming and flipping their golden tails under the sea. She was an avid fan that she even longed to see one or better yet, become one. That's why, during full moons, she would go out and walk along the shores, in hopes that she might find a mermaid. Because it was also said that mermaids love the full moon and would go out just to see it. But it was something that his father would shake his head to.
Mai was well-versed with the lore of their town about mermaids. If her father would always lecture her about it, who wouldn't?
He said that mermaids were vile creatures. They would lure men out of the sea with their beautiful voices then drown those poor men, so they could eat their flesh and nothing would be left of them. It was a common fishermen tale.
But recently, as soon as Mai reached her 15th birthday, her father told her another lore about mermaids.
Unlike his usual nagging, he was blankly staring at Mai, "Mermaids can grant eternal life," he said.
Mai was confused at what her father told her but she shook it off. It may be another one of those lore that were meant to scare her.
One night, like she always does when the full moon is out, Mai went to the shore.
The sea was tranquil at night. There was only the sound of waves and the breeze of the wind. Just like always. Mai continued her walk until she heard something out of the usual.
Mai stopped her tracks and listened.
There was the sound of waves and the breeze of wind.
And that peculiar sound – it was someone sobbing.
Mai followed the weeping sound, thinking that it may be one of the town girls letting their heartbreaks out to the sea, but then, it stopped. The sound disappeared. Mai continued to where she thought the sound was coming from until she heard a shrill piercing cry that made her cover her ears and close her eyes.
The cry lasted for a few seconds more until it stopped.
Mai opened her eyes.
In front of her was a decaying body of a woman. Its upper body was pale and naked but for the lower part – there was none but red mush of internal organs.
Mai shivered and screamed. She fell on her knees and covered her mouth. The body looked horrendous that she felt like she could puke.
The next day, the dead body became the talk around the small port town. The deceased was unknown and they were still searching for the missing part of the woman – it's lower part consisting of its waist and legs.
Mai on the other hand, as someone who was first to see the body, was horrified. She locked herself in her room and refused to go out. She had hallucinations. Her mermaid drawings that filled her room looked like that woman she saw, with its missing part – a golden tail. She would sometimes hear that piercing cry which would make her ears bleed. When she stands up, her feet hurt, as if she was stabbed by a thousand knives. Her throat felt parched. Even if she drinks plenty of water, her voice became hoarse until nothing can be heard from her anymore. She was afraid of something; even the slightest sound outside her room would make her jump. And the dreams – she had dreams, it was something that she felt that could heal her, but trap her at the same time, a place where she can escape the pain that she was currently in.
A dream where she was a mermaid herself.
As a mermaid, Mai loved the ocean. She would swim to the very depths of the blue waters and swim with the dolphins and fishes. With her plenty sisters, they would search for treasures sunken with human ships and would collect anything they would take liking to.
Life as a mermaid was amazing. Yet, Mai felt something more than her love with the ocean when she fell in love with a human.
It was just like how that story went.
On her 15th birthday, Mai was allowed to go see the land and there she saw a huge ship in a middle of merry making. And there, she saw him. A handsome young man. A man with deep blue eyes and jet-black hair. He has long eyelashes, a mole under his right eye and plump kissable lips.
Ahh... a desire of wanting to touch him came to Mai. She wanted to touch him. She wanted to kiss him. She wanted him to be hers.
And eerily like that story, a storm came and sunk their ship. Mai saved that man and brought him to the shores. And with a wish of wanting to be beside the man, she went to the Sea Witch and wished for legs.
Eerily like the story, she was granted that wish. Her golden tail turned to human legs in exchange, her vocal chords was ripped out of her, leaving her voiceless. It was also agreed that she has to make that man fall in love with her or else, she will die.
Without her voice, it was difficult to convey her feelings to the man and this difficulty was something she didn't overcome as the man was to be married to some other woman. It was a woman whom her beloved man thought who saved him on that day their ship sunk.
Mai was in pain. She couldn't tell the prince she loves him. She couldn't tell him she was the one who saved him. And she will die when that man becomes one with his beloved.
Mai fully knows that she was dreaming. But because of her remaining love for the story of the little mermaid, she went with the flow. But right now, it feels so real that she was afraid of what were to happen if the dream continues and she dies as a mermaid and become sea foam.
Then, her sisters came to her. Their pretty long hair were gone, their heads were shaved and bleeding. And in their hands was a silver knife with a red handle.
"Sister, stab that man before the sun rises and you'll be a mermaid once more," they said.
Mai reached for the knife. And the face of that dead woman came in front of her. That woman whom she saw on the shore with her lower part missing.
That was when she opened her eyes and woke up to reality.
A man was seated beside her bed.
Her body felt sluggish. The pain on her neck and legs was still there.
She looked at the man's profile.
It wasn't her father. Then... who...?
A handsome young man. A man with deep blue eyes and jet-black hair. He has long eyelashes, a mole under his right eye and plump kissable lips.
A desire of wanting to touch him came to Mai. She wanted to touch him. She wanted to kiss him. She wanted him to be hers.
Then a feeling of dread and fear followed as she saw him raise his hand, a silver knife with a red handle on hand. A memory that wasn't hers came into her mind.
After her sisters gave her the knife, she was called into his quarters.
And in a most surprising moment, told her that he loves her.
It was a happy moment for the woman.
But it was permanently stopped –
When he suddenly stabbed her with his sword.
"I saw you talking with your sisters earlier. Who would've thought you we're a mermaid."
The woman faltered and fell on her bottom, she was bleeding too much.
"You know, when I was a child, I know of someone who got hold of a mermaid. And did you know what he did to her?"
The bleeding woman cried and pulled herself away that man. That hateful man that she loved.
"He ate her."
A messed-up delighted grin was on his face as the color in Mai's face drains because of fear.
"How are you, my little mermaid?"
The man's hand holding the knife came down on Mai.
Then, the silver knife became as red as its handle.
"Have you heard of Little Mermaid's story? The one where a mermaid's flesh can grant you eternal youth and immortality? It's actually my favourite story."
"'Why?' You ask?"
"Hmm... maybe because... it's my story..."
"Haven't you heard of the saying that you are what you eat? Well... mermaid flesh is just like that. If you eat one, you become one."
"So in order to save myself, I ate him."
"THAT HATEFUL MAN THAT I LOVED..."
"Eh? You're asking me who am I?"
"Hmmm... isn't that obvious by now... But I guess... right now... my name is..."