|Scaly When Wet: A Mermaid's Tail
Author: jnl94 PM
A crown Prince, a Faery named Scout, and a mermaid that has to get herself to water before sunset or she dies. Add to that the fact that the King needs her blood to survive...oh, it's getting fishy now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 22 - Words: 38,797 - Reviews: 76 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 01-26-12 - Published: 01-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 2989264
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
What a Joy
I was scared. My breath came in quick, panicked gasps. My eyes stung with unshed tears. My wrists ached and my arms throbbed from being held behind my back so uncomfortably. I stumbled and the man behind me gave a harsh shove, sending me flying face first onto the unforgiving ground.
I rolled to the right, groaning, blood pooling in my mouth. I spat it to the dirt and clenched my teeth together, refusing to cry. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction.
I was pulled roughly to my feet. "Get up girlie," the man snarled—the same man that had been prodding me forward all day. I gave the man my coldest stare. From the look on his face I knew that my eyes must have flashed sapphire the way they tend to do when I get angry. I spat blood at him and the scarlet drops spattered over his clean white shirt.
I sneered at him, taking in his clean—or once clean—clothes. A once pristine white button up with the sleeves pushed to his elbows, a pair of unremarkable clean trousers, and hiking boots that looked as if they had never been taken for a test drive before now.
I felt nearly naked in comparison, standing in front of him in just a man's shirt that had been thrust at me. I was surprised they didn't make me parade through the woods completely nude. My black hair was long and free down my back, reaching nearly to my waist, clinging to my cheeks and forehead. My legs were bare and quaked with the unfamiliarity of standing. My feet were covered in leaves and dirt, blood seeping slowly from many small cuts that I had obtained from clumsily stumbling though he woods.
I gnawed on my lower lip nervously and darted my eyes around. I was not the only girl here, but I seemed to be the only one with any spirit left at all. The others—just as scantily clothed as me—were all broken. They were no longer living. They might as well have been dead.
"Get moving," the man I had spat on growled, pushing his gun into my side. I tossed my hair in a show of defiance and turned, not giving him the satisfaction of being able to hurt me further.
"Where are we going?" I asked; my first attempt at conversing with these men. I didn't expect an answer and so when it came, I stumbled, dropping to my knees. I looked around for the one that had spoken and my eyes landed on a boy. No, not a boy, but a man. He looked much younger than the others, but his eyes were what gave him away. They were a deep green and there was no way to disguise it; he had seen many terrible things in his life, however short it had been thus far.
"We're going to the city," he said, his eyes locked onto mine. He didn't leer at me, but not did he smile.
"The city?" I asked in a panic, my eyes seeking out the horizon through the trees.
"Yes, you know, buildings, streets, lots of people," he said, brushing past me. I would have reached out to grab him, but my hands were still tied behind my back.
"Wait!" I cried, my turbulent pale blue eyes widening as his words penetrated my mind. The city was much too far from any source of water. "Please, you have to wait!" I called after him. He did not stop and I was roughly pushed forward once again.
I sought out the eyes of the other girls. I tried to plead with them using only my eyes. Help me, I begged silently. Please.
None of them spoke or even registered that I was there. That is, none of them save for one. She looked ragged, as if she had been forced to endure this hell for some time. She looked incredibly fragile, perhaps malnourished even. Her eyes were large and doe-like; a beautiful, yet odd, shade of violet. She had high cheekbones and a slim nose. Her lips were pulled down into a frown. Her forehead slowly wrinkled as we locked eyes and I thought I saw confusion and then shock in hers.
She opened her mouth, as if to speak, but the man herding her along silenced her with a sharp blow to the face. She jerked her head to the side and her mouth jarred open, her violet eyes going unfocused from the impact.
The man pulled back to hit her again. "No!" I cried before I could stop myself. "Don't hurt her!" I was already screwed for opening my mouth in the first place, might as well do it right.
"No?" the man asked me angrily. I felt his fist connect with my jaw and I went down, tearing a layer of skin off my knees. I felt blood drip from my lip and I realized that it must have been split by his force.
No one tried to stop him as he reared back and slammed his foot into my ribs. A crack filled the air and I sucked in a sharp breath, trying desperately to hold in my anguished scream. He kicked me again and again, sometimes in the rubs, sometimes elsewhere. I took a blow to the chest and another to the shoulder. Clearly he wasn't aiming, but only wanted to cause me pain.
He grabbed me roughly, dragging me to my feet by my raven-colored locks and pulled me against him. I felt naked in the thin button up shirt I wore and clenched my teeth together to hold off a blush as the shirt rode higher on my thighs.
"Let her go,"
The voice was faint and weak, but it was there and it was a voice standing up for me. It sounded like angels to me, never mind the fact that it sounded as if those angels had been gargling nails for the past week.
"What?" the man snarled, turning to the doe-eyed girl I had spoken for.
"Let. Her. Go." She said, though it looked as if it pained her to speak at all. Her lips trembled with the words she wanted to say, but didn't dare.
I wondered how long this would go on. Would the same man continuously beaut us? He dropped me and I crumbled, the pain making my eyesight go black around the edges. He turned to Doe-eyes and snarled like a rabid dog, preparing to lunge.
I wanted to see his face again, but I could not make myself move. I knew that it was the same man—the one with the eyes—and I knew that he spoke up, not to spare us, but so that the trip would no longer be delayed.
I was dragged to my feet and forced to walk through the pain that radiated through my body. None of this would matter come nightfall. I had an internal clock that told me exactly what I feared the most.
A gun was pressed to my back. "No more trouble," my shepherd growled, jabbing the gun into my back again to make his point stick.
I smiled despite all of my bruises and cuts. I smiled through all of the pain sending fire to every part of me. I smiled, not because I had some kind of gran plan to save not only my fellow prisoners—though I doubted they much cared either way in their current states—but myself as well. I had no great plan to save myself.
No, there was no point in concocting any such plan. I was outnumbered anyway, not to mention weakened by all the beating I had taken and I was barely clothed. They had weapons while I had absolutely nothing.
I smiled because, despite everything they had gone through to kidnap me and keep me alive for whatever purpose they had in mind, I was going to die.
That was the big secret I had tried to warn the man with the eyes about. One the sun went down, I had only a short period of time—an hour maybe—to get myself into water. I had to immerse myself in water—it didn't matter what kind, though the sea was much preferred—or I would dry out. If I didn't get myself into water by the time my internal clock stopped ticking, I would die.
Oh, the joys of being a mermaid.