A/N sorry I'm posting this again, I fixed a few grammatical errors that were bugging me.
"Alice, I really feel like this is it. Victoria seems to mention my freedom now more than ever. It's like she's trying to tell me that this is the guy, this is it. I bring him back and I'll be free." I childishly looked to Alice for a response, knowing I wouldn't get one. Paintings don't talk. What am I doing talking to a painting? I, er, adopted her from a client? Yeah there's no way to spin this positively; I stole her from a sailor. That's how I acquired all of my things. You could say I liked the memories they carried with them, not my memories per se, but someones. I didn't have many happy memories myself so I was left to take them from others.
Yes, I know these aren't just anyone possessions. They belong to dead men. Well, what I'm guessing are dead men. Truth be told, I have no clue what Victoria does with them once I bring them to her. I just know that I bring the men, I'm one step closer to freedom. Whatever that may mean. So, I'm being a tad selfish, sue me. I've spent my whole life doing the bidding of a Sea Hag, and although Victoria is the only thing close to family I've ever had, this can't be it. This can't be my whole life. I'm sick and tired of flipping my hair, batting my eyes, and luring young men to underwater. Pretty sick, huh?
But my room, that's where I felt most at home. I don't live with Victoria, but close. I can't go far because Victoria can't really leave her own, ahem, lair. She has legs. No one down here can explain how it came to be and Victoria isn't spilling secrets anytime soon. All I know is that she needs souls to survive but she can't get them herself. That's where I come in. My mother left me with Victoria before she died. There was no else she trusted to take care of me. And Victoria took me in, she took care of me when she didn't have to. I owe her my life, not like she'd let me forget that though. I was happy here. I am happy here. Surrounded by things someone once loved. I have about a dozen pocket watches, compasses, portraits, clocks, a pair of glasses, a couple telescopes, really whatever I could get my hands on. But I did have one rule: only one item from each man. And by far my best find was Alice.
Now, I'm not sure if that's her real name, or even if she's a real person out there somewhere. I just always loved that name, and when I look at her, sitting right above my bed, I can't help but think she's someone I'd be friends with. If I had friends. And I hadn't led whomever her portrait belonged to to Victoria. So, maybe she'd hate me if she knew who I was. Maybe I should hate myself. But I can't change any of that or the fact that her face, so pure and angelic, brought a smile to my face. I could tell her anything. I guess you could say it was comforting to know that the only person who knew all of my secrets was incapable of sharing them.
"I'm going to get him quicker than I've ever done before, Alice. And then, you and me are going to be free."
I scanned the horizon for my next prey. Ah, there he is; tall, muscular, exactly Victoria's type. He was alone, which is odd but quite perfect for my particular purposes. Just sitting there, fiddling with something in his hands – concentrating. I didn't know what it was but I'll add it to my collection later...after.
Now comes the strategy, how to approach him? Usually when they men are all together I let them see me once or twice, capture their interest. Flirt a bit until I can part the target from the group with a finger curl or a wink in his direction. Here there's not much need for that. Pardon the bad humor but this will be a hook, line, sinker so to speak. He looks lonely. Those are the easiest ones. They can't believe their luck; to finally meet a mermaid. A little conversation, perhaps a chaste kiss, and they're putty in my hands.
Slowly, I draw closer, and begin to sing. My voice is no louder than a murmured secret between lovers. But that's all it takes. My boy glances up, distracted from his project which he discards at his side. I'm certain he can see me now, slightly distorted under the water. And when I come up, I have his full attention.
"Hello there" I smile, feigning modesty by covering my top half with my long hair.
Alas, he is too shocked to speak. It makes no difference to me. My arms are resting on a stone protruding from the rocky ledge he's on. I lay my head down gently, giggling. Lover boy's eyes are practically bulging out of his head, quite pathetic if you ask me. I lean in towards him, asking the silent question "come with me?" and this one never stood a chance. He stands up, lifting his shirt up and over his head, tossing it to the side. Just as he's about to jump in, I interrupt.
"Bring that with you" I point to the forgotten possession and flick my tail. He takes this as my excitement that he's coming with me, and it is, just probably not in the way he's hoping. He grabs it quickly and plunges into the cool water, coming up beside me to tread water. My hand comes up to touch his cheek, and for a human man, he's quite handsome. The sun is disappearing behind his head casting his features in perfect lighting. You can tell he's a strong man, perfect for my last catch.
I begin to sing again, still quietly so as not to alert anyone else of my presence here. It's intimate, and he can't help himself from stealing a kiss. But it doesn't last long, I must keep singing. My song will never be reproduced, no little girl will ever open her music box to hear this tune, nor will men practice it on their fiddles; for those who hear my intoxicating melody never live long enough to relay it.
And as I sang, I slowly dragged us both beneath the water's surface. He never struggled or swam for air, just slowly closed his eyes, succumbing to me.
"Victoria, I have him" She turned around, looking pleased. Oh, I just knew this was it, the expression on her face could mean nothing else.
"Bring him here. Gently, gently, ah, yes. Place him there." I laid him on the stone table in the center of the room. "You've done so well Bella, really that was surprisingly quick." She stroked my hair affectionately and turned to attend to him.
"You may go now, I'll call you when I get the next assignment." My heart fell.
"I'm sorry, Victoria, I thought he was the last one.." How much longer will I have to do this?
"Bella, what would give you that idea?" She chuckled, chuckled. As if my promised freedom was a joke. I closed my eyes, calming down. It would do no good to get her upset. Especially when I'm so close.
"Nothing." I was dejected.
"Dear it will all come in time. I promise it's not far away. Soon we'll both have what we want," I didn't know what she meant by that but I clung to the assurance that this would all be over soon. "Now you need to leave so I can attend to this truly magnificent man." Her smile was anything but comforting now, she was a dark woman.
"Bella," She called and I glanced over my shoulder "did you happen to catch his name?" She placed her hand on her cheek, thoughtful.
"No, no I didn't."
A/N Yeah, Bella's a bit bitchy, or as I like to call it, sassy. At least she's not bland, right? Oh and yes, her cave is "The Little Mermaid"-esque but I figure Ariel never lured anyone to their death. I was just looking at where all of you are from and it put a huge smile on my face. Hello to those from New Zealand, Peru, Germany, France (or should I say Bon jour!) and many other awesome places (Lithuania! Bangladesh!). I'm so happy you're all here. I would like to mention that I sort of hated naming the Sea Hag Victoria, it really just doesn't sit right. However, she really did need a name, it felt weird to keep saying "Sea Hag" and this being fan fiction I felt it should be someone from the Twilight Saga. So, I apologize if you were reading this and don't like the name, but I don't have many other "evil" options.