Warning(s): Character deaths
Notes: This is my entry for the Truly Victorious Forum We Love Alternate Universe Contest. I hope you enjoy.
A mermaid found a swimming lad
Picked him for her own
Pressed her body to his body
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown
- William Butler Yeats
"Isn't it beautiful out there?"
"The ocean, of course," she whispered. She leaned closer to the edge of the cliff which was overlooking the sea. Her legs were dangling over the side and she could almost feel the seawater hitting her feet. She knew if she were to lean too far over, she'd fall into the depths of the dark water.
A hand grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back. "Don't fall," the other girl said carefully. "I don't want to lose you."
"You won't ever lose me. I'll always be right here with the water."
"Caterina Valentine went missing last night. Her mother said she had went into her daughter's bedroom to check on her at 2:00 AM since she could not sleep. Caterina was sound asleep in her bed. The next morning, she didn't come downstairs. Caterina's mother walked up the stairs thinking her daughter had slept in only to find her missing. Nothing had been taken away from the room. Clothes and pictures and everything else was in the same place as it had been the night before. People are trying to find the girl as we speak. Some suggest she ran away from home while others say she was kidnapped since her belongings are still in her room. Another suggestion is that she -"
"Turn it off! Off! Off! Off!" the darkhaired girl yelled at the top of her lungs. "I can't listen to this! Turn it off!" She screamed as loud as she could. Her head fell into her pillow. Her body curled into a ball with her knees pressing against her chest and her hands over her ears to block the sounds of the world.
She's not dead. She'll never be dead. Never.
She felt a hand patting her back softly. She kept her eyes closed and ignored the person to the best of her abilities.
She sat on the ledge where she had last seen her best friend. She looked over the sea and wondered what had even happened to her friend. For some reason, she wished her friend had been kidnapped. She couldn't be able to live if Cat had killed herself. The bright, bubbly little girl couldn't do that, wouldn't do that. It was impossible.
She just couldn't see her friend hurting herself at all.
Her head snapped up immediately at her name being called. She looked around her quickly, trying to find who had said her name.
She stood up this time and put her back towards the ocean. She looked at the forest with her first clenched, ready to fight if the person happened to be threatening. She couldn't see a single soul where she was. Only the animals were there and they weren't talking to her. Or so she hoped.
She bent down to grab a rock. She wasn't looking at the ground and kept her focus on the forest. Her hand felt around for a sharp rock and she finally found one. She straightened up and carefully walked towards the forest. She knew that people were found dead here at least once a year and she wasn't going to be one of those people. She crept behind a boulder and peered over it. She couldn't see anyone.
She recognized the voice this time. She hadn't heard it for days. She jumped up immediately from her hiding spot and looked around her. "Cat! Cat! Where are you? Cat!" she screamed. She had to find her. She knew she hadn't died. Cat was still here with her like she had promised.
"Cat!" she yelled once again. She turned around once she realized the voice was from behind her. She couldn't see anything except for the grass and rocks in the clearing. "Cat?" she asked, her voice growing softer. There was no reply this time. "Cat..." her voice trailed away and she grabbed onto her hair and fell down onto the ground. "Cat, Cat, Cat, Cat. Where are you?" she whispered for only her ears to hear.
Cat's voice wouldn't answer her anymore that day.
"Where are you always disappearing to?"
She heard the spoon bang against the kitchen counter as her mother angrily slammed it down. "You aren't here at home and you aren't at school and you're nowhere to be found! No one knows where the fuck you're disappearing to!"
"I told you," she said, staring down at her cereal. "I disappear to nowhere."
Her mother screamed and slapped her across the face. The girl ignored the slap and the pain following it. It wasn't like the pain Cat could be in right then and it wasn't like the pain Cat could have experienced.
"Ever since that stupid Valentine girl disappeared, you've been more alone that usual!" her mom yelled at her. She kept eating her cereal ignoring the throbbing in her cheek.
"She wasn't stupid, mom," she told her quietly. "Cat will never be stupid. Never."
She stood up from her chair and took her bowl to the sink and dumped it in. She then grabbed her jacket and walked outside to go to school.
She was laying down on her stomach by the ledge. Her head was hanging over and staring down at the waves crashing into the rocks at the bottom. It was the perfect place to just disappear forever and never worry about coming back.
She closed her eyes and covered her ears with her hands. "Get away from me!" she screamed. "You're my imagination and nothing else! You're dead, Cat! Dead! You're no longer living! Gone for good! No more!"
"I'm right here, Jadelyn."
She kept her eyes shut tightly. She couldn't look to see that her ears were only deceiving her. She couldn't stand this anymore.
"I need to get rid of you," she whispered quietly. "I have to get over this, Cat. You're dead now. I'm alive. I need to forget about you."
"I'm not dead."
It's a trick. A lie. Deceit. Cat is dead.
"Come play with me. I'm not far away. It won't be hard to find me."
"What do you mean?" she asked quietly, forgetting she was supposed to be ignoring the voice.
"I'm in the ocean. Come play with me."
"You're dead, Cat."
"No I'm not."
She backed away from the edge and pulled her knees against her chest and tried to block out Cat's imaginary voice even more.
"What do you want, Jade?" he asked her in the dark of the janitor's closet.
"I need to talk to you," she whispered to him, tightly holding onto his shirt.
"And you couldn't talk to me in the hallway in the light because-"
"Because people will hear," she said, interrupting him.
"And they can't hear because?"
"Because they'll think I'm crazy."
He sighed. "Alright," he said. "We can just hang out in here then. What's wrong?"
He grumbled something under his breath. "She's dead, Jade," he told her. "There's been no sign of her for a year now. You need to just-"
"Calm down?" Jade whispered harshly. She shoved him against the wall and stepped closer to him, her body pressed right against his. "I'm calm. I'm fine. But..." her voice trailed away as she realized it was all a lie. She wasn't okay in the least bit.
"Jade?" he asked.
She burst into tears and her head fell into his shirt. She wrapped her arms around his waist and clung to him for dear life. She felt his hand patting her back. She felt weak, crying in front of him like this. She was supposed to be strong and sane. She wasn't supposed to be weak at all.
"I hear her," she confessed between gasps for breath. "She calls my name and talks to me and, and, and..."
"Jade," he whispered, lifting her chin to look her in the eyes.
"Do you have a boat?" she asked him randomly, looking away from his dark brown eyes.
"My dad does."
"Take me fishing in the ocean."
"But you hate the ocean."
"Do it, Andre," she hissed at him. She pulled away from him and left the closet angrily. She ignored the looks she received. She had been crying and now everyone in this entire school knew.
She looked out into the water. She was leaning against the railing of the yacht and she felt like she could puke. She hated being out in the water. It wasn't because she hated the ocean. It was she hated boats and got seasick easily. She felt a body next to her and glanced over at the boy standing next to her.
"Why?" he asked simply. She knew exactly what he meant with just this little question.
"I think she jumped off our cliff," she said.
She pointed at the cliffs lining the horizon in the distance. "One of them is our place. We went there once a week and talked and had fun. It was our spot, our home. We felt at peace there." She sighed and looked down at her hands. "I go there every day just to remember. To try to understand why." She shook her head sadly. "I was there the other day and looked down. The rocks that line the shore are pointed, jagged, and the waves crash against them. It'd be the perfect place to die. It'd be quick, but painful - I think. You'd most likely hit one of the rocks and bleed to death if you're lucky. If you miss one of them, the waves will wash you towards one and bam! Dead."
He sighed and looked over at her carefully. "But why would you need to be out in the ocean?"
She looked up at him and noticed his eyes trying to search hers to find the answers he needed. "She told me to come here," she answered. "She wants me here."
He nodded his head softly. She felt his hand cover hers and she glanced down at it. "It'll be alright," he told her. "We'll be here all night. Don't forget that." She nodded in response. He removed his hand and walked away from her to go below deck.
"I won't forget," she said. She looked down into the water and watched the waves beating the ship. She saw something red dash by and she gasped a little. She backed away quickly and ran below deck to be with Andre.
Her eyes darted open. She looked around and couldn't see a thing in the dark room. She felt Andre's arm wrapped around her waist and holding her tightly. She remembered crawling into his bed since she couldn't sleep by herself here. He was fine with it of course.
"I'm so close, Jadelyn. Please come play with me."
She grabbed Andre's arm and carefully unwrapped it from her waist. She got out of the small bed quietly and looked back at the boy who was sound asleep. She smiled and started to maneuver the best she could out of this place. She found the stairs quickly and tiptoed up them. She reached the deck and noticed the light immediately. The moon was shining brightly in the sky above her. She walked to the rail and looked into the water.
"Come on and join me, Jadelyn. It's not hard. I promise I'll keep you safe and let you go back home too! It'll be fun."
She nodded her head. She hadn't changed into her pajamas before she went to sleep, so she was still wearing all of her day clothes. She pulled her shirt off not wanting it to get wet since it was one of her favorites. She then stripped out of her jeans knowing they'd weigh her down.
"Is it safe?" she asked, looking into the water.
"I'm here aren't I? Isn't that safe enough?"
She smiled and started climbing over the railing. She forgot all about the dangerous creatures lurking beneath her, waiting for her to become their feast. She held onto the railing as she was on the other side. Her feet were trying to stay on the boat, but it didn't last long. Her feet slipped and she fell. Her legs splashed into the icy cold water and she screamed. She kept her grip on the railing until she felt something pulling at her legs. She glanced down to see the fiery red thing from before. She screamed again, but this creature was too strong for her. She lost her grip and fell down into the water. She felt the water circling her and pulling her into it. The hands grabbing her ankles were dragging her farther under. She screamed under the water forgetting that she was letting all the oxygen escape. She looked down and grabbed onto the hands holding her and tried her best to stop their grasp. When this didn't work, she started kicking and kicking, trying to get rid of it.
"What were you doing?" his voice yelled. She felt hands gripping her shoulders and she could feel something being wrapped around her. It was warm and soft. She could just melt right into it.
She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing would come out. She didn't know it of course and continued talking.
He groaned and pulled her against him. "Don't do that ever again," he said angrily, but with kindness lining the words. "We heard you scream and we ran up here only to see your clothes on the ground and no you."
She felt his hands in her wet hair and his head in her neck. "I was so worried you were gone for good."
"I'd never leave you," she said. "I was only playing."
He didn't say anything in response. Maybe he didn't hear her.
"Don't do that again," he whispered again. She sighed and decided to move her arms around him.
She was in his bedroom sleeping in his bed. She couldn't remember the last time she had slept by herself at her house. She didn't know what was wrong with her. It was as if she couldn't sleep alone ever again. If she were to do so, she'd go insane even more and try to do something crazy.
"Jadelyn. I'm waiting for you."
Her mind immediately focused on Cat's soft, bubbly voice. She climbed out of Andre's bed and looked back at him. He was sound asleep. She got outside and climbed into her car. It was only a twenty minute drive to the beach and the port. She finally got to the boat docking and chose the closest dock. She walked out on it and could smell the remains of the fish caught by fisherman earlier that day.
She reached the edge of the dock and looked down into the water. The red creature appeared and popped up to look at her. The creature had big brown eyes and long red hair wrapped all around her body. Jade's eyes opened widely at it and she started to back away in fear. It looked up at her and smiled it's beautiful smile. "I've been waiting, Jadelyn," it said.
Jade gasped a little and looked at it more carefully. Her feet started walking by themselves to become closer to it. She got down on her knees to look it in the eyes. "Cat?" she whispered softly.
"Yes," Cat said happily.
"What... What happened?"
"I jumped and they saved me."
"The others. My sisters." She motioned behind her and Jade looked at the dark waters. She could see heads popping up from beneath the waters. There were girls with blonde hair and some with bright blue. Jade gulped and looked back at Cat.
"I'm so confused," she whispered.
"Just come out and play with me," Cat told her in response.
Jade nodded and started taking her clothes off. The other girls, the ones Cat had called her sisters, disappeared back into the sea. Jade put her feet in the water and slowly slipped in. She looked at Cat who just grinned. Cat swam towards her and hugged her tightly. Jade wrapped her arms around Cat's waist and held her. "I've missed you," she whispered into the girl's hair.
"I love you," Cat said, looking up at Jade with a smile. "I love you so much." Cat leaned in and kissed Jade on her lips softly. Jade sighed into the kiss and tried to pull herself closer to Cat. Suddenly, she felt the water moving farther up her body. She felt it around her mouth and soon enough she was beneath the waters. She opened her eyes widely and started looking around. Cat still held her and was still kissing her. She tried to scream and she tried to get away from her best friend, but nothing would work. Cat wouldn't let go. She kicked and screamed, but nothing would help her. She was being pulled farther and farther down into the dark waters. She felt herself running out of oxygen. She looked over at Cat wishing the girl was realizing what she was doing. However, Cat's eyes were closed and there was a sense of calmness radiating from her body. Jade was starting to feel dizzy and lightheaded. She felt Cat pull away from her slowly and Jade looked at her.
"Bye," she mouthed towards her friend. Cat's eyes opened with realization of what was happening as Jade slipped out of her arms.