(compulsive hoarding: a pattern of behavior that reveals an excess of acquisition and an unwillingness to discard what has been acquired over spans of time despite its usefulness.)
The bloated figures of the couple who leapt in unison from the rear of the passing ship sink further and further down the swallowing, dark abyss of the ocean. Their young, sunburned faces permanently dreamy and lopsided with smiles upon hearing the trill of Ariel's song. They do not rise to greet her.
Ariel's lips quirk downward. She manages to catch what appears to be a round, heavy, gold-colored item in one of her hands — as it floats down in front of her.
Fiddles with the clasp on its side, but cannot find a means to open it.
The cave shelves of her once empty, murky grotto Ariel kept secret from everyone (everyone but Flounder, bless him) gradually become occupied with an array of human objects.
But over half of them she didn't have names for.
Some of them Ariel had glimpsed on the now sallow-faced and decomposing humans, some they wore around their necks, their legs, their arms before she snatched them. There were objects that had a lighter weight to them, and others shaped most curiously. Some contained other human objects. Some contained words. Some contained images of humans; Ariel would tap on the glass barrier between herself and them, slightly discouraged to find them rejecting her wholehearted interest by staring ahead, with blank, somber expressions.
Flounder swims around her, asking as she arranges her newest trophy — hollow, hourglass-shaped — on the lowest shelf, "But why do you have all this human world stuff, Ariel?"
Her fingers trace lovingly the rim of the ceramic, pink vase.
"The more I learn about them, the more I love them," Ariel explains, simply, smiling divinely down at her beloved collection.
"But they always d-die… when we-…" he trails off, gills shuddering.
The little mermaid gives him an exasperated, half-sigh.
"You're such a guppy, Flounder. The point is that we keep trying." Ariel stretches her fins out in front of her, bobbing towards the hole of gleaming sunlight high above them. "One day really soon, we'll find a human who can swim," she says, gleefully, "you'll see. And then they'll teach us all about the human world."
"But do we need all of these stuff—?"
The childish nature of Ariel's blue eyes darkens away. "Of course! It would be ridiculous to just have a human without showing them how important their culture means to us." She laughs, girlishly, manically. "Perhaps they would honor my collection. Take me to the human world so I could find more. I need more."
Flounder shrinks away, eyes nervously going sideways.
"What… if they find out about the others…?" he murmurs, winces up as Ariel's hands gently cup his fishy face.
"No one will ever, ever know, Flounder."
Her blue eyes warm, comforting, like bathing lazily in the sweeping currents, or when she invites him to nap with her upstairs in the palace.
"No one will ever know."
De-anoning from Disney Kink Meme, and written for Disney princess week. Originally posted on Tumblr. Ruining your childhood, one step at a time. Question/comments deeply appreciated, and help the writer become better and more inspired. -hearts- Thank you very much for reading!
"Ariel tries to make humans come to her, like a siren, they drown and her collection is trophies from her victims."