Princess (2)

She swam to the cove where she had first seen the humans mating. Her heart beat fast as she thought one last time about what she was doing.  Her life seemed to be focused at getting here, to this point. How long she had yearned and longed to travel to the Edge, to see what the Other side was all about, and once she had, hadn’t she known that she needed to be here?

She’d sung for the Sea Witch, sang until her throat was tired and aching. Sang into the conch shell all the music she knew, hoping to please the witch with her voice. At last Drunada had held up her hand, and spoken a single word.


She’d drunk some tea from the witches abalone set, her voice hoarse and raw. She had no idea how long she’d been singing, but she was exhausted.

“You’ll be tired, so swim carefully. Wouldn’t want to get hauled up by a fishing ship and transform in front of all those men. That would be an experience,” the witch had chortled, and it wasn’t a pleasant sound at all. She made rude gestures with her tentacles, that wouldn’t have made sense to Ari if she’d not seen the humans mating the day before. She blushed as Drunada laughed suggestively again.

Another tentacle appeared before Ari. It held a beautiful vase with a glass stopper. Inside was an inky blue-black liquid.

“When you get to the Edge, drink this. It’s going to hurt, girl, when your flippers peel off and legs are made. This kind of rebirth isn’t meant to be pretty, but, for what it’s worth? I think you’re strong enough to bear it. If not, return to the sea, and in a few hours your fins will regenerate. It won’t feel good when that happens, either. But there is always a price to be paid for transformation. You paid part of it with your music; the rest must come from your inner strength…and your heart.”

Ari had turned to go then, thanking the witch, kissing her inky face. For a moment she was embraced by a tangled mass of tentacles.

“Good luck, girl.” The witches voice was gruff, but kind.


Holding onto the same rocky outcropping that had hidden her from the lovers days before, she took a few deep breaths. She wasn’t afraid of pain, exactly. Well, perhaps a little. In her heart, excitement warred with fear, twisted with desire. She wanted.

Moving to the very edge of the sea, where water kissed against the sand, she unstoppered the bottle and drank the potion in one long gulp. It tasted like guppy piss and barracuda blood. It was vile. It was disgusting. Her stomach flopped, flipped, like a beached fish. She coughed, then screamed once, a loud, sharp cry as she felt a stab of pain from her belly to her flippers. It was as if razors scraped away her scales, as if fire had bled along the length of her. She continued to scream, yet no sound emerged. Her last conscious thought was that the witch had tricked her after all, and had poisoned her.


“She’s coming around.” The voice came from far away, and just above her. The sun beat down on her, making her hot. Sand scratched under her back, and the sea was cold where it splashed on her skin.

A dark head blotted out the sun as her eyes half-opened.

“That’s it, little one, open your eyes,” the voice crooned.

“You should just pick her up, Mudge. Tides coming in and we’ll all drown here. This part of the beach gets cut off fast.”

She felt arms under her body, and the strange feeling of flying. Then she was pulled tight against a strong, warm body. She shivered.

“If I ever find the person who did this to you, I’ll pull ’em apart with my bare hands,” growled the person carrying her. It must be a male, with the scraggle of hair on his face. He was enormous.

She smiled, snuggling closer, and slept.


She woke, stretching and yawning widely. She felt, with her whole body, in a way she never had before. Something scratched under her, something rough, but warm. She moved, to sit, quickly, and threw back the blanket that covered her.

She had long, long legs the color of whitefish, and feet with wiggly things at the ends…toes, she remembered. At the juncture of her legs, was a split, where there was warmth and moistness. The sea witch had told her that her body would retain a “memory of the sea” in her own dark, wet chasm. She touched herself, exploring. A bevy of sensations confused and aroused her. A sound outside the door caught her attention.

“There you…whoops, you be nekkid as a jaybird, girl!” The large, hairy man who had rescued her stood there, staring in wonder at her large breasts. “Trey, get in here,” he half-whispered out the corner of his mouth. Moments later, a second man joined him. The two stared at her. She stared back. She was unused to being stared at this way.

She realized that they were captivated by her bosom. Her people always went around bare to the caress of the ocean, but above, she recalled, they put coverings over their skin. She tugged the blanket up around her.

It was as if they came out of a trance. They blinked, smiled, and stumbled into the room.

“How’re you feeling, girl?”

“We found you on the beach.”

“Who put you there?”

“Didja fall off the cliff?”

“Where are your parents?”

“Are ye married?”

She held up her hands, and spoke. Or tried to. She opened her mouth, yet not a sound escaped. She blinked, tried clearing her throat. Her lips moved, but again, no sound emerged.

“I’ll be fucked. She can’t speak, Trey.”

“I can see that for myself, Mudge.”

Her hands dropped the blanket and rose to her throat in disbelief.

The Sea Witch had stolen her voice.