Fiction: As Siblings Do #amwriting #fiction #shortstory


Here’s another piece from my writing course, edited from the original.


Credit: Greg Raines via Unsplash


Jordan revs his motorcycle for the third time. He drops his helmet, running fingers through his hair. His motorcycles’ roar and grumble soothe him, as he taps his fingers against the handles, waiting for Jessica to hurry up and get her ass out the door.

The door slams and Jessica fumbles her keys, locking the front door. He rolls his eyes as she teeters down the sidewalk in red stilettos.

“You’re so stupid, Jessica. You need to wear descent boots on a motorcycle, or those heels are gonna grind off on the road.”

She punches his arm. “Screw off. I can wear what I want. Mom said you have to give me a ride to class on Thursdays, for as long as you’re living at home again.” Jessica eases a helmet over her hair. “I hate wearing helmets on this thing; it ruins my hair.”

Jordan plunks his on, revving the motorcycle to drown Jessica’s whining. He slips on leather gloves and zips down the street, off onto the freeway and towards his sister’s university.

She’s still talking to him, but he can’t hear her. He grins as her shrill voice fades. Despite her shouting and poking his side, he makes the ride to her school as jerky and frightening as possible.

At the university’s fine arts building, he pulls into a tight parking space, removing his helmet. Jessica takes hers off, hair flying from static. She scoffs.

He peers back at his dyed-blonde dunce of a sister. “You need to wear a helmet, Jessica, because I drive fast. Your head could crack open like a watermelon.”

She screws up her face, prepared to yell, but he cuts her off. “I have a job I need to be back for on time. I can run out and pick you up, but you need be ready, Fluffs.”

She attempts to smack him, but he catches her hand. “I wouldn’t if I were you. If you still want rides, keep your hands to yourself. You can do your makeup and hair at school too.”

Jessica hops off the motor cycle, placing her hand on his shoulder, digging her almond pointed fingernails into the base of his neck. Jordan swears as she balances on her stilettos.

“Don’t call me Fluffs, *sshole. I hate that nickname.”

“I’ll call you what I want. Fluff is all your heads made out of and why you’re getting a BA in Fine Arts, not a useful degree.” He throws his sister’s Kate Spade at her.

Surprising him, she catches it. “I’m an artist. Stop being such a prick, Jordan. It’s what I’m good at. My brain has more creative juice than yours will ever have.”

She pushes him hard, and his motorcycle tips. He catches it. “Grow up, Fluffs.”

It wouldn’t surprise him if she fell over and cracked her skull from wearing those whore-red stilettos. Shaking his head, Jordan speeds to work.

His divorce was through, and he needed to find a new place. Jordan was tired of dealing with Jessica. Like his ex-wife, she was a spoiled princess.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: New Beginnings #flashfiction #fiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting.

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Credit: Roger Shipp

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(Hello! Just noting this piece had a mind of its own and is somewhat longer than the usual 200 words. Cheers!) 

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Closing time / One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.” The mellow lines Semisonic floated into Tyrelle’s ears. 

It was 2:00 a.m. and his friends, Jordan and Simone, were trying to shut their house party down, arranging places for closest friends to sleep and for others to catch a cab home. Tyrelle nursed his last drink for the night. As per usual, he was upset these days. 

His beautiful Cleo should’ve been with him here tonight, ensuring he didn’t feel like such a recluse at his friends’ party. He hadn’t been in the mood for a party but since Cleo had ended things three-months ago, he knew he needed to move on. 

More Semisonic lyrics played through from an IPad:”Closing time / Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” 

Tyrelle watched as Simone finally locked the front door. She peered at at him and moved to give him a short friendly back rub. “You still miss Cleo, huh?” 

“Yeah, everyday. Does it get easier?” Tyrelle asked her. 

Simone sighed, “Before Jordan, I was with Blake and I thought he was it. Then he broke my heart and for months after, I didn’t function well.” 

“After a while I stopped thinking about Blake as much. I realized I resented the hold he had had on me. Then I chose to become involved in life. I volunteered and I saw more friends and family. Not long after, I met Jordan,” Simone said smiling.

Tyrelle smirked. As if what Simone said could ever be possible for him. Then he remembered the last line in the Semisonic song. About how other things had to end for better and new things to begin. So that’s what he decided to do — to begin anew. 

He picked up his phone and blocked Cleo’s number. Tyrelle unfriended and blocked her on every social media. Tomorrow he would start going to a different gym location then Cleo to workout and he would go to a different grocery store by his condo to shop as well. Finally, he grinned, he would get a new haircut.

 Yes, it was time to live again. 

—–

“Closing Time” by Semisonic 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Chapter 31. How Was Last Night For You: Almost Peaceful Endings


Please Read Chapter 30 here..

Chapter 31: Almost Peaceful Endings

Nina was for the most part, contented. She happily sat beside John while his family enjoyed the dinner Nina and Rianne had cooked. They sat around John’s massive rectangular table in the open concept dining room where the atmosphere was peaceful and laid back.

There was laughter and gratefulness obvious in the eyes of everyone present. Topics flowed from John’s sudden return on the day of his funeral, to explaining the situation to all John’s numerous friends and relatives who had been planning to attend the funeral, which had been called off.

“Oh, well. Will tell them something,” Edith remarked.”It’s not unheard of to have someone who’s missing, come home alive. I have to say, John’s timing was pretty perfect.” Edith and everyone laughed, imagining how certain quirky relatives would take the news.

Jasper and Jordan filled John in on what had been happening with Mergers and Robert told Jordan about his latest challenges as a professor. Robert was noticeably more animated than Nina had seen him in months.

Edith couldn’t stop the tears from leaking out of her eyes.”We should take a cruise vacation,” she remarked. ” All of us and Rianne, Nina, and that girl you’re seeing Jordan. It would so much fun and be a wonderful way to celebrate John’s new life. Our lives free of curses.”

There was silence around the table as everyone smiled at Edith. Nina could tell no one was much into the idea but she doubted anyone had much choice.

“That sounds nice Edith,” Nina said politely, “I’ve never been on a cruise before. We’re you thinking about somewhere hot like the Caribbean?”

“Oh, that would be perfect. It’s so relaxing there and Sam and Eric would have so much fun. There’s so much for kids to do there.” Jasper still had a fake smile on his face and when Edith looked at him for approval he nodded, but nothing else.

“I think boys, your mother has the right idea. I’ll look into booking a Carribean Cruise  and be in touch soon. We should do that cruise before the Christmas Season.” Robert remarked, giving finality to the idea.

Nina gazed up and John feeling trapped, he patted her hand. “It will be fine,” he whispered to her.

“I know,” Nina said. “It’s only I was hoping to go somewhere hot with you. Just the two of us.”

John considered Nina’s words glancing at his excited Mom before whispering back in Nina’s ear: “I don’t think we have much of a choice concerning the family cruise.You’re in the family so you’re stuck like the rest of us. But I think we can very much take our own vacation too. A tour of Italy?” John suggested, tucking a piece of white blond hair behind Nina’s ear.

Nina noticed how Rianne and Jasper never met each other’s eyes as they small talked beside her and encouraged John’s nephews to  eat their food.

John on the other hand, kept his hand on Nina’s back almost the entire time they were eating, smiling at her warmly and kissing her cheek when she didn’t expect it.

She glanced at Jordan. He appeared the exact opposite of John’s healthy complexion. Jordan appeared wan and sickly. She noticed dark shadows underneath his eyes. Nina also realized Jordan hadn’t brought his girlfriend Carissa, he had been seeing her for as long as Jasper had been seeing Rianne.

“Where’s your girl Carissa?” John asked Jordan. Nina smiled minutely, her and John often thought a like.

“Oh, I broke it off about a month ago. There was too much going on at work and with you missing.” Jordan’s tone was curt, almost rude.

“You haven’t been able to get the ring off?” Nina asked Jordan who scowled at his left hand.

“Doesn’t matter what I or anyone else tries, we can’t get the ring off. I had a couple of jewelers try to cut the ring but it doesn’t work. I thought the ring was merely silver but I think it must have some kind of magic spell on it because it’s impossible to remove.”

Nina knew that night in the Sirene had been difficult for Jordan to come to terms with. She hadn’t said anything to him about Talise being alive and she knew John had kept that part secret from his family.

“I wonder if Talise’s soul is really underneath that emerald she placed in the ring?” John said aloud.

Jordan glared at John darkly.”It’s a regular emerald. Talise had no soul because mermaids don’t have souls, even if she was a sea witch.”

Nina tried to tread lightly. “In the original The Little Mermaid, mermaids don’t have souls but supernatural beings in Adare as we have seen with Talise, are significantly different than how fairy tales portray them.”

“I saw Talise take out her soul in a big shiny orb and place it on your finger in the ring. I’m absolutely sure her souls in there, Jordan. I know you don’t want to believe it, but it’s true.” Nina said cautiously.

Jordan frowned at Nina.” Whatever. It’s not as if  Talise’s soul has a body.The Sirene swallowed her supernatural corpse, that magic I do believe in.”

Nina gazed up at John who was staring at the beer he held in his hand. John’s sapphire eyes met Nina’s eyes.

She leaned up to whisper in John’s ear: “You have to tell him today about her, the sooner the better.” John nodded at Nina stroking her cheek with back of his hand. Nina caught John’s hand and held it to her cheek.


When dinner was over, Edith insisted on clearing the table since Rianne and Nina had cooked. Clean-up wouldn’t be difficult as most dishes could go in the dish washer or be left to soak until tomorrow when Nina and John could get to them.

Jordan was staring at Nina and she felt out of sorts because his dark gaze was angry and festering.”What is it?” Nina asked him.

“What were you and John whispering about?”

“Just stuff. Love stuff,” Nina lied smiling at Jordan convincingly.

“I have to see what your Mom’s up to in the kitchen.” She said rising from her chair at the supper table.” I don’t want her to spend her time here cleaning. She should be enjoying herself as should you,” Nina remarked regarding Jordan pointedly.

He gave Nina a tight smile and nodded. She gazed at John encouragingly as she left him alone at the table with Jordan. John’s dining room , kitchen, and livingroom were open concept, so Nina thought she might be able to hear bits of John’s conversation with Jordan.

“Jordan we need to talk. There’s more about Talise I haven’t told you.” John said soberly. Nina heard Jordan swear and John gave her a worried glance as he came into the kitchen briefly, to grab a couple of beers chilling in the freezer.

John opened up both beers and placed one in front of Jordan at the dining table. He sat in a chair next to Jordan and turned to face him. John’s sapphire eyes bored into his brother’s dark brown eyes and he started talking too quietly for Nina to hear. She knew John was delivering Norman’s message about Talise as gently as possible.


 

Twenty-minutes later, Nina was having wine with Rianne and Edith leaning against the kitchen island. They were all laughing about something Rianne had said when Jordan strode angrily through the kitchen nearly knocking Rianne and Nina over.

Jordan appeared bitter. He shoved Nina out of his way trying to escape out the front door.

“Hey, watch where you’re going Jordan. You almost knocked Nina over.” John said sharply.

Jordan glared daggers at John and Nina.

“I mean it Jordan. Leave Nina out of this, don’t even look at her that way ever again. She’s my girl, show her some respect.” John warned.

Jordan turned around and stared at John enraged: ” You bastard. Talise was your problem and she almost killed you. You couldn’t get rid of her and know she’s my issue suddenly, because some guy named Norman said so? It’s your fault and Nina’s fault, I have to deal with Talise. I want nothing to do with Talise and with either of you. I despise that I have no choice where Talise is concerned.” Jordan shouted, slamming the front door on his way out of the house.

The front door was slammed with such force, the wine glasses on the kitchen island skittered. Robert arose carefully, from the floor where he was playing with his grandsons.

“John, he doesn’t mean it. He’s been a hurt, angry, and bitter man since he thought Talise killed you. The thought of dealing with Talise himself, is understandably troubling for him since he believes he already stabbed her through the heart with the dagger.” Robert said reasonably.

Nina peered at John. “Your Dad knows?”

“Yes,” John said turning away from his Dad,”Mom and Jasper don’t know though. Did you tell Rianne?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have.” Nina said quietly.

“I knew you would,” John said with a smirk,” But Rianne’s not going to tell Jasper right?”

“They’re not getting along right now. She doesn’t tell Jasper what I tell her in privacy. Not at this point anyways.” Nina whispered back to John.

She stroked his stubble with her hand running her hand through his long, slightly curling dark hair.

“You need a haircut John,” Nina said smiling and raising her voice to include the rest of John’s family who had gathered in the living room.

“He does, doesn’t he?” Edith said and the conversation continued to flow, despite Jordan’s abrupt departure. It was almost 9:30 pm when everyone else went home.

Sam and Eric were grumpy and needed to be put to bed so Jasper and Rianne left. Nina noticed standing at the front door, Rianne went home in her own car. She was going to stay in her condo tonight but pack a suitcase and stay at John and Nina’s house starting the next day.

John’s parents made there goodbye’s as well, smiling contentedly at both John and Nina and hugging them, before driving home.


Later, Nina lay beside John in their bed. They had made love but were too tired to move after a crazy day. John promised to make it up to her the next day. Nina fell asleep for a couple of hours, but kept waking-up.

Beside her John stirred.”So, what now?” John asked Nina groggily, in the dark of their bedroom. She was snuggled in close to John in bed.

“I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking about everything that’s happened today. My mind doesn’t want to shut itself off.”

“Mine neither,” John said his voice gravelly from sleep.”I wonder if things are going to be difficult again or if we’ll actually be able to have a normal life? I know what Norman said but I’m helping Jordan. I know Talise best, after all.”

“Jordan’s a big boy John. Maybe, you have to let him deal with it as best as he can. I’m not saying don’t help, all I’m saying is let him decide. As a youngest brother, I’m sure he  often felt he didn’t get to make the choices he wanted.”

John grunted. “I’m not likely to let him deal with Talise alone. As if she’ll ever be safe to be with magic or no magic. She’s a terrible person/mermaid whatever she is now.”

“For cursing you and for putting us and your family through all she did, I absolutely agree. But if Norman says she’ll be Jordan’s girl, like I’m yours, I’m wondering if Talise has had to significantly change.”

“In the end of that night, she did do the right thing. She didn’t go through with her evil plan. She broke your curse and let Jordan kill her. I’m not her biggest fan but we might have to give her a chance because of Norman. If she’s out their in the Sirene that is . . .” Nina whispered.

John laughed and turned over to gaze at Nina and stroke the dip of her naked waist.” You always see the best in everything, in every situation. I’m so lucky to have you Nina. I’m in love with you. Let’s begin our real normal life now.”

Nina nodded leaning on her arm stroking John’s well defined bicep and then his face. “I’m  in love with you too. Let’s start our new life now.”

Though they were both worn out, Nina and John found hidden reserves of energy as skin slid against heated skin and lips met with passion and a hum of unending connection. Hen they were blissfully content, Nina smiled softly, tranquility overcoming every ounce of worry she felt.

Even in sleep,  Nina’s hand remained on John’s cooling skin, touching his chest and covering his heart.

Fin


 

XOXO Thanks for following!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 29. How Was Last Night For You: John Returns


Please read Chapter 28 here.

Chapter 29: John Returns

“Mom, hello? Is that you?” John said, pressing Nina’s IPhone against his ear.

“Jordan is that you? Why are you using Nina’s phone I was just talking to you. . .” Edith replied.

“No, Mom. It’s me John. I’m alive, here with Nina. You need to stop the funeral.”

“Jordan this isn’t funny. We discussed this. Your brother is dead. He’s passed on and we need to move on too, even if we don’t have a body to bury. You and Nina can hope forever, but eventually you are going to have to come terms with it. I know my son. If he was alive, he would’ve found his way home.”

“This isn’t Jordan Mom. It’s John. I am home. I came home early this morning. I ran into Nina walking on the beach in front of our house.” John told his Mom beseechingly.

“John?” Edith’s voice was muffled and he could the tears in her voice.”This better be you. Where have you been young man it’s been over four-months?”

“There’s a lot to explain Mom . . .” Edith cut John off.

“Take a selfie, show me a me picture of how you look with Nina right now.” John and Nina obliged Edith, taking a few photos on Nina’s phone and sending them to Jon’s Mom.

Edith called back minutes after receiving the pictures, “I’m coming over to your house now and I’m bringing everyone.”


 

Nina gazed at John putting her hair back into a tighter ponytail. “What did Edith say?”

“She thought I was Jordan. She was crying, but the selfies convinced her I’m alive. Mom’s coming over now and bringing my Dad and brothers.”

Nina swore. “The house is kind of a mess John. I haven’t felt much like cleaning the last couple of weeks . . .”

“It’ll be okay Nina. She won’t care about the mess until later. Mom needs to see me for herself first.” Nina wrapped her arm around John’s waist and he put his arm around her shoulders, they began walking back to John’s beachfront house, kicking sand up as they walked.

“How will you explain it all to Edith and Robert, your Dad? To the rest of your family?” Nina asked John.

“Well, I’ll explain as best as I can. I’m not sure where I was for most of four-months. . . I’d rather talk with you first but I’m sure the family is half-way here by now. As if a curse isn’t weird enough, coming back to life after being between life and death for months, will be shocking.” John reasoned.

“I think,” Nina countered, “You’re family will be overjoyed to see you safe and healthy. Not to mention, such as in every happily ever after, the curse is broken. I think your family will be happy you and I, and they can live normal lives without worrying about awful events occurring around you and affecting them. Your family loves you and will be enthused you did not die that night as they all thought.”

Nina kissed John’s cheek with a smacking kiss and he laughed, messing her hair up lightly. “Tell them the truth as best as you can. Tell us all. I would love to hear your story from after the point I thought you died, and you disappeared into the water and sky, when Talise broke the curse.”

John kissed Nina softly. “I’ll try to tell you first. The drive up here will take everyone a bit to get here.” The house loomed before them and they walked up the porch steps together through the back door.


John and Nina both showered together. They wanted to spend their time loving each other in the shower, but knowing Edith could barge in the house soon, stopped them from going too far with each other.

Nina wouldn’t put it past Edith to walk right into the bathroom to see John, even if he and Nina were both naked.

Nina and John both wore jeans and soft t-shirts. Nina blew dry her hair and curled it with a flat iron before applying her makeup minimally and the fastest she had ever had to apply it before. She didn’t like meeting John’s family without her ‘face’ on. The makeup was a bit of shield for her, against what she might hear from John and his family.

Nina applied foundation and mascara. Next came a gold sheen of an eye shadow color on her eyelid and a darker brown crease shade. A fluff of blush on each cheek and some gold hoop earrings were followed by Nina applying a pink lip gloss. She met John in the kitchen so relieved and overjoyed he was home. She could almost cry, but she didn’t. She needed to hear John’s story about Norman and life in-between life and death.

“You must be starving,” Nina told John.

“I had a huge steak dinner last night with Norman. I’m okay right now, it’s not even lunch. The fridge is packed with food I see though.” John commented.

“I’m happy you’ve been eating. It bothers me when you don’t eat because you’re worried, sick, or keeping secrets.” John remarked smiling knowingly at Nina.

Nina smirked.” I think you’re the one with secrets right now John; not me.” John laughed amused.

“I tried to eat when I remembered and at first, I forgot a lot. Rianne has been terrific and she grocery shopped for me when I was grieving. She’s literally, the only way I was able to handle losing you. She believed me when I said you were alive out there, even when your family stopped believing me.” A stray tear leaked down Nina’s cheek.

John stopped her tear with his thumb, ” I’m here now. I couldn’t come back any sooner, but I would’ve  if I knew how. I was stuck and sleeping in a vibrant place. You know what it was like you said, because you were there in that place in-between life and death that night when Talise’s bite poisoned you.”

“Yeah,” Nina nodded remembering. “It was tranquil and I had no troubling thoughts or worries. There was so many beautiful colours. Bold and magnificent colours there isn’t enough words in the human language to describe.”

“Exactly,” John said. “I’m glad I didn’t know how gone you were that night. When I was ended up in the place of colours, I couldn’t imagine so many colours existed. There were colours there and they don’t exist here on earth.”

“I was so fatigued and in that place I could rest and be done with the whole curse, with everything. I wanted to give in and I let myself for a long time, but then I pictured you and I was awake and I was wandering an endless beach.” John said.

He leaned against the kitchen island and Nina stood close to him. She smelled his woodsy and citrus cologne and breathed it in. It was the scent on the shirt she’d been sleeping with for over four-months.

“I’m ecstatic your back John and grateful. If remembering me brought you out of that in-between place, I’m glad.” Nine hesitated,” Do you think it was God who brought you to the beach, not only your thoughts?”

“I don’t know. Norman wasn’t God but I have the feeling he might have worked for God. He saved Rianne Norman told me and he was there to help me. He said he can take many forms. He came into my cottage, my home on the beach. After supper and beers, he answered all my questions and taught me a few things too.”

“Just like that?” Nina questioned.”What did Norman say exactly? You seem lighter now and carefree. I know it’s probably because the curse is gone, but I think something else has changed too. Just a feeling I have knowing you as I do.” Nina surmised, smiling contently.

John didn’t answer right away. He kissed Nina on the lips a few times, lingering over her mouth and Nina could tell he was holding back, trying to be gentle. She began to feel warm and she ached for John inside as heat and attraction simmered between them. Nina had missed John incredibly and wanted to demonstrate to him how much she had missed him in their bed.

John smiled at Nina chuckling: “I want to too Nina, but right now isn’t a good time with my family arriving soon.” He pulled back from kissing her. John must have seen the wounded look in Nina’s eyes, because he brushed her cheeks with his thumbs. Nina put her head against John’s chest, hearing his heart beat was comforting and his hug calmed Nina.

“Tell me more,” Nina said after a while, stepping back from John’s arms and peering up at him. John gently moved back from Nina some more and leaned against the kitchen island once again. Nina stood in front of him, hands in her jean pockets, full of curiosity.

“Well, I told you about Talise. She’s not dead. I’m not sure how. Norman said Talise saw something in Jordan that night. She broke the curse and she let Jordan kill her. This makes Talise redeemable,” John muttered, his anger at Talise present.

“Talise told me that the curse was a deeper magic than the magic she possessed. It was why she couldn’t save you John.”

“Indeed, I’m quite sure the curse magic and other magic is deeper than Talise’s magic. Norman said he was a kind of magic . . . Anyways, about Talise and Jordan, Norman said what Talise saw in Jordan was like what I saw in you when I first met you at The Manhattan.”

“Really?” Nina said shocked. John shrugged.

“I don’t understand it but Norman said Talise was Jordan’s responsibility the same way you are mine. I have tell Jordan what Norman told me. I’m scared to say anything to him. Norman explained about the ring Talise put her soul in for Jordan and the dagger that altered after Jordan killed Talise.”

” Jordan will be okay,” Nina said.”He hasn’t been in a good place since he thought you died but I think having his older brother back will make him much happier.”

“He despises Talise as I said,  I don’t know how he’ll ever see her as more than an evil sea witch. Honestly, I don’t know if can see her as anything but an evil person, despite what she did in the end that night.” Nina admitted. John nodded in agreement.

“What else did Norman say?” Nina asked. John sighed, wishing he could keep some of what Norman told him to himself. But John knew he had to be truthful with Nina, in this most significantly

“Norman said, I had no faith. He referenced a Bible verse John 1:5 which talks about light always shining in the darkness and chasing it away. It’s a verse I remembered from Sunday School.”

“No faith in God?” Nina said. ” I know you have faith in God John. You told me He was the only one looking out for you when everything in life goes badly for you. You go to church too. I went with you a few times if you recall.” Nina said.

“It wasn’t only faith in God, Norman was telling me about. He told me I was missing the bigger picture of life, so caught up in details and my own problems. Makes sense I guess, I’m an editor by craft.” John mused.

“But Norman also said I didn’t have faith my curse would ever be broken. He told me about you telling Rianne about people wanting magic solutions but not believing in them.”

Nina smiled. “It’s one of my favourite quotes from Alice in Wonderland. And yes, I believe in magic both good and bad.”

“Norman said I didn’t believe the curse could have good magic. I didn’t have faith God would work things out for me. I didn’t have faith I would live when the curse was broken. I didn’t have faith in you, that we could ever spend our lives together. I didn’t believe in my dreams.”

John appeared tired to Nina again, but she thought it was more the weight of finally having unburdened himself of the truths Norman had revealed to him, that had exhausted him. She hoped the lightness John felt earlier would return.

“Was Norman right John?” Nina asked.

“At the time, he was exactly right. I didn’t have faith in much of anything. It’s why I spent a good seven or eight-years doing nothing but working and going through women. Even when I met you and I hoped for more, I thought keeping you was a long shot.”

“When I knew I loved you and believed you were met for me, Talise was back causing trouble and targeting you. I always thought it wouldn’t work out in the end because Talise wouldn’t let me go until I was dead.” John admitted.

Nina patted John’s arm soothingly before grabbing his hand with her smaller one. ” Before you went away that night, you didn’t have much faith. You were afraid for me and you broke up with me. You loved me I know, but you didn’t believe that their could be a good side to magic, that a curse broken might end well.”

Even the magic Talise was wielding wasn’t always wicked. Your Dad said that night we all had dinner, most sea witches use both light and dark magic. They need a balance. When Talise became evil, the effects of malevolent magic on her were obvious.”

“I think that goes with your belief in magic too. You can’t believe it’s all bad, that a curse would end tragically. You needed to believe in life and have faith things would work out in the end for the good. I believed you would return time. I’m not saying I never doubted you would come home, but today you did. My prayers and faith rewarded.” Nina squeezed John’s hand tighter.

“I know. I understand now my Nina. It’s why Norman told me the Bible verse from John. No matter how dark it seems, light is always there to drive the darkness back, to drive evil back. It even drove the darkness out of Talise.” John said.

Nina smiled.”I told Talise as I lay dying from her poison bite, she had a choice. She didn’t have to be evil. She changed in that moment. So even though she cast the curse originally, and had little power over its eventual outcome, light and benevolent magic won out.”

John gazed at Nina admiring her soft skin and the way her thin T-shirt hung on her breasts. He noted how her waist dipped in and her hips flared, creating the beautiful curves of her body. ”

“You’re amazing, stubborn, smart, and beautiful Nina. I can’t believe not having faith, almost made me lose everything, lose you.” John reached for Nina, grasping her around her waist and holding her as close as he could while tracing her face with his lips.

Nina could feel the inescapable and enthralling heat and electricity moving between her and John. She ran her hand under John’s shirt and gasped at the feel of his smooth naked skin. John’s lips kissed Nina’s neck teasingly before he bit her gently. His kisses moved up Nina’s jaw about to meet her lips and his hands were under her T-shirt, ready to tear it off her when the door bell rang.

Not waiting a moment, John’s family burst in through the door.

Please Read Chapter 30 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

27.How Was Last Night For You: A Stranger on an Unknown Beach


Please read Chapter 26 here.

Chapter 27. A Stranger on an Unknown Beach.

He was happy and content, floating amidst graduations of colour. He had never felt such tranquility in life.

He was awake suddenly and strolling on a picturesque beach. White sand almost burned his feet but he buried his toes down into the sand, and his feet cooled.

Gazing down at himself he saw he was only wearing swim trunks and a white T-Shirt. Sunglasses adorned his eyes and he knew it was his favourite pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses he broke some time ago he remembered. How odd they were in one piece now.

He languidly walked through the surf on the beach. Was he on vacation? He couldn’t recall. He didn’t even know what he was named. It was slipping his mind. How could he not know his own identity?

Sleep had held him in her vivid colours and luminescence for ages. His mind was foggy and he had forgotten details of his life he thought he should know.

In his mind, he kept seeing her . . . Nina. His beautiful blond haired girl smiling with pretty pink lips. He knew Nina had helped him break his curse because he loved her. He hadn’t loved anyone as much he loved her, ever.

Wait, he had been cursed? He couldn’t recall why.

But he pictured beautiful Nina in a pink bikini and grinned. He wished she was here so they could be alone and he could sip Corona and talk with her.

He’d convince her to go into one of the two cabanas where he could touch her smooth creamy skin. He’d remove the pink bikini that was the same shade of pink of the heels she worn when they first met… How had they met?

He sighed, lonely at the thought of not being able to be with Nina. He was by himself here on a fabulous beach which stretched for miles either way.

There was a cottage up some stone steps where he had been living,  but other than this cottage, and the cabanas, there were no other dwellings as far as he could see.

Fully awake and lucid (he believed), he thought of Nina. He knew had a family besides her too. Their faces were blurred images in his mind.

He recalled two rambunctious little boys laughing with him as he played with them and their construction trucks in the sand. His nephews . . .and that led him to who they looked like — Jasper his older brother. He had a younger brother too — Jordan.

She had given Jordan her soul.MHe didn’t know why she had done it or how he knew since he had been lost in colour and light then. But he could feel a darkness, a shadow when he thought of her.

Yes, she had cursed him. She had separated him from Nina. He hated her.

He knew in the end, the lake had swallowed her corpse and dying she hadn’t been darkness or light. She had been both.

So much did not make sense to him he thought struggling to think. Sitting down on a stained Adirondack chair, he leaned back, squinting into the sunlight in his sunglasses. The sun was incredibly bright. He was sweating in the heat. Could this be Mexico? The Carribean?

Not too far away from him he noticed an older man walking barefoot through the sand towards him. The man had a grey straggly beard and the man’s gate was self-assured.

How how had he not seen the man coming in the distance? He stood, a tad frightened at the thought of someone else being here where it felt he had been alone a long time.

He faced the man as he stopped at the steps and the man said: “John? Is that you? You’ve haven’t been this healthy in years. You’re well rested and I believe you’re bored of paradise.”

“I’m John?”

“Yes, you should’ve remembered your own name by now Mr. Eric. You’ve remembered Nina.” John flushed unaware the man had been privy to his inner thoughts.

“I don’t know you,” John said, his name and identity rushing back to him in torrents of thought.

“I need to see if Nina is okay. I need to check on Jordan. She did something to him. Talise or Tia, whatever or whoever she is, she put a ring on Jordan, one he can’t take off.”

“It’s an emerald with a silver band, and the emerald colour matches Talise’s eyes. Beneath the emerald her soul floats. It’s dangerous, why did she put a ring, her soul on Jordan?” John asked afraid for his brother.

“Good questions John,” the man said walking up the steps. He came up to John and shook John’s hand which John shook back without thinking.

“You have a good hand shake,” John told the man. “It doesn’t fit with the rest of you . . . You look as if you’re . . .weathered. You’ve been through tough times I think. It appears as if you live on the streets because your clothes are dirty and worn.”

“No offence, they haven’t been washed in a long time, and you need… you need a shower man.” John peered guilty at the homeless man, ashamed of what he had said.

The homeless watched him closely, his face expressionless in creases and wrinkles of acquired wisdom. Suddenly, the man smiled and let out a boisterous laugh, his deep creases becoming more pronounced.

“Yes, John. My appearance of late has been a homeless man. And if you’re offering me a shower and clean clothes, I gladly accept.” John smiled grateful the man wasn’t offended by his words.

“Come into the cottage and make yourself comfortable,” John remarked easily becoming a host. He peered in the fridge, “There’s trays of fruit and another of vegetables. Some steaks I can grill if you’re interested? There is even craft beer, AlleyKat,” John said grinning.”I don’t know how this all got here? Was it was here before I woke up?”

The homeless man only smiled at John and headed for John’s bedroom, “Where’s your closet John? Ah there.”

John followed the man to the master bedroom into a walk-in closet full of beach clothes and clothes one didn’t wear to work. “This is wonderful,” the man said, “Can I stock up for the road?”

“Of course,” John said. “I’m not sure any of this –the clothes, the cottage, and the food –even belong to me.”

The man smiled again at John, a curious light in his brown eyes.”After my shower we can sit and eat. We can talk all you want. Chill a few beer for me in the freezer will you?”

John regarded the man thoughtfully, trying to remember him.”Who are you?” John asked.

“I’m here to help” the man remarked, peaking back at John before he shut the bathroom door with a bang. John heard the sound of water streaming.

He wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, John was head strong and sure of himself. He had had to be with the curse from Talise, the sea witch who’d been his girlfriend in the past.

John felt enraged with Talise. She had  separated him from his loved ones with her cruel curse. He was afraid for both Nina and Jordan.

Perhaps, the homeless man could return John to his family, especially Nina. He would also like to know where exactly he was?

His mind made up, John decided if this homeless man was here to help him, then John should be a good host, as his mother had taught him.

After all, John was filled with so many questions he needed answering. There was much he didn’t know about current events since he died.

The old man was keeping many secrets, John was sure. Not to mention, John wondered if the man might be benevolent magic of some kind? He could use some magic now.

John set out the fruit and vegetables on a large coffee table on the patio. He got out the steaks to Barbecue (they were already in marinade) and placed six beers in the freezer.

John went back on the patio to warm the Barbeque up, and he waited for homeless man to emerge.


 

A couple of hours later, John was sitting on the patio having finished his dinner and two icy   beers. The homeless man could really put his food away and he’d had four beers as well.

“Are you hungry still? There’s extra steaks in the fridge I could bring out to Barbecue if you like? And there’s some lemon cake?”

The homeless man patted his belly, “I think I’m full now John, but thank you. By the way, you can call me Norman.” John nodded teeming with questions.

“Alright, Norman. You told me you were here to help? I thought you might be able to answer my questions such as why I’m here when I’m supposed to be dead? And who are you?” John asked.

Norman peered at John curiously. “You don’t know then? You haven’t figured it out? You’re not dead John. You’re in-between life and death, between the spaces between spaces so to speak.” John was even more confused.

“So, is the beach and cottage like purgatory? Where’s my body at if it’s not dead?”

“Your body is here and you’re not in purgatory. You’re not Catholic John, you’re Anglican,” laughed Norman.

“As for me, I’m here to help you and Nina. It’s my job, helping certain people in difficult situations. I know you want to go home, but there are some things we need to discuss first.”

“Rianne would know who I am,” Norman said.” She went to buy Chinese food and Talise’s bewitched boyfriend Malcolm, knocked her head against the wall and Rianne passed out. Which, is the reason Nina was alone when Talise kidnapped and bewitched her.” Norman explained.

“I woke Rianne up and made sure she was okay, so she could go back to Nina’s condo and call Jasper who called Jordan, to come help you and Nina.”

“They decided to bring your sailboat out at night, even though it’s impossible to see in the dark. It was windy at least. I helped them find you and they would have never seen you if I hadn’t been there.” Norman said.

“How could you help them on the Sirene at night?” John wondered and Norman smiled secretively.

“I whispered in Jordan’s ear as he sailed the boat. My form isn’t always a homeless man or a human. Sometimes I’m an extra push in someone’s mind to get them moving. Or a whisper their ear such as I was with Jordan.”

“You’re magic?” John asked, trying to understand Norman.

“Magic is as sufficient a word as any.”

“So what are you? A wizard?” John questioned and Norman laughed again.

“I’m here to help and I’m on your side,” Norman said.

John realized Norman was providing him with the only explanation he would receive. John changed his line of questioning. “I’m worried about Nina and my family. How long have I been gone?”

Norman appeared to be thinking. “You’ve been gone four-months now, nearly more. Nina she doesn’t give up hope. She convinced your family to hold the funeral off for months. She believes in her heart you’re out there somewhere. She’s right you’re here.”

“I need to get back to her. Has my family had my funeral?”

“You’re funeral is tomorrow, Saturday. Nina doesn’t think your dead, she’s only attending out of respect for your family.”

“Your nephews, Sam and Eric, don’t know you’re gone yet. You should probably get back there soon if you don’t want to break too many hearts more then you already have.” Norman said thoughtfully.

“Ok how?”

“In time,” Norman said giving John another secretive smile. His brown eyes glimmered with knowledge. “You wanted to know about Jordan and the ring Talise put on him with her soul inside?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do I help Jordan get rid of the ring?” John asked desperate.

“You can’t help Jordan, John.” Norman replied. “The ring and Talise’s soul is Jordan’s path to travel down. Just as you’ve have your pathway and responsibility regarding Nina, now Talise is Jordan’s responsibility.”

“But why?” John argued, “Isn’t Talise dead and gone. She’s evil! Just because she did the right thing by me and Nina in the end, doesn’t mean she isn’t still malovelent, does it?”

“Her soul was still in Jordan’s ring last time I checked. Talise chose Jordan. In the end, she saw something in him, she never saw in you. It was something like what she found in Ethan. But closer to what you and Nina had in each other when you first met.” Norman explained.

“She’s not gone?” John said afraid.

“No John. But Talise isn’t a sea witch anymore. A mermaid yes, but with no magical abilities. She gave them up. Talise is redeemable.”

“Are you kidding me?” John yelled.

“Don’t worry about it. You can advise your brother with her but Talise is his problem in the end. Let it go.” John was incensed but a feeling of calm washed over him as he regarded Norman. How did Norman do that?

“Why do you want to go home John. Beyond your family and being with Nina, why do you think you should be alive?”

John gasped. “I didn’t expect that question. I . . . It’s not fair. Curses are supposed to work out if you break them. They shouldn’t end in death. Talise cursed me, she told me I would have to sacrifice myself for the woman I loved, and I did.”

Norman nodded, urging John to continue. “Nina helped me, she loves me.Together we broke my curse so terrible events would stop occurring around me each day.”

” I should get to be with Nina, raise a family with her, be with my parents and brothers, and grow my business. If I die, it’s not fair. The curse was a lie because spells which are broken end happily,” John argued vehemently.

Norman peered at John from his seat around the patio table, the sun was beginning to set.”That’s not real life John, you know that. What you believe is some Disney fairytale and real life isn’t Disney believe me, I know. Do you think there would be homeless men in a world where everything was fair?” John starred at Norman confused.

“It’s not about life being fair. Or curses having a happy result.”

John stared at his hands at loss for words. “What’s life about then?” He asked feeling angry and betrayed.

“I’m glad you asked,” Norman said, brown eyes gleaming.

Please Read Chapter 28 here.


 

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

25. How Was Last Night For You: A Soul and a Sacrifice.


Please read Chapter 24 here.

Chapter 25: A Soul and a Sacrifice

John watched in horror as Talise swam towards him and Jordan in the Sirene Lake. John felt incredibly weak. He had been swimming all night and his energy to remain upright and hang onto the lifesaver, was fading fast. John and Jordan watched the evil sea witch Talise, finally come to bewitch or kill John.

John knew Talise would fight Jordan for the dagger as well. He was grateful Jordan had arrived from his sail boat the Faith, with Jasper and Rianne. Jordan and Jasper had saved John from drowning, throwing out the lifesaver for him to float on. Jordan with his own lifesaver and life jacket, had swam out to aid John. Jordan had promised his older brother to drive the  black dagger through Talise’s heart as John knew, he wouldn’t be able to do it himself.

John had to hold back the tears from his eyes. His eyes glazed over as he saw before him the most awful sight he had ever seen, Nina’s body floating lightly in the water as Talise rose before them in her malevolence. She had further aged, but she had fortitude behind her haggered appearance.

Added to Talise’s terrible appearance was sharp teeth which John knew had recently bitten Nina. He glanced at Nina’s shoulder. Gleaming red bite marks with blood and a black tar like substance oozed out of the marks. Talise had bit Nina and poisoned her; she had killed Nina with her vile venom.

“You have my dagger,” Talise told Jordan angerily. She attempted to swipe it from Jordan’s grasp but Jordan was quicker than Talise. He was full of energy and adrenaline. Jordan swung the dagger at Talise, marking her face with a long jagged cut. Talise screamed, a terrible moaning sound. “Enough,” she shouted, her voice gravelly and hoarse.

Pausing before them, Talise smiled in-genuinely at John. He looked into her clouded green eyes and saw not evil, but tiredness and exhaustion. The same feelings were mirrored in John’s eyes. Talise held out her withered hands in a seemingly peaceful gesture.

“I want to make a deal,” she said quietly. Talise stared at John. Jordan and John looked back and forth at each other. Could she be trusted?

“What kind of deal Talise?” John asked. “You’ve killed Nina. How can I trust you? How can I ever make any deal with you? I loath you!”

“Nina is still with us,” Talise murmered. Her voice was hoarse and small. It had no power.”If Nina doesn’t receive help soon, she’ll pass on. Right now she is only dreaming. The poison makes victims lethargic before they die.” Talise explained.

“What kind of deal?” Jordan demanded again. Talise frowned at him, touching the cut on her cheek. It was bleeding down the side of her face grotesquely.

Talise reached her hand out towards the black dagger chanting words under her breathe. A large stone floated out from the dagger, pausing in mid air in front of Talise. She manipulated the stone with her magic until it became a clear globe, appearing as if it were made of gleaming Crystal. The globe held a stunning emerald green light. The light was fluid, vivid and iridescent.

Talise sighed staring at Nina and then at John. She looked at Jordan and was about to speak when a giant tear dropped from her eye, landing in the Sirene. John and Jordan were surprised but suspicious.

“Get this over with Talise. You have Nina, now take me,” John said not caring for his life, now that he believed Nina would not be in it. Talise was lying as she usually did, John thought.

Talise gave John a half-smile. It did not hold the malice her most recent smiles had lately. John thought Talise’s smile was almost a sign of her attempting to fix the damage she caused. But he did not trust her, not for one minute.

” I have a deal to make with both of you. One deal for Jordan and deal for John.” Talise said with purpose. She turned towards John in the water.

“John, Nina is dying. I told her you could never break the curse. The truth is, I don’t know if you can. That magic is beyond me or what knowledge my Grandmother or the dark sea witch I stole this dagger from had. You can sacrifice yourself for Nina, I have no known antidote for the poison. I don’t know if you’ll survive. Even sea witches know little about death and resurrection.” Talise admitted to John soberly.

She peered at John through her muddied-eyes, appearing as if she was genuinely offering John a reasonable solution.”What is your answer John? You need to hurry and decide. Nina is leaving this life quickly. The poison is a powerful magic of it’s own. I cannot make any deal with you after I have made a deal with Jordan for the dagger.”

“Yes,” John said no hesitation. “I would freely sacrifice my life for Nina’s life.” Jordan looked at John in shock.

“There has to be some other way John. You can’t . . .you can’t leave your family for Nina. You could meet someone else someday. There is so much left for you in life yet . . . ” Jordan said begging John to reconsider.

John shook his head at Jordan, reaching up to grasp his brother’s upper arm. “This isn’t the end necessarily, Jordan. It’s always been my fate to sacrifice myself for the woman I love. You know this. It’s the only way to break the curse. I’m tired of being cursed Jordan. I never should have lied to you about my feelings for Talise all those years-ago.”

Jordan tried to say more but looking at John he knew his older brother’s decision was final.

John gazed up at Talise. “Please, Talise. Uncurse me. Break the spell. My life for Nina’s life. I have to say, I never thought you’d let me out of your curse.”

Talise looked at John waspishly. “It’s not so much I’m letting you free. As I told you, I don’t know how this works. I know only you are making the sacrifice required with real love behind the sacrifice. A curse is magic beyond me, beyond any witch once it is cast.” Talise chastised.

“It’s not that I want to save you or Nina, or not save you both. It’s more something Nina said. Maybe, I can start again? Maybe, there is a way out for me? A path out of this darkness I’ve cast myself into, becoming evil.” Talise shook her head. “I don’t know . . .” She stared at the lusterous emerald globe floating before her, before closing her eyes.

Talise began chanting archaic words. She put her arms in the air and drew the seawater to her. It formed a upside down dome around them, frothing, and rising. Nina’s body, nearly dead, rose into the whirls of water. The pink flush of the sky in sunrise, formed above them. The words Talise said brought John towards her. Raising him up in the water and sky as she chanted.

“Curse be undone. Price has been paid. Sacrifice has been given, sins atoned.” Talise yelled in her throaty dark voice now powerful and echoing across the Sirene Lake.

John felt the power of Talise’s words running through him. Then, he saw Nina’s eyes opening across from him as they both floated in mid-air with water surrounding them. Nina reached out to John and they clasped hands. John smiled at Nina.

“We’re doing it, we’re breaking my curse. Thank you Nina. I love you.” John told Nina. He gazed at her, drinking in the sight of Nina breathing, appearing healthy, and enchanting.

John memorized Nina’s beautiful pale blue-eyes, her soft creamy skin, her white blond hair, so blond even plastered wet to her head. “John?” Nina asked him. “You’re here. You’re alright. I was in this place, it was so beautiful with so many colours. I was sleeping and I’ve never felt so fantastic after I’ve slept. It was if I never felt any pain, as if everything was perfect. Except you . . . I had to come back for you.”

Nina sighed happily and smiled at John as they floated and Talise continued to chant archaic words. “I’ll miss you,” John murmered to Nina. His fatigued sapphire eyes were closing and he felt a peaceful sleepiness similar to the feeling Nina had told him about. Lethargy overwhelmed John’s body.”So many glorious colours, Nina.” John said in a sigh. He gazed at Nina one last time before closing his sapphire eyes and letting sleep take him into bright wondrous colours.


Nina blinked. She found herself hanging onto John’s lifesaver in the Sirene. Jordan was next to her holding Talise’s dagger hanging onto his own flotation device. Jordan was staring angerily at Talise who swam in front of them. Jordan was ready to thrust the dagger through Talise’s heart.

“Where’s John?” Nina asked Jordan confused. “I was sleeping after Talise bit me, then I saw John and he said his curse was broken. But where is he? Did he die as Talise said he would?” Jordan looked at Nina sadly. He didn’t have to say a word. From Jordan’s expression, Nina knew John had sacrificed himself for her.

Nina began to cry in earnest, then she noticed the beautiful glowing emerald ball floating mid-air and in front of the sorry figure of Talise. Something strange had happened to Talise. She no longer looked wrinkled, aged, and terrifying. She didn’t have her pointy teeth. She appeared to be only a little older then Nina. Her arm where Nina had dug her fingernails in was bleeding profusely and so was a deep cut on her face.

Talised looked at Nina with her slightly glazed, emerald green eyes. She looked to be wearing a lusterous green bikini but in the water Nina could actually see a matching fish tail. “You’re a mermaid.” Nina said. “I never saw your tail before, the waves and water hid it well. What happened Talise? Why are you young again? Where’s John?”

“I broke the curse Nina,” Talise whispered. “I’m extremely weak and have little of my magic left. I need to do one more thing. I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything for John. I tried. I told him before he sacrificed his life for you, curses once made are a magic beyond any witch. I didn’t know if he would die when I told you earlier he would. I’m not sure he is dead . . . I don’t know what happened to him. He’s not here anymore, that’s all I know.” Talise drooped in the water exhausted.

She raised a finger towards the glowing green ball in front of her. “Jordan, you and I have a deal to make. One last exchange. This glowing orb is my soul. It’s yours for the dagger.”

“What are you going to do with this dagger Talise?” Jordan asked. He was shaking he was so angry at Talise for John’s death.

Talise opened her mouth and smiled at him. The smile was a funny smile. One Nina had never seen on Talise before. “Here my soul, take it Jordan.”

The transparent globe hovered over to Jordan. He put the dagger in his hand grasping the lifesaver and reached for the globe. It sealed itself on his Jordan’s hand, forming a silver ring with a beautiful emerald, on Jordan’s middle finger. The emerald was priceless and as the light of sunshine touched it, Nina saw something liquid move beneath the emerald stone. She thought the liquid must actually be Talise’s soul. Jordan was in awe of the ring.

“What does this mean Talise?” Jordan spat out. He gazed back to John’s sailing boat and waved to Jasper and Rianne on board. They were anxiously watching Nina, Jordan, and Talise. They couldn’t tell everything that was going on. Jordan wouldn’t let Jasper come out to help them because he had Sam and Eric to think about. Jasper had refused to let Rianne come out, Talise had already broken her arm.

Talise sighed, her body beginning to float more than stay upright in the water. She didn’t answer Jordan. Jordan didn’t trust Talise and Nina knew it. She was going to tell him that the situation was fine. To let Talise go, but she was too late.

Jordan used the lifesaver to bounce off of and lunged at Talise. He grabbed her head by her wavy blond hair piercing her clear emerald eyes with his electric blue; he thought the emerald on his hand was the same colour as Talise’s striking eyes.

“Don’t Jordan . ..” Nina cried out. “It’s okay, she isn’t a threat anymore. She . . .”

John raised the dagger above Talise who gasped even in her weakness.” Do it,” she told Jordan. He gazed at her now beautiful face and torso, struck by her loveliness, her natural beauty. “Do it Jordan. Avenge John. End this. Don’t look at my beauty, it’s how John fell for me. Sea witches we’re both light and dark magic and they’re will always be darkness in me . . .” Talise regarded Jordan and waited for the dagger to strike.

With all his anger and loathing, Jordan raised the dagger and plunged it through Talise’s heart. She screamed in pain and writhed as the dagger went through her chest. ” Thank you for the trade, Jordan.” Talise whispered so quietly Nina could barely hear her speak.

Jordan regarded the dagger sticking out of Talise’s lifeless body. Blood poured out from her wound into the waters of the Sirene. A fixed half-smile was on Talise’s lifeless face. Jordan closed her bright emerald eyes and pulled the dagger from her body.

The dagger had transformed, it was no longer a black instrument of wicked magic. It had turned a shiney silver. A lapis luzila trail of stones were inlayed in the hilt of the dagger and ancient symbols were etched in the blade of the dagger.

“It’s not evil anymore,” Nina shouted surprised. She shocked herself with the strength of her own voice. “Talise wasn’t either but she wanted you to kill her because she wanted to atone. She gave you her soul Jordan. I’m not sure why exactly but she saw something in you.  . .” Nina remarked.

Nina glanced at herself. She had no bruises or bite marks. She was full of energy and life. Then she remembered John was probably dead. Was he really? She wondered. Talise said there was power in a curse beyond the witch. Maybe somehow John was alive?

“Do you think John is alive somewhere?” Nina asked Jordan bluntly. He looked at her briefly. Jordan was staring at emerald ring on his hand. He tried to remove it, but it wouldn’t come off. Jordan let his breathe out through his teeth and shook his head at Nina. She swore he wiped a tear from the edge of his dark blue eye.

They both stared at the body of Talise. A beautiful mermaid sea witch, who had passed on, after becoming and overcoming great evil within her.

“She had a long life at least,” Nina remarked. “In the end, she made the right choice. It took her a long time to do it, but she did do it.” Nina rambled convinced Talise was redeemable. Jordan was so angry still and Nina grabbed Jordan’s hand with the ring on it, holding the dagger.

“I told Talise she could get her soul back, that she had hope. She said it was too late for her. Maybe, in the end she wanted a clear conscience facing death. I think she thought their may have been hope for to live a normal life.” Nina remarked.

“She’s an evil bitch. I don’t care how pretty she looked before I stabbed her. She had it coming for everything she has done. She is responsible for all the agony John experienced through his curse,  everything my family went through. Talise gave you a concussion and almost killed you with her poisonous venom. She cursed John and so is responsible for his death, for him trading his life for yours. I can never get my brother back Nina. How do I explain this to Mom and Dad? How do I tell Jasper and Rianne?”

“I think you should wait a while first,” Nina said. She didn’t know why she said it, but she felt something on the edges of her mind.

“Why?” Jordan spit out.

“I have a feeling . . .I can’t explain.” Nina remarked.

Jordan and Nina watched Talise’s body flow away from them, both of them breathing the freshness and warmth of the morning air. In a sudden movement, the sea bubbled around Talise’s corpse and took it down underwater, into the Sirene’s heart; it was Talise’s burial.

Nina realized Jasper was towing her in on the lifesaver. A half an hour or so later, Jasper and Nina were huddled together on John’s sail boat, recounting the events of the night and morning, to Rianne and Jasper. They were both stunned by Jordan and Nina’s shortened explanations. There were somethings neither Jordan or Nina wanted to talk about yet.

Nina knew she should be crying but all she felt was numb. She hung onto a possibility. It was all she had.

Please Read Chapter 26 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

24. How Was Last Night For You: Escaping Talise, A Wicked Sea Witch 


Please read Chapter 23 here.

Chapter 24: Escaping Talise, A Wicked Sea Witch

Nina wanted to scream but the hand covering her mouth made it impossible for her to make a sound. She could barely breath she was so afraid of who had captured her. The man held her solidly against his his chest. Perhaps, Malcolm was still bewitched by Talise and keeping Nina trapped in the water for Talise to find?

Nina started to struggle against the man holding her captive. He had them both propped up against the boat where Nina had decided to hide from Talise. Nina splashed and pushed against the man’s chest, but he wouldn’t let her go. Talise was chanting her spell so loudly, her words could be heard throughout Adare’s Harbour.Had she noticed Nina had disappeared?

Nina kicked against the man holding her and attempted to use her elbows to injure him. She tried to knee him where it would hurt but then the arms holding her dunked Nina in the water a moment, before bringing her back up to the surface of the Sirene sputtering.

A familiar voice behind her said: “Shhh.” Nina turned her head minutely, enough to see a man holding a finger to his full lips. Nina peered over her shoulder to get a peek at the man. Maybe this man was trying to help her and he would aid her in escaping Talise?

Nina whispered so quietly she wasn’t sure the man could hear her, “Who are you? Is it Malcolm? John?” She whispered the last name hopefully. A kiss to her temple reassured her.

Nina wanted to jump for joy but she remained completely still and calm. She whispered to John, “I missed you. You wouldn’t answer your phone.” Behind her, John chuckled. His lips moved to Nina’s ear kissing the tip of it.

“My Nina,” John said in a hushed voice. Nina wanted to shout in happiness but she knew the perilous position both she and John were in. She snuggled against John in the coolness of the water. John kept Nina afloat in the Sirene, leaning on the boat.

He released his tight hold on Nina so she was able to turn in arms and face John. She peered into John’s sapphire eyes beneath his sopping dark brown hair. Nina brushed wet hair off John’s forehead tenderly and gasped seeing how purple the circles under John’s eyes appeared. John regarded Nina tiredly with a soft smile but she noticed how much John leaned on the boat for support and how his eyes kept shutting.

“John,” Nina whispered,”Did you swim the entire way back from Talise’s cave? You look exhausted. I don’t know how you were holding me so tightly when you look as if you’ve had every ounce of strength zapped out of you. You need to sleep.”

“Miles to go before I sleep,” John quoted Blake, smiling at Nina. “You’re wearing the necklace from the Farmer’s Market.”

“Of course,” Nina said quietly, “I never take it off. You know that. It seems as if attempting to save me from Talise alone, hasn’t been working for you John. I think it’s better when we collaborate; if we face Talise as a team.” John grinned but his face appeared wan.

“I got her dagger, Nina,” John whispered. “She’ll want me because I have her dagger. I injured her with it. She’s not letting on, but it’s why her spell isn’t working right now. Usually, I think she could use the Sirene’s Lake water and kill you no matter where you were in the Lake. But Talise can’t find you in the lake, her magic isn’t powerful enough.”

“She doesn’t want to kill me John. Talise wants us to suffer to be a part. She’s been considering this for the three-months I was healing from my head and you weren’t feeling as if you were cursed. She wants to change me into a mermaid and bewitch you permanently, so you have little free will.” Nina murmured.

“Talise wants to use us each to taunt the other, knowing we can never be together. If you’re human and I’m a mermaid, you’ll die and I’ll have hundreds of years alive without you. Only when your dead, will I be able to walk on land as mermaids sometimes do.” Nina whispered, tears escaping her pale blue eyes.

John looked aghast.”Talise – Tia is awful. I can’t believe she was special to me at one time. When I was twenty-five-years-old, I actually thought I loved her. I even told her I lied to my brothers, that I actually cared about her. Talise doesn’t believe me. She has past issues, about a guy named Ethan, her beloved husband. He cheated on her throughout their entire marriage in the 1800’s.”

“I know,” Nina said hushing John’s words with a finger to his lips. The tears dripping from her eyes stung her chilly skin.”There’s something worse though John . . . Talise said we can’t break the curse. If you sacrifice yourself for me, you’ll die. I’ll be alone, saved from death or a fish tale but without you in my life.”

John, with great effort, kissed Nina, exploring her mouth with his own, before pulling himself back up against the boat. “I had figured the curse might be that kind of curse.” John murmured tiredly.

“What kind? You mean not the kind that exists in fairytales where good always wins?”

“Yes, my Nina. That kind. The type where evil lives to thrive and destroy another day.” John sighed. He was freakishly pale.

“I’m sorry Nina. I have to end this whatever the outcome. I have to finish off Talise. It’s the reason I went to get her dagger. I will thrust it through her heart. She said she would do the same to you. I have to ensure that never happens.” John gazed at Nina determinedly.

Nina could see John gathering himself together for one last fight, ready to leave the boats where they both hid and declare his presence to Talise. But suddenly, the water around them began to froth and bubble.

Waves rose and separated John and Nina, carrying Nina far out to the middle of the Sirene, past all the yachts, sailing boats and any kind of boat a person might have kept at the harbour in Adare.

Nina was pulled out to where she could barely swim because the swells of waves kept burying her in the Sirene’s water, which Nina was choking up. She was having trouble catching her breathe.

Nina glanced at John before she was carried under the waves of the Sirene, under the water. He was leaning against the boat one minute, then feverishly swimming out to Nina with all his might. He struggled because he was so worn out and Nina noticed John’s strength was fading fast. There was only so much swimming a body could possibly do in one night.

Talise in rage, appeared behind Nina. She was  a mermaid, hag, and sea witch with fierce neon green eyes and teeth which were sharp and pointed. Nina never pictured a sea witch or a mermaid having such fearsome teeth.

Talise laughed darkly, holding Nina against her frightening yet frail appearance. Nina knew better then to think Talise weak. She reached her hand to Talise’s wrinkled arm, which was putting Nina in a choke hold, and dug her long oval pink nails, into Talise’s arm wound. Nina poked and pried at Talise’s injury until Talise cried out in pain. She pushed Nina under the water to make Nina stop further injuring Talise’s arm.

Nina wouldn’t end her hold on Talise’s arm wound, even as she felt herself struggling to breathe underwater. Briefly, her hand lifted from Talise’s arm when Talise pulled Nina up above the Sirene Lake’s water.

“Stop it you little bitch,” Talise told Nina. She grabbed Nina’s hair plunging Nina’s face into the water, regarding Nina as she would a gnat, as Nina drowned.

Talise pulled Nina’s face out of the water and close to her mouth and sharp teeth. “Behave Nina,” Talise warned and held Nina against her.

“I know you swim poorly, but don’t worry I have a tail and can swim for us both. We’re going to be great friends you and I Nina, as I’ve said. John is a blip. No good for either of us. What’s that they say, ‘ho’s before bro’s.'” Talise cackled at her own lame humour.

Nina didn’t find Talise funny at all.”Leave him alone. Don’t you dare touch John. I will hurt you and I will find a way to kill you if dare lay a finger on him.You’re injured Talise. I’ll stop at nothing to use that weakness against you.”

Talise smiled flashing her pointed teeth.”There’s that spirit John adores. Watch him struggle in the waves, he’s been swimming for hours and hours, he hasn’t much strength left.” Talise remarked.”As he drowns, I’ll get my dagger. I’m ending this here and now.”

Nina watched John fight and attempt to swim in the water which was still frothing and bubbling around him. She began to cry, fearing she was watching the man she loved drowning

In a moment, there were lights in the middle of the Sirene Lake. A sailing boat came thrusting through the water shining light on Nina and Talise in the water. The boat’s name was written in huge navy letters across its side. It’s name was Faith. Something Nina desperately needed at present.

Another light from Faith fell on John and a lifesaver was thrown out towards him. John grabbed unto the lifesaver gratefully, his sapphire gaze glued on Nina, beneath his darkly bruised under eye skin.

Talise screamed in rage, terrifyingly ugly. She had become a freak of nature, of even folklore. Nina began digging her hand into Talise’s arm wound, scraping out chunks of flesh as Talise’s elbow grip around Nina’s neck increased until it was asphyxiating Nina.

Nina thought she would pass out. In the haze of her mind, somewhere between breathe and death, Nina saw Jordan swimming out to meet John. Jordan and John were both the light provided by Faith, John’s sail boat.

The weather wasn’t stormy but nor was the Lake around Talise gentle. Her magic was powerful enough to make the middle of the Sirene rough. It must have been around 3:00 am, Nina thought judging from the time she was bewitched into leaving her condo. She wondered what Talise thought about Nina being able to break her bewitchment spell.

Nina dug her free hand into Talise’s face scratching and attempting to gouge Talise’s glowing eyes. Talise shrieked trying to asphyxiate Nina again. When Nina wouldn’t cease digging her fingers into Talise’s arm wound and face, Talise bit Nina’s shoulder.

“Ahhh…” Nina cried out. The pain she felt was searing and could be felt by her entire nervous system. Instantly, Nina’s gaze flew to her shoulder, a blackish-green substance oozed out of ferocious bite marks. “Poison…” Nina whispered to herself. Her body was shuddering from the pain and the toxin from Talise’s mouth; the poison was causing Nina lethargy.

Nina had to have screamed loudly because Nina saw John thrust something at Jordan. Jordan grasped the dagger John had stolen from Talise. It was what Talise most wanted. Through haze and mental fog, Nina saw Talise’s eyes grow wide as she spotted the dagger Jordan held.

Talise smiled and told Nina: “I’m going to get the dagger back now Nina. It’s mine. I killed the evilest sea witch for it. I’m killing John with it. I shouldn’t have changed my mind about killing you. My bite is poisonous and the toxins have entered your bloodstream. You’ll die as John will and probably his meddlesome brother Jordan as well.”

“You won’t kill John. Part of you still wants him. Part of you loves him, it’s why you want to control him. To make him your perfect boyfriend. The husband, you never had because let’s face it Talise your a dumb childless witch and no one wants to be with someone like you. Someone who would sell her soul, for revenge.” Nina’s voice was surprisingly loud, it hurt her own ears.

“Get your soul back Talise. It’s the only way you can go back. You could have a normal life and meet someone new.Better then Ethan or John. But once you kill with that dagger, I’m guessing you can’t go back…” Nina’s voice faltered.

Talise observed Nina as the poison made Nina weak. Nina’s body was shuddering and turning rigid. Talise was noticeably quiet as she thought about what Nina said. The pronounced wrinkles on her forehead folding deeper. ” I can’t be saved. I made my choice. You know nothing about Ethan. John could never take his place, not know. I can’t take the risk of another man like Ethan or John. I can’t just start all over again . . .”

“Every woman, every girl, starts over again in the world Talise. It’s how relationships work. It’s why we’re the stronger sex, why we can handle having kids. Because we can handle the pain of having our hearts broken again and again first.” Nina’s voice was barely a whisper, she was fading into light.

Then, Talise was pulling Nina’s body through the water, weightlessly, towards John who clung to the lifesaver.  Jordan held onto his own lifesaver, the black dagger in his hands ready to plunge into Talise’s heart. Archaic symbols glowed red on the dagger as Talise grew nearer to its presence. To John and Jordan Talise was terrifying, yet the tumbling water around them had ceased, and Talise’s eyes had dimmed to a muddy-green.

Nina faded out of consciousness.There was colour here. Beautiful and brilliant waves and patterns of colour everywhere. It was overwhelming at first. The colour folded Nina’s body in its vividness and she felt as if she could finally sleep. Recalling John’s words from the Robert Frost poem as she drifted: “. . . And miles to go before I sleep.” Perhaps, Nina’s miles were done.

Please Read Chapter 25 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

23. How Was Last Night For You: Rianne’s Mugged and Nina Disappears.


Please read Chapter 22 here.

Chapter 23:  Rianne’s Mugged and Nina  Disappears.

Rianne’s head ached badly, and so did her once broken arm. She had been lying on it for what felt like forever. The more Rianne tried to escape the tiredness that plagued her, the deeper she fell into nightmares

Rianne dreamed Nina had a fish tale. She dreamed Jasper and herself were visiting Nina on a beach. Nina kept the lower half of her body beneath the waves and refused to come any closer to shore. Behind Rianne, Jasper regarded Sam and Eric playing in the sand. They were building sand castles as Rianne had shown them how to do properly.

Sam and Eric adored Auntie Nina and wanted her to come play in the sand too, but Nina only smiled at John’s nephews sadly; she waved her hands at them blowing both boys air kisses which they pretended to catch with their hands. Rianne reached out for Nina but her hands only grasped lake water. Her best friend and childhood pal, swam away into the Sirene Lake, a mermaids tale flicking behind her.

Rianne recalled Nina had always stood up for her since the time they first met in primary school. Nina was the girl who despite being shorter and smaller, beat-up other girls for pushing Rianne around on the playground and calling Rianne names. Rianne had grown tall and sturdy, but not until high school when she began to workout and play basketball. Rianne had been nearly fifteen-years-old before she began to grow into maturity.

Rianne wrinkled her nose. It smelt like Chinese food in her dream, Chinese food that was stale. Something wet dripped on Rianne’s face and she abruptly awoke. A homeless man leaned over Rianne, his water bottle in hand. His weathered face showed concern.

“Lady, are you okay? Sorry about pouring water on you, but you looked passed-out and I didn’t know another way to wake you without involving the police. We’re you mugged? ”

Rianne gazed up at the man from the sidewalk where she lay on her bad arm. She forced her body into a more upright position and realized her savior could badly use some help of his own. His shoes had holes, his clothes dusty, ragged, and tattered.The man carried an old backpack and his face was covered with a straggly grey beard. Rianne tried to thank the man, but no words came out of her mouth. She was relieved this homeless man was no foe.

“There’s a bump, a red goose egg on your forehead. It looks as though someone knocked you out and robbed you.” The homeless man said to Rianne.

Rianne groaned and rose to her feet hanging onto the homeless man for balance. She felt dizzy but not all that bad considering the bump she saw on her forehead in her reflection on the glass of the Chinese food place. Rianne checked the time on her watch which hadn’t been stolen. It was early morning, around 1:00 am; how long had she been passed-out?

After a while, Rianne was able to walk without help leaning on the homelessman or the window of the Chinese restaurant. Rianne smiled at the man in gratitude.

“Thank you for waking me up and ensuring I’m alright,”  she told the homeless man with sincerity. Rianne’s voice sounded groggy. The man grinned, showing teeth that needed dental work she knew he couldn’t afford. “I wish I could give you something, some money for helping me, but my purse is gone. It’s lime colored, you would see it if it was here.” The man chuckled.

” Someone stole your purse when they knocked you out. I’ve seen it occur before. It happens to quite a few woman at night. Maybe buy a cheaper purse next time. I’m betting your purse was designer.” The homeless man said knowingly.

Then he looked at the bags of food  by Rianne’s feet and smiled. “Can I have your food?” Rianne looked at the man confused at first. “Your Chinese food, it’s probably still okay to eat. I felt the bag, it’s kind of warm yet.”

“Are you sure it might be dangerous to eat now?” Rianne asked the man. He smiled at her again.

” For me it’s fine, I’m used to eating food with recent expiration dates,” the homeless man said chuckling again. Rianne slowly, picked up the food with her good arm and gave it to the man. She was sorry that stale Chinese food was all she had to give.

“My watch,” Rianne said suddenly, “you could take it and pawn it. It’s worth a lot. I received it from my Mom for my twenty-first birthday?” She held out her precious watch to the man. He took it placed it in her hand and closed Rianne’s fingers around it, shaking his head. The man observed Rianne closely.

“Are you sure you’re feeling okay, Lady?” Rianne nodded slowly.

“I’m a tad dizzy and my head hurts but I’m alright. I need to get back to my friend. I told her I’d be back with food hours ago. She’ll be worried.”

The homeless man thanked Rianne for the food after Rianne had reassured him she didn’t need to go to a near by medical clinic.

Rianne thanked the man again, for caring enough to wake her up and they parted ways. She wished there was a way to help him more, to give the homeless man something better then old Chinese food. But he seemed happy and declined to give Rianne any information so she could find him again and give him money.


 

She walked as fast as she could, back to Nina’s condo building, passing The Manhattan which was full of people having a good time before last call.

Rianne didn’t have her key, but luckily a neighbour was coming out the door and recognized Rianne as Nina’s friend. Delighted to see her and asking Rianne about the bump on her head, the kindly woman waved Rianne through the condo door entrance.

Rianne rode the elevator up to Nina’s condo on the seventeenth floor. She had a sick feeling in her stomach, as if something was wrong. Not only had Rianne been mugged two blocks from Nina’s condo, but she had had a weird dream about Nina being a mermaid.

Rianne contemplated her dream, wondering why she remembered it with such clarity. The dream about Nina being a mermaid seemed awfully coincidental considering curses, magic, and sea witches had become real to Rianne in the past few months. She pondered if her dream was as John’s dreams, a premonition of what could be.

Rianne’s head was pounding out a study rhythm when she entered the condo. Nina’s front door had opened without Rianne having a key. Rianne prayed this meant Nina was home safe. Instead, when Rianne walked into the condo she could immediately tell the condo was empty; something wasn’t right.

A messy scrawled note from Nina read that Nina was staying at Heather’s tonight. Nina hated staying at Heather’s place. Heather was a nice lady, but lately, she had had a lot of male company. Company Nina more then a few times, had run into as they were half-naked. Heather would later tell Nina: ” Oh he’s no one.” But Nina had preferred not to stay over at her Mom’s after running into her Mothers various lovers.

All these thoughts sprang to Rianne’s mind in an instant. She needed to talk to Jasper but she didn’t think she had a phone. Nina had no landline, only her cell and Nina’s cell was in Rianne’s purse. Amazingly, Rianne found her own cell half-charged in her pocket. It’s lime leather cover matched her stolen purse.

Rianne sat down at Nina’s kitchen table. Her arms were suddenly wet, there was water all over Nina’s table from a water pitcher. But the pitcher wasn’t leaking so how did the water get there?

Rianne dialed Jasper on her phone; her head throbbed painfully.

” Jasper, sorry to wake you but it’s me. I was mugged on the street picking-up Chinese food for Nina and I. It should’ve taken me fifteen-minutes but someone knocked me out. I have this horrible bump on my head.They took my purse. When I arrived back to Nina’s condo, her door was unlocked and she isn’t here. Her condo is empty.” Rianne said as quickly as she could manage.

” Huh, what?”  Jasper said sleepily but concerned, “Are you okay? Do you need to go to a hospital? You could have a concussion you know. Did Nina leave a note? Maybe give her a call on her phone?”

“Her phone was in my purse Jasper. I took it away from her because she kept looking at her phone to see if John had answered her messages to him. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have taken it from her.” Rianne said.

“And there was this note. It was really weird it was on the kitchen table which was sopping wet. There is water all over the table and that is unlike Nina to leave water all over her table. The water pitcher wasn’t even broken.” Rianne was getting tears in her eyes. She was usually self-contained.

” What did the note say Ri?” Jasper asked her gently.

“It said she was staying at her Mom’s tonight. But Nina hates staying at her Mom’s house. She would’ve told me if she was going to be sleeping there earlier. I called Heather’s cell but she’s not answering. I’ve left several messages. What if Talise has Nina? What if she took Nina away and wants to kill her like John said?” Rianne was full-out crying now.

“What do we Jasper?” Rianne said fatigued.”John is out at Talise’s cave and Nina is mysteriously gone from her condo. Somethings wrong Jasper.”

“Call Heather again right now,” Jasper ordered Rianne. “I’ll be over soon. Maybe, I can reach John on his phone. He should be back from the cave by now, depending how things went. I should’ve never let him go alone, but he insisted. . .”

“It’s not your fault Jasper. John’s headstrong, especially where Talise is concerned. I’ll try calling Heather again but I don’t think she’s picking up the phone. Maybe she’s out with one of her boyfriends? Come quick and bring ice for my head.” Jasper sighed. She could tell he was exasperated with the entire situation.

” A homeless guy woke me up in time Jasper.” Rianne said trying to stop him for worrying. ” I’ll be okay. It’s Nina I’m worried about.”

“Alright, stay there at Nina’s don’t move.” Jasper told Rianne. “I’ll buy you a new purse and we’ll figure out where Nina is…What did the homeless guy say? I hope Nina is safe, John’s going to kill me. ..”

” Hurry Jasper, don’t worry about the purse right now. I love you.” Rianne told Jasper, hanging up on him before she started to bawl. Rianne didn’t say anything to Jasper, but she knew she was the person supposed to be watching Nina for John. This was her fault, Rianne told herself sternly.

Her head hurt painfully. She got up from the table and took two Advil from Nina’s medicine cupboard. Rianne changed out of her sweater with wet sleeves from the pool of water on Nina’s table, before soaking up the water with paper towel.

Exhausted and frustrated that Jasper was taking so long getting to Nina’s Condo, Rianne lay on Nina’s soft suede couch. She drifted in and out of a sleep of nightmares, none as clear as the one she had when she was unconscious earlier. Rianne knew she shouldn’t be sleeping after being hit on her head so hard, but she couldn’t help it; she passed out.

Suddenly, Rianne awoke. She heard the door knob turn on Nina’s front door and it startled her. The room was dark except for a lamp Rianne had turned on earlier. She arose carefully, and went to meet Jasper at the condo door. He hugged Rianne hard when he saw her, towering over her and giving her security.

” Are you okay? You shouldn’t be sleeping with a bump like that on your head.” Jasper shouted at Rianne. She glimpsed past Jasper’s shoulder and was relieved to see he hadn’t come alone, he had brought Jordan with him.

“Thank God your both here,” Rianne said tears sliding down her freckled cheeks. “I’m worried about Nina, we need to find her. Did you hear from John, either of you?”

“I talked to him briefly,” Jordan said curtly. He was trying to not upset Rianne and she could tell.

“Sit down both of you,” she commanded, “are Sam and Eric alright?” Rianne asked Jasper, slamming the front door and sitting beside Jasper.

“Yep,” Jasper said his arm around Rianne as he gently felt the bump on her head and reached down to a grocery bag for an ice pack. The ice stung Rianne’s bump but after a minute or two her head felt better. Jasper continued:

“Mom is watching the boys. They’ll be okay. Super thrilled to have Grandma take them for swim lessons tomorrow. How are you feeling Ri? That bump is nasty. I want Mom to look at it tomorrow.” Jasper seemed to be stalling and Rianne who was usually calm began to panic. She looked at Jordan:

” What did John say? Does he know where Nina is? Is she with him?” Jordan looked uncomfortable but began to talk anyways.

“John’s phone wasn’t working too well. Too much water got in it. He ran into Talise on her piece of paradise. She tried to trap him in the cave, but he managed to steal her dagger. She took my boat to shore and she was coming after Nina. But um, John injured Talise when they fought for the dagger, it effected her magic; she’s not as strong as she was and her barrier trapping John in the cave broke. John had to swim to shore. . . he’s so afraid for Nina. Then, John’s phone went dead . . .” Jordan let out a breath.

Rianne’s eyes were as big as saucers. “No, Talise can’t have gotten to land so fast could she Jordan?”

Jordan swallowed afraid. “John was at the harbor when I called him. We need to go there, I think. If Talise has Nina, that’s the first place she’ll be. And we need to find John, he must be exhausted and freezing.”

” I agree,” Jasper said. His voice was firm and he looked angry as Rianne had never seen him before.

“Let’s go guys,” Rianne said, “Damn it, my keys were in my purse.”

“You hurt your head,” Jasper said tenderly, ” I’ll drive.”

All three of them ran down the stairs as it was faster then taking the elevator. They sped off in Jasper’s car towards the harbor, to the Sirene. All of them were afraid of what had become of John and Nina.

Please Read Chapter 24 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

20. How Was Last Night For You: John’s Confrontation with Talise


Please read Chapter 19 here.

Chapter 20: John’s Confrontation with Talise.

John carefully crept along the beach to Talise’s cave, concealed by more stone edifices, until he reached the shrouded entrance. Thoughts of the past week’s nightmares were fresh in John’s mind. He shouldn’t have thought about his dreams. The fact that John’s nightmares could be a glimpse of reality, weighed heavy on his mind. However, John knew he was of no benefit to Nina or himself, trapped in the tendrils of his recent dreams.

John slowly crept into the cave. He couldn’t see anything and had no choice but to turn on his flashlight. He pushed buttons blindly with his thumb until a portion of the cave was revealed in a circle of light. John was relieved when there appeared to be no one in the cave. Talise wasn’t here tonight.

John circled the cave, tensely gripping the flashlight. He was searching for any unusual items Talise might have hidden in the cave. Perhaps a magic orb such as the one Nina’s soul was enclosed in, in John’s nightmare. But there was no sphere or dagger concealed in the cave. Not that John could see much in relative blackness, with only the small circular light of his flashlight.

Instantly, John felt his spine tingle in fear. He spotted a smoldering fire, recently extinguished by the caves entrance and he froze. A small arm encircled his body and cold lips kissed his neck. Heinous laughter filled John’s ears and the cave was cast in brilliant light, much stronger than the flashlight provided.

John turned around into blinding light to find Talise standing behind him. She had dark purple stains beneath her eyes and she seemed to have aged. There were strands of white throughout her blond mane; however, she still held a compelling and terrible beauty.

Talise looked up at John and smiled wickedly. John perceived that the old Tia, the girl he once knew, had disappeared. The seawitch that stood before him was someone else entirely. A dark and desperate creature.

“So you remembered where my cave was, did you John?” Talise asked. Her voice was harsh and gravelly; she snickered at John.”Why would you come here John?” Talise asked. “This is my place. My haven from the world. Why invade my personal space, unless you are looking for something…” Talise laughed again, a cruel sound.

” I was looking for you Talise,” John said raising his voice to be heard in the cave. “We need to settle this. You need to uncurse me. I’ve suffered as you wished for nearly ten-years Talise, isn’t that enough for you?” John pleaded with Talise. She simply smiled, an infuriating smile.

“No John, ten-years of suffering is only the beginning for you…” Talise said spitefully.

“I never meant to hurt you Tia,” John reasoned.”I was twenty-five-years-old and I’m not akin to a mermaid or a sea witch. I didn’t have years of experience behind me. I should have told my brothers, my family, how I actually felt about you. I loved you Tia. You were my first love.” John admitted.

“First love, eh?” Talise cackled, “but not your only love. You were never committed enough in our relationship John. You were too busy building Mergers. You never truly loved me; otherwise, we would’ve been married. Anything to do with ‘us,’ was never your main focus. You are worse then Ethan was…” Tia muttered, half to herself.

” Who’s Ethan?” John asked.

“In the Victorian Age, Ethan was my husband. We couldn’t have any children because I’m unable to have children. When Ethan died, my two nephews (who were as sons to us) told me Ethan had been having an affair with another woman, for many years of our marriage.” Talise said, tears brimming in her bloodshot eyes.

“They said….my nephews said, Ethan didn’t love his mistress. He only wanted a lineage, children who had his blood. He had eight children with his mistress bitch…I loved him more than I loved anyone. . .” Sorrow laced Talise’s voice.

“I couldn’t do anything to Ethan because he was dead, even his mistress was dead. I have a great deal of vengeance to wreak John. You will pay for your own sins, you will pay for Nina’s stupidity, and you will pay for Ethan’s affair because he isn’t alive to pay.” Talise shouted.

John was appalled by Talise’s hatred.” Nina or I, have no control or fault over what Ethan chose to do over one-hundred-years-ago. We weren’t alive then. Stay away from Nina, Talise. Touch her and you’ll regret it.” John grated and Talise cackled.

“I wanted you to be with me John. I was going to appear to you and tell you ten-years anguish under my curse was enough. You were supposed to take me back and love me again. I imagined we could have a life together. We could’ve adopted children, as Ethan and I adopted his nephews. But, Nina . . . she worked her way into your heart. You love her, I can see it in your eyes when you tell me to stay away from her.” Talise raged, perplexed.

” Because you love Nina, I’m going to stab her with this . . .” Talise said picking up a thin particularly, sharp dagger.” I received this dagger from a friend who was retiring,” Talise murmured smiling murderously.” Well, actually I killed her. She was an old seawitch, at the end of a terrible dark reign. It was my turn to embrace my darkness, to be the most feared seawitch in the Sirene. I traded my soul for this John, and you’ll never find my soul. It was taken from me by the dark powers that be.” Talise said a crazed laugh escaping her throat.

John looked at the dagger Talise held in her hand. It was tarnished silver with red jewels on the hilt, it looked dangerous. Talise grasped the dagger in her small hands, hands that had appeared to have aged too. There were tiny wrinkles and visible blue veins, on the skin of Talise’s hands. In the harsh light, John could see wrinkles around Talise’s eyes and mouth. Part of her youth was a price Talise had paid to become a demonic seawitch, John thought.

“Please,” John begged Talise.” I will do whatever you want Tia. Just leave Nina out of our feud. I should’ve kept away from her, I understand that now. But Talise, you and I can still be together. We can have a lifetime together such as you and Ethan had. I will always be faithful to you. I won’t hurt you like I did before, or like Ethan did.” John said softly, cajolingly. He watched as a tiny smile appear on Talise’s lips, bringing back an echo of her youthful glow. But then Talise opened her mouth and laughed, a crazed unstable sound.

“Nice try John,” Talise uttered darkly. “But it’s too late for our ‘happily ever after.’ I told you Nina’s heart or yours .  .  and you didn’t decide which heart you wanted to give-up. But I know you love Nina, so I know you cannot give me your heart freely. And it’s too late for me because I’ve made my choice. I’ve turned…dark and now I’m going to thrust this dagger through Nina’s heart, and I’m going to take her soul.” Talise said chillingly. She sounded disgustingly cheerful about her decision. “Don’t worry John I’ll be back for your heart. I have special plans for you…”

John’s mind raced back to the nightmares he had been thinking about before entering Talise’s secret cave. He had been right, to his horror, the nightmares were a forebodence to what could happen to Nina and John. John’s nightmare was coming true. He should’ve known before coming here, he knew his dreams could be premonitions of terrible events.

John watched Talise closely, waiting for a moment when he could attack her and steal the dagger. He pictured ramming the dagger through Talise’s demonic heart. At the same time, he felt a twinge of guilt. It made John sad to think about the girl, Tia. But now John had to think about the woman he loved forever. He chose Nina over Talise, he always would.

“I know your plans Tia because I have dreamt about them. You want to bewitch me so I have no free will. You want to force me to watch as you murder Nina.” John said, watching Talise and waiting for the right moment. Talise looked surprised at John’s admission.

“I’ve never given you any nightmares John, except for the one where I asked you to choose Nina’s heart or your own. Your dreams are a sign of your own guilt, your imagination running wild. You’re at fault for the position you and Nina are in. Now it’s too late.” Talise yelled turning to face the crystal mirror on the cave wall as it came to life like a television screen. To his amazement, John could see Nina, home at her condo. She was waving goodbye to Rianne. His body tensed, Nina wasn’t safe alone.

“Here John,” Talise said. ” You can watch me bewitch Nina in the looking glass.Watch me take Nina out to the Sirene and thrust my dagger through her heart. No one will find her body. I’ll bring you back her soul when I come to take your heart, to take your free will. Just as in your dream . . . I’m coming for Nina and there is nothing you can do to stop me John.”

Talise closed her clouded green eyes and began to chant a spell, holding the dagger between her hands, as if she were praying to the devil. John seized the moment to jump Talise and wrestle the dagger from her hands. Talise screamed as John fought her. As in his dreams, Talise was abnormally physically strong.

John’s hands grasped the hilt of the dagger after several minutes struggling. He finally, threw Talise to the ground. She had stopped chanting and was fighting John’s hold on the dagger in earnest on her knees. Talise grasped the edge of dagger’s hilt. But John’s grip was stronger, he was too determined to keep the dagger.

Talise’s eyes filled with loathing and fear as John thrust the dagger at her chest.Talise rolled away and  John stabbed Talise in the arm and stumbled. He watched dirty red blood flow from her wound. A filmy red mess stained the floor of the cave, visible in the bright light Talise had first cast.

“Arggg….” Talise shouted. She chanted words under her breath quickly. The wound healed slightly, but still bled. “I’m going to kill Nina,” Talise remarked coldly, her voice weaker. “I can still drown her, even if I can’t stab her heart or take her soul.” She cackled with glee.

Talise fled the cave and John tried to follow her, but an invisible magical force stopped him. Tia looked back at John and she smiled, an evil gleam in her dull green eyes. “This will hold you, John. The spell will last long enough for me to drown Nina.” Talise said darkly.

“Remember to watch the looking glass John, watch me kill the woman you love.” Then Talise was gone and John heard nothing but strange echoes in the cave until he heard the engine of the motor boat purring.

John swore and pushed against the magical shield, multiple times, and he couldn’t break through the magic. He had the dagger, but Talise would be at Nina’s condo soon. John had no phone signal in the cave and he wanted to kick himself for his own stupidity.

He shouldn’t have come here alone. John should have brought Jordan with him when he borrowed Jordan’s motor boat. John yelled helplessly, letting off some of his frustration. He turned around to punch the cave wall, and the looking glass crackled and shattered beneath his fist which had struck it dead centre.

John watched in awe as the crystal mirror splintered into hundreds of pieces. He saw the magic field at the cave entrance shimmering purple. To John’s surprise, he was able to dive out of the cave into the sand. His hand hurt awfully and was bleeding, cut in several places from the broken looking glass crystals.John didn’t have time to access and care for his wound. He needed to swim quickly if he had any hope of reaching Nina and hindering Talise’s threat.

In the back of his mind, John thought he might be able to finally break the curse and save Nina. He would sacrifice his life for Nina’s. It didn’t matter much to John if he survived, unless he could spend his life with her. His ray of hope, his favourite lazy Sunday afternoon with popcorn and Netflix.

What mattered most to John was Nina’s survival. There was a painful uneasy feeling in John’s stomach. It made him think he might already be too late. He concentrated on his hand which stung terribly as he swam in the Sirene, hoping to reach the shore fast.

Please Read Chapter 21 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

19. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Cave and John’s Nightmare


Please read Chapter 18 here.

Chapter 19: Talise’s Cave and John’s Nightmare.

John had borrowed a motor boat from his brother Jordan, who enjoyed taking the boat out fishing. He had considered asking Jordan to come with him, but he hadn’t wanted to risk his younger brother’s life. John had his sailing boat but it wasn’t inconspicuous enough for him to take out to Tia’s hallowed cave.

An immense moon hung in the night sky, as if it were a giant orb of white gold. John recalled the full moon when he had first meant Nina. He thought about Nina always, without meaning to think of her.

It had only been a week since John had last seen Nina, at his parents house,  and he missed Nina exceptionally. During her time healing from her concussion, John and Nina had been inseparable. John felt a sickening in his stomach when he recalled how he had left Nina, crying and begging him not to end their relationship.

But stronger than the misery John felt missing Nina, was the fear he perceived for Nina’s life. John had snapped when Nina was almost mowed down by a giant red pickup truck, surely Tia’s doing. He had taken the only action he could think of without exploding in rage, frustration, and  animosity concerning Tia; John left Nina hurting.

John had realized the best way for him to keep Nina safe from Tia, was for him to keep his distance from her. Especially since Tia was after Nina, and wanted her heart. Maybe now, Tia would take John’s heart. It wasn’t as if John had much of a heart left after being cursed to have horrific events occur around him for ten-years, and after letting Nina go.

On the way home from parents house,  John experienced a ‘feeling’ he hadn’t sensed it a while. A horrific event was about to occur. Two vehicles behind John’s Mercedes collided and were in a serious car accident. John had called 911 immediately and the Adare Fire Department had had to bring in the ‘jaws of life’ to cut a critically injured man out of his smashed white Corolla. John had given a witness statement and stopped to assist at the wreckage. He knew that he was the one whose curse was responsible for the severely injured people and their destroyed vehicles.

John’s curse had returned and the fact further enraged John, who was already in a dangerous  mood due to Nina’s near accident. He had gone home and worked the hell out of a punching bag and pulled out his favourite luxury vodka.

Nina was the most precious person to John, he loved her. He hadn’t admitted it to her but it was true. He knew it inside. John had asked Rianne and his family to keep on eye on Nina after his fight. Even if having his family in Nina’s life was weird when Nina and John weren’t speaking. Rianne was at Nina’s condo tonight while John was out, searching for Tia’s soul or the dagger that she carried.

Jordan’s motor boat puttered along the Sirene Lake, it wasn’t exceedingly noisy, so John had some stealth approaching Tia’s cave. The night was clear and the moonlight lit John’s path. He was guiding the boat along some stone edifices when he came to the hidden piece of white beach and cave, Tia’s sanctuary.

Tia and John had come here years ago, to make love and enjoy each other’s company. Tia had insisted John and her come here to relax and be together. Presently, in the chilly night air, the former haven of white sand seemed forbidding. John brought the motor boat as close to the beach as he could. He dropped anchor, stepping out into the freezing water, grazing his thighs. No matter, John had worn a black wetsuit for his mission.

John carried a flashlight with him, but he didn’t turn the flashlight on. He was waiting to see if Tia might be here. In the past, John knew, Tia slept in her cave. She didn’t seem to feel the cold as human’s did. She came to her secret place when she was angry or hurt, so there was a substantial chance, Tia was here.

He should stop calling her Tia, John thought. The young girl John knew as Tia no longer existed. Talise was the name of the seawitch, the horrible bitch who tried have Nina run down and had given Nina a serious concussion.

Warily, John tiptoed through the white sand in his bare feet, heading for Talise’s cave with the fantastic crystal mirror, Tia’s looking glass she called it. As he crept, John recalled the dreams he had been having of Talise lately. In these dreams he felt as if he was stuck in quicksand. He could not make his own body move. He had no control, as Talise dragged Nina out into the deepest part of the Sirene Lake where Nina was murdered.


 

” John, help me!” Nina screamed to John in his nightmare.” Why won’t you move? Talise is trying to drown me and I can’t get free. Talise’s magic has made her strong.”

In his nightmare, Talise would laugh maniacally at John, while forcing Nina into more treacherous depths.

” You can do nothing, John,” Talise would say, her voice gravely and low. “Nina your heart is mine! No one will find you in the middle of the Sirene Lake, no one can save you from my cursed dagger. Going through your heart, the dagger will be sharp and painful Nina. I will kill you slowly, to take your soul. The ritual requires me to do so. And I don’t mind at all . . .” Talise raged.

“It’s your fault Nina. You should’ve stayed far away from John. I warned you he was not for you. John’s mine. I merely wanted him to suffer before I came back to him. We are meant to be… but you changed fate. Now John loves you and I’ve been forced to bewitch him. John can only do what I order him to do — he has no free will. He’s going to watch from the shallow water, while I kill you and steal your soul.” In the nightmare, Talise was evil. She had become a depraved shadow of her former self.

John would try with all his might to move his body, to stop Talise. But always, the same event occurred in his dream. John regarded Talise in abhorrence and loathing as she stabbed his beloved through her heart. Talise took her time, drawing out Nina’s suffering. Tears flowed down John’s cheeks as Nina languished in agony, begging for Talise to kill her faster.

Then, the life would perceptibly flicker out of Nina’s pale blue eyes. John could always see this detail well. John would feel as if he was holding Nina as he cried witnessing deep red blood, Nina’s life force, seeping out of her body into the Sirene Lake.

Talise would chant an ancient language, while John wept with fury, experiencing a sharp pain in his own chest, at Nina’s death. Then a luminous glowing  orb would float above Nina’s body. Nina’s soul would arise and come to rest in a special container Talise held in her hand. John was traumatized. He could see the details of the container well. It was a clear, round, sphere, materialized of magic.

Talise would laugh maniacally watching John grieve. John remembered in his nightmare, the feeling of himself dying inside as Nina’s corpse, white and stiff , floated by Talise in the Sirene. John didn’t understand why his his nightmare felt so life-like.

Inside John experienced immense sorrow and rage against Talise. But he had no control over his free will. When Talise called for him to join her deeper in the Sirene Lake’s water, John obediently swam out to her. Talise gave John Nina’s soul, brilliant in the magic orb. In his nightmare he recalled thinking, it was his last piece of Nina. Talise smirked as John grasped the sphere and hid it in his pocket sadly.

John tred water in the Sirene Lake, while Talise appeared to float effortlessly. When Talise tried to kiss him, more tears leaked out of John’s eyes. He was crying for Nina and could not stop. But John didn’t make a sound as Talise demanded he kiss her. He did so with ardor, even though it wasn’t ardor he felt for Talise, only disgust and loathing.

John had woken every night that past week, since Nina was nearly hit by the red truck, sweating profusely with tears running down his stubbled cheeks. The nightmare drained John and he had a feeling, this dream could become reality if he did not stop Talise. Nina could die and John would be doomed to live a life, a slave to Talise’s desires. John involuntarily shivered.

Please Read Chapter 20 here.


 

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.