Photo Challenge: Fiction – Alice and the Tea Cup #amwriting #fiction #photochallenge 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo Challenge. 

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Credit: Source Unknown

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Wonderland had been a delight for Alice. It always was, but she expected that when she returned to the real world, she would come back as herself — her correct size.  

Instead, Alice stepped through the looking glass as her regular 5’7″ height and found herself the size of one her mothers miniature ornamental figurines. Moreover, when she had taken a few steps she found herself falling from a tremedous height before making a great splash in what she discovered was a tepid cup of green tea. 

She didn’t recognize the face of the sullen man who was drinking from her mother’s rose china teacups. His hands surrounded the cup Alice was in and he hadn’t even realized when she landed in his tea, sloshing it all over his hands. 

Alice was soaked and feeling warm, the tea wasn’t as tepid as she thought. The man sighed and she heard her mother’s booming voice talking to the man about some cause she was recruiting donations for.

She screamed shrilly as the man lifted the cup to his mouth, struggling in the water and flailing her tiny arms. The man didn’t see Alice and as she continued screaming, the cup moved closer to the man’s mouth. As tea surrounded Alice covering her head, she had no choice but to bite the man’s lip. She sunk her teeth into his flesh, biting as viciously as she could with her minature teeth. 

The man gasped, suddenly in pain. Blood dripped from his lip where Alice had bit him. The tea and teacup flew out of his hand in surprise and Alice was flung out into the living room landing beside her mother on the couch. 

Her mother gazed at Alice with wide blue eyes before gently stroking Alice’s soaking body with her pinky finger. 

“Alice?” she asked, before fainting on the couch. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Wrapped Refrain –  “Relationships and Childhood” 


Thanks to The Daily Post for the prompt words Childhood, Sky, Purpose, and Angry.

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What made us now, this moment past

How’d we become so frail, like glass.

Feelings torn, mended, stitches —

Reopened, wounds our glitches.

Remembering yet, we’re sky high humans so lost.

Can we find, the purpose of us charred, at what cost?

——

What is it to have faith, to believe?

Words your lips intone I perceive? 

See we only through the looking —

Glass; are reflections picture books, 

Children read us, seeing clearer, we’re angry and —

Getting madder; if only sky cleared, clouds not sad .

——

Our faces to the little ones, 

Need appear smiling, not loathsome.

Bring back laughter, joy, and pleasure.

Find every day peace, time treasured.

So their childhood vision is happiness and light.

Through our faces, read clear, inner peace, delight.

——

If in each other we peer past, 

The anger each possess and fast, 

Find paths through shadows dark and grim, 

Maybe, then we search beyond sin.

See the rain drop on cool skin, sliding, patterns desire.

Eyes are opened wide; blast of furnace, passion fires.

——

Our own mystery of life we guard, 

Though life throw many dangers hard.

We prevail, faith our purpose and —

Each other’s love; though time stand —

Not still for anyone of us on earth, who’s living, 

What made us now, taught us in childhood to forgive.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

22. How Was Last Night For You: Talise Bewitches Nina.


Please read Chapter 21 here.

Chapter 22: Talise Bewitches Nina.

Nina felt the coldness of the water handcuffs Talise had fitted around Nina’s wrists when she caused Nina to fly back and land on couch.

Handcuffs made out of water were a curious sensation. They felt wet and dripped water onto Nina’s hands. Yet when Nina pushed her wrists against the watercuffs and attempted to twist out of them, the watercuffs bit into her skin sharply as metal handcuffs would do.

Nina was seated on her suede dove-grey couch with her hands and arms bent awkwardly behind her back. Talise was seated on the other end of Nina’s couch. She seemed lost in her thoughts and Talise’s clouded eyes combined with her haggish appearance were terrifying. Talise possessed the demeanor of someone curse and otherworldly.

Nina couldn’t believe Talise had ever been an enchanting youthful woman wearing a sea green gown at the Mergers fundraiser Nina had attended with John. Nina feared Talise because she was certain Talise would murder her and do so painfully.

A small part of Nina couldn’t help but feel sorry for Talise and what she had become. There was no concrete explanation for how Talise could’ve aged exceedingly in a short time. Powerful and demonic sorcery had to have physically altered Talise and blackened her heart. A heart, Nina thought, which had attempted to warn Nina away from John months earlier. What feelings of rage and jealousy had John and Nina created in Talise?  Why would Talise give-up– her youth, her beauty,  especially her soul — to have vengeance.

” Talise, what happened to you?” Nina ventured to ask Talise, ” What do you want with me? You should be happy. John broke-up with me last week.” Nina lifted her pale blue eyes to Talise’s cloudy green ones. Nina hoped Talise could relate to Nina and in doing so, not hurt her. Talise grinned at Nina darkly. Amazingly, her teeth were still perfect, though the lips surrounding Talise’s mouth were wrinkled.

” Yes, Nina. I know John left you. I made Malcolm — you remember him, he works for John? Anyways, Malcolm was supposed to run you down in a stolen truck or injure you terribly. I was giving you a way out, an easier exit out from John’s life. This is no longer the case.”

Talise threw back her thick wavy hair like a young girl, but the stripes of white in her hair gave her age away. ” Must have been painful for you, Nina. Spending all week thinking about John, yearning for him.” Talise’s voice was raspy and she cackled at Nina’s expense. Talise expressed little sympathy for Nina.

“I’m a smart woman Nina. I have over two-hundred-years of life experience on John and you. I had my true love Ethan once, back in the Victorian Era. I couldn’t have children so we adopted Ethan’s two nephews. When Ethan died, my nephew Simon admitted Ethan had a mistress all through-out our marriage. Simon told me Ethan said I was his only love but Ethan wanted offspring of his own. He had eight — eight children with this whore. And I couldn’t do a thing to him or his mistress who had both died peacefully in their sleep at an old age. I know how it is to be hurt by the man you love Nina.”

“I know John too. I loved him deeply, not as much as I loved Ethan but enough, we could’ve built a life together. Being in John’s life has only harmed you Nina. John may have hastened your death by refusing to give you up in time.” Talise told Nina crossing her legs and smiling absurdly. The wrinkles in Talise’s face deepened grotesquely when Talise smiled. She did not appear merely old as humans appeared, but their was a disgustingness, a monstrosity about Talise.

” I know you believe what you and John have is special. I think it’s different than what I had with him. I loved John but he didn’t love me back, it is clear now in my mind, he was only using me for sex. He loves you more than me and can’t accept he’s chosen you when he could’ve had me.” Talise’s gravelly voice said harshly.

” You think John left you but you know better Nina. You’re aware he only broke-up with you to protect you from me? He didn’t want you to be physically injured again, especially after your concussion. I had hoped it would be more than a minor concussion when I directed a table hit your head during the storm I created at the Farmer’s Market. I had hoped your concussion would force John to never want to see you again.” Talise grasped hold of Nina’s wrist. She leaned in to frighten Nina with appearance. Talise’s muddy eyes were gloating dangerously.

“John miscalculated with me Nina. He’s caught in my cave, trapped by a kind of force-field spell. In my cave is a looking glass where John can watch what I do to you. I told him I was intending to bewitch you and drown you, but my new plan but I’m thinking of will cause John and yourself a great deal more suffering. Letting you both die would be too easy. John has my dagger, but I have you. He’s not going to be able get here in time to stop what I have planned for you Nina.” Talise’s grating voice cackled.

Nina couldn’t believe she was caught in a deadly situation with Talise. Why hadn’t she looked through the door to see who was there before she let Talise in her condo? Where was Rianne? Did Talise hurt her?

Additionally, John was stuck in some deserted cave. He should have brought someone with him, but he hadn’t. And he couldn’t help Nina. She doubted John could have saved her from Talise, had he been here with Nina and Talise. Talise’s magic was  disturbing and powerful sorcery, even if John had the dagger that could kill Talise.

Talise’s body shimmered with magic and it’s soul sucking presence made Nina’s hair stand on end. Talise had zoned out, whispering words under breath and holding her arm with her hand. Nina noticed a spot or two of red on Talise’s hand. What if John had been able to injure Talise with the dagger and Talise’s wound wouldn’t heal? Nina filed this significant detail away in her mind to use later.

Talise snapped out of her trance and grinned at Nina as if they were friends.She wanted to harm Nina but was thoroughly nonchalant about the situation. “Why are you stuck on John Talise?” Nina blurted out, “If he hurt you so much by telling his brothers he didn’t love you, that you weren’t a good wife for a professional businessman, why would you want to be with him? You cursed him and he’s suffered for ten-years. You could let him suffer more.” Nina exclaimed convincingly.

“There is a minute chance that John can break your curse. To do so he would have to sacrifice himself for me. So isn’t you endangering my life, only giving John a chance to save me? To break the curse?” Nina questioned Talise overtly. Talise grinned maniacally seeing exactly what Nina was attempting to accomplish.

” John can try to save you all he wants. There is no way  I’ll let that happen. To escape my cave John would have to break through the barrier and swim far in the cold Sirene Lake at night. John’s not as young as he use to be,” Talise said.

“Besides if John does sacrifice himself for you, I’ve no issue with him then because he’ll be dead Nina. It’s the beauty of a curse, it’s difficult to make your way around them and live.” Nina couldn’t get over  Talise’s honeyed voice had altered with each word from her lizard like lips.

“I told John, Nina, that I was going to bewitch you and drown you in the Sirene Lake. I could do that now and no one would be able to stop me. But I’ve been thinking . . . What if I don’t kill you for now? What if I turn you into a mermaid, not a sea witch mermaid such as me, but a mermaid such as the other girls in the Sirene?” Talise wondered aloud.

” John and you would be separated forever and I wouldn’t allow him near you to break the curse should the opportunity arise. I’m rather keen on bewitching John permanently.  fI what him to do whatever I say whenever I feel like I need him to do something. Sometimes he could do as he pleases but he would always know at any minute, I control him much. He would be much as a servant to me, with little free will or control over his life.” Talise mused.

“And I’m going to get my dagger back . . . you never know when I might need to stab either on of you, so the other one complies.” Nina’s breath caught in her throat but she pretended to be amused by Talise’s schemes.

“That’s your plan? After all these months you’ve had to come up with a scheme and you want to separate John and I by giving me a fish tale and bewitching John?” Nina asked Talise and giggled. Talise looked at Nina angrily backhanding her across the face with her wrinkled hand. Nina had forgotten how strong Talise’s body was despite her appearance to be otherwise. A welt developed across Nina’s left cheek. It stung, “agh…” Nina proclaimed in pain. “You hurt me . . .”

“Excellent! It was supposed to hurt,” Talise grated. “You need to learn to respect your elders. Yes, you’ll get a fish tale and I will bewitch John and control him. It’s either that or I could keep you hidden until I gain my dagger back and stab you through the heart. I’ve been frightening John with images of that scenario in his dreams.Which do you prefer Nina?” Talise challenged.”Once you’re a mermaid, I’ll ensure John only glimpses you, enough to bring back painful memories. I’ll tease and antagonize both of you. Ethan betrayed me and I couldn’t have my revenge but against John, I will have my way.”

Talise had been standing in front of Nina when she slapped her. She gazed down on Nina, smiling suspiciously. Nina attempted to speak to tell Talise off, but when she opened her mouth to speak, her voice wouldn’t come out. She looked at Talise in fear. Her hands hurt behind her back and she fought her watercuffs observing Talise chanting a spell. Talise instantly, grabbed Nina’s head grasping Nina’s thick blond hair to keep Nina in place.Talise forced Nina to look into her magnetic muddied orbs which hypnotized Nina and made Nina feel weak and lost.

Without realizing what was happening to herself, Nina’s body began moving without Nina controlling it. Nina stood up and slid her feet into a pair of flats. Talise had no need to restrain Nina now, so the watercuffs disappeared and Nina grabbed her purse and keys. She had no control over any of her body movements. It was if the essence of who was Nina, was trapped inside Nina’s mind. She could think her own thoughts but not express them verbally or physically.

Talise wanted it to appear as if Nina had left her condo to stay with her mother. She had Nina write a fake note to Rianne, telling her where she was supposedly going. How Talise knew about Nina’s mother Heather, Nina didn’t know. She also wondered how she knew Rianne was staying with Nina. She felt panic rise up inside her, afraid for her Mom and for her best friend.

Nina’s body accepted the actions Talise commanded of her and she couldn’t even say anything to Talise to convince her not to make her into a mermaid because Nina couldn’t speak her mind.”Are you ready to go now Nina?” Talise asked Nina. She tried to shake her head but instead Nina heard herself saying: “Yes, I can drive us to the harbour as you asked Talise.” Talise smiled at Nina and patted her arm.

“Fantastic Nina. We’re going to be great friends,  you’ll see. Mermaids have a greater lifespan then humans by hundreds of years. Plus, you’ll young for most of your life.Once John has died, maybe I will allow you to go on land and find a new man. Mermaids go to land to have children. When John is gone, it will be us girls.” Talise remarked. She sounded nice as if she were trying to be friendly, but Nina knew better.

Inwardly, Nina shuddered at Talise’s words, but she couldn’t halt her body from walking down to the parking garage with Talise behind her. Nina settled into the driver side of her black SUV and drove Talise and herself to the harbour in Adare. Nina had to park the car a few blocks away to Talise’s displeasure, but Nina had no control over finding empty parking spots either.

Nina and Talise trudged the few blocks to the harbour. Talise’s haggard face scowling darkly in the night. Nina fought and struggled inside herself to regain control of her limbs, her voice, and actions. But her mind became exhausted trying to fight Talise’s dark sorcery. She couldn’t fight the bewitchment spell.

Talise and Nina walked out to the harbour to the docks where many wealthy people tied their boats. Nina hadn’t been here since the first night she met John. Talise told Nina: “Time to get to know your new home in the Sirene Nina. Jump in and swim around for a while. It’s time to learn what it’s like to have fish tale.” Nina’s body jumped in the water of the Sirene Lake. Nina was scared because it was a dark outside, only a crescent sliver was apparent in the sky. Little orbs of light along the harbour were the only available lights and they didn’t cast their glow far. Nina hadn’t realized how far the jump to the water was from the dock.

The water was cold and refreshing. Nina had been sweating since Talise bewitched her, out of fear. She observed herself swimming back and forth in the Sirene under where Talise stood. Talise had her eyes closed and was beginning to cast the spell that would turn Nina into a mermaid.

In her mind, Nina focused on controlling her limbs, trying to make them swim back to the harbour dock away from Talise. Nina was planning to hide among the boats. She knew the black night would aid her in hiding from Talise, at least until Talise jumped in and found her. Maybe Nina could climb up the ladder of somebody’s boat?

In a strange but magnificent moment, Nina regained control of her body which was still swimming in the water back and forth by Talise. Talise had begun to utter archaic words in a loud gravelly voice. Nina ducked under the water and tried to swim towards the boats tied to the dock. She wasn’t an experienced swimmer but she would have done her last swim teacher proud, making her way through the Sirene Lake’s waves as quietly as possible.

On the dock, Talise eyes were glowing a pulsing and pure emerald green. The lake responded to Talise’s archaic mutteringings and Nina felt the Sirene’s waves become choppy, increasing her difficulty as Nina was swimming.

The sky was turning cloudy in the darkness of the night, Nina believed the darkness was the only thing keeping her from being turned into a mermaid. Hiding behind the hull of a sail boat, Nina peered out at Talise, easily hearing her loud disembodied grating voice in the silence of the night.

In an instant, a pair of arms reached around Nina’s body in the Sirene and pulled her close. Nina screamed, but a man’s hand covered her mouth. Her scream had been small and insignificant beneath the sounds of the water lapping against the sail boat she was by and Talise’s avid chanting of her spell. Nina tried to break free of the arms surround her, but they held her even tighter. Tears spilt down Nina’s smooth cheeks as Nina awaited her fate in the Sirene.

Please Read Chapter 23 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Reversed Haiku- ” Always Beautiful”


Thanks to The Daily Post for the word prompt shelf.

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http://www.pinterest.com
 
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Do women have a shelf life?

A time of years when they,

Aren’t beautiful anymore?

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Is there a time when beauty,

Seeps out through their bones;

Time a wretched thief stealing.

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Is beauty so vapid that,

It means only your looks,

Or a deeper quality?

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Do we place ourselves on,

That empty lost shelf,

Or do certain men place us?

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Is beauty vital past youth,

Being pretty is —

Feeling fabulous inside.

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Then, peering in a mirror,

Pleased with what’s seen;

But wrinkles happen quickly —

—–

Beauty evaporates.

Some never had it, 

Only their own youthfulness.

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Youth a concept of the heart,

Not a looking glass;

Youthful beauty is rare.

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What is your shelf-life woman,

I think you decide,

Old, or timeless beautiful?

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©Mandibelle16. 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.

 

Poem: Free Verse – “Paper Bag Princess.”


  
Here’s for the meanings and the seemings,

The words we’ve been breathing, though they are concealing,

We’re never hidden behind steal, or a solid wall of bricks.

And we’re shamed, peeking out of ‘the cupboard,’ hiding like the Indian did from a childhood book.

 We move through our thoughts, the glances of others who don’t understand —

What it means to remain hidden.

——

They’re all out there with their sunglasses and dreamy looks,

 In a world finding love, come together — some love separates. 

And I haven’t spent the days before Valentine’s Day dreaming,

 I don’t need a man to give me flowers or chocolates. 

I don’t need more demands and inferences of combinations dialled,

Short and electric, but fizzles and drizzles, as the rain pours outside. 

Dividing our time between sleeping and daylight,

And the sun keeps on rising; 

I keep on imprivising all the things I’m construing,

In a mind filled with despising a guy who I left.

Who made me know what it hurts like to feel neglect,

After he’s gone on, but still calling — I wish he would stop.

 That I could forget all about these “tygers” and their wants. 

I’m not happy nor comfortable, unless they get their cut, pieces of my being;

They’re dividing me among each other, taking the best cuts and leaving the scraps.

—–

And outside is a puppy and I want to hold her, because she doesn’t need much —

Only to eat, walk, cuddle, play, and go wee.

She needs her nails clipped and her teeth brushed sometimes. 

I’m a woman begging everyday of her life for things I’m uninspired to give,

If you won’t even attempt to do better, make it as important as a ‘business deal.’

 I’m not above you or below you you dirty-thirty-something.

 I’m just looking for meaning among people who are loyal.

I’m caught in my dreams, betwixt the real and the “real” in this Wonderland. 

And if we look through the ‘looking glass’ we only see people in poverty,

Who are thinking only of eating and surviving. 

Loving doesn’t matter much when you are looking for fresh water, 

When you’re sickly and dying — or does it matter most?

——

But here, won’t you hear me —

In our first- world of problems — 

I’m trying! I’m trying — but it’s never enough.

You dragons eat your steaks and leave me with nothing but my dry bones. 

You ravish a ‘paper-bag princess’ and leave her without a stitch;

Clothes that cover her heart.

And you suck her organs dry of blood and all matter,

You leave a her exposed for the vultures to grasp at,

 You break open a bottle of liquor and the whole room explodes, 

Covered in champagne and the bubbles make you choke.

Sifting through closets, cover up my exposed heart,

I don’t want to reveal myself but in the “real” world I must.

 Because if your broken your fixable and can be put back together,

 A mirror that’s shattered and eternally busted.

——

And these words may make little sense but that’s what you call — prose poetry,

Of a girl, who’s  a woman, who’s a child, who’s lured by the promises,

Of a blackness so bleak no one can see in front of their face,

Because in the darkest depths, the light shines brightest.

Arise and save yourself, 

Think of the words to describe your freedom desired —

Taylor Swift wrote it well: ” It’s too late for you and your white horse to catch me now.”

—–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

17. How Was Last Night For You: Family Dinner and Taking Down Talise


Please read Chapter 16 here.

Chapter 17: Family Dinner and Taking Down Talise

“John” Nina said. They were holding hands while he drove the Mercedes.

“Yeah beautiful?”

Nina bit her lip, “I thought we were going to The Hourglass for dinner with Rianne and your brothers. We’re not driving anywhere near the harbour. Otherwise, we would have been at the restaurant already. Where are we going?” John looked and Nina and she couldn’t tell what he was thinking about but he was looking at her thoughtfully.

“I like your hair like that,” John complimented Nina. “Oh, um, thanks hon. But you haven’t told me where we’re headed. We’re out in suburbs somewhere, I don’t recall the neighbourhoods we’ve been driving through.” John couldn’t help but smile.

“Well, you wanted to go out for dinner and to look for a way to stop Talise from hurting us. I thought the best place we could go for dinner was actually to my parents house.”

“Your parents?!” Nina squeaked. “Already?” John chuckled.

“Mom and Dad are great Nina and they’re interested in meeting both you and Rianne. It’s been over three months for us so I don’t think it’s too soon for you to meet them considering how I feel about you. Plus, you wanted to have us altogether to attempt to find someway to defeat Tia. My Dad is a Professor in English. He specializes in fairytales and folklore at Adare University. I thought with his background, he would be an incredible help to provide us with some information that could help us defeat Tia.”

“Oh I see,” Nina said. ” I still wish you’d told me before now thoug. I don’t appreciate you springing something like this on me. However, it makes sense that your Dad probably has a bunch of books on fairytales and knows the best places to look first for information on sea witches. Perhaps, there are stories about them from back in Adare’s history.”

“Exactly,” said John, “I also have a worrisome feeling that nothing terrible has happened around me in over three months Nina. The curse isn’t broken, it’s merely on hold. I think if something bad were to happen, it would be less likely to happen at my parents. I have always found their home to be a bit of a safety zone where the curse is concerned.” Nina nodded at John.

“Sounds fair, John. I still wish you’d told me we were going to your parents and not to a club after dinner. I would have worn something, um more appropriate.” John grinned.

“Your outfit is gorgeous, Nina. You always look good, even in my sweat pants with no makeup.” Nina blushed at the compliment.

“If you say so,” she said rubbing John’s stubbly cheek with the back of her hand. Nina looked dubiously down at her outfit. She had chosen a low cut black peplum top with a sweetheart neckline and tight dark jean skirt with a little flounce. Her legs were smooth and bare and accented by a pair of periwinkle blue patented leather four -inch heels. It was smart thinking on her part, bringing a black cardigan to wear over the peplum top, but the cardigan regretfully, didn’t button up and Nina felt exposed.

John parked his Mercedes in front of a large house with burgundy siding and a white wrap around porch. It had been raining again, as it did in Winter and pretty much any season in Adare. The ground was wet and Nina’s high heels aerated the lawn as she walked, sinking into the grass at many points. A paved driveway led up to the entrance of John’s parent’s stunning house. Unlike John’s modern house on the beach, his parent’s house was elegant and old surrounded by thick foliage around the yard. Their home was a throwback to Adare’s history and Victorian architecture.

John didn’t bother knocking on the front door, he turned the doorknob and walked inside. A sizable entrance area held a bench, closet, and coat hooks, in a warm interior.

“I grew up here,” John said smiling wistfully at Nina. “It feels like home, as soon as I walk in the front door.”

“I think it would be a lovely house to grow up in –judging from the outside. I enjoy the Victorian architecture. I can see your Mom and Dad put a great deal of work into preserving this house. What are your parent’s names again, John. My mind is a bit fuzzy?”Nina said. She was  admiring the walls half covered by wooden panelling and the dark wood floors, refinished until they gleamed. The walls were painted in beiges and sand coloures. The furniture was antique but not the veneered furniture that was available to much of the population of the latter 1800’s because it was made in factories. Nina observed the Eric’s wood furniture was truly wood, handmade, and beautifully restored.

Nina felt John watching her as she observed the entrance and hallway in the house he grew up in. John stepped close to Nina brushing her hand, reminding her of the strong connection they had together. John observed Nina’s wide-eyed stare as she looked at the beautiful details of the historic home and than back into John’s bright eyes.

John cleared his throat,”my Mom’s name is Edith and my Dad’s name is Jack. I think I told you about them before when I talked about growing up in Adare with Jasper and Jordan. Mom’s a nurse these days.”Nina nodded and took John’s hand, nervous to meet the family John spoke of fondly.

“John is that you?” A woman with a dark brunette bob and blond highlights stuck her head into the entrance. Nina could see the resemblance she had to John and all his brothers. John had his mother’s bright sapphire eyes and easy smile.

“Yeah Mom it’s John and I brought my girlfriend, Nina with me. I kind of sprung it on her actually.” Edith walked into the entryway and shook her head at John.

“Jonathan, you told her in your fancy sports car on the way over didn’t you? You didn’t mention the dinner to her a few days ago like I told you to, did you?” John sighed, appearing uncomfortable under his Mom’s disapproving gaze.

“No Mom, I forgot.But Nina is happy to come over here and meet you guys. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to have everyone together. Also, I wanted to talk to Dad about Tia and sea witches. Nina thought it was a good idea too.” John commented.

Nina looked at Edith who was giving her a once over. Again, Nina felt under-dressed in her bar outfit. Nina walked forward in her blue heels, stumbled over some other shoes on the floor and eventually held her hand out to Edith on steady feet. Edith smiled at Nina warmly and Nina instantly felt more comfortable.

“Nina,” Edith said, “I’m so happy to meet you. I have heard all about you from John and his brothers. They’re huge fans of you, you know. You have stuck around a long time. Longer than any  other girl John has been with, since the unfortunate event with Tia. John tells me he has been completely honest with you about Tia. I have to hand it to you, you are a loyal girl and handling the situation well. Especially considering you’ve been recovering from a concussion. Are you feeling okay now, dear?”

Nina held her hands together and smiled her best ‘like me’ smile at Edith, ” I have been doing great Mrs. Eric…”

“Call me Edith, everyone does.”

“Oh sorry,” Nina said. “I wanted to tell what a wonderful job your son has done taking care of me when I was injured. It’s been great getting to know him better and I hope we can come up with someway to break John’s curse and defeat Tia.”

“Jordan said Tia is out for blood,” Edith remarked. “She wants John’s heart or yours, Nina.” Edith waved a wooden spoon from the kitchen in aggravation, “that cold-hearted sea Bitch, she’s caused my son so much misery Nina. I hope you can help him break his curse. You’re the best chance he has ever had. He loves you.” John went still when his Mom said John loved Nina. Nina was absolutely positive John was in love with her and she felt the same way about him. But right now wasn’t the time for either of them to profess their love.

Edith hugged Nina hard before hugging John and patting his butt, as if John were a  boy. John made a face at his Mom and she smiled:

“Go find your brothers and father, John. They are in the library. Send Rianne back to have some wine with Nina and I. I could use some help setting the table and finishing up dinner in the kitchen.”

John went off to his Dad’s library, promising to give Nina a tour of his parent’s home later. Nina started chopping the ends off of baby carrots and cracking off the ends of the asparagus for a vegetable dish, made with butter and thyme.

Rianne hugged Nina when she came down to the kitchen. It had been a week or so since she’d seen Rianne.

“Nina you look so good! It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a chance to talk. You know, only you and I. This whole situation is out of this world. Are you okay? Has Tia tried anything again or has anyone else been affected by John’s curse?”

“Things have been so great Rianne. I see John all the time and life has been normal. The curse hasn’t been affecting John oddly enough. He always feels when something horrible is about to happen, but he hasn’t felt anything in over three months. We haven’t heard anything from Tai, thank God.”

Nina gabbed to Rianne who was working on whipping the mash potatoes, using her left hand as her right arm still ached. Edith came back from the wine cellar in the basement with a couple of bottles of red wine and began to pour them each a glass of Zinfandel.

Edith made a toast: to what’s good and right in this world. May the good times always overcome the darkness and the people who thrive in it.” The ladies clinked their wine glasses and Nina set the table, as Edith made finishing touches on her dinner talking to Nina and Rianne and causing them to laugh outloud.

When it came time to eat, Edith called her sons and her husband to the dining room. Carissa, Jordan’s girlfriend from the fundraiser at Mergers,  was present but Edith hadn’t called her to have wine and them with supper. Nina had the distinct feeling Edith disliked Carissa. Jasper received an elbow to the ribs from Rianne, however, when he asked Jordan:

” Oh so you’re still with Carissa? It’s been a long time. This guy usually last a month tops, Carissa.” Carissa glared at Jasper and Jordan shrugged. Carissa stomped on Jordan’s foot and he smiled and pulled her close to him by her small waist.

“Carissa’s a good friend,” Jordan said. Carissa looked like she might kill Jordan until Edith told everyone to calm down. Edith showed everyone where to sit and they all sat down and said grace holding hands.

Delicious food was passed around such as whipped mashed potatoes and turkey roast. They’re were a variety of cooked vegetables and a salad, plus, –perogies, cabbage rolls, and nalesniki. John’s Mom was half-Ukrainian, Nina learned. Everyone was silent while they enjoyed Edith’s delicious feast. As the woman began to finish their meals, having eaten less food than the men, Carissa who was not to be put down by Edith or Jasper, spoke:

“So, Nina and John. Jordan has filled me in on your problem with Talise. I saw her talking to Nina the night of the fundraiser. Do you really believe she’s a sea witch and that she cursed you John? Is she literally out to get Nina’s heart?”John looked stunned that Carissa knew so much and he glared at Jordan who shrugged.

“I’ve known Carissa as long as you’ve known Nina and Jasper has known Rianne, why shouldn’t she know?”

“Because” John said, ” you shouldn’t get her involved in this. It’s another person Tia could potentially hurt or I could if the curse returns.” Jordan swore under his breathe and John looked like he was going to punch him. Nina held John back.

“It’s fine guys. Maybe, Carissa will be a big help. The more support we have the better and if Carissa is involved with Jordan, she should know what’s going on because it’s pretty out there.” Nina said calmly and John shot her an annoyed look.

” I guess….” John said and Jordan confirmed Carissa’s questions and filled her in about Talise. Carissa laughed at first. She couldn’t quite believe what Jordan told her until she saw the scar beneath Nina’s hair still red and angry. Rianne showed Carissa her broken arm, scarred where the bone had broken through her skin. Carissa still wasn’t convinced by everything they all told her, but she agreed to keep what was said a secret to protect everyone involved.

——

“So Dad,” John said, “Part of the reason we organized dinner at home tonight was to get your opinion. Tia is a genuine sea witch and you know a lot about the folklore around Adare and about fairytales in general. We thought you might have some insight into our problem.”

Jack scratched his head and removed his glasses from his face. He was a handsome man for his age, with greying dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Nina could see where John got some of his looks but thought he looked more like his Mom. Jasper resembled his father more and Jordan shared features from both his parents.

Jack looked at John and then curiously at Nina. “May I ask you young lady, why you have chosen to stay with my son. To date him and be with him after such an injury he tells me Tia “the sea witch,” caused. You could have been killed. Not to mention, the curse and John’s strange nightmare? I think these are all indicative signs you should stay away from him.”

“Oh….” Nina mumbled hurt, ” Why would I leave him. I love him. I’m in love with him.” Nina reached over and squeezed John’s hand. John appeared slightly stunned at Nina’s admission.

“I’m going to break this curse for John. I don’t know if you believe in love at first sight. But when I met John at the Martini bar under my condo building, I felt something I never felt before. Even though that first night, was scary and dangerous, it was worth it to be with John and meet him.” Edith smiled at Nina, the smile of a woman happy and pleased with her son’s choice in love. She took Nina’s hand (the one that wasn’t holding John’s hand) and squeezed it supportively.

” You’re too good to believe, Nina, that’s what Robert is saying,” Edith chimed in. “Curses are notoriously difficult to break, especially, by a sea witch who is harnessing black magic. Tia hates you dear, you’re in her way. You need to be strong in your love and in yourself, if you want to help John defeat Tia.” Jack nodded at his wife and a subtle smile passed his lips as if he was thankful for Edith’s insight.

“Indeed, Nina you are one part of the puzzle. But John needs to sacrifice himself for you. That’s what Tia said when she cursed him. That part of the curse worries our family. Can you two be together and John still remain alive? Not to mention, the dream John keeps having of Talise and her dagger. It has me extremely worried. Tia wants to destroy you and claim John. She’ll be after you at all costs.”

Please Read Chapter 18 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

16. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Past and Future Plans.


Read Chapter 15 here.

Chapter 16: Talise’s Past  and Future Plans.

“I’m sorry to tell you this Auntie, but Ethan had a mistress whom he had eight children with,” Edgar told Talise. The news broke Talise and she wept.

” I have always loved Ethan deeply,” Talise told her nephews, ” I never questioned his ardor and his faithfulness. I’m certain Ethan loved me as much as I had loved him.”Simon was more sympathetic to Talise’s situation.

” It had nothing to do with you Auntie, not at all. Uncle Ethan told us he did not love his mistress, only the children he had with her. He didn’t feel right not carrying on his father’s legacy. He wanted a legacy of his own, (besides us). Those children are his immortality.” Simon begged Talise to understand.

” The children of Ethan’s mistress are bastards” Talise told Simon and Edgar. Both men shrugged and appeared uncomfortable.

“It’s the 1900’s now, Auntie. Uncle Ethan’s children will have a good chance to do well in life. He made sure they inherited from his shipping company. Some of them work for us. Don’t worry Edgar and I are the one’s who Uncle Ethan passed the company down to,” Simon said to Talise trying to calm her down.

“And of course, Auntie, Uncle Ethan left a third of his fortune to you his beloved wife. You are well taken care of Auntie Talise. We will make sure you want for nothing,” Edgar said trying to placate Talise.

Ethan had resembled many men Talise had heard about from her women friend’s gossip;  he had a second family on the side. Talise was angry with her nephews. She was enraged they hadn’t told her about Ethan’s mistress sooner. Edgar had tried to hide the fact he was laughing at her. He thought she was only acting as a silly old woman. As if Auntie Talise had any say in what Uncle Ethan did, Edgar thought. As he thought about his own wife.

Simon admitted to Talise,”we didn’t want to hurt you Auntie and neither did Uncle Ethan. You were his first and only love always. Ethan wasn’t perfect Auntie, I’m sorry.” Simon looked ashen. Talise had patted and kissed her nephews as she left them for the last time. She felt mostly responsible for Ethan’s decision to have a mistress so he could have have children. Talise couldn’t bear Ethan any children, so Ethan had looked elsewhere.


 

Talise faded away from her old life as Ethan’s widow when she transformed back into a beautiful young woman. She traveled the world, returning to the Sirene, having lived a human lifetime, and another lifetime experiencing the wonders of many lands.

She viewed the world disparagingly. She had seen the poverty of children, the world’s factories where people laboured endlessly, people’s wastefulness and destruction of the environment, and she had acquired a vast knowledge of men.

Talise never felt more than a passing affection for any man, next to Ethan. Throughout her long life she valued her magic and what she could do with it. She tried her best to help people in need but so many people needed a great deal of help. Talise didn’t have the power, nor did she care for spending her life bettering the world as Coralia — her Grandmother — had hoped Talise would.

More importantly, Talise wanted to be loved again. She didn’t want to feel she wasn’t woman enough because she could not have children. Thankfully, for Talise the modern world had arrived.

It was more than a hundred years since Ethan and her life with him in the Victorian age. It was the twenty-second century and woman were not required to have children in order to be judged a good wife or to be valuable in society. Feminism had arrived in the 1960’s and it was now 2008.

The city of Adare had grown in that time. The city become a booming metropolis only next to it’s rival city in British Columbia, Vancouver. The same beach Talise had met Ethan on  still existed, belonging to the owner’s of gigantic designer houses. Talise frequented the beach on her return to Adare. To her joy and relief, she had seen John Eric one day as she lay on a towel sunbathing. Talise’s lush body was in a sea green bikini, no repulsive wool bathing dress that she loathed.

“Well what have we here? A gorgeous woman sunbathing alone on the beach. I can’t have that,” John had said to Talise grinning.

“Well you could keep me company?” Talise had flirted with John, removing her sunglasses to flutter her eyelashes and showcase her jewel green eyes. John had looked stunned for a moment.

“What’s your name, beautiful girl?” John asked Talise. “My friends call me Tia, Tia Shell” Talise said arising and posing in her swimsuit as John shook her well-manicured hand seconds too long.

“I’m John Eric” John had told Talise. “Would you like to come up to my house for lunch? I’ve got some beer, wine, or I can make us some margaritas. I have some comfy furniture we can lie out on on the porch.” Talise had smiled at John and shaking off  the sand from her towel, followed John to his designer home where they had drank margaritas all afternoon and fallen into bed together.

Talise had an apartment of her own then and a job at a clothing boutique. She had many human friends and her mermaid friends in the Sirene. Twenty-five-year old John reminded her of Ethan but she had thought John’s face more honest. Because he was younger, she had thought John more malleable than Ethan. John was also a man from a different time in history, where many men did not mind if a woman took charge.

How wrong Talise was concerning John. John was enthralled with Talise and he was generous and exuberant in bed. But John had dreams for his career and was building a business. He loved Talise but had not considered her wife material. He couldn’t admit to his own brothers that he loved Talise. She had hated John for his betrayal as she hated the part of Ethan that had betrayed her. However, this time Talise could do something about being betrayed by a man she loved — she cursed John in a brooding rage.


 

Talise had not expected John to ever break the curse. She observed his life through the looking glass in her cave. Sometimes, she followed John and was near him when awful events occurred around him. Talise ensured these events kept happening. She wanted John to live his life regretting what he had done to Talise and always wishing he’d been wiser.

However, Talise had not expected for John to find a woman who could potentially end the curse. She had planned to return to John when he had come across Nina. Talise loved John still. She didn’t know why she loved John other then that he reminded her painfully of Ethan. She had hoped John would jump at the chance to have ‘Tia’ back. She dreamed John would apologize to her after all the suffering he had endured.

Instead, Talise found John enraptured and in love with a human woman called Nina. Talise had not despised Nina at first. She had sought Nina out attempting to save an unknowing woman from John’s curse. Talise hadn’t thought John would truly care about another woman within a week. Talise wasn’t pleased John was protecting Nina from his curse’s consequences, from Talise’s powerful magic.

Nina had refused to believe Talise’s warnings about John. Nina had become the competition and ended up preventing Talise from taking John back. She was destroying eight-years of Talise’s well-laid plans.

Nina had something Talise had never had, a sweetness and a powerful connection to John Talise had always hungered for. Ethan had been the only one Talise had felt this connection with. Talise had told herself she experienced the same connection with John. But when John had seen Talise at the farmer’s market he was truly appalled. He hated Talise for the curse she had cast on him. John was drawn to and cared for Nina and was protecting her with all his might.

Talise was furious with Nina for her interference, in Talise’s dreams. Talise wanted Nina dead. Talise had hoped a strong wind and a table to Nina’s head would do the trick. It hadn’t work and Talise had faded out of John and Nina’s life while she thought about how to deal with John’s new whore.

After consulting with sea witches who were into darker more dangerous magic, Talise decided she would kill Nina and she would take John’s heart. She would keep John’s heart in her secret cave in a clam. Without his heart, John would do what Talise desired him to do. She would control John and John would be Talise’s slave. For months, Talise had been stewing in her rage.

She had let John think his curse might be broken by not having horrible events occur as they had the past eight-years. Talise had waited until Nina healed. A hurricane was most dangerous when one thought they were safe, but really they were only in the eye of the storm. This metaphor applied to Talise who hadn’t even begun to take revenge on John and Nina. Talise felt this tremendous rage which had been brewing inside her for over two-hundred years. John was going to suffer for Ethan’s sins too, and Talise felt no pity for him.

Through the looking glass Talise saw Nina and John watching TV. She heard Nina’s plan to go out next Saturday, to gather her friend Rianne, and John’s brothers, to try to stop Talise — how quaint of Nina.

Talise was tired of loving men, who couldn’t be trusted. Ethan and John were both not faithful. It was hard for Talise to hold back tears of hurt and anger when she thought about them, especially Ethan.

Talise’s reaction to John would be different then her reaction to Ethan because John was still alive. Talise transformed her magic into something increasingly dominating, dark, and destructive. Talise became exactly what Coralia, her Grandmother, would have disavowed. She became an evil sea witch who would murder Nina and control John the rest of his life.

Please Read Chapter 17 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

15. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Past – The Beginning


Please read Chapter 14 here.

Chapter 15: Talise’s Past – The Beginning

Talise was fuming. She had never been this infuriated in her entire life, which was more than twice as long as any human had lived. John Eric caused Talise excessive aggravation.

Talise’s Grandmother Coralia, a powerful sea witch had taught tiny Talise how to use her magic. Coralia had told Talise when she was a child:

“Talise my pearl, you need to learn to control your temper. You need to remember what is important in life: Faith in the Creator and the love of family and friends.” Talise would roll her eyes at Coralia but Talise’s Grandmother would ignore her.

“Talise you need to use your powers to help people, mermaids and humans alike. And never ever let your heart become so disturbed that you turn to the use of black magic. There is no going back from black magic Talise” Coralia warned. “It takes a sea witch over and she can never go back once she is evil.”

Talise hadn’t liked her Grandmother much. Coralia passed away after a lengthy life of five-hundred- twelve human years-old. The other sea witches had placed Coralia in an underwater cave — a mermaid tomb. Talise had become a practicing sea witch when Coralia died, having been trained to replace her Grandmother.

When Talise became a sea witch she wanted nothing to do with the life of a mermaid in Sirene Lake. She swam to the surface of the Sirene, to the cave she had found where the looking glass existed. She gazed upon the humans walking through the fascinating and compelling city of Adare. She had never walked among humans before, Coralia never would have allowed Talise to be among humans yet. Talise was only seventeen-years-old, but perceptive for her age.

Talise peered at the humans from the Sirene, bemused by Victorian women in their heavy dark dresses covering every ounce of their skin. What woman wanted to hide her skin, her enticing shoulders and cleavage, Talise wondered. She could not relate to these women, so called “angels of the house,” they were supposed to be the moral center of the Victorian family. Talise observed the Victorian men in their dark wool suits and hats, who were more often than not, immoral and deeply flawed.

The tremendously overdressed humans came to the beaches in strange bathing suites. The woman sunbathed and played in the water with their children. Strange bathing machines were brought out in the water so women could change into their bathing suits, without being seen by men. It afforded women some amount of privacy.

Talise tried to blend in, sitting in the sand on a blanket wearing an uncomfortable Victorian bathing suit. The outfit was made of wool, worn over bloomers, and had a sailor collar. But people wondered why a young girl of her age was unaccompanied, where was her chaperone?

Men made light of the situation because Talise was so plump and elegantly built. The ideal womanly shape for the era. Young men made passes at her in  eloquent language. Woman looked on her as if she was a trollope. But Talise didn’t mind. She could cause a bitter mother to tumble into the waves, or  even fall naked out of her bathing machine. Talise could cause a chaperone to embarrass themselves and the fragile girls they watched. Chaperone’s and girls in their care knew Talise was more enchanting than, any Victorian girl who lived in Adare.

Mermaids such as Talise came inland to mate and to fall in love. They needed to find a man who carried superior genes for their young. Talise was hopeful that in finding love she could find a completeness she hadn’t found in her family of mermaids or sea witches. Talise had always been called that ‘odd girl of Coralia’s’ growing up. Talise was the girl who made selfish decisions and got into trouble, despite having an adored Grandmother of a sea witch.

The beliefs of other mermaids and sea witches regarding Talise’s behaviour, injured Talise’s young heart sorely. Talise went to her cave where the looking glass was or swam into Adare as often as possible. Her goal was to have a human life on land. To live the dream girls in the Victorian age strived for — to become a wife, a mother, and have a family. Talise wandered the beach of Adare, waiting patiently for an ideal mate in various hideous bathing dresses.

Walking in the waves as the tide came in and out one day, Talise met her first love Ethan. Ethan was handsome and wildly fun. Talise hadn’t even thought twice about sleeping with him over and over again. Ethan married her and introduced Talise to society in a grand wedding ceremony. But Talise never gave birth to any children. There was no little girl (who was actually a mermaid) to pass on the skills Coralia had taught Talise. There was no boys for Ethan, to carry on his lineage.

Talise had loved Ethan with her whole-heart. She learned to be the perfect wife, hostess, and lover. When they never had any children, Ethan was sad.

“It’s not your fault, Talise. I understand. The Lord, does not care for us to have children.”

“Are you sure Ethan,” Talise asked. “I could go to a different Doctor. We could see if we are doing something wrong?”

“Nonsense.” Ethan replied.”But I have decided since my brother Simon has passed away, we should take on raising his two sons, Simon Junior and Edgar. They will be excellent heirs for my shipping business and will give you the children we aren’t able to have.” Talise kissed Ethan for his generosity and good thinking.

Talise silently employed her magic to help her family and to make their lives more comfortable. She healed the boys when they were sick and made sorry those who would harm her family through gossip or otherwise. Their debts were always mysteriously paid off and the boys wanted for nothing. Ethan’s shipping firm was absurdly successful.

But Talise did not know why she was barren. She was afraid to go back and acquire the help of a more powerful sea witch in the Sirene lake to find out why she couldn’t become pregnant. She thought Ethan might have been the reason — but of course, she would never told him what she believed.

Talise allowed her body to age with Ethan. But even at eighty, she looked mistakenly young. When Ethan died at the age of eighty-three. Talise mourned him wretchedly for years. But when the boys were in their late fifties, Talise used her increasingly powerful magic and stopped aging. She transformed her body back to her appearance as a youth. She watched in the mirror in her cave, as her beauty and juvenescence returned. When transformed, Talise appeared as if she had only aged four years, if one could tell.

But Talise had been unprepared for the information she learned from her and Ethan’s nephews after he died, before Talise had become a young woman again. Talise had discovered it was her who could not physically be a mother to a child. Ethan had had an affair throughout his life and had children.

Please Read Chapter 16 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.