Tale Weavers Prompt: Poem – Octelle – “Story Line Wrote”


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this weeks prompt — Paper Back Writer:

” What is your great novel/novella/collection of short/flash fiction/poetry/ pulp paperback/graphic novel? Of course, you don’t have to write it, just write about it.

Weave any sort of tale;  in the abstract or concrete; as you or a character of yours; being accepted for publication; editing process; book tours – remember you ‘just wanna be a paperback writer.'”


paperbackwriter
Credit: http://www.revolutions5.com

I’m still working on a novel called: How Was Last Night For You? I’m editing it in second draft. Still a lot of work to do and haven’t had the time to work on it lately. This Octelle poem illustrates the story line roughly:


She wants love, but it keeps slipping,

Through her fingers, the Sirene dripping.

She’s a regular girl, too kind,

Believes in people and magic finds —

In her paranormal world sound,

Curses, mermaids, sea witch found.

Nina narrator, life gripping,

Focus and ire of a mer-witch.


John wasn’t smart at twenty-five,

Lied about girl, she cursed him live.

Where ever he wondered,

Strange events encountered.

People got hurt, women injured.

No love; witch’s wrath incurred.

Sees Nina drinking Flirtinie,

Sparks, passion, between them ignite.


A mermaid she is, sea witch too,

She’s experienced pain, heart broke through —

Victorian romance; cad —

He’d a mistress, kids they had.

Clued in after his death –cried,

Traveled, came home to new guy.

Adare never changed, men still lie.

No broken girl now -she’s Talise.


Characters wrote, story occurs,

Talise hates Nina — it’s inferred.

She cursed John left his soul burnt,

She wants John back, she’s a flirt.

Evil, she’ll never gain him through,

Her magic; Nina loves John true.

Witch’s wrath, all will suffer –die?

No one can say; writer yet edits.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

JUNE Update: As Life Flows, It Goes. #amwriting #update


http://www.pinterest.com

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It feels as if it’s been a while since I have posted a personal update. I would think a month, then again, I start writing and get lost at times, not realizing for instance, how far along we are in June. I hope everyone is having a fantastic month and is  looking forward to July and August, our summer here in Canada and many other places.

As many of you know, How Was Last Night For You, my novel is finished in first draft. In second draft, I have edited until about Chapter 6, but you’ll want to note, the finished version, will probably have more chapters than the thirty-one chapters, the first draft has. When I start to realize I’m at three-thousand words or over, I consider splitting the chapter if it’s possible. It isn’t always, but sometimes it is, I only have to insure I hook the reader into the following chapter. I have connected chapter 1 to all chapters proceeding it in first draft. If you wish to read, you can start here: Chapter 1

At the moment, I’m letting my novel sit for a couple of weeks. I’ve read you’re supposed to leave it months, but I feel separation anxiety when I think of leaving my could-be book, for so long. As it is, some of the first few chapters were originally written more than a year or two ago anyways, so I think it is fine for me to go back and edit those chapters. By the time I get to the end chapters, I’m certain it will be late August or September, so I think I’m okay for editing as a whole.

Some issues I want to work on is developing my main character Nina. I feel as the central character, and main point-of-view for the novel, she is a bit flat as a character. I’ve been reading and researching, and would like to give her greater depth. I believe her lover John develops as the story goes on and has depth, so does my antagonist Talise or Tia. Talise has an interesting background, and so does John. Nina needs work though. She is a flirt right now who believes in the paranormal, and that things occur that can’t always be rationally explained. She also believes the best of people, this can be a flaw for her as well.

One blog I read said that we need to be careful we don’t create our characters after ourselves. They might share bits of us, as our so called “darlings,” or our “children” in a sense; it follow that they would. But there are all kinds of people in life and in stories and they need distinctive features and personality traits. This blog suggested, giving your main character a trait which is opposite of one of yours, this immediately makes them different than you. It makes you think about your character in a significantly changed way. So I’m pondering this advice, one reason for the editing break.

Another thing I have been considering a great deal is setting and how it impacts characters and the story. In my novel, I have set this story in Adare, a small fictional city outside Vancouver, BC , Canada. Adare’s down town has a harbor where there is the Sirene Lake. Many events happen at this harbor and in downtown Adare, as well as by or at John’s house, which is beach front property. Although, I have changed much of what I told into dialogue, this isn’t possible with everything. A descriptive setting is still important. 

Funny enough, a great writing blog I follow, posted an article today about working “showing” into your setting. It is exactly what I needed to read, having your setting represent a characters state of mind or mood. Or setting showing certain character attributes. The article is called: Setting – Why A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words. I recommend the article and following Kristen Lamb’s blog. She also holds online courses and I thinking about taking her course on character and plotting, I believe it would be quite helpful. 

On a sad note, I lost my beta reader for my novel, so I’m working on doing corrections on my own, as well as comments you all have left. My plan is to do my best, then higher an editor to look through the whole novel in a substantiative manner, and after those corrections I can decide whether I want to self-publish or start sending off query letters on the outside hope I can get an agent. That’s the plan, but one day at a time.

I have also been submitting smaller works to be published. I have had some success with poetry, but not so with fiction. I’m searching through literary magazines, and other websites etc. which publish writer’s work, jotting down what each place wants in terms of style, writing, and submission standards. I enjoy the rejection emails which give you ways to improve your writing the most. Either way, a rejection email means they at least read your work and considered it. Many places who don’t even consider your writing, don’t send any rejection email. You get nothing. 

Submitting is an ongoing process, and I hope eventually to have some fiction pieces published. As well, I’m beginning my work on a Masters Application. Haven’t started yet, in the thinking stage. I’ll let you know how it goes. Application at UBC isn’t open until late summer so I have a bit of time.

Also, I’m hoping to go on a small vacation somewhere. I’m not sure where, but somewhere in Canada. Probably go somewhere with my Mom or my eldest brother. But I’m trying ‘adulting,’ in some places, putting money away every month for RRSP’s and got some extra life insurance/accident insurance, so if something ever happened to me, my parents and brothers are covered for cost. I want to be out of debt and put more of my money away. It’s difficult in as all budget.

Happy to visit a friend on Whyte Avenue tomorrow, at a favourite newly renovated Cafe called Block 1912. Also, attending Shakespeare in the Park at an amphitheatre outside on Thursday, seeing Loves Labour Lost. I’ve never read this Shakespeare play so I’m excited to see it. What is more exciting than Shakespeare, is Shakespeare, good friends, and beer. 

Working on the weightloss, slowly, it’s coming. I wish it were easier, but it’s not. Birthday’s are coming up in July, which makes dieting difficult. But I try. 

Have a great week! 

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©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.

28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 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.

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.

21. How Was Last Night for You: The Pain of Heartbreak


Please read Chapter 20 here.

Chapter 21: The Pain of Heartbreak.

It had been a week since Nina had had her awful fight with John at his parent’s home. John had chosen to end his and Nina’s relationship. He had told Nina it was for her safety. He didn’t want to be responsible for her death.

No one at the Eric’s house had seen the driver of the red pick-up truck who had twice, attempted to run Nina down. They had all been certain, Talise or someone she bewitched, had been responsible.

Thank goodness Jordan (John’s youngest brother) had saved Nina from becoming road-kill. Nina was frightened of what Talise was capable of concerning her and John. Nina had announced to John’s entire family at dinner that she loved John and wasn’t going to let him suffer from a sea witch’s wrath alone.

John’s family, Rianne, and Nina, were certain Talise (the sea witch who cursed John) had become evil in her jealousy over Nina and hatred of John, who refused to be with Talise again.

John had wanted to save Nina from Talise’s threat to stab Nina through her heart, by finding the cursed dagger Talise wanted to use on Nina. What was problematic was that John had only seen the dagger in a nightmare and the rest of the information they had come up with on the dagger, was purely fairy-tale or Adare folklore.

The red pick-up truck incident pushed John into panick mode. One moment Nina and he were lovers fighting Talise together, and the next moment John told Nina she was safer without him. Nina thought this was absurd because even though John’s curse had been noticeably absent for three-months, John alone protected Nina from his curse because he loved and cared for her.

Nina’s heart and mind were struggling  to come to terms and understand John’s decision to break-up with her after what the two of them had been through. Perhaps, John had only thought he loved Nina? Maybe he only wanted to break his curse so badly, Nina was someone he was using as a means to an end?

Nina’s doubt made her think back to her former longterm boyfriend Max who had used Nina and destroyed her heart and self-confidence with verbal abuse and manipulation. Was John no better then Max? Had John been playing Nina this entire time? But Nina didn’t care about Max because of John. She felt strongly about John, that his feelings towards her were true.

Yet, John had abandoned Nina onhis parents lawn while Nina wept. Rianne and Jasper had driven her home and Rianne had been staying with Nina since.

Rianne was especially worried about Nina and what Jasper’s jerk brother was doing to Nina. Rianne remembered Nina with Max, she knew her friend could not go through such heart-break again and still be a woman who believed the best about most everyone she met. Perhaps, Nina’s rose-coloured glasses had already been broken?

Nina was working again at Wilus after an extended absence due to her concussion. Each day dragged and Nina spent an eternity thinking about John and what he was doing. Nina developed a habit of checking her phone every couple of minutes to see if John text messaged or called her. He never did.


 

Rianne and Nina were watching She’s All That, when Rianne caught Nina robotically checking her phone for the thousandth time and got up to take Nina’s iPhone away from her. Rianne placed the phone in her own purse, so Nina couldn’t take the phone back easily.

Laney was coming down the stairs in She’s All That with her new dress, hair, and makeup, on the TV screen; but Nina’s eyes were glued to Rianne’s Kate Spade lime purse.

“Nina,” Rianne exclaimed, “this is your favourite part in the movie when Laney comes down the stairs with her ‘new look’ to show to Zack for the party. You love it when she trips. You think it’s hilarious and realistic.” Nina made a little puff of air with her mouth, narrowing her eyes at Rianne.

“I like it because Laney is Cinderella, but a modern Cinderella. She already had all this beauty inside her and Zack’s sister and the dress, only help make her beauty blossom. The Prince, Zack, already adores Laney. And who doesn’t love Freddie Prince Junior from back-in-the-day.” Nina told Rianne. But as bees to flowers, Nina’s eyes were drawn back to Rianne’s lime purse.

“Who purchases a lime Kate Spade bag at full price? You could have had pink, light blue, navy, white, or even classic black and you chose to pay eight-hundred-dollars for a lime Kate Spade bag. I would be embarrassed to say I paid hundreds for a purse that colour.” Nina remarked, grinning snidely at Rianne.

Rianne smiled not fooled by Nina’s rude comment. She began to sort through her lime purse, fixing her lipstick, powdering her face, and spraying herself with a sample of perfume. She grinned at Nina pulling out Nina’s iPhone and shaking her head. “Nope, he didn’t call or text you Nina. John still hasn’t answered any of the two-hundred messages you left him on voicemail or by text.”

Nina frowned at Rianne: “Give that back you crazy whore. I want my phone now!”Rianne gave Nina another huge smile and zipped her lime purse up with Nina’s phone inside.

“Nope,” Rianne said.” Call me any name you want but you’re not getting your phone back until tomorrow morning. It’s not healthy for you to check it every two-minutes.”

“When he’s ready, John will call you. He loves you Nina. He’ll be back. He’s just scared for you and it doesn’t seem like he has had a woman he’s been afraid for before. He’s not dealing with you almost being killed again well. He doesn’t want you to die and frankly, I don’t want you to die either.” Rianne remarked.

Nina sighed and scrubbed her face with her palms. Tears started falling out of the corner of her eyes, trailing down soft cheeks bare of makeup. “Rianne…” Nina choked out, “I really need my phone. What if I miss his call?” Nina barely heard Rianne’s sound advice and concern. Nina was having her own pity party, as she had been all week.

“He won’t call tonight anyways.” Rianne said, “John went to find Talise’s dagger tonight, in her special cave.”

“What?” Nina asked sniffling, “You’re only telling me this now? Did John go alone?”

Rianne looked sympathetically at Nina, “Yeah, John won’t let anyone else be hurt by Talise. Especially, if she’s using dark magic, which we’re ninety-nine percent sure she is using.” Tears kept trailing down Nina’s cheeks and Nina started to sob in earnest.

“What if something happens? How could John do something so stupid? Something is going to happen to him I know it. I haven’t talked to him or seen him in a week. That’s a long time you know.” Rianne rolled her eyes.

“I’ve been here with you all week Nina or at work, so I haven’t been able to see Jasper or the boys at all. I talked to Sam and Isaac and they’re both scared I’m not coming back. They’re only five and three -years-old you know, they need structure and routine.” Rianne told Nina, silencing her sobs.

“I’m so sorry Rianne. I don’t mean to be selfish with you. Go out with Jasper and go see Sam and Isaac, tell them you’re only visiting Auntie Nina for a few more days.”

” That would be so good Nina, but I’m supposed to help keep you safe too, so you’d have to come with me to Jasper’s place.” Rianne told Nina and Nina nodded her consent.

“Tomorrow we’ll go see Jasper, Sam and Eric. I’ll babysit for a few hours so you and Jasper can catch-up.” Rianne smiled at Nina gratefully.

“As well, don’t panic but Edith told me John’s curse has returned. It caused some car accidents after the dinner last week. Since then, his curse been acting up powerfully… making up for lost time I guess. John hasn’t had a moment of peace all week, Edith told me. . . ” Nina’s eyes started to tear up again.

” I should be with him. I have to help him break this curse and defeat Talise. If he leaves me . . . If he doesn’t return . . . I don’t know what I’ll do. John’s my guy, curse or not. I don’t want to be without him in my life,” Nina admitted.

Rubbing her face while she cried had made Nina’s face red along with her eyes. Rianne studied Nina with concern:

“Eventually, I’m hoping, and John’s family is hoping, you and John can work-out your relationship. For now you need to get up, shower, and start putting effort into yourself again. The Nina I know hates not wearing makeup and styling her hair. The Nina I know, doesn’t sulk for days, she starts living life again because she believes there are better times ahead.” Rianne brushed Nina’s hair out of her eyes and gazed at Nina, conveying her message with her eyes and voice. She was serious and practical as usual.

“I’m heading out to buy Chinese food for supper. You haven’t been eating Nina, so we need ‘substantial’ food, ” Rianne said grabbing her lime purse, her jacket, and heading for the condo’s door.

“You need to eat more your losing your curves. It’s not healthy for you to wallow in tears so long. You’re the most positive person I’ve ever known. You’ve had your week my friend, but it’s time to start living again. Your still in danger from Talise and you can’t let down your guard.”

” I’ll be fifteen minutes Nina, then we can eat Chinese food until we’re stuffed. After, let’s watch another old movie. How about a couple of scary ones? Let’s watch both I Know What You Did Last Summer movies.” Rianne declared, smiling after her talk with Nina. Scary movies were Rianne’s favourite movie genre.

Nina felt shell-shocked. She wanted to remain laying on the couch. But she needed a shower and Nina knew Rianne was right about everything else too.

Nina needed to pull herself together. That was the best way she could win John back and guard against Talise. She could not let her self wallow in selfish self-pity as her break-up with Max had caused her to do for months. She was over that stage, and she would get over this one.

Nonetheless, Nina was extremely worried about John going after Talise’s dagger alone. Nina didn’t trust Talise’s intentions for her or John. But she got up off the coach to put her face on. ‘Fake it until you make it,’ the saying goes.

Nina took her time showering and shaved, putting a conditioning mask in her hair, and a mud mask on her face. She dressed in comfortable PJ’s, a soft tank top with pajama bottoms. The pajama set was navy blue and Nina loved blue about as much as she loved pink.

She felt a lot better after her shower. Nina felt refreshed and like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She felt like herself again and knew in her heart she would be alright. Nina was certain she would be with John again soon.

She began the process of blow-drying her thick white blond hair. It was only half-dry when Nina heard the buzzer for the door downstairs at the condo building front entrance. She had been waiting for Rianne but wondered briefly why Rianne didn’t use her key when she buzzed Rianne into the building.

Nina noticed Rianne had been gone about an hour longer then the fifteen-minutes she had said and Rianne was always on time. Nina supposed the Chinese place was busy due to people eating late on Friday night in front of the TV. She felt uneasy about Rianne being gone so long. And she didn’t have her iPhone to ask Rianne where she was.

Nina went to unlock her door when she heard Rianne fiddling with the door knob. She gasped when it was not Rianne who met her, but a horribly aged Talise.

White strands stood out in Talise’s  wavy golden-blond hair. Talise had wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. In a short-time, she had gone from appearing in her early-twenties to appearing harshly older. Talise smiled at Nina and laughed, pushing the doorway open forcefully.

” You and I have business, dear,” Talise said. Her voice was throaty and dark.

Nina cringed at Talise  and Talise threw Nina back on the couch using magic harnessed from water in a flower vase.

Talise slammed and locked the door behind her, keeping Nina trapped inside her Condo with an unpredictable and unstable dark sea witch.

Please Read Chapter 22 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.