The Little Mermaid

By IleanaLewis

Twisted from The Little Mermaid

Her ways, they were hardly constant. They’d change like the seasons. But ’til the end, she knew what she wanted. Happiness.

But what she wanted was not what was written in her fate.

Her striving toward happiness never ceased, her agenda never flickered. Her definition of Utopia was the only thing that changed, and her approach to making it to her heaven.

But paradise was not what she was destined for.

From being queen to finding love, and then to being free, her wishes changed often. But somewhere, the young mermaid was always fascinated by humans.

And finally, when she turned 15, she was allowed to watch them from the surface. That was when the land of the humans filled her with a desire to be one of them, and find eternity in her very own soul, with them.

And now, while the music played as she danced on the deck, all she could see was the painful image of her hand in Eric’s as they faced the city. Eric’s soul a part of hers as she pictures immortality, power, and love. Contentment.

She almost had it. Almost.

But, instead of the warmth of Eric’s lips on hers in the middle of their wedding ball, all Ariel felt was a shooting pain up her cursed, flimsy legs as she danced against the cold winds on the open deck. She danced to the music from a party that celebrated the wedding of the one she loved the most with someone who hardly deserved it.

And so she danced, hoping that the pain would kill her before her curse.

She could only blame herself for this mess. She promised her soul to Ursula, to be the witch’s slave if Eric fell in love with anyone else. She swore to give up her power, her youth, her untainted heart, all of it if anything such as that were to happen. She hardly expected such an outcome. When she swam the darkest, most treacherous areas of the sea in hopes of finding the sea witch who could grant her the ticket to her true love, she was sure that her love for Eric was strong enough to make him reciprocate it.

But clearly, it wasn’t, and now Ariel had no other choice but to give up herself to the most malicious witch of her realm.

She feared for her father the most. He would give up his throne to save his daughter—he’d be ousted, for all she knew. He’d be banished, along with her sisters, and the entire kingdom would be underneath the rule of a witch whose sinful powers knew no bounds.

Young Ariel was too pure, too selfless to allow an entire realm to suffer because of her pursuit for love. She wouldn’t let that happen.

As a storm began to appear through the North, the princess made her decision.

And so, for the first time, the word came out of her mouth. The word that her father had warned her about. The word that she was urged to use under caution. The word whose power was said to be beyond anything Ariel would ever be able to fathom in her lifetime. The word that could summon greatness; but along with greatness of that magnitude, there came a price, she was told.

But, with a situation like this, she knew that she was ready to pay any price that was required.

“Mother,” she called under her breath, scrunching her eyes shut and clenching her fists by her sides.

And as she exhaled, she felt the cold ocean spray on her closed eyes, on her exposed shoulders, running down her arms to her fingertips. The wind blew relentlessly against her, causing her to shiver, due to both fear and frigidity.

“Ariel, my darling,” a voice called.

She snapped her innocent eyes open to an overwhelmingly stunning spirit floating before her blue eyes. Blue eyes that looked exactly like the pale, translucent woman before her, who seemed to glow under the darkness of the stormy dusk.

“Oh, my dear daughter,” she exhaled, her freezing hand reaching to cup Ariel’s cheek, causing Ariel to flinch.

She could barely fathom the fact that this was the woman she’d spent 15 years wondering about.

“I know what you need, love, and you haven’t got much time,” said the melancholic voice. “Here,” she whispered, taking Ariel’s hand in her own before placing a beautifully crafted sword in her hand. The piece of metal glistened underneath her mother’s pale glow, but what caught Ariel’s eye was the Sapphire embedded on the base.

“The sword of Sapphire,” Ariel said in silence, marveling at its beauty while wondering in shock.

“Yes, my dear. The sword of Sapphire possesses the form of power that every hound lusts for. Against what belongs to the virtuous, the purest being, it will fill you with goodness. But, against what reeks malice, it will bestow upon them a lifetime of misfortune.

“Ariel. You were the most virtuous across lands until you traded your voice for human feet. Trading your tail showed the discontentedness in you; the greed because of which there is a patch of darkness in your fate. And though it is negligible, it will be the reason you will not have the happy ending you hoped for.

“The least you can do, child, is sacrifice this beautiful hair of yours to Ursula. When lightness of that strength touches her, it will make her kinder. Nothing is strong enough to erase the darkness from her heart, but she still has space for a ray of light. What belongs to a girl who is filled with light like yours can be that ray of light that she needs. She will negotiate, but eventually, you will get your talk back.

“You will never truly be happy, but you will still live with those who love you, Ariel. So take her offer.

“Using magic like this always has its consequences, so be sure that you are willing to bear them.”

Those were the last words that Ariel heard before all that was left of her mother was a cloud of cold smoke.

And Ariel stood on the deck, facing the horizon, sinking in her thoughts as the cold metal grazed her skin.

“Consequences,” she thought to herself, weighing them. She would only have her family, for she’d never be accepted back by anyone else. Not after she betrayed her own by trading her tail for feet. She’d never long to swim up to the surface for the reminders would be far too painful. She’d never be beautiful or youthful.

But most important, she’d never be happy. She’d never have Eric.

What was a life like that worth?

She looked down at the sword in her hand in that moment; she knew what to do. Her actions would change her forever, but at least, she’d have the happy ending she deserved.

And so, she ran. She ran as fast as those dainty feet of hers would allow. She ran with her gown bunched up in one hand and the sword in the other. She ran because her life depended upon it.

Battling the winds, racing her time, the sparse amount of time she had left, she reached Princess Vanessa’s room.

Without a second of hesitation, Ariel flung it open. Before her eyes stood the dazzling figure in white, facing the mirror as she wiped the tiredness off her face.

“I’ve been waiting to get a moment with you, Ariel. Come in, sit down,” she offered, but Ariel stood there defiantly, her grasp around the sword tightening. She held it behind herself, taking not more than three steps inside the room.

“You must be feeling horrible about the fact that Eric fell in love with someone much better than yourself, because I feel terrible for you,” she said complacently, perched on the edge of her bed.

“And so, I’d like to give you this.” She pulled out a locket from inside the drawer by her mirror.

“A reminder that your fate,” she said as she chained the necklace around Ariel’s slender neck, “is not in your hands.”

A conch for a pendant.

Ariel could feel her heart pounding. This was her moment.

With unprecedented force, Ariel slashed the sword against Vanessa.

In the dim light, all Ariel could see was a dark stain on her wedding dress and a glinting artifact jutting out of the woman.

She couldn’t breathe. As the cold sword left her grasp, her senses came back to her. Ariel collapsed to the ground with an overwhelming sense of shock.

The strength in that sword drove her to this. The minute she let go of the cursed metal, she saw her mistake.

Maybe she had far darker intentions than her mother saw.

Before she could take in the situation, Vanessa’s body slumped before Ariel with a soft thump.

Instantaneously, Ariel pulled out the sword from her gut and flung it across the room but it was far too late. She was bleeding out.

Ariel desperately pressed the wound, praying that the bleeding would stop as she sobbed.

And that was the moment she realized that what she had her hands on wasn’t blood.

She looked to Vanessa’s face and it rested with a smile, her eyes open with a grin. The soft skin on her arms slowly began to shed, revealing a rather dreadful, pale, sickening layer—a repulsive excuse for skin. It spread through her hands to her face and the grin only grew.

“You were a fool from the start but this—I barely expected it from you.”


“You’re far more naïve than I imagined—not that I’m complaining,” added the witch.

“You see, Ariel, the thing about being Ursula is that …” she trailed off, pulling Ariel down, closer to her. “It’s that you can’t ever die. You can only be killed.

“You see, I inherited a curse from a woman much like myself. Lord knows her story, but she passed on because I killed her and I had to take over, I had to live the treacherous seas for over a few thousand years as a punishment for my folly. A few thousand years with not as much as one visitor. Every generation was warned about ‘the evil Ursula,’ and I hadn’t seen a soul in over 3,000 years.

“Until you, my darling. With a will as strong as yours, it was so easy to get you to agree to my conditions. The moment I saw you, I knew that you were my ticket out of this blazing misery.” Her scaly hands reached up to stroke Ariel’s frazzled locks but the little girl was far too shaken to react.

“I expected you to beg me for your tail, which I would have gladly given back after having a little negotiation with that father of yours who is willing to do just about anything for you. His kingdom would have made the deal. And then, in this eternal life of mine, there’d at least be something to look forward to.

“But you, my angel, you made this so much sweeter. A blade this powerful can not only end my life, but magnify it.

“And in case you didn’t figure it out yourself, you’re my dear heir. Because curses like this don’t die, they only move on,” she cackled, the life fading from her voice.

“Congratulations, Ariel. This is now your life to live,” she whispered with a smirk filled with the amount of satisfaction that makes one fear the future.

“Your fate is not in your hands,” was the last thing that Ariel heard before Ursula’s spiny hands latched themselves onto the necklace hanging on Ariel’s neck.

Silence filled the room, along with the electricity that sent sparks along Ariel’s skin as the foam that once was Ursula. She looked down at her skin, and to her shock, she could see it hardening.

A scream ripped through Ariel’s lungs as she tried desperately to wipe it off.

And underneath her soft fingers, she felt it. The hardened skin.

A look at the mirror was enough to bring Ariel to a blubbering mess.

Ursula was right. Ariel was her heir. And the young princess could only be relieved of this if someone were to kill her.

She needed an Ariel to her Ursula.

Ariel was chained. Trapped. A prisoner in her own nightmare.

Her scaly fingers stroked the polyps that floated around in her castle, occasionally wrenching them because she could.

Ariel represented the wrath of the sea.

Nearly 8,000 years had passed since she last interacted with a living creature—8,000 years since she had spoken to anyone but herself. She was trapped—trapped in her own darkness and vileness.

Eight thousand years and she could not leave her castle without coming face-to-face with her liquidator.

The thought often filled the witch with rage, and often, she’d try to swim outside the boundaries of her prison, only to hit the curse that kept her in.

So, she decided to wait.

She was made to wait for eight millennia before her time came.

One stormy night, Ariel decided to watch the crystal ball that sat before her, showing her the kingdom that could have been hers—as if to mock her—when she saw it.

Princess Esmeralda, the youngest of the five daughters, swam up to the surface to watch the stars. A ship came into the young girl’s sight and Esmeralda watched in awe, the beauty of the prince on board.

And Ariel saw it. She saw the same look in her eyes that Ariel had 8,000 years ago.

And Ariel’s time was here. She knew she was free.

When dawn broke, she sat on her throne with a smile. It was the first smile that the castle has seen in eons.

“Oh, Ariel,” called a timid voice, before a redheaded princess swam in.

“I need your help,” she said, shivering.

“I know exactly what you need,” replied Ariel. “And I, I know that you will give me exactly what I need in return.”

Ariel’s eyes shot over to the sword of Sapphire that sat in its scabbard, by the throne.

“You, darling, will give me my happy ending as I will give you yours.”

As she spoke, she swam the gates of her castle. Her hands extended to touch the weeds outside her territory.

They were slimy beneath her fingers but they sparked a form of ecstasy that she had never felt before.

Ariel swam over to the princess with a smile, before unhooking the necklace around her very own neck.

“Darling,” she whispered, hooking the thin necklace around Esmeralda’s neck. “You must remember that your fate is in your hands, no matter what anyone says to you.”

The words one heard in a conch were a prediction of the future. And the last word that Ariel heard in the conch was death.