This content is intended for mature audiences.
or, enter your birth date.*
Girl: Sinned Angel Stock
Oriana was not known for being reasonable. At 15, she felt she was grown up and didn’t need to listen to anyone any more. She was also a bit mermaid crazy. And this was the start of her problem.
Now everyone knows that the mermaid transformation spells on the Internet don’t work. Ariana knew that all too well. She’d tried every one she came across and not had given her the fish tail she wanted. Still, after her chores and her homework (she hated homework), she’d search for new spells and potions to become a mermaid. Mostly, this resulted in strange concessions that smelled terrible and tasted worse. These had no effect other than to make her completely and totally sick. Most people would have given up after the hundredth bout of mild poisoning (yes, some of them were slightly toxic) but not Oriana. Her mother was worried about her obsession but it didn’t interfere with her life for more than a few hours at a time. She hoped it was a passing phase that would be replaced by something she understood. After all two sisters had gone through their boy-crazy years and survived …
Oriana came across the strangely laid out website after following perhaps at dozen links. It was for another of the mermaid transformation potions. Oriana only thought a few moments before deciding that she’d try the potion like so many other she'd tried in the past. Now most potions needed simple ingredients: sea salt, sea water, seaweed, and the like. This one called for all manner of strange things, things that didn’t even sound much like English. It took her nearly five weeks to locate the last one and she had to have the help of the crazy old woman in the basement apartment who was (as everyone knew) a witch.
Gathering the ingredients one Saturday afternoon, she read over the incantation that went along with the potion. She mouthed the strange words as she read them. It wasn’t English or French or Spanish or German. Other people she’d shown it too using her cell phone could speak those languages and it definitely wasn’t one of those. Once again, she went to the crazy old woman.
When Oriana knocked on her door, she beamed at yet another visit and bustled off to get tea. Oriana was used to the ritual of the visit by now. First tea and cookies, then the question. The old woman was nearly blind so Oriana and taken the liberty of borrowing an older sisters tablet. She could use that far easier because the text could be expanded so the old woman would be able to read it. As she began to read, her eyes first narrowed and then widened in alarm.
“What you be doing with this kinda magic then?” she demanded
“It claims it’ll make me a mermaid. Will it?”
“At aye it will but there be trouble for sure on that shore.”
“I don’t understand. Who you be making’ inta a mermaid then?”
“Well, me. Of course.”
“I not be your mother but I be telling’ you this be no sense. You nowhere near the ocean or a lake. How you gonna breathe once you have fish tail then?”
“Mermaids can breathe air.”
The old woman snorted. She clearly had other ideas but knew better than to confront a determined teen. She looked back at the tablet with it’s enlarged text.
“You be sure then? You won’t be sensible?”
“There’s a reverse spell right after it. I’ll make both before I use the first one.”
“You know you canna read from this device. It get in the way of the magic flow. You need to read from vellum.”
“Paper made from sheep or calf skin. What dey be teaching in dem schools?”
“And none of that chemical stuff they calls ink. Octopus ink. That’s all that would work.”
“But where …?”
“Everyone says I be a witch, you know. Most times what everyone says is hokum. Not so this time. I be witch going’ on 125 years now.”
“You aren’t that old …”
“I be. An’ 20 years more on de top. No less.”
She pushed herself from the table and bustled into a back room. She returned with a scroll for strangely yellow paper and a pot of the strangest looking ink Oriana had ever seen.
“Now dis be done by you or by none at all,” she said as she handed the collection over. “An’ you be using this cut feather. It be needing sharpened often so I stay and cut the tip. Been many a year since I used these to make magic but I can still trim a pen.”
Oriana didn’t argue (which was somewhat strange for her as she always argued). She took the pen, the long feather of which tickled her arm as she used it and began to copy the strange letters. Each word was written in separate letters. Maybe handwriting hadn’t been invented yet, though Oriana.
It took her two hours to copy the two spells onto the rolled vellum. As each letter was inscribed it seemed to glow slightly for a split second and then instantly dried to a dark shiny brown. Something told her it had to be perfect. No erasures or typos for this essay. When it was done, her hand ached, her neck ached and, most of all, her eyes ached. The old woman merely nodded her head.
“When you be doin’ this thing then?”
“I will once I get back to my room. You’ve been a great help.”
“I still t’ink this be bad idea. Really bad.”
“I really, really want to be a mermaid.”
“Be one last ting. You be needing a archetype. You know, a model. Like a scale or something to tell the spell what kinda fish you wanna be.”
“Oh! I didn't know that!”
After a few more minutes, Oriana excused herself. A fish scale? The scroll hadn’t mentioned that any where. But the old woman had everything else so she must be right about this.
Oriana snuck into the apartment and wondered where she could get a fish scale. Her eye fell on the large fish her Dad had caught years before and mounted. Mom hated the thing but Dad insisted it stay. Oriana spread a green sheet on the floor of her bedroom before setting out all the ingredients she’d acquired over the past weeks on her bedside table. She lined them up carefully and then wandered out to the kitchen to get a paring knife. Dad surely wouldn’t mind a few scales from his fish, would he? Oriana decided she’d best take them from somewhere inconspicuous just in case. The scales were old and had been tanned when the fish had been mounted. She hoped it wouldn’t matter.
She got started and, carefully following the instructions, she created the potion to transform her back first. There was a lot of liquid and used up nearly every cup she had. She though about going to the kitchen to get a few more for the transformation spell but her eyes fell on the green glass vase that held some silk flowers. The flowers and the stones in the bottom were quickly dumped on her bed. She then began her transformation potion. It took far longer to complete than the reverse one. It was nearly 9 PM before it was completed. Oriana debated with herself about waiting until the next day but her excitement got the best of her.
Sitting on the green sheet, she took the vase containing her transformation potion. She wondered how much she needed to drink. A sip? A mouthful? A cup? The whole vase? That last one, she hoped, wouldn’t be the case. The vase was small but it held a surprising amount of fluid. Maybe she'd just drink until she started to change.
Reading aloud from her vellum scroll, she realized she hadn’t put the fish scale into the mixture. It was odd that the instructions hadn’t said anything about when it needed added. She tilted her head from side to side. Put it in now? Wait until before I drink it? In the end she decided it probably didn’t matter and she tossed it in.
The liquid immediately became an opaque blue and began to roil in the vase even though it was no longer being heated. Oriana was afraid that it would boil over and that all of her hard work getting the ingredients would be wasted. While it was still roiling, she began to drink. As she did, she felt something tugging at her insides. It wasn’t the familiar feeling of a near poisoning (yes, her parent had made her drink charcoal on a couple of occasions to neutralize her concessions). This was something different.
She felt something stretching her pants at the back and realized that her tail would destroy her pants if she didn’t get out of them. It took only a few moments to strip down to the waist. In that time a silvery tail had grown from the base of her spine. The tail slowly began to fill out and take on the colours of her Dad’s trophy fish. Her legs were shrinking becoming shorter and flatter until they’d become nothing more than a pair of fins just below her hips. She admired her new form. She was a mermaid, a real live mermaid!
Her elation was short lived. Another wrenching struck her stomach and the fish tail began to grow again. It was larger this time and didn’t stop until it had nearly doubled the length of her tail. She felt another tickling just below her waist. Two more fins were growing. She remembered her father’s fish. It was built like that, too. Okay, she could live with two sets of fins. She was still a mermaid.
The scales spread until they covered her almost up to the waist and then an almost unbearable itching began where her hips had once been. Slits were opening in her sides. “Gills!!” she exulted. “I’ll be able to swim underwater forever.”
She began to feel faint. Her breathing was becoming more difficult. Her gills burned from being in air. She realized what the old woman had meant in her statement about gills. Mermaids had gills and couldn’t breathe air. Only movie mermaids could breathe air. It was hard to think. She wasn't getting enough oxygen. She knew she had to read the second half of the scroll and drink the other potion. She'd die without water. She looked about. The other potion was on her nightstand, halfway across the room and she could think of no way to get to it. A few seconds later, she fainted. Most of what was left of her transformation potion spilled onto her sheet. The thunk of her head hitting the floor brought her parents running.
“Oh my Gawd!” was all her father could say. It was more than her mother could manage. Her youngest daughter had finally achieved her insane goal. She was a mermaid. “We’ve got to get her into the tub,” he shouted waving towards the nearby bathroom. He picked her up amazed at how heavy and long she now was. He carried her towards the bathroom while her mother ran ahead and began to fill the tub.
“Hot or cold water?” she demanded.
“I caught the fish up north. Cold. Maybe not too cold. Damn, I don’t know.”
Once the tub was half full, he set her in it and tried to get as much of her tail into the water as he could. It was then he noticed the smell of burning and, returning to Oriana’s bedroom, watched as her carefully scribed scroll turned black, fragmented and turned to dust.
that fish body is the body of an alligator gar!