PART IX: THE MERMAID PROPHESY
“That was a quick vacation,” Madame observed, after Fuchsia had only been gone for less than a day.
After working together, Fuchsia and Madame had developed a close bond. She was the only human Fuchsia felt she could trust, and the only human who knew all her mermaid secrets.
As an elite and highly experienced psychic, Madame knew all about merpeople. So when Fuchsia would tell stories about her old life, Madame could always understand.
Madame was a mother figure to her at this point — as her parents died tragically when she was young, a story so painful that Fuchsia tried to keep it out of her memory. She was only about two or three years old, it happened just after youngest sister Emerald was born. Fuchsia was even somewhat envious of Emerald, who never fully realized how kind and caring their parents were, and how magnificent it would be to still know them today.
Whenever someone would ask Fuchsia about her parents, she would lie and deny their existence — claiming to be parentless, born out of magical sea foam just like the great Aphrodite. It was easier for her to cope this way.
But now, Fuchsia felt like she had a mother again. Madame could see her innocence that needed to be protected, as well as her potential that needed to be cultivated.
And so, Fuchsia explained to Madame exactly what had happened — how her sisters persuaded her to come back to sea, how her “sisters” ended up being holographs sent from Mother Mermaid, how her real sisters were actually being held hostage, how Mother Mermaid wanted Fuchsia to be the New Mother Mermaid, how she offered to bring the Captain back to her with their combined power yet she refused, and how Mother Mermaid died right in front of her.
Exasperated, Fuchsia took a deep breath, and ended it with, “so, that’s about it!”
The only part she decided to leave out was the part about Mother Mermaid transferring her magical powers to her while dying. She was worried Madame might overreact to that part. I’m sure it didn’t mean anything, she thought.
Madame gazed at her blankly, trying to take it all in.
“You don’t believe me,” Fuchsia rolled her eyes.
Without a word, Madame gently grabbed Fuchsia’s hand and guided her to the royal chair where she conducts her readings. And then, she ripped off the sheet that covers her magic crystal ball.
“Are you serious?” Fuchsia’s jaw dropped, “the crystal ball? You’re going to give me another reading?”
“No,” Madame shook her head, “I want you to read.”
Her heart dropped, as she replied, “I may regret asking… but why?”
Madame paused for a moment.
“I know, I know, I ask too many questions!” Fuchsia backtracked with regret, “forget it!”
“I’ll tell you why,” Madame answered, “your story. The way you had an opportunity to abuse your power, and you didn’t.”
Fuchsia tilted her head with curiosity, hoping Madame could tell her more.
“You could have summoned the Captain with enough magic between you and Mother Mermaid, and you resisted. Good.”
“Well, yeah,” Fuchsia explained, “I really, really, really wanted to see him again. But he already told me that he didn’t want that kind of power, that he had that chance before, and it almost ruined him.”
“I don’t know if I want to see… actually,” Fuchsia said with caution.
“What if I don’t see… the future you showed me when I first came here… what if I ruined it?”
Madame placed her hand on Fuchsia’s shoulder and said, “destiny is destiny.”
So Fuchsia took a deep breath, braced herself and began to gaze into the crystal ball, focusing hard on her intuition.
Instead of seeing her future, Fuchsia saw her past. She saw herself as a wee toddler, learning how to swim. And her parents were there.
“No, no,” Fuchsia shook her head. But she couldn’t look away.
Tears steamed down her face as she saw them speak to her with such sweetness. Her father placed a toy crown on her head and said, “you will be queen someday!”
“Stop!” Fuchsia shouted, but the vision only became more vivid. Her mother placed a kiss on her cheek and held her in her arms.
Fuchsia continued to watch as her baby self twirled in circles, trying to keep balance. Quite a wobbly, graceless child she was!
Her parents giggled at their little daughter with amusement. And their laughter was so pure.
A group of young and mischievous boys came by and started throwing pebbles at baby Fuchsia. But her parents stopped them, furious at their behavior. Her mother held baby Fuchsia tightly in her arms, fiercely clenching her tight. Her father screamed at the little boys with fury.
“These aren’t my parents. They’re being so protective. My parents were nasty and awful,” Fuchsia mumbled to herself.
A crying baby Fuchsia licked a sea popsicle as her parents continued to comfort her.
“ENOUGH!” Fuchsia burst out, throwing the crystal ball across the room and smashing it into a billion pieces, shards of glass flying about.
And then, Fuchsia shut her eyes and fell into a very deep sleep.
A few moments later she woke up, unsure of how much time had passed. There was total darkness.
“Is this a dream or real life?” she thought out loud. The only time she ever had this feeling was during a lucid dream, or that one time she accidentally nibbled on too much seaweed.
Suddenly a blurry figure appeared. Fuchsia blinked a few times, but couldn’t see straight.
“You ruined your destiny!” said the voice.
“What?” Fuchsia cried out.
And then it became more clear — it was Mother Mermaid.
“Your destiny!” Mother Mermaid continued, “It was your final chance!”
“To be with the Captain! It was your only chance to bring him back!”
“But I couldn’t, I–“
“Yes, you could! Why didn’t you fight for him? Fight for your merpeople?”
“I didn’t, I–“
“You abandoned them all! Not only did you disappoint the captain, you disappointed your people! You were supposed to be their spiritual leader! Now, they’ve all gone mad! They’re all drunk off their arses, rioting and destroying one another, completely lost!”
“They… they are?”
“And how is that my fault?”
“Because you are the NEW MOTHER MERMAID, whether you accept it or not! And you chose not to accept! Without your presence there, they lost their spirituality and have gone mad! All you had to do was be there for them! Summon your captain! And fulfill your destiny!”
“I can go back!” she pleaded.
“NO!” she shouted, “There’s NO TURNING BACK!“
“Bring me back to sea, I’ll be their leader, I don’t care. I’ll quit my job, I’ll leave Madame. I’ll even summon the captain against his will. I don’t want madness upon the merpeople and I certainly don’t want to be the reason why! I’m just a mermaid! I just wanted to live a normal mermaid life like everyone else! I did not ask for this power! But I’ll do what you say if it’s truly my destiny!”
“It’s too late,” she said in a quieter, mundane voice, now practically emotionless, “They’re too far gone, you can’t help them at this point. And forget about the Captain. It was already too late before, but I gave you one final chance out of pity to bring him back, and you denied it.
Fuchsia ground her teeth in vexation and defended herself, “he didn’t want to, and I was not going to force him against his will, that is not love!”
“You fight for him!”
“If it was meant to be then I wouldn’t have to use magic to have him! That would be abuse of power!”
“Who decides if it’s meant to be? You decide if it’s meant to be.”
“No, no, please, stop it!” Fuchsia covered her face and started shaking, “we will be together, we will! It’s destiny!”
“It’s destiny’s greatest enemy — free will. I want you to know that you have lost your chance. There’s no recovery from this. Better luck next lifetime,” and just like that, poof, she was gone. And it was back to total darkness.
Fuchsia stood there, alone and scared in the dark. “Hello!?” she called out, but there was no one there. “Mother Mermaid, come back!” she pleaded, face completely flushed. “Please!” she cried, “I’m sorry!” She waited, and still nothingness… “What happened to forgiveness?”
Fuchsia felt a gravitational pull through her body as if she was beginning to fly, and then looked down to see herself at the psychic, sitting in front of the crystal ball. It was an out-of-body experience. Except it looked like she hadn’t actually thrown the crystal ball across the room. Instead, her head was face down on the table as if she had slammed her head straight into the crystal ball. There was a pool of blood dripping from the crack in her forehead.
“If only you had told me Mother Mermaid transferred her power to you! You wouldn’t have had a vision this strong!” A completely broken and distraught Madame weeped as an ambulance came rushing in.
“Did… I die…?” Fuchsia thought out loud in utter shock.
Her vision once again became fuzzy as darkness took back over. Nothing but darkness. But the feeling was warmer this time.
“Honey,” an oddly familiar voice called out.
Fuchsia turned around and was astounded to see her mother and father standing right there! She could see part of their faces, but not their full bodies. Reaching out, she attempted to give them a hug, yet couldn’t.
“Please, do not yet come to the other side, not yet,” they begged.
“I feel that I must,” Fuchsia said, teary-eyed, “I found the one thing worth living for, and I lost it. So I’m leaving this life and hoping I’ll find him in the next.”
“Don’t give up,” her mother said, and her voice really made Fuchsia’s heart glow, and she felt like her three-year old self again. And the memory came back to her. It was a Sunday evening. The ice cream boat had just sailed by. Her parents were teaching her how to swim, but a rush of hungry children came swarming, completely throwing Fuchsia off balance. Her mother offered to buy her a popsicle, but Fuchsia just kept saying, “no!” She was so determined to learn to swim, she wouldn’t let anything distract her. But then a group of little boys came by throwing pebbles at her, and that’s when she burst into tears. She felt so safe in her mother’s arms. The boys’ parents were so embarrassed that they demanded they give Fuchsia their popsicles they had just bought. And the three of them enjoyed three free popsicles. It was a joyous memory she kept suppressed her whole life. Now it felt clear as day.
With joy in her heart, Fuchsia remembered that determination she had as a child to learn to swim, just as she still has today to keep going. She fought as hard as she could with her mind, peacefully parting ways with her parents, now only seeing blotches of darkness, and then finally a clear picture of herself again. She was in the hospital.
“C’mon, c’mon,” Fuchsia thought, looking down upon herself, “stay alive!”
A wave of exhaustion hit sharply throughout her body. But she just kept fighting, harder and harder. She could no longer think any distinct words, she could only feel at this point. Another wave of exhaustion. She was standing still, but felt as if she had just ran a marathon. But she kept pushing against this feeling, kept reminding herself all the reasons to smile, kept picturing that image of herself with her parents as a child. Another, much harder, wave of exhaustion pulsated throughout her body as blotches of darkness started appearing in her vision and everything was getting fuzzier again. Fuchsia fought with all of her might to remember that scene, licking popsicles with her parents, a time when happiness was greatest in her heart. Her vision became clear again, and then immediately became twice as blurry as more darkness took over. Another wave of exhaustion so painful she had no choice but to let go of resistance. Darkness everywhere.
“I should have fought harder…” was her final thought.
There she was again, in total darkness. Yet this time, there was no voice or figure coming out. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t hear her own thoughts. She couldn’t think.
All was darkness.
And darkness was all.
Until a ray of light appeared.
The light grew stronger and brighter.
It was coming towards her.
Closer and closer.
Until she was completely blinded.
Fuchsia opened her eyes, standing before Mother Mermaid. It was real. She was back in her normal body. She could feel her heartbeat and her blood flowing through her veins. She could feel her breath moving in and out of her lungs as her stomach expanded and contracted. She could feel the heat flushed upon her cheeks. She could feel. She could think. She… was… alive.
And Mother Mermaid was alive, also. She hadn’t died yet. But she still looked weak and frail. It was all a vision.
With Mother Mermaid holding Fuchsia’s arms, looking deep into her eyes, she told her, “and that is what will happen if you disobey your destiny… Now I repeat, do you accept being the New Mother Mermaid? Do you want to summon the Captain?”
Thank you so much for reading! Part 10 is coming soon, and will be the final chapter of “BOOK 1.” After that I won’t return to this story for a while, so I can work on my other ones!