Coral, Fleur, and Laguna found themselves in a room, chained to the wall. On the far side of the room sat Davey the ghost pirate. He looked different somehow, they weren’t sure what exactly had been done to him, but they saw that he too, was in chains. They thought about trying to talk to him, but he looked to be grieving, so they left him alone, just whispering amongst themselves.
It was going to be dawn soon, and they were worried about what would happen when their legs turned back to mermaid tails; though none of them wanted to think about it. They were tired. After arriving at the estate Abi had separated them, putting them each in their own little cage. From there they watched as Michelle, Rebel, and Winter awaited for Abi to follow through on her promise to make them beautiful and alluring to men. Abi had just laughed and turned all three women into brightly colored rainbow fish. Her henchmen then picked them up, and left the room.
Coral, Fleur and Laguna all looked at each other. “We should have listened,” Coral whispered. The other two just nodded in agreement. Abi then came over and took them out one by one. She used her magic on them, coercing them into giving her the information she wanted. The process had gone on almost all evening. The girls were exhausted when they were taken to the dungeon room and chained to the wall.
As dawn broke, and their legs started to turn back into a mermaid tail, water started to fill up around them, as if they were each in their own little container. The buoyancy from the water took some of the weight off the cuff, making their wrists feel a little better.
“I’m sorry,” they heard after the water stopped rising.
“Davey, why are you sorry?” Fleur asked.
“Because,” the ghost pirate started. “I’m the reason you three are here,” he said. “Lady Abi was threatening my poor moose, unless I answered her questions. I… I told her that if she wanted to get Tahlmus she needed to do it through you three.” Coral, Fleur, and Laguna all growled, but none could stay made at Davey. They knew how much he loved his moose. They may have very well done the same thing in his position. “After I told her what she wanted to know, I overheard the henchmen talking. They were saying that all the horcruxes are gone, and getting leverage on Tahlmus was the only way to make sure he would do what she wanted.”
“But Tahlmus said he could sense the sixth one,” Fleur stated.
“He did say it no longer had a soul in it,” Laguna said.
“Something isn’t adding up,” said Davey.
Coral could be heard pulling on her chains. All three looked at her in confusion. “Tahlmus suspected something else, something he couldn’t figure out,” Coral growled. “Why didn’t I listen to him?”
“So… what do we do? We fell right into Abi’s plan,” Laguna stated sadly, remembering the nightmare that was supposed to have just been a nightmare.
“Tahlmus will save us… won’t he? I mean he’ll come up with something, right?” Fleur asked hesitantly as pieces of what Tahlmus had said in his sleep started to come back to her.
Coral sighed. She wasn’t sure. If the nightmare Tahlmus had on the rock was a vision and he didn’t remember it… it was possible he wouldn’t try to save them, so that he could keep the other Sirens safe. “But he promised to protect us… that he cared for us,” she thought. “He will come,” she finally said. “He will save us because he cares for each of us,” she finished. “He will just have to find a way to protect the others first,” she thought to herself.
Tahlmus slowly started to open his eyes. It was bright out. He felt arms around him, and his body ached. As he became more aware of his surroundings, he realized that whatever he was lying on was hard, cold, and damp. He tried to speak, but felt a finger on his lips. He closed his mouth as all the aches in his body went away.
“Ok,” he heard. “You can sit up now.” Tahlmus did as he was told, his eyes now in focus saw that he was on a rock, surrounded by water, but close to the shoreline. It was a waves gentle splash against the rock that made him realize he was in nothing but his boxer shorts. Tahlmus turned to Celestial, who had her arms around his waist and her mermaid tail in the water. He shook his head trying to clear it as he watched her tail move in the water. “Mermaid tail,” he thought as memories from the night before started to flow through his mind.
Celestial saw the panic start to develop on Tahlmus’ face. “They aren’t back yet,” she said before Tahlmus could form the question. “That’s why I woke you.”
Tahlmus shook his head. “Why was I asleep?” he asked. “I remember trying to warn Coral, Fleur and Laguna, and when I came back to the beach you were singing.” Celestial nodded. “Why?” Tahlmus asked. “I told you the nightmare wasn’t just a nightmare…” he started to trail off as he watched her face. “You weren’t sure if you believed me.”
Celestial nodded. “Premonitions take powerful magic, I wasn’t sure you were at that level of power, but I did know we had a responsibility to go to those who call for us with sincere intentions.”
Tahlmus sighed. He knew Celestial was right. Some of the books, while about magic had information on Sirens and mermaids. Of course the books painted them more as myths than real life beings. As Celestial perched herself on the rock next to Tahlmus, he closed his eyes focusing on Coral, Fleur, and Laguna. He was able to see them chained to a wall, with water around their tails. They looked to be talking with someone. He used a little more magic to look around the room they were in. He saw Davey the ghost pirate, also in chains. “That’s weird,” he whispered.
“What is?” Celestial asked.
“Coral, Fleur, and Laguna are in the same dungeon room as Davey,” he started, “and Davey is in cuffs.”
“But he’s a ghost.”
“I know,” Tahlmus stated opening his eyes. “But there is magic that can force him to stay visible and his form to act more like a normal human than ghost.”
“What do we do?” Celestial asked. “If this is going to play out like your nightmare…” she trailed off.
Tahlmus sat there quietly thinking. He didn’t remember the nightmare at all. He only knew what the other’s had told him. “Maybe it wasn’t one of them,” he thought. “Maybe it was…” he cut off his own thought. He knew there’d be no way he could go through with it. He hated to admit it to himself but he cared for her more than he should have allowed himself to. But if he were to save the Sirens, he would have to kill her. “No,” he thought. “No, there has to be another way.”
“Tahlmus,” Celestial said. “Tahlmus,” she repeated when he didn’t respond. “Tahlmus,” she said a third time shaking his shoulder. This got Tahlmus to look at her. “What do we do?” she asked again.
“Why did you sing to me?” he asked instead of answering her question. He had started thinking about what had happened after he’d come back to the shore from the water. “You’ve never sung to me,” he said.
Celestial sighed. “I’m not sure,” she replied. “You were upset and I really needed you last night.”
Tahlmus nodded, unsure what to make of it. “I need to talk with Winky first,” he said, finally determining how to answer Celestial’s question. “See if she has any new information for me. Then I’ll come back and we’ll form a plan to get Coral, Fleur, and Laguna back.”
Celestial nodded her approval, and Tahlmus transported himself to the shore, where he used his magic to dry off, and put on a new set of robes before walking up the path to go talk to Winky. Upon entering the cave he saw Winky asleep, her head lying on the book she had been reading.
“Winky,” he whispered. She didn’t move. “Winky,” he whispered again, giving her shoulder a shake. She popped up wide awake staring at him a mix of confusion and fear in her eyes. “It’s ok, Winky,” he soothed. “It’s only me.” He noticed that Winky’s breathing went back to normal as he spoke those words. “Have you found anything?” he asked. Winky shook her head no, and Tahlmus sat down in the chair next to her. She thought he seemed to age several years as he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Before she could ask, he started to explain why he had rushed out of the room the night before, being caught up in Celestial’s song, that Coral, Fleur and Laguna were now prisoners of the Dark Lord, along with Davey, and that he had to come up with a plan to try to save them.”
“We haven’t found a way to lift the curse,” Winky stated.
“I know,” Tahlmus replied, staring at the cave wall.
“And there’s no way we’re just going to happen across it just because you desperately need it.”
“I know,” Tahlmus stated again.
“What are you going to do?”
Tahlmus rubbed his hands over his face as he leaned his elbows on his knees. “I don’t know,” he replied. They sat in silence for several minutes.
“Maybe, I should look strictly into horcruxes?” Winky questioned. “Maybe more closely related to destroying them maybe…” she stated.
Tahlmus sighed before looking at Winky. “It would be a longshot, but it’s the best thing we can do. Maybe we will be lucky and there will be a book or two we haven’t read,” he said closing his eyes, focusing on the information he wanted to find. When he opened his eyes, there was one book floating in front of him. It was a large book. As he used his magic to lay it on the table, he realized that this single book was larger than five of the other books stacked on top of one another. Tahlmus felt a small pit of hopelessness growing in him, as Winky pulled the book over in front of her spot.
“I read faster than you do,” she said. “Why don’t you go plan on how to free Coral, Fleur, Laguna, and Davey and I will read this. As soon as I find anything I will find a way to let you know.”
“Thanks Winky,” he said brushing his lips on her cheek, ignoring the tingling from the tattoo. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without you,” he said.
“I know,” she said with a smile. “But when this is over you owe me.” Tahlmus smirked. “Now go try to plan your daring rescue. I need to read.”
Tahlmus just smiled and left Winky to studying. He walked down the path to the shoreline before transporting back out to the rock that he had woken up on. Celestial was still there swimming around. She perched on the rock when he showed up. They spent the next few hours, trying to form a plan to get Coral, Fleur, Laguna, and Davey back. As the sun started to set, Tahlmus only saw one way to get them back. He would have to give the Dark Lord what she wanted, and hope that things didn’t go as they had in his nightmare, though he did wish he could remember the details. That would have made it easier to figure out, even if Winky still had not found an answer.
Celestial tried to keep him from leaving by himself. She wanted to go with him, but he wouldn’t let her. He didn’t want to bring what he could only determine as fate, around before he was ready to deal with it. He didn’t explain it that way to her though. “It will be easier if I go by myself,” he said. “I might be able to sneak in and out without her noticing me.” Celestial wanted to object, but found Tahlmus’ lips against hers. She had never received a kiss from a man before, and she was still reeling from the feeling as their lips parted. “Trust me,” Tahlmus whispered. “This is what’s best.” Between his words, and the lasting euphoria from the kiss Celestial said nothing as Tahlmus transported away.
Tahlmus found himself in front of the Dark Lord’s estate. This wasn’t going to be one of his best ideas, but parts of the nightmare had come back to him while he and Celestial had tried to plan the rescue. The parts he had seen shown him that it would end badly if he tried to sneak in and save the Sirens and Davey. So there he was standing in front of the Dark Lord’s estate.
“Abi,” he yelled out. “I hear you’ve been looking for me. You can have me if you let those you are holding captive, go free.”
A few minutes passed, before the doors to the estate opened. A woman, Tahlmus could only assume was Abi was standing there, smiling at him. Two men came out from behind her walking towards Tahlmus. They took up a place on either side of him. “I’ve been expecting you,” Abi said. “Please come in.”
“That wasn’t the deal,” Tahlmus said as he maneuvered his arms out of the henchmen’s grip.
“You don’t have a choice,” Abi replied as three more henchmen came out from behind her. They were holding Coral, Fleur, and Laguna at knifepoint. “You will come in, or one of these ladies will cease to exist.”
Tahlmus struggled to swallow. “O…ok,” he said. “I’m coming in, just please don’t hurt them.”
Abi just smiled as Tahlmus walked into her estate. The plan was working exactly as it needed to. She led Tahlmus, who was flanked by two henchmen, and then the three henchmen who had the Sirens. She took them all into a small room at the end of the hall. Tahlmus noticed that Davey was already there chained to the wall. Abi stood at the front of the room, facing Tahlmus. The three henchmen who had the Sirens, joined her. The other two continued to flank Tahlmus. “Remove his sword,” Abi stated. Another henchman appeared and removed Tahlmus sword from its sheath taking it over to Abi who just laughed.
“I’m here,” Tahlmus said. “Let them go, and I will do whatever you want.”
“Oh, my young Tahlmus, that is not how this is going to work. You’ll have to prove to me that I won’t need these three to keep you in line.” Abi made a motion with her arm and the henchman who was holding Coral came forward.
Tahlmus grit his teeth as he watched the rough way in which the henchman moved Coral to Abi’s side. He then watched as Abi performed the motions to a spell, then touched Coral who screamed. Tahlmus had seen the white flash of heat that transferred from Abi to Coral.
“No,” he shouted taking a step forward. The henchmen grabbed his arms. “Please, don’t hurt her. I’ll do whatever you want. Let them all go, and I will serve you. Please…” he started to plead as he heard Fleur and Laguna also cry out in pain. Whatever spell Abi was using, seemed to react on all of them even though she was only touching Coral. “Please…” he stated again. “I will do anything… anything,” he pleaded.
Abi smiled wickedly. She loved watching grown men beg. “Take Laguna and Fleur back to the water. Have them call for Celestial.”
“No, please…” Tahlmus started.
“If you are sincere about serving me, then you will do as I say. You asked me not to harm these three,” she stated motioning at Coral, Fleur, and Laguna. “But I want Celestial dead. With her gone, the Sirens will lose their abilities and become normal women once more. Then I will be able to rule the waters,” she stated laughing maniacally as she watched fear and helplessness spread over Tahlmus’ face. “Don’t worry my love, you will still be able to see your precious Coral and Fleur, they will be our slaves. Laguna however will have to pay for her betrayal, a payment she will have to suffer at your hand.”
“No… leave them out of this… please,” Tahlmus begged. Abi just snapped her fingers and the two henchmen took Fleur and Laguna away.
Tahlmus grit his teeth and let his hands form fists as he stood between two of Abi’s henchmen. He wanted to end her, but he knew if he did it before lifting the Sirens curse, the Dark Lord would be able to come back; being harder to defeat than before. The seventh horcrux, that the Dark Lord didn’t know existed was more powerful than the others he had originally created. “If only I had been able to study more quickly,” he thought. “The Sirens would have been free and I could have ended the Dark Lord.”
Fleur and Laguna called for Celestial under knife point. Both were wondering why Tahlmus hadn’t ended the Dark Lord, especially if all six horcruxes had been used. As they stood there, knives to their throats calling for Celestial, both struggled with their emotions. They wanted Celestial to show up, as they did not know what fate awaited them if she did not show. At the same time, they did not want to be the ones who sent her to her unfortunate death, but all they could do was call for her and wait.
The final chapter awaits… Part 7.