Thursday, September 12, 2013
Ursula's Tale (Part 1)
No copyright or infringement intended. This is a work of fan fiction. I do not own any of these characters, though I dare say they might own me. Please enjoy! Also, this is the "Rough Draft," also known as the "Terrible Draft," and in later terms will probably be referred to as the "Hide From Sight So As Not To Shame Myself Draft."
Ursula churned the sandpit with a tentacle, watching in morbid fascination as it curled and bubbled like a swamp. She imagined living creatures in the concoction, reaching up and gurgling, choking on the mush. The thought was oddly entertaining, like observing a first-time bass and swordfish encounter.
A loud crack echoed through the Black Castle, and Ursula looked up from the sandpit, eyes narrowing. CRACK, Crack, crack, it went, off the walls, the ceiling, even the black waters trembled a whisper.
Suddenly Ursula’s tentacle sloshed out of the pit, spattering her with sand as it slapped the ground. Ursula hissed and would have kicked the tentacle if it would have done any good.
CRACK, Crack, crack. Ursula’s indigo eyes scanned the darkness that was not dark to her. A shadow stretched across the wall of another room visible through a gaping hole connecting the corridors. Ursula froze. His shadow? She wondered. Just his shadow? The thought made her blood run cold.
Voices, like string, wove in and out of the darkness, and more shadows crowded the wall, looming closer. “Don’t be frightened,” said one. His voice was deep and gentle, reassuring. “Here, step on the rocks like this. That’s it. Come on, follow the leader.” The figures belonging to the voices emerged, but they did not see her. Glaring, Ursula crept silently up the wall behind her, into a corner so dark that even the white of her hair would be camouflaged. She watched from on high as several boys explored the cave, peeking behind rocks and pretending to overthrow a certain hook-handed pirate. She noticed they avoided disturbing the water, as if doing so would awaken a dreadful sea monster. A smile slid across her lips at the coincidence; she continued to watch them closely. The tallest one seemed the most curious, or perhaps determined was the right word. No nook or cranny remained unexplored by him, no corner escaped investigation. If Ursula didn’t know any better, she would have sworn he was looking for something. And not just with the mild excitement of a child thrown into a treasure cove, but something particular drove this boy, a fire inside him.
“Avast, ye scurvy dog!” a small boy shouted at another, both of them holding sticks as if they were swords.
“En guard,” the other challenged.
“Take that! Arrg! Bae, watch out!”
One of the boys stumbled into the tall one, and he went sprawling into the black pools of the haunted castle.
“Bae!” Another tike with curl orange hair stood just under Ursula, crouching by the pool, hand extended in service.
“Thanks,” said the boy called Bae, but as he reached up to take the other lad’s hand, he caught sight of Ursula plastered to the corner like a bat. His face paled along with the others’ as they, too, realized the company they kept.
Slowly, eerily, Ursula scaled down the wall with just her tentacles, surveying the boys with a cold stare as effective as any weapon. Finally her eyes rested on Bae, and lingered there. She was impressed by his blunt courage, for he matched her stare every bit as brazenly as if she were a child and he the overbearing guardian.
“Greetings,” said she with a twist of a smile. Ursula moved farther into the light, her movements slow and slithering. “Come now, it’s rude to stare.”
All at once they dropped their gazes, all but Bae. With practiced speed Ursula curled one tentacle across his shoulders and drew him nearer. If he thought his feeble boy-strength was anything in comparison to her lean muscle, he was quickly put to right. “I don’t suppose you’re here for the view,” she said softly.
He glared defiantly. “Not in my life.” And suddenly he plunged a knife into her abdomen.
Ursula gasped and her tentacles flexed automatically. She collapsed onto the cold stone floor, sharp breaths seizing her. Vaguely she heard those boys escaping, their shouts muddling into one great noise reminiscent of an echo: loud at first but fading fast.