I am a prisoner.
That statement does not begin to cover the pain and agony I’ve gone through but it is the truth. I am a prisoner.
Not a prisoner of war or of my own wrong doing’s.
I am a prisoner of the disease known to the world as Science, oh how I detest science and its inhuman ways more and more with each passing second.
I did not want to be here.
I have a home where I am loved, with a husband so handsome the stars shine for him and two children I would sing praises about.
When my eyes first fluttered open and I had to look around at my prison I had thought it was the work of my father to capture me and look me away from the angry world that I could not understand myself.
A world I had done wrong by.
A world that had done me wrong as well.
I couldn’t leave my confinement, and I was more convinced then ever of my fathers magic nor could I change myself to become something small enough to escape. All the same magic as before to trap me. This time however I am thrown in a tube full of water. I do not have the space to move freely. I feel like a pet fish; worst then one perhaps. At least they are cared for where as I am treated as if I would bring the plague to the very hands that come near me.
I haven’t eaten in three days. It isn’t that bad, as I am used to skipping meals but it is only because the gruel they are trying to force down my throat here. It is worst then fish food bought at the store. They tried feeding me fish as well and thought for a moment I’d regurgitate the food I hadn’t eaten.
I am a mermaid. A freak of nature, if you will. That is what they call me.
They do not understand that I am more then just plain merfolk.
Not that they would listen to me.
It took me three whole days to figure out what this place really was. It wasn’t a place that my father had put me in to trap me. In fact, my father had nothing at all to do with my prison. The men who caught me, were looking to have their faces published around the world with the greatest find known to man; a real live mermaid. I had my face in newspaper on the fourth day.
It was on the fifth day that I started to question in my tired and malnourished head. Why is it that I haven’t been able to change if it was only these humans that keep me trapped? Why is it that I cannot leave? There is no old magic in the air to restrict me from anything; in fact I can feel my own will edging my magic to take me away from this place. However, it cannot.
There is only one cause for this. In my womb grows another child of my husband. This is the only comfort I have for several days.
They took me out on the sixth day. Fake smiling nurses and pale faced doctors strapped me down onto a table. My top was taken off of me and I saw their eyes roam over my naked chest. My black tail was drying quickly in that air conditioned room. They wanted only one thing that day; a scale. They forcefully peeled away one from my tail despite the pain it caused me.
They didn’t care as long as they could analyze it. Their precious science is all I’m worth to these heartless creatures.
I was submerged into the water again, forced to watch as they nearly took apart that piece of me to see what they could find out.
By the next day they realized how fruitless it would be. There was no magic in the scale, no science, no new knowledge. I had the scale of a regular fish, just larger.
The seventh day, they took me out again but this time I wasted no time in shifting back into my legs. The only other shape I could take at a time like this. They all seemed to gasp when they saw me laying there as a human; something familiar to them. That was when the questions started.
“What is your name?”
“How can you change like that?”
“Are there more like you?
They asked as if their lips were running a mile a minute. I only glared at them, these men who wanted to use me as their guinea pig.
“Why should I answer you filthy humans?” My voice had shouted and echoed across the room, filling it with my disgust and distaste. I fought against the restraints until my skin was raw from the burn. I fought against it until I couldn’t fight any longer, and the single touch as light as a feather hurt the wounds.
Since I wouldn’t answer their questions, the stuffed me back in the tank, giving me the name of Jane. A plain name with as little originality as one could possibly try to come up with. I had my tail once more. It was cracking horribly.
It went on like that for a long time. They questioned me. New questions always surfaced.
“Why can you heal so quickly?”
“Do you have a family?”
“What do you eat?”
“Do you live forever?”
I would spit on the floor at their feet. They deserved no other respect.
On the fourth day of the third week was when they started with the blood.
I was already weary with my skin sunken more into my flesh then normal when they decided to take my sickly blood. It came out tinted black. Such a find the doctors seemed to shout with joy…before they started studying it.
Everyday they would take more and more samples until I saw the small fridge full from shelf to shelf and row by row full of vials of my blood. I was sickened at what they were doing to me. They sent teams out to find more cities under the water, hoping they’d find another like me. Sure, they were lucky enough to find real abandon cities of merfolk but nothing to recent. I hoped against home that they kept away from my family.
For me, pregnancy takes little more three months to prepare my body to give birth. So the doctors noticed the bump in my stomach as much as I tried to hide it.
They took me out and rubbed my stomach full of blue jelly that was cold to the touch. I struggled against the restraints more. I didn’t know what they wanted to do to me, but their hands touching my stomach and the little one inside of me was more then I could bear.
A device that looked quite similar to a grocery store scanner was pulled out and the women working the machine started to run it over my stomach. If she was looking my barcode, I thought to myself with some humour, she wouldn’t be able to find it.
What she did produce was something completely different. There was a screen attached to this machine and it showed the growing fetus. I had to stare at the screen for a few moments in amazement as well. Thought being blessed already with two children this feeling of being able to see the child before it passes through its mother was more incredible then another other.
The eldest doctor had to ruin my happiness. They already started talk about taking my baby from me when it was born. How they could raise it and how it would be perfect.
Hearing those words I screamed with fury. Nobody would take a bear cub from its mother for fear of being killed on the spot and nobody would take my little one from me. Quickly as they could they sedated me and I was put back into the tank.
I woke up with quite the headache.
Now not only were they monitoring me, but also were they monitoring the growth of my baby. More needles and medicine then my body could actually handle were pumped into me.
At least they were feeding me properly by then. They still called me Jane. They named my baby Joe. Such a distasteful name, something so unpleasant for the mouth to say I thought I would choke upon it while saying it.
My breast grew, as well as my stomach. This time I gained more weight compared to my last one. My tail grew brittle to the touch when not in water. They didn’t take me out as often as they used to on the last month.
I had been in that horrible room for almost nine weeks by then, and I thought I was losing my mind. I was slowly going insane. The screen that showed my baby had lost its glamour by now. I saw the little one as it was to come out of me. It was almost fully grown. A few more weeks and it would become apart of this world.
Week ten and sixth day was when I saw someone familiar for the first time in what felt like years. While such a thing should have brought me happiness, the slack face of my mousy haired son only brought heartbreak. They had caught Christopher, my eldest son.
Seeing him, I banged against my tank like no tomorrow. The glass held as it always did. My voice was silenced by it. The next day they took me out however, I shouted for my son. It was when he finally saw me as well and we both smiled at one another. He was still the happy and carefree boy I had sent to live in Sydney with his boyfriend.
How had they gotten him here?
“Do you know him?”
They asked me as they saw my uplifted face, something none of them had ever seen. They didn’t honestly expect a reaction from me this time. They knew I wouldn’t comply. At least they had the name of my son.
“Jane,” They said to me that day, “Were going to be taking your child today.” They were growing impatient with it so large within my stomach. They didn’t know what to expect and the doctors didn’t want to risk losing me to something as simple as child birth.
Perhaps it was fate or maybe the child had its own ideas but my water broke just then. Without help from my husband, I felt the fear sink in instantly. I had been so caught up in my own problems that I had forgotten about the actual delivery. I needed my husband to give life to such a soul as our child.
The doctors didn’t care however. The did not care for my welfare, as much as they thought they did.
I was only a prisoner after all, and I had as much feelings as a lab rat; none at all.
They kept me there in that room to expel the life from me in front of my son. I knew he was scared for me, I could see it in his eyes. I knew as well as he did that he could leave at any given moment but his fear for his mother was too much. Though I wished he’d go warn my husband, I was glad for at least the familiarity of son while giving birth.
A baby blue blanket was laid under my bare rear and a few pillows placed under my aching back. I hadn’t laid down like that in some time.
My yells echoed through the hallow room as I went through each contraction until I was finally able to have the baby boy.
The human doctor ordered me to push. While I wanted nothing more then to put a foot into his face and knock all his teeth out my body was telling me differently. It was time to have the child.
I pushed and pushed, until my brow was covered in sweat. My fingers were ripping holes into the blanket. I was sure I looked horrible.
I felt the feet leave me finally and waited for the shrill cry that was to be my infant but the room was silent. So silent I could hear the pin hit the floor. The doctor stood up and I could see it.
It wasn’t a child. It was a misshapen creature that was pretending to be my child, right? One that did not breathe air, one that was alive, right?
I knew already, even as the cord to my insides was still attached to me, that the lifeless creature the human man held in his hand was my son; my son that never had a chance for life.
Tears lined my black eyes. I saw Chris behind all of them, his face as crestfallen as mine.
He could feel my pain, it radiated off of me like a wave.
I could feel the cut to the cord as the went to dispose of the wasted life. I blamed them. If it wasn’t for them, that baby would have been mine to love and to cherish just like I had my others.
The doctors that devoted their lives to science and heartlessness had killed my baby.
It took a few hours to properly heal. By that time they’d strap me down again, expecting as they always did, that would keep me. However, they did not know I was no longer just a mermaid. When the only one looking turned his beady eyes away, I burned away the straps holding me and sat up. My legs crossed and my dark hair turned into a deadly red. My eyes were on fire. I was angry.
When he finally turned around, I smirked.
That through the white-clad doctor to fumble into his pocket, looking for something to sedate me as well.
He was too slow, far too slow. I leaned forward and kissed his forehead. Even he didn’t deserve such a touch but I though it was something safe.
My legs were pulled up under me and I watched cross-legged as he sputtered like a dying engine. It only took a few moments but his body fell to the ground with his mouth wide open. From his lips spilled little black creatures that had already started eating him from the inside out.
Black widows were such lovely creatures when used wisely.
They spread like wild fire throughout the facility, killing all in their path. I stepped down and they would always make space for my foot to walk despite the carpet of black they formed.
The screams of the doctors and the nurses were like music to my ears.
They were all dead or close to it by time I reached the tank with the son in it. Just as I had seen with me far to often, I opened it up and had him crawl out into my waiting arms.
As I walked out of the building, it went crashing down behind me. Something I had always enjoyed in my youth was destroying buildings, so it brought back quite the fond memories to do so.
I stepped out of the lobby and with a snap of my fingers both of us were dressed. Were were ready to face the light of the real world once more.
My son who had just been stole from it was fine but I had to cover my unprotected eyes until I pulled the sunglasses from my pocket.
I walked home.
I was crying most of the way for the time I’d lost, the precious life under my heart that was no more and for the pain my husband had been through. I’d been through a similar pain. My heart ached to hold him close to my heart.
I walked amongst the crowd until I got all the way back to my beach. A smile etched on my lips when I saw the familiar face crying in delight.
I was home no longer a prisoner.