Marina was a mess. Her eyes were rimmed with red; they had cried for so long that there were no more tears left. Her throat was raw; she had screamed for hours upon hours. Her hands were bruised and her knuckles had split; she had tried to bust her way out.
She had heard of this curse. Faeries would fall asleep, and wake up far, far away, trapped in an indestructible bottle. They almost always came back, but they were never the same. All that time alone took its toll on them. They would always be the talk of the tribe, feeding the gossip-gluttons for at least a week or two.
Though she had heard of faeries that went through this, it just never seemed real to her, until she awoke that morning. She had opened her large, crystal blue eyes, and recognized nothing. Panic had taken over immediately as she frantically tumbled about this enclosed space, seeing nothing but the translucent barrier surrounding her. She pounded at the glass, trying, and failing, to break it. It was hopeless; her dainty hands couldn't even fracture the thick force field that encased her. So Marina cried. She cried with the sorrow of a storm cloud. Her tears fell onto her hands, healing the bruises and cut that her futile fight had left behind.
Why her? She had never done anything wrong. True, she wasn't a saint, but she behaved. It wasn't fair. Her life had just begun, and it was ending already. She might as well be grey.
But she wasn't grey. She examined herself in her slightly distorted reflection. Her hair was still bouncy and blonde; her skin was still perfectly pearly. Her tail and flippers, her pride and joy, were still a deep, sapphire blue. And she still had her name. She still had hope. Someone would surely rescue her. So she would wait. But for how long would she have to be alone?
She sat down and leaned against the cool glass, allowing herself to relax. She thought of her friends back home. Did they even notice she was gone? She doubted that they did. Most water faeries were way too shallow, no pun intended, to worry about anyone but themselves. That is what made her mother so different from everyone else.
Surely her mother was worried about her. Marina visualized her mom. Her mother's hair was board- straight, and so blonde that it looked nearly white. Her skin was a light peach, contrasting brilliantly with her ultramarine tail. Her eyes had always looked so tired and worried, and Marina feared that she was only going to make her mother more stressed. She tried to direct her thoughts elsewhere.
She finally took in the environment she had been dropped in. A beautiful beach surrounded her. Her coral-pink lips stretched into a smile for the first time that day. She had a perfect view of the ocean. She watched the tumultuous blue waves enthusiastically tackle the shore. Marina was suddenly content.
Marina. What an appropriate name. "It means 'of the sea'," her mother had told her. How predictable of her mother (or any other water faerie for that matter) to name her daughter in honor of their celebrated element. At least it wasn't Aqua.
Marina focused her mind on the beautiful body of water before her. As she did, she felt as though the ocean was intentionally calming itself down. No, calling the ocean an it seemed disrespectful. Marina had always thought of the ocean as a woman. There was something almost maternal about her. Marina felt like the Ocean was there to protect her, to keep her sane.
She felt hypnotized by the soothing motions of the water. She couldn't look away, couldn't break the stare. She simply watched, in awe, as the blues and greens of the Sea mixed and whirled together. And this became her life. Steadily breathing, staring, and never sleeping. Or, if she did sleep, she dreamed of the Ocean. She never grew tired of the sight of her new found companion.
Marina stared at the Sea for days, weeks, maybe even months. She couldn't remember. She couldn't even bring herself to care. All that mattered was the lovely entity a few yards away. One night, Marina was filled with a sudden longing to touch the water, to lose herself in it. She reached out her arm, and her hand came in contact with the glass that kept her confined to this bottle. She had long since forgotten about this hideous barrier. She beat at the glass, throwing herself against it. She did nothing but cause herself more pain.
Then that same sorrow from the very first day filled Marina as she realized how far away she was from the sweet caress of the waves. She leaned against the glass in defeat. And she cried once again. But as she cried, Marina realized that she was closer to the water than she thought. She raised her hand to her cheek and felt the dampness that her tears left behind. She raised her eyes to the Ocean once again. We are the same, she thought towards the Sea. The distance didn't matter anymore. Marina stared at her reflection with new found admiration. She could see the beauty of water throughout herself. The way her hair cascaded down her shoulders reminded her of the playfulness of a waterfall. The curve of her tail reminded her of the grace of the rolling waves in front of her.
Suddenly, Marina felt different. A strange, prickling sensation shot through her body. She looked down at herself, and was filled with a great joy. She was melting. She was becoming water. She succumbed to the feeling of looseness, and could feel a pool forming around her. But, just then, her view of the Ocean was obstructed, and she was sucked back into solid form. She was turned upside down, and, after months of confinement, came tumbling onto the sand.
Marina was furious. Who dared to interrupt her transformation?! She looked up, and saw the giant, grinning face of a blue Usul. The stupid thing obviously expected to be blessed. Oh, she would bless it alright. Marina clenched her fists, threw her arms into the sky, and unleashed a storm unlike any creature had ever seen. The interrupting Usul staggered back in shock, before running off frantically, whining for its guardian.
Marina collapsed to the shore. Just as she was about to give in to the despair that threatened to destroy her, Marina heard her name being called. Well, not really heard, more like felt. She looked over her shoulder, and saw the rolling waves of the Ocean beckoning to her. She dragged herself towards them quickly, and plopped herself right in front of the outskirts of the froth. She reached out her hand and felt the water eagerly lap at her fingertips.
Marina closed her eyes and focused on that prickling feeling again. This time, there were no interruptions. She could feel water that was once her trickling down her body. She liquefied and dissolved, becoming one with the Ocean.
Right before she was completely swept away, Marina whispered the word, "Finally."