Come dance with the Wanderers... Circulation: 96,313,980 Issue: 190 | 13th day of Hunting, Y7
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The Making of The Drenched

by shadowcristal


I had seen it coming. But there was nothing I could do to avoid it. It was like standing in a nightmare, slowly watching myself being slapped from side to side by that spiky tail. I didn't even feel any pain.

     "That's what you get for being obstinate," the water faerie named Marybell said and slapped me extra hard as a finishing touch.

     I didn't say anything, simply because I was too upset. If I opened my mouth and uttered something now, I feared that I would explode. And then I would end up having to go through this all again. No. I had to retreat and think of a better way to get revenge.

     "You were good," Marybell said coldly as the other faeries cheered. "But you're bad. And so am I. When you're bad, being good doesn't matter." She turned around and made sure to splash extra water before she left. All the other water faeries followed her in awe.

     I shook me head as the faeries disappeared from my view. My head was still spinning from all those hits, and now it begun to hurt. Some of the liquid inside me flowed out from the wounds and mixed with the salty water.

     A sliding noise behind me made me twitch. I was too tired and beat up to look around, but I did so anyway.

     The blue, glowing light was what I saw first. I knew immediately who it was. Alyssa.

     "And I thought you were good..." she said, frowning at my miserable appearance. "But it would seem that you are not good enough."

     I wondered if Alyssa was going to beat me up too, but her next few words answered my question.

     "And in case you're wondering, I'm not going to beat you up. Marybell's a weakling, only daring to do things when she has a bunch of followers. I'm just thoroughly disappointed, and that's it. I suppose it isn't the three rivals anymore; it's two." With a flicker of her oily and tattered hair, Alyssa swam away.

     Drenched by the words and filled with coldness, I tried to get up but fell down. I closed my eyes and let my hair run along the smooth rock.

     I was bad. I had always been bad. When I was little, the aunties and cousins at Thanksgiving would say that I'd be a real baddie when I grew up. And you know what? They were right.

     I ended up bad. I ended up being one of the three powers of the school in the sea. Marybell, Alyssa and me... we were the three separate independent baddies here. And we were still young. We held each other in power, but after this embarrassment... I'd be out of the battle arena for a while, that was something for sure.

     "Bad always comes in packages of three," a voice said in my head. "Just think of The Three and the Dark Faerie Sisters..."

     Shaking my head, I finally got up. I'd have to go to Seanna the healer and heal all these bruises. But the fighting spirit inside me wouldn't die. As I swam out of the cave, the nightmare that had happened replayed inside my head. A chill shook my body as I looked back at the cave.

     Suddenly an idea popped up in my mind. A three-way duel... Those two, attacking each other... It might just work... I couldn't match up to Marybell in brute force or Alyssa in magic, but I had intelligence. If I planned this well and undertook all the necessary preparations...

     I drew a few figures in the water, called upon a wave to carry me to the healer and started working on my plan.


     "A duel," I muttered as I wrote on the seaweed strips. Soon I was done, and I held my creative invitation cards up to admire. Then I set a small wind upon them so they would reach the two who were supposed to receive the challenge.

     With a flicker of my wrist, I tore off the lower parts of the seaweed. Now it was perfect. That jagged part would definitely get their attention.

     I turned around and started preparing for the duel. As I gathered everything I needed, I felt a darkness swallow me. It had done so a few times earlier, when I had daringly challenged Marybell on my own. Of course, that time it had turned into a nightmare.

     I shuddered as I grabbed the items and swam off. The place would be the cave. That dark, creepy cave where only the qualified baddies could enter. I chuckled that that thought. Was I no longer qualified? Well, all I could hope was that they would respond and actually battle me here.

     It was time to show them, once and for all. I had polished my skills, while they had tried to gain more. I wasn't sure who would win, but I wanted to settle this. If I lost, then I lost. That daring yet cold feeling inside me told me that it didn't matter. All that mattered was to make them come to this place, drench them with the fear and darkness that I had experienced myself just a few hours ago.

     The dark, murky water floated towards me. I grabbed it, made it even darker with my magic and started to prepare. Traps in the cave would just be a lot more advantageous to me, and as I've told you before, the only thing I truly relied on was my intelligence.

     But this time, even not my intelligence could save me. I had simply gone too far, but I wasn't aware of that yet. I spent many more hours decorating the cave for the two that would enter, putting nice traps and some mirrors. Like a magician, I was preparing the stage in which tonight's show would be held.

     When working, I'd have this feeling of the cave... the creepiness. At first I resented it, but then I grew to actually like it. When I swam out of the cave to get some more seaweed, I half realized what was going on.

     There had been this rumor going around... About the spooky cave, where everything was eerie and once you entered, you couldn't escape. I looked back at the cave. Okay, so it did look like a big jaw, trying to swallow me, but I had exited there unharmed. I remembered one water faerie's fearful whisper.

     "That cave is... the stuff that nightmares are made out of..."

     I frowned and shook my head. No way I could be scared, being one of the top three bad girls. I had already started this, and I would have to end it.

     I took a breather at the stone that I had been so badly beat up on. Closing my ears, I could hear the song of a school of Goldies that was swimming quite far away. Slowly but surely that song, which was about light and the place above, turned into something dark.

     Scared, I jumped up and hit my head in the ceiling. I sighed as I tried to sit down calmly. I wasn't some nervous little weakling, I was almost a full-fledged Water faerie and I'd graduate from school next year.

     The feeling of underwater waves made me turn around, and I saw them. One to the east and one to the west. They looked truly horrifying, Alyssa and Marybell, with their long, dull and wavy hair floating behind them.

     The battle had begun.

     "Welcome," I said and both of them took a sharp intake of breath. It worked exactly as I had hoped. The two of them discovered each other, and Alyssa began provoking Marybell by throwing a few magical attacks.

     I had intentionally chosen not to tell them that there would be three duelists, and I couldn't help but to gloat when I saw their reaction. Both of them had probably expected to go one-on-one, and now they were doing that. After all, I hadn't signed the seaweed...

     The last glittering sunlight disappeared, and we all knew night was here. Suddenly the cave felt much colder, and I decided that it was time to attack them.

     It worked out just as I had planned. Every single movement followed my plan... There was no way it would fail. I'd be the best... or in this case, the baddest.

     I smirked as the two of them gathered their power and started fighting more seriously. It was time for Phase B.

     With a quick flicker of my tail, I disappeared into the shadows and watched the fight from there. Alyssa and Marybell didn't notice it, and kept fighting each other.

     So far so good... A rumble below me made me rethink that, and the two faeries stopped fighting each other for a second to see what would happen. A few rocks fell from the top of the cave, and I could see something, perhaps a pair of eyes, in the back of the cave.

     I decided to go and explore, since I hadn't done that earlier when setting my traps. When I reached the border of the fighting area and the deeper part of the cave, I threw a look at the two of them.

     Frowning, I watched as they fell into my traps and lose power. It was about time now. I made a quick calculation. I'd probably be able to take them on if it was one-on-one, like they had expected. But if this had worked as well as I had hoped, then I wouldn't have to do anything. Their fear would do the work for me.

     "So," I said and faced my two weakened rivals. "Do you acknowledge who the better one here is?"

     "That's so cheap..." Marybell growled, and they both stood up. Oh no. It wasn't working. My plan wasn't working. And I had been so sure it would work, too! I gulped nervously. The two faeries looked at each other, and I could just see what was in it for me. Grasped by the fear that I had hoped they would be swallowed by, I swum deeper into the cave.

     At least my calculations hadn't failed this time. The two Water faeries followed me furiously. As I entered the darkness, I felt drenched. Drenched with water, no, ice, and of course, darkness. Another rumble made us all stop, but the two kept their pursuit and I was not about to give up.

     All the same, I had a feeling, this feeling that something bad was about to happen. I thought back at that comment. Stuff that nightmares are made out of...

     I shuddered, but my stubborn self had decided to finish what I had started. I knew I would regret this, but at the same time I was rather curious. Still, the coldness filled me and with a jerk I realized that the rumbles...

     Warnings... Twice, and what would happen the third time? I could feel my battle spirit diminish, and the others' too.

     What was going on? A third rumble made us three freeze, and I remembered how that evil voice inside my head had mentioned three as the magic number. Well, something magical was going on.

     Something dark swept past me and went straight for my hunters. Alyssa and Marybell screamed when they were hit, and the shrieks from the strangled throats made me truly regret that I had ever challenged them like this... or had I?

     Ever since leaving this cave, I hadn't been myself... All those things happened to me, and I did everything, but it was just in that nightmare... I could do nothing but to stand there and watch it like a puppet theatre. With a jerk, I realized that I... was a puppet.

     The two of them started to swim towards me, but that power I had summoned to jerk myself free from the freezing cold was now gone. Alyssa grabbed my tail, and Marybell swam up to me.

     Startled, I jumped. I could move again! But not for long. A cold touch from Alyssa made me freeze, and the look in her eye... her eyes! They weren't in that cold, usual cerulean color. No, they were in a malicious indigo hue...

     I blinked and realized that I must've been mesmerized for a second. This was a dangerous game, if it was still a game anymore. I tried to move away, but realized that Alyssa had probably mesmerized me to keep my tail still. There was nothing I could do but to follow the current.

     Marybell looked me in the eye.

     "You've lost," she growled and grasped my right hand. I knew that she was right, but behind those dark eyes I also knew another truth. We were all lost... Lost to a power unknown, a power awakened by our foolishness.

     We weren't truly evil. But we were about to be. It was a nightmare, those cold touches that totally drenched me in icy water...

     I summoned the strength I had left and looked the darkness in the eye, feeling my brain slowly falling asleep.

     "No thanks," I thought. "I'll conquer the world by myself."

     "You're too rebellious," the darkness whispered. "Just like she said." Marybell twisted my wrist and I cried out in pain.

     "Evil comes in packages of three, and right now you're the third candidate. Feel honored." I could sense that the darkness was frowning, and nightmares filled my mind.

     Summoning my last willpower, I defied it. Raising my tail, I slapped it, the power that was about to take me. Of course, it acted just like a nightmare, avoiding my hit and filling my mind.

     Drenched, I fell on the ground as I bid farewell to my intelligence. I looked at the two faeries, and at the opening behind them. A ray of light, probably from the moon, lit up the entrance of the cave.

     There was still hope. I rejected the thing that was taking over me and absorbing my power, but to no avail. The last, true conscious thought of mine was: I'll do it by myself.

     And then it was all over. I had become one in the sisterhood. I was now fully, truly and completely Drenched.

The End

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