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Chapter 22: Good Medicine
“Ennnggghh…” Merrick moaned as he lay on the rollaway cot, realizing that he is now in Adam’s bedroom. He can hear Adam’s voice talking. He peeked as he saw Adam standing at the doorway, his back facing him, and holding up a small object to his ear.
“… Yes, Captain? It’s Adam… Yeah, I’m calling to ask if I might have the next few days off? … It’s um…” Adam sighed and paused, “It’s about my… Best Catch… Yeah… No no, we’re back together… Well, actually, that’s not the best way to put it… It’s just… He’s… He’s on his deathbed, Captain…” Adam said as his voice trembled, “I need to be with him, please… All right, thank you… Ok, thanks, Captain, I really appreciate this… Goodbye…”
Adam brought the cellphone down, and leaned on the doorframe. After taking a moment, he walked away, and into the kitchen. Minutes later, he came back with glass and a purifying pitcher of water — the kind that filters water. Adam put them on the nightstand, and gently caressed Merrick, “How’re you doing, sweetie?”
“I… I feel heavy” Merrick moaned feebly, “And so hot…”
“Really? Lemme check…” Adam put his hand onto the blonde’s forehead, “… Oh my God!” He put the back of his hand onto his forehead “You’re burning up!” Adam got up, and ran back out, and came back with an ice pack wrapped in a cloth, “Here, keep this on your head,” He then poured some cold, fresh water into the glass.
“Wait, Adam,” Merrick began coughing and moving off to the side of the bed. Adam hurriedly grabbed the bucket, and held it for the merman. Merrick grabbed onto it, tucked his head into it, and began to vomit a mess of blood and oil again. His eyes clenched and watered as his body forced out the morbid contents of his insides. Adam gently rubbed Merrick’s greasy back as he heard his lover suffer.
After a couple of minutes of hurling into the bucket, Merrick shook as he lay back down. Adam wiped up his mouth. Merrick curled up and started to cry. Adam looked sadly onto his love, wanting nothing more than to curl up with him and hold him close.
“It’s… It’s just not fair…” Merrick whimpered, “I love you, Adam…” The merman shuddered and sobbed “I don’t wanna die… I don’t wanna die…” Merrick cried profusely as Adam rubbed his arm.
“Honey, I have an idea,” He said hastily, “You said merfolk don’t waste anything that they eat, right? What if you kept drinking water, huh? Wouldn’t it get the oil out of your body?” Merrick sniffled and shook his head, “C’mon, sweetie, you say there’s no cure, that not even a Noita can save you, but lets at least try this, huh?” Adam said as he offered the glass of water. Merrick’s reddened, blue eyes looked at the glass, “Please…” Adam said, “I can’t live without you…”
Merrick reached out his shaking hand, and gently pressed it around the glass. He attempted to take it, but it slipped from his oily hand. Adam caught it before it could spill, but then gently slipped his hand below Merrick’s head. With his other hand, he gently held the glass of water to the merman’s lips, and let the water flow into his mouth.
The day went on and on. Adam stayed at Merrick’s side, not even leaving to get something to eat — the only reason he’d have leave was to get more water for Merrick.
Jamal put on his jacket, and glanced into Adam’s room. Merrick coughed weakly as Adam gave him a very gentle sponge bath, having laid a large beach towel over his bed and tending gently to Merrick, with various parts of Merrick’s body blue and silver from the moisture of the sponge.
He sighed sadly as the blonde would start hacking and coughing, before Adam would pick up the bucket, and gently rub him as he vomited into the pail.
Adam groaned as he poured another glass of water, but it slipped from his oiled hands. “Ah dammit,” He swore as he picked up the glass. It’s getting harder to keep Merrick awake long enough to have him drink the water. He fears his time is coming…
“Huh?” Adam turned his head to see Yuri coming in with a couple of PB&J sandwiches and two glasses of milk.
“Here. You need to eat something,” She said. Adam wiped his eyes and accepted the plate and glasses.
“Thanks, Yuri…” He mumbled as he took a bite; regardless of a slight nagging of hunger in his gut, he felt extremely reluctant to eat from feeling so much of this grief. She sat down at the end of the bed, moved her hand under the ice pack.
“… His fever hasn’t gotten any lower.” Adam sighed as he set aside the food.
“… I’ll go get some saline and an I.V. for him” She said as she got up.
“Yuri, that’s all the way at the hospital.” He groaned in response, feeling exhausted as well.
“I know,” She said as she turned to look at him from the doorway, “Oh, and for the record… I would’ve believed you.” She said with a soft smile. Adam nodded and looked to his merman again as Yuri went out, and drove off.
All day at this, and Merrick doesn’t show canlı bahis any signs of getting better. He’s had to have had 50 glasses of water already, but he’s still perspiring grease, running a fever, and vomiting blood and oil occasionally. It’s dusk now — it’s dark outside as well.
Adam’s eyelids are growing extremely heavy as he rubbed the wet sponge onto Merrick’s belly for his 7th sponge bath. He has not slept a wink since he brought Merrick here. His will power is dwindling as he began to see images, before his body finally gave in, and lowered down, asleep.
“Mmmmgghhh…” Adam slowly woke up, suddenly jolting up and realizing how dark it is! He checked his cellphone.
He put his ear to Merrick’s chest again. He sighed as he heard a weak heartbeat, still resonating in his chest.
“~Saaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooaaaaannnnnaaaaaaaaaaa~” He blinked as he heard a woman singing. It reminds him of the siren’s voice from 5 years ago, but this voice is on a slightly deeper pitch, like she could be singing in an opera. He felt a cold wind blow through his open window as the voice flowed through the breeze. He got up, but looked at Merrick. He wrapped the towel around him, and kissed Merrick’s cheek, before taking the back way out.
“~Hoooonnnnnooooorrrrrrruuuuuuuaaaaaaaannnnn~~” The female voice sung out as Adam ran into the very windy night. He carefully listened for the wondrous singing, and looked in several directions before walked in one of them.
There, he spotted a grown woman, shined by the moonlight. As she sang, the wind whirled around her long, flowing platinum blonde hair. She walked slowly with her dainty feet, feeling the winds willow and blow around her long, flowing white dress — the fabric gleams and shines in the moon’s rays, as if it’s woven with magic infused inside it.
Adam trotted up to her, and followed her to the small cliff over by the beach as she continued to sing, as if luring him to the ocean. She stopped at the cliff, singing a long, beautiful note as she sang to the ocean. He waited until the last lyric finished, before saying something.
“E-Excuse me, Miss?” He said. The woman gracefully turned around, looking at him with silvery eyes, as her hair and veil dress danced to the flowing wind, “Is there anything I can help you with? Are you lost?” He asked.
The woman then started drop backward. Adam gasped as he sprinted up to her, “Miss!” He called out as he held out his hand, and missed her by inches as she fell off the cliff. “Oh my God!!!” The woman fell from the cliff, and splashed into the sea. Adam walked back, and ran back up to the cliff, and dove right in!
Adam grunted internally as he felt the icy bite of the water numb his body. He swam and looked around, looking for the woman. As dark as it is, and as clearly as Adam can see, he can’t see anything white around! It’s like that woman dissolved into the water itself…
He moved his arms to push forward, until he felt his arms stop. He gasped as it felt like his arms are being… Squeezed. It’s like the water around his arms thickened to a point where it’s like gravity and density intensified around him. He struggled, and felt a tinge of fear as he felt his legs sealed and held in place, just like his arms! Then, his torso felt pressed upon, like the water is thickening everywhere on his body! He felt the cold force push onto his neck, and push around his mouth.
‘~Do not try to escape…~’ Came a gentle, stern tone, ‘~I can end you at any moment…~’ A mystical voice that echoed around and inside his head. Adam’s eyes darted around, until he spotted a glamorous, pearly white mermaid with a veil-like body with long, white tendrils on her head. On either side of her are thin, semi-transparent, cloak-like membranes run from her wrist, and reached to her hips. Her long tail flows with a long, veil-like tail fin.
‘~This shall not be long. I know humans cannot survive in the sea~’ She loomed gracefully around Adam, her mouth not moving at all as she slowly circled him. She looks just like the mermaid on the beach the other day… Except THIS one is much bigger and has more veils and frills around her body…
‘~The one you keep in your land-ship…~’ Her voice rang in Adam’s head, echoing and rippling in his inner ear as Adam’s own house came into his mind, ‘~The one who is poisoned by the black blood of the earth…~’ Images of Merrick floating in the water with red coming from his mouth and gills, and resting, coughing in a bed. The memories are being forced into his immediate thoughts. He grimaces with emotion as he sees his love stained as such in his mind.
‘~His time in our worlds grow shorter and shorter as you keep him in your dwelling~’ Adam couldn’t help but tremble in fear — he can’t move, she has him just where she wants him, and who knows what this mermaid can or will do to him.
‘~Your healers cannot help him~’ He watched as the mermaid’s bahis siteleri veiled body undulated very smoothly in front of him as she swam slowly around him, “~Nor can we of his pod can give him aid~” She isn’t talking at all… Or is she? Is it telepathy? Merrick said only mermen can do that… What is she?
‘~There is only one way to save him~’ The mystical mermaid then turned herself as she drifted in front of Adam, her gleaming eyes looking into his.
“~Seek out Atarah. The Forbidden Ancient~” For the first time, the mermaid’s mouth moved, talking as her eyes flashed. Images of a swamp and a river with crystal clear waters flashed in Adam’s mind, along with a mysterious figure, a female, and an image of Adam, holding Merrick in his arms, “~For it is only she who knows the secret of purification~”
The next thing Adam knew, the mermaid is swimming away from him, her voice still echoing in his head. ‘~He has but one sun left…~’ His eyes grow heavy again, as if the water is lulling him to sleep ‘~Do not allow him to perish…~’
“GUH-HHHHHHHHH!” Adam gasped out as he sat right up! He shivers madly as he looked around, realizing that he has washed up on the beach near his home. He jumbled as a wave washed up to him. Adam then looked up at the faintly lit sky – it’s early dawn.
His heart pounded as a single statement echoed in his head:
“~~~Seek out Atarah. The Forbidden Ancient~~~” Those words in that mermaid’s mystic voice bounced around in his mind as he looked at the water. It seems to real to be a dream, but it seems too fanciful to be real.
Who is Atarah? Where does he find them?
Regardless, Adam turned around, and sprinted off.
Adam rode his motorcycle as fast as he could towards the pier, revving at full throttle as he took the bath to the pier’s beach instead of the docks. He soon stopped his vehicle, and jumped off of it, toppling over, before throwing off his helmet. He dashed desperately to the beach, under the large docks.
“BELINDA!!!!” He called out. Adam ran along the beach, and cupping his hands to his mouth, “BELIIIINNNNDAAAAA!!!” He yelled out, “BELINDA, WHERE ARE YOU?!” Adam ran back to under the dock, and yelled out again, “BELINDAAA!!”
“Ah-Adahm??” He turned around, and saw the familiar Holsien climbing out of a dark cavernous crack between the rocks, in her human form.
“Belinda!” Adam dashed up to her, “You got to help me!” Belinda backed up as Adam ran up to her, “Atarah, the Forbidden Ancient! Do you know it??”
“Ye-Yes, Adahm, I do know her?” Belinda answered.
“Who is she?!” Adam demanded.
“She is a hyuman. A hurmeet, she halped me at a time. She libe ina swamp miles into deh island.”
“Tell me where she is, please!” Adam said. Belinda narrowed her eyes at him.
“Why? Last dime we meet, you say you is done wit me. Now you ask forrr mee halp you?”
“Yes, I know, but it’s Merrick, he’s sick!”
“Deh fooleesh Adra who attack mee,” Belinda said.
“Yes, HIM! Now listen carefully. He was poisoned by the blood of the earth, and he is dying! He only has one day left to live! I GOTTA know where this Atarah is!”
Belinda shoved Adam back.
“No! I no halp you…” She glared at him, “He waz cruel to mee. He threat mee wit deat when I done no wrong to heem. I do not care if he leeve or die,” She said coldly, “And yu. You turn our back to me, you judge mee unwell.” She stepped towards her cave, “Find ‘er on your own-“
Belinda would then feel her wrist get yanked back. She was pulled back, and slammed into the rock, with Adam pushing her down against it.
“YOU OWE ME, BELINDA!!!” Adam bellowed. The tan, pink-haired female looked fearfully at him, for the first time, showing intimidation to a human.
“All those years ago, you tried to kill me! And then I helped you and Herald get back together!” He exclaimed, “Who covered for you every time you stole from the Fish House?! I DID! Who was the referee when you and Herald had a fight! ME! I was the one who gave him a viable story every time you guys wouldn’t speak to each other! I smoothed things out with you two many times over!!” Adam seethed as he glared at the Holsien, “I KEPT your secret hidden from EVERYONE! I helped you! I helped you stay a secret to humans, Belinda!” Adam began to feel his eyes water as he kept her pinned down.
“I love him, Belinda… Think about you and Herald…” She blinked at him, her violet eyes looking into his brown ones, “You and him… It happened on the night of a red moon, didn’t it?” Belinda gasped at that, “A Lunar Eclipse. Herald was glowing pink and purple, wasn’t he?? And you were glowing too!” Belinda whimpered as she looked into Adam’s eyes, “He doesn’t even know, does he? That you two are bonded forever. Or that he still doesn’t know you’re a mermaid,” Adam asked, “No… Because I made sure he never found out about you…”
“That’s what happened with me and Merrick. We’re soul-mates, Belinda.” He shook his head as tears rolled bahis şirketleri down his cheeks. Belinda’s expression became softer as Adam cried, “Don’t do it for Merrick, do it for me…” His eyes glimmered with sorrow, “I lost him once… He tried to leave me behind because he feared he would get banished… It tore me apart when he did that… Don’t let me lose him again… I’m not strong enough to go through that again…”
“Adam???” They turned to see Herald standing there, with a bouquet of Tiger-Lilies and Birds-of-Paradise, “Adam, what the hell are you doing to her?”
“Herald,” Belinda said as she stepped away from Adam, “Is alright.”
“Belinda,” Herald said as he advanced forward, “He had you pinned to the rock!”
“Is ok, love,” She said to him, “Wai forrr me at deh dock. I will come,” Herald huffed and glared at Adam, but she turned his head to look at her, “He need my halp… Is alright…” Herald sighed as he patted her shoulder.
“Alright, hun… Don’t take too long…” He kissed her, and left up the rocks. Belinda turned around, and approached Adam.
“Adahm…” She began, “Do you truss me?”
“… I have to…” Adam said, “Please… Tell me where she is… Where is Atarah?”
Belinda raised her hands to his head, and he flinched back. “Adahm!” She hissed irritably. She stepped up again, “You muss truss me…” Adam reluctantly stayed still. Belinda then pressed her thumbs onto his forehead. Adam immediately felt himself paralyzed as a strange buzzing vibration entered his head. Belinda hissed and exhaled as images raced into Adam’s head!
Adam sighed as he held Merrick. The merman is wrapped up in the beach towel, looking pale and darkened from the infection. His pulse is growing weaker by the minute. As he just lay there, bundled up. He won’t wake anymore, he won’t even stir. He’s still alive, but just on the brink.
“Adam…” Jamal said as he drove, “You sure this is the right way? I never been here before.” Adam is in the back seat with Merrick on him.
“Yeah, I can feel it, we’re on the right track.”
“Who told you bout this lady anyway?”
“A tan girl with pink hair, Belinda. She’s a friend of mine.”
“Oh her? I know Belinda. She and her bo, Herald were at the club one time. Had a good time at their place.”
“Ah, figures,” Adam said, “She’s a mermaid.” Jamal jumbled as he looked at his rear-view mirror.
“Wh-Wut? You serious???”
“Yeah. She’s Holsien”
“Holseewhat?” Jamal asked.
“Turn right,” Adam said. Jamal moved the car, and drove on, “There are three kinds of merfolk: Pisciens, Amniens, and Holsiens. Pisciens are fish, Amniens are mammals, and Holsiens are reptiles and squids and such. Merrick is a Piscien merman.”
“Whoa man…” Jamal said, shaking his head chuckling, “So Belinda’s a octopus mermaid or sumthin?”
“No, sea snake. She told me where to find this person. It’s hard to explain how, just trust me on this.”
After a long pause of driving, with Adam giving him directions here and there, Jamal spoke again,
“… Ah shyit,” Jamal said as he came to a stop, “Yo Adam, I can’t go any further.” Jamal said. He looked up, and saw they are facing a bog.
“This is good,” Adam said. Jamal turned off his car, and got out. He opened the door, and gently took Merrick off of Adam’s lap. Adam climbed out, and took his merman back, “If it’s gonna take a while, go ahead and head home, and I’ll let you know-“
“Nuh-uh.” Jamal said as he closed his door, and locked up his vehicle, “I ain’t missin this.” Adam couldn’t help but smile.
“Jamal… Thanks, buddy…”
“Save that, AFTER yo Bo gits betta, eh homeboy?” Jamal said with a smile as Adam walked along the mushy path of the bog.
As they walked they began to sweat profusely from the immense humidity. As they went, Jamal stepped on what looked like a large, thick leaf, before it yanked out from him. “WHOA!!” He yelped as a huge lump of mud rose up, and snarled at the two humans, “The hell is that, man?!”
“I don’t know!” Adam said as he looked at the muddy creature. It looks like saber-toothed manate-walrus with clawed feet and a long, thick tail with willowed fin-hairs at the end. It growled and opened its mouth, and let out a loud, blood-curdling roar.
“AHHH SHYIT!!!” Jamal exclaimed as he clapped his ears shut. Adam cringed as he was forced to listen to it scream in the woods. The weird creature stopped its noise, and snarled at them. It then proceeded to waddle into a pond of muddy water, and swim into it.
“I think that was a Bunyip. I remember seeing it in my Monsterology book.”
“A what now?”
“Bunyip. Supposedly, it’s a mythical beast that dwells in swamps. They’re supposed to be extremely docile, but scream out loud when they’re scared or angry.”
“Uh-huh…” Jamal said before they proceeded on. They tread on large tree roots within the bog. The marsh got steadily less and less muddy and ridden with root rot, and soon came to a body of clear water. Most of the trees are rooted from the pond-bottom.
“Hey, look!” Jamal said as he pointed. Adam looked, and smiled as he saw the bunyip swimming along the large roots. It sucked in a nearby fish and swallowed it whole.
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