1: Loss - Let Me Go

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Aren coughed, her body spasming again, jolting the prince. As she shook, her mouth widened and it appeared as if the sea was being channelled through her, flowing from her every orifice like a waterfall over a shattered bluff, the spray exploding in all directions. Rick shrieked, trying desperately, and vainly, to stem the flow with his hands.

"NOOOOO!"

The flood ceased, perhaps at the sound of her love, perhaps simply because no body could hold such an immense volume of liquid indefinitely and Aren had run dry.

Her eyes moved rapidly from side to side, searching for something. They focussed on Rick and widened.

"Ocean..." she managed to say, her voice faint but distinct.

Rick held out his hands, confusion and concern tearing his thoughts to shreds like ravenous hounds at a cornered fox.

"Ocean! I... I need the sea! My sea!"

Shaking his head but complying, the prince lifted Aren and ran with her into the princess's true home. He took her further than the breakers, out as far as he could go without the fear of his feet losing contact with the sea bed. He lowered her into the water, submerging her until she was completely covered. Her mouth moved but the words were lost in the sway ripples.

"I don't understand!"

She spoke again, but still Rick was unable to hear what she Aren was saying. He had no choice but to life her up.

"Let me go," she said.

"I can't!"

"Let me go," she repeated. Her voice was flat, any trace of feeling dissolved as if by the very water she floated in.

"I can't," Rick said again, though defeat shadowed his face.

"Let me go," Aren whispered as she began to shake and her eyes rolled up in their sockets.

With jaw clenched tightly to hold his emotions in check, his teeth becoming the prison bars holding them captive, he lowered his arms. Aren sank below the surface. She continued to descend past where the floor must be as Rick could feel it beneath him. The dark waters, devoid of any luminescence at such a late hour, swallowed both her and his heart.

Aren vanished.


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