Phineas gave Serena good directions
To that lowly part of the sea.
The desolate seascape all around her
Made her want to hide or flea.
She’d never seen the sea so empty,
So dark, with so little life.
But she promised herself she would brave this.
And if necessary she’d fight.
But she was thankful she didn’t have to,
As finally approached the place,
Where she would hopefully, finally, become a woman,
And taste of Creator’s grace.
The sunken ship lay there,
Just as Phineas had said.
The silt-crusted vessel was massive in size.
And the bones of Manfolk lay dead,
All around and inside the ship,
It was very much a place of death.
Serena thought about turning back,
But then she thought of having breath.
She pushed onward into the ship,
And found the Sorceress in a small room.
The sorceress looked strange to Serena.
Petite, with depressed eyes from gloom.
She was an old hag with wrinkly skin,
And Serena could only guess what was within
The cloth covering over The Sea-Witch’s lower half,
Though she didn’t swim…
Sea-Witch: “What do you want, pathetic being?
My house is not open to you.”
Serena: “If you please, Sorceress, I’ve come to-”
Sea-Witch: “Get a Clue!
I know exactly why you came!
And my answer is: ‘Why should I?’
Just take your 300 years, little one. 300 years, then die!”
Serena almost left right there.
The Sea-Witch was so cruel.
But Phineas told her she’d have to insist.
Serena: “Do you take me for a fool?
I’ve made my decision.
I am not lost!
I will do this at whatever cost!”
The Sea-Witch grew agitated,
And slammed a fist on her table.
Sea-Witch: “What do you have to offer me?!
How are you able to pay your debt to me,
You poor miserable wretch?!”
Serena: “I can bring you riches from
My royal treasure chest.”
Sea-Witch: “Bah!” Said the witch.
“Riches are worth nothing!”
Serena: “Please, I’m not sure.
Can you help me think of something?”
The Sea-Witch exhaled
With an annoyed tone.
Not quite a sigh,
Not quite a groan.
Sea-Witch: “Do you have any talents?”
Serena: “Yes. I have a few.”
Sea-Witch: “Good. Now tell me.
Exactly what do you do?”
Serena: “I can sing.”
The Sea-Witch snapped.
Sea-Witch: “Show me!”
And Serena sang a sing of the sea.
But before she got far, the witch bid her to stop.
Sea-Witch: “It isn’t bad.
But it’s not worth a lot.”
Serena bowed her head
And the witch cocked hers.
Sea-Witch: “You swim gracefully.
Perhaps both can incur
The cost of this transaction?
With these will you part?
Your voice and your grace?”
Serena: “With all my heart.”
The witch snapped into action
Before Serena could have known it.
With one hand she grabbed Serena’s mouth,
With the other, Serena’s tongue, and pulled it.
She released her grip on the cheeks and then,
Brought a knife through the tongue with a swipe.
Pain tore through Serena’s body,
And she stumbled back in fright.
The old Sea-Witch laughed as blood colored the water.
Sea-Witch: “Here are the rules,
My little daughter!
1. You may never sing or speak again!
Obvious by what I just did.
2. Your grace will live on.
But invisible needles will dig,
Into the flesh and bones of your feet,
So to walk is beyond masochism.
These are both the price
For changing an organism.
3. And very last of all,
You will still turn to foam,
If you do not find true love,
Heaven will not be your home!
And if into true love, you do fall,
And your love rejects you,
Then that is all.
You will die shortly after,
And the foam of the sea,
Will have a few more bubbles to flow aimlessly.”
The witch twirled around, and Serena saw,
Legs of Manfolk,
Under the witch’s shawl.
Serena’s eyes went dark,
As terror gripped her heart,
Was this now the end?
Or just the very start?