To fight? Or run?

What was I to do? It seemed as if I was met at a crossroads. This was serious- it was not some make-believe game I could just quit and walk away unscathed. If I followed him, I faced death, head-on. I turned around, and saw the gates of the dungeons cracked open, the bars lopsided and worthless. I could leave right now. I could leave unscathed with only my memories tarnished. What would I tell Aunt Amy when she asked about Ben?
"Oh, him. Yeah I left him in the depths of the ocean to face his imminent doom by facing crazy, ruthless mermaids who aren't actually fiction. They went to overthrow his father's empire and turn everyone into mindless slaves, thus ruling the oceans of the world and possibly destroying humankind. I decided I didn't want any part in that, so we broke up. It was mutual. Kind of."

That could work.

No, actually, not really.

I turned around and sprinted back to the room where the battle was still being fought. As soon as I reached the door, I saw light out of the corner of my eye. Instinctively I held up my hands, the heat already pulsing, and it created a barrier. Through it I saw two guards with light poles pointed towards me, the light already glaringly bright. I recognized them as the two guards who had approached Ben and I when we first entered the dome.
"Stop, put down your weapons! I'm an ally of the kingdom!" All they did was chortle, and the light glowed brighter.
"Good, then you won't mind us burning you to bits," the bigger and, frankly uglier, of the two guffawed.
They were the traitors. They were the ones who had let the coup into the kingdom, the reason they had been able to overthrow the King!

I pushed my fire out further, and I saw the flicker of fear on their faces as it began to engulf them.

And then a bolt of lightning came from the entrance of the dungeon and pierced my side. I crumpled to the floor, screaming. I felt my blood begin to race towards the wound, and willed it to stop. The water around my limp body stained red.

Through the cloud of crimson I saw the form of a familiar woman take shape. Who was she?
Then, she spoke in a high, sweet voice, "Well if it isn't the little princess? Long time no see."  I still couldn't place her, and I could tell she was expecting me to say something. Even if I knew who she was, I was panting to hard to speak.

"That's not a surprise, that you don't remember me. No one ever expects the poor, little maid." Her smile made her tanned, angel face disgusting, and I longed for my fire to come back so I could blow her into the next ocean.
It was the maid from the castle, the one whom I had run into and spilled her laundry. I couldn't understand.
"Why- what are you..." I tried to speak, but the words wouldn't form.
She understood me, though. "You didn't think that someone like me," she gestured to her slight body, now clothed in a black jumpsuit, "could plan a takeover like this, did you?" I swallowed, finally understanding. The pain in my side throbbed, and I clutched it tighter. My head suddenly felt light, as if I was slipping away...

"And now that I've gotten rid of the King, I can eliminate the rest of the royal family and take my throne as dictator of the seas." She smiled again, but it was smug and her eyes were vacant, as if she were years away in the future.

"Cronon, Barius, take her into a cell. We don't need to worry about her." The maid was fading from my sight, her figure blurring. "She will be gone soon."

Then, everything was dark.

The End

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