Design Assignment 2: Color Change

The view from Rory’s lighthouse.

          Rory looked out of the same window with rusted jail bars grasping desperately onto the surface that she had been staring at for the past three years. Well, she wasn’t entirely sure of how long it had been at this point; she stopped scraping tally marks into the wall behind her bed a few months ago. She decided that how long she had been trapped in this…place…was inconsequential to her now; all she wanted was to get home to her boyfriend, who she was sure had been frantically searching for her the whole time that she had been gone. She didn’t have far to go to get to him, though; considering they were both mermaid and mermen, and she was trapped in this cement monstrosity that sat right on the edge of the ocean, one perilous jump would do the trick. ‘How is she alive if she isn’t in water?’ you may be asking yourself. Well, she only became a mermaid when she touched water. If she was on land, she appeared to be a normal human being. Kind of like Ariel, but she didn’t have to sacrifice a beautiful singing voice for a fresh set of kicks. 

The only problem was, she wasn’t totally sure where on the coastline she was. She had tried gathering context clues from her captor based on their very limited conversations. She had attempted to gain his trust or get him to reveal his identity that was covered by a mask made of tin and steel, but she failed in obtaining much detail about her surroundings. The mystery of who had done this to her, and more importantly, why she was being trapped here, had plagued her for years, causing an unfortunate lack of sleep. The tattered sleeping bag and barley stuffed pillow she was provided with didn’t exactly lend itself to beauty sleep, either. She tried to think about any enemies she had before she went missing, whether it be on the shore or in the water. The only person she could think of at this point was a girl she has always had an adversarial relationship with during high school. They were the smartest two girls, not only in the school, but in the state, and they were constantly pushing each other down to get to the number one spot in anything they did, whether it be valedictorian, class president, or even homecoming queen, which of course had nothing to do with intellect. But why would Shirley go to all of this trouble? She would have graduated high school two years ago at this point. Why keep up the charade? What in the world was she missing in this puzzle?

Suddenly, the heavy lock hanging from the outside of her door that she had seen through the keyhole in the door knob began to rattle. She knew her captor was coming in to bring her twice-a-day meal of rice, pork, and plantains. She had grown to hate the stuff, but you do what you have to do to survive, I guess. ‘Why, hello! Fancy seeing you here!’ she quipped at him, hoping to evoke even the tiniest hint of laughter. She got nothing in response. She was starting to get angry. During the first year of captivity, she had been in a state of shock and constant fear. The second year, she was numb to her core. Nothing could shake her fortified psyche, even when she was left alone without food for a week. She made it through. But now she was angry. It was time that she got out of here and back to the people who loved her. To the merman, Espian, who loved her, more specifically. ‘Could you please just tell me who you are?’ she pleaded to the steely-faced man in front of her. He shook his head, flatly regurgitating his classic line, that ‘this is for your own good‘. She had finally had enough of that one. So, as the man turned his back away from her, she did what she had been planning to do for months now. She picked up the piece of wood that she had whittled from the decaying window frame that she had been hiding behind her back and hit him as hard as she could over the head. Before escaping, purely out of morbid curiosity, she took the man’s helmet off. The face that looked back at her was so despondent and scared. But this is not what she noticed first. What she noticed was that this man, or merman, was her beloved boyfriend, Espian.

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