It's Not Unusual
Ariel is a beauty beyond compare, at least
To those with her in the medical bay
The sea of disease, ever present
In the lantern lights, the rusted gears
She wonders what life would be like on land.
Her parents are loving, kind, strong
So much so they don't let her go
Even if legs she does own
To try to walk on healthy ground.
It doesn't matter, even if she wasn't bound-
The girl is paralyzed from the waist down.
Eric finds himself drowning in a literal sea
To land in Ariel's metaphorical sea
When he awakes, she is delighted to see
His eyes, blue like winter waves, can see
And they talk, and they laugh but
After some time, he goes
Back to shore, he's able to
Be someone she used to know-
Her, lost, alone,
Wishing she too could go.
Ariel swims to in feverish dreams
That ancient forbidden part of her sea
A forgotten name rises out of the waves
Recollection of collections of unscrupulous names
A woman whose work hurts and sullies reputations
She lies and steals lives without reparations
Truthfully, she's honest but far too brash
Brass in her veins boiling- she'll often clash
With the upper-class she has no patience
For those who demand results with no latency
Who don't understand there is a price to pay
Ariel believes she is
willing to pay the price to live.
Voices connected by wire
Discuss through hushed whispers
Her feet will hurt like needles
Her mouth will be bound, needless
To say she'd rather not scream unceasingly
In front of the lovely prince.
Other than that, no payment request is requested
It's already a success, a return on an investment
Ursula insists- she does it for the science.
Ariel grimaces skeptically until
The other admits she might bill
Her parents if she is not satisfied
By the petty, droll drama of this upper-class life.
A few days later, Eric sees
This girl who can walk.
Perhaps she could be normal, he believes
But she can't talk.
So he politely engages her in activities,
Not knowing what pain she's in
With sparks coursing up her knees
Fear wondering why Eric couldn't see
She could walk now- but why
Didn't he love her?
Did he ever?
With sunset stars and twilit seas
Lights hang above a precipice
There is a dance and he reveals
That he's been dancing with another.
Moving legs with a lover.
It's not unusual, but Ariel is
Wondering if love is reserved for everyone but fish
Who can't move on land like usual folks
And two steps back and one too late
She was at the end- the edge- and as if fate
Had chosen that moment to laugh at her, she fell
Into the sea, into the- well-
All the alterations dissipate in the ocean
Like sea foam.
But now, she's missing her legs and-
Pain, again, through heartbreak and-
Acid, these waters are dangerous and-
Her vison fades to black.
Opening her eyes to a strange place
Lying on the bed of a familiar face
Metal bars and metal arms
And metal walls and metal halls
There's a wheelchair with Ariel's name on it.
Ariel wishes she could blame the other woman
But Ursula likely saved her life.
But still, when Ariel tries to scream
At the witch, for knowingly trapping her
For giving her these metal arms, this metal heart-
Why not just let her die, and why not give her legs?
What did she know about science, anyways?
Was that all she did- pretend to be smart
To prey on the weak and the poor at heart?
Ursula laughs, shows Ariel both women's arms in the light
Nothing more than metal appendages shimmering bright
This is her life's research. Not trite inventions investors monetized
But limbs, to help those poor unfortunate souls traumatized
And besides, Ariel agreed to the deal.
But the crazy lady does have a heart
And she does care about those who are hurt
Because nobody wants anything but normal and able-
And she empathizes all too well.
The legs, though, are impossible
As of yet- she hasn't figured out
How to make them support someone.
Ursula lets it slip that if Ariel became an assistant, mobile or otherwise
To aid her in her various ventures
If she could help countless others
Perhaps one day she could walk again.
She never worked but supposes she could try
It's not unusual to go out on a limb, Ariel decides.