It's Not Unusual

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

Her.

 

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

 

Ursula.

A woman whose work hurts and sullies reputations

She lies and steals lives without reparations

In theory.

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

For everything.

 

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.

An understatement.

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.

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