Jenny walked back home, shuddering. The cold night breeze blew in her face, the leaves danced across the road, and the moon and stars were hardly noticeable due to the grey clouds. And she had to walk through this night by herself.
That Derek. Just when you think you know someone. A broken bottle.
As she approached her house, she froze with fear. Gwen, wearing a trench coat and shuddering, was standing right on Jenny’s lawn. Jenny slowly backed away from Gwen, but Gwen approached Jenny at the same speed.
‘Derek is in trouble.’ were her first words.
All Jenny could do was stand and say nothing.
‘Follow me.’ She then proceeded to run, and Jenny decided to follow her. Maybe she’d find out what was with Derek, and maybe really give him a piece of her mind
The two abruptly stopped at the beach, with Jenny standing in puzzlement. Gwen pressed a button on a remote control she obtained from her pocket, and a tube with a door rose from the ocean. Just as Jenny turned around, she and Gwen spiralled down into the mansion.
Jenny stumbled about a place that looked exactly how she’d picture a mad scientist’s laboratory. Test tubes, huge machinery, a giant picture of ‘Vitruvian Man’ occupying a wall and a vast bookcase as wide as the eye could see. The walls were dark blue, the colour of the sea and the floor looked like a chessboard. She even saw Derek sitting on a chair, looking like he was trying to keep awake.
‘Derek!’ Jenny yelled, springing him to life.
‘What is this?’
Gwen stared at Jenny, telling her she was about to take off her disguise and to close her eyes. Disguise? Jenny did as Gwen said, and when instructed to open her eyes, she leapt backwards.
Gwen was a horrific alien creature. She was bald, covered with green scales, and had two nostrils instead of a nose. Her hands and feet were webbed and instead of ears, she had two large gills growing out of her head like hands that wanted to hug.
‘Before we talk about Derek,’ Jenny asked, quivering, ‘what are you?’
Gwen raised her arm in the air with pride, and replied ‘I…am a sea-witch!’
Makes sense, thought Jenny.
‘Anyway,’ she continued, ‘Derek is not human. Well, he wasn’t born one. He was the first victim of my fish-to-human experiment.’
The more Jenny stood in this room, the more she began to believe what was occurring. Well, it was better than just sitting home watching TV all day.
‘What fish was he previously?’
Great. More sharks.
‘The very shark that saved you from drowning.’
‘Okay, that’s it! I’m out of here!’
‘Don’t be like that! You gotta appreciate a boy that’d undergo a potentially dangerous experiment for you.’ Jenny turned back. ‘Anyway, Derek didn’t want to be a shark. He thought that sharks had no purpose, and were supposed to be a vicious brutish species when he was trying to be good. He had no companionship from his fellow species, and wanted love more than anything. He thought that being human would help him find love and to make up for his past misdeeds.’
Jenny snickered. She couldn’t believe that there were actually sharks that were kindly people underneath, like in stupid Saturday morning cartoons.
‘Derek has a dark side.’ Gwen continued, ‘A mental monster, instructing him to kill. The whole reason sharks are killers.’
Jenny stood upright when she heard that sentence. Was she really supposed to believe that sharks are predators because they were schizophrenic?
‘It’s the reason I brought you here.’ Gwen sighed, ‘Derek’s dark side is more than just a figment of his imagination. He’s a separate entity, and he wants Derek to become a shark again. Derek wants to battle this creature in his dreams to become completely human, for you.’
Jenny laughed. How many movies was she going to have to live through?
Gwen instructed that she should go into Derek’s dream, to remind him of his love for her, which could help him fight his mental beast, and to help him battle. Apparently, it couldn’t be beat by physical attacks, so Jenny and Derek had to stand up to it to defeat it. Jenny had to wear one of her ‘psychic helmets’ (apparently sea-witches have psychic powers) and read Derek’s mind until her ‘essence’ was transported there; it was a special mode for the helmets. Gwen had her own helmet so she could see what was happening. If it looked like Jenny was in trouble, she would ‘reverse the polarity’ (Jenny had heard that phrase so many times but I never expected to hear someone say it in real life) to get her out.
Most people would have run away as fast as they could if they were offered to battle a demonic shark that lived inside somebody’s brain.
Jenny tried doing just that.
Jenny ran to the door, banging it with all her might, desperately wanting to open it and escape from this nuthouse. But the door was locked.
‘I thought you’d try something like that,’ Gwen explained, ‘so I locked the door. NOW YOU HAVE TO FIGHT THE DARK SIDE! MUA HA HA HA HA HA HA!’
After burying her face in her hands at Gwen’s remark, Jenny turned to the shuddering Derek. That Derek. The same one who sat with her during lunchtime and listened to her.
When Derek went to bed and slept, Jenny donned the helmet, turned towards Derek, twitching and rolling around in his sleep, and switched the machine on.
Then the world went twisted.
Jenny found herself standing on dry, grey land, in a lifeless place which no human should really be in. She saw Derek and a flying shark with eyes like those of a snake. The shark was darting and surveying Derek, but Jenny neared the shark, and slugged him behind his back.
The beastly shark stared at her, eye-to eye. Given the choice between Gwen and this thing, Jenny would definitely pick Gwen.
Well, well, well, he hissed, if it isn’t Derek’s girlfriend! The shark actually smiled, revealing his drill-like teeth. Jenny stood still, as nothing but gibberish escaped her mouth. Just the response I was expecting.
‘Leave…leave…Derek alone…’ Jenny stuttered, trying to sound brave.
YOU can’t defeat me, human. I’m at the top of the food chain, while you’re just a slob. Why did you come here? Haven’t you given Derek enough trouble?
Jenny punched him again, this time in the face, without effort, but he just laughed as if she were just a joke.
‘Leave her alone!’
That was the sound of Derek.
So, you’re actually standing up to me because I’m threatening your little girlfriend?
‘Yes. Don’t try to urge me to kill. I’m not your slave. I’m not your servant. I’m not afraid of you! I don’t have to do what you say anymore!‘
The mental shark growled furiously, before laughing softly.
Impressive. You really have learned something, haven’t you? But you still haven’t won. I still hold the aces around here…’
His abilities were shown once again as he raised his fin in the air triumphantly, causing living human skeletons to burst through the ground. Their eyeballs were still in their sockets, and all of them had the same teeth as the demon shark. The skeletons held Jenny in their arms, squeezing her. They were surprisingly strong for creatures without muscles.
‘What are you doing to Jenny?’ Derek questioned.
What do you think?
‘GWEN!’ I screamed. At that moment, Jenny felt like something was trying to pull her out of this nightmare, but the henchmen of Derek’s evil power held her as if she was a teddy bear, their feet becoming roots that clung deep into the ground.
‘LET HER GO!’ Derek cried, stamping his foot on the ground.
No. I’m going to kill her. If you try to rebuke me… The skeletons opened their mouths, saliva dripping down. Just think, Derek. I can kill her and it will be all your fault. You’ll have her lie on your conscience for the rest of your life. Not some insignificant fish, the person you apparently LOVE. I like that word. Derek said nothing.
Or, he continued, you could tell your scaly friend out there to turn you back into a shark. If you do, you probably won’t be loved but I’ll leave you alone, scout’s honour. But if you even THINK about being human again, I’ll be back.
‘Gwen,’ said Derek, ‘she said she couldn’t turn me back. She said I could never be a shark again.’
Jenny shut her eyes, too frightened to speak.
Oh, yes, she did, didn’t she? Well, then I guess I have no choice but to…
‘No!’ Derek screamed.
Derek sighed. ‘Take me instead.’
‘What?’ cried Jenny.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
‘I said, take me instead. I know you want to do it.’
The mental skeletons immediately released Jenny, and wrapped Derek in their clutches.
‘No, Derek, don’t.’
Derek said nothing in reply to Jenny’s protests. As the skeletons leered at him in their grasp, the flying shark turned to Jenny. I’ll have his death lie on your conscience instead.
In a second, Jenny returned to Gwen’s laboratory.