Come on, Derek. Now’s your chance. Kill that wretched girl.
The beast within me spoke once again. I saw his shadow form once more, only he was standing on his tail, as if it was a pair of legs. I shook my new fist at him.
Don’t be angry at me. Just do what I say. Look at that bottle in that bin over there. Pick it up.
I shook my head at his orders.
I actually proceeded to do what he commanded that time, running up to the dustbin and picking up the bottle.
Break the bottle.
With the bottle in my hand, I threw it to the ground, smashing it to pieces.
I neared the building once more, broken bottle in hand.. But suddenly, Jenny ran up to me, shocked at what I was going to do. My intents to kill slowly faded as I saw her expression.
‘No!’ I told my dark half while throwing the bottle to the ground, ‘I’m not your slave anymore.’
With that, the malevolent shadow morphed back into a regular human shadow.
‘Derek,’ Jenny crossed her arms. ‘What the hell?’
Burying her face in her hand, Jenny snarled like…like a beast. ‘Not only do you stand me up in front of everyone, you wave glass in my face!’
‘No! You…’ Her expression didn’t change. I knew I was defeated.
I walked away from the dance, ashamed to show my face at that moment. The image of Jenny’s snarl still in my mind, I sat down on the beach, watching the reflection of the moon on the rippling waves. The monster inside me was still here, mocking me and ordering me around.
During my short time as a human, it brought me more regret. Just because of my former species, I missed out on so many things. Why couldn’t I have been born a human? Why did God make me a shark?
During my time on dry land, I had learned about the LOVING God humans worshipped. It had actually made me hopeful. I mean, I actually felt secure that there is someone who LOVES me, no matter what others think of me. And this God, he promised people to go to a better place when they die. I had actually prayed to him at times, asking Him if he would help me overcome the beast in my mind.
I remembered the sort of childhood little Lucy had led. She got cheery story-time books read to her, an entire room with innocent, childhood icons, and a LOVING mother. Why did she get a parent who LOVED her and wanted her to do good? I don’t remember my parents.
If I had been this way my whole life, this vicious beast within me wouldn’t even have had existed. I would have had a LOVING family, support and companionship from my fellow species and I wouldn’t have held that bottle.
Yes, that would be perfect. I would have two kind and caring parents, a kind and beautiful mother to give me comfort when things go wrong, and a father who wanted nothing more than for me to make something of myself. I would play games with them, learn from them, give them presents and feel so lucky that I had a family. Also, perhaps I would have brothers and sisters to play with and help every day.
I could have had all that.
But I was merely transformed, and this monster still lived, more furious than ever. I thought that doing good would lessen his power but his echoing voice still remained in my head. Although I tried to ignore him, and didn’t do as he said, my anger against him remained. But what if I someday succumb to him, and become a human shark? What if I become evil and terrifying and start murdering? And what about Jenny? Would she still accept me?
I just sat there on the beach, crying my eyes out, due to my thoughts. Crying lifted that weight, but only slightly. What lightened my spirits a little more was that somebody came up to me and said, ‘Poor guy.’ At least I got something I wanted.
I looked around the area. Good. The coast was clear. I got out of my pocket a small remote control. Pressing a noticeable button, the entrance to Gwen’s home appeared out of the water. I travelled down the tube, and entered the house once again.
I smiled as I saw Gwen reclining on her couch, listening to music. As soon as she saw me, she turned off her music, smiled and asked how the dance was.
‘It was going good,’ I explained, ‘until…until he spoke.’
Gwen’s eyes bulged in terror. ‘Who’s he?’
I sighed. ‘The voices. He told me to kill back when I was a shark, and he’s still doing it now.’
‘Oh dear.’ Gwen told me, ‘Derek, I need to tell you something.’ Gwen stood up and started wandering around the room as she told me the news.
‘You see Derek, humans have two sides to them, a good side and an evil side. For sharks, like you used to be, it’s quite similar. Sharks are actually two people, one existing inside the mind, the dark side. Most sharks succumb to this side, hence their destructive nature.’ She picked up a book, the one I had studied in English. ‘This is similar to this story, in the sense that a person’s dark side is a separate entity. Like Mr. Hyde was the embodiment of Dr. Jekyll’s dark side, this creature inside you is the embodiment of your own dark side. All your evil and hatred, with a mind of its own. I thought I could destroy it by turning you into a human, Derek.’
‘But,’ I added, ‘it just seems like he’s become more furious at me.’
‘And now,’ Gwen continued, the trepidation in her voice increasing with each word she spoke, ‘I think this could really ruin your chances with Jenny. You may die…just like…just like the mermaid.’
‘So, is there anything I can do?’ I asked.
‘There are three choices, Derek.’ Gwen explained, ‘You can remain this way, trying to cope with this dark side, but chances are you will eventually succumb to him.’ She then pointed to the machine that caused my transformation in the first place. ‘Another option is, you could revert back to your original form. It’s what the beast within you wants, and after you do it, he might be less frequent.’
‘And my third choice?’
‘I have a theory,’ she replied, ‘that it’s more likely he can be defeated from the inside rather than the outside.’
What did she mean?
‘My ancestors,’ she continued, ‘researched shark’s inner demons and used magic to enter shark’s minds to fight them. Unfortunately, they later found out that these demons could only be defeated by their ‘owners’ in their dreams…and sharks can’t sleep.
‘Since I wanted to scientifically reproduce every sea-witch ability, I started to work on ‘Project Looking Glass’.’
Gwen sighed, holding up what looked like a blue headband. ‘ I invented this quite a while ago. ‘The White Rabbit’. This machine will allow you to enter your own mind when you sleep so you could face your dark side head on. Since he is practically physical, you can fight him in your dreams, sorta like Nightmare on Elm Street. You may defeat him, you may not, but it may be the only way to be completely human.’
I imagined what it would be like if my dark side had been vanquished and I was a complete human being. I could finally win Jenny’s heart, we would be an official couple, remembered throughout the ages, and perhaps…perhaps we could get married and be together for the rest of our lives. We would have children; not vicious shark children that would tear a man to shreds, but human children, eager to learn and be good citizens. I would have a LOVING family, the one I’ve always wanted. I would grow old with Jenny, and die a human being, the majority of my life spent not as a shark.
A goal I’d always dreamed of obtaining.
‘How do I defeat him?’ I questioned.
‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you!’ Gwen cried, raising her webbed hand in the air, ‘This demon in your mind is mental, so it cannot be harmed by physical means. You have to stand up to it. However, since you are in its realm, it can kill you. If it looks like you’re in trouble, I’ll wake you up.’
‘I have to defeat him tonight. If it looks like I’m in trouble, do something to help me out. Also, Gwen, why did you wait until now to tell me this?’
‘I thought that your humanity could contain it at first.’
‘And I don’t really think this whole ordeal makes sense.’
‘You’re talking to a character from a fairy tale, Derek. I don’t think anything makes sense anymore. Anyway, good luck.’
I thanked Gwen for caring.
I darted into my bed, attempting to get to sleep. When asleep, Gwen instructed, I would face my dark side, as I would be inside my mind. Soon my wish was granted. I fell into a deep sleep, and when I opened my eyes, I was…
I was there.
The sky was blanketed in dark grey clouds, with the low rumbling of thunder in the distance. The ground was of an even darker grey than the sky; it was dry, and was patterned with deep indentations. The only life in this barren waste were a few naked trees, which looked like…it can’t be…they were screaming in pain; their ‘arms’ clenching their ‘stomachs’, their hollows shrieking. Harsh wind blew in my face as I further observed my dark side’s domain, causing dust to dance in the air.
I turned around, and I saw a beautiful land which contrasted greatly with this dismal place. A light blue, cloudless sky with the sun grinning childishly. A beautiful emerald green field, where flowers peeked out from the long grass. But that lovely place was surrounded by a tall black iron fence. What was it?
It’s your domain, with all your naive fantasies. This place belongs to me.
I heard his voice yet again, yet he wasn’t visible just yet. As I looked around for the source of the voice, I saw…
Jenny was there in the distance, her back turned to me. She was just standing there, looking at the clouds. I neared her cautiously and slowly. But just as I came close…
She burst into flames.
Burst into flames and disappeared.
I turned around and saw him.
He almost looked like my old shark form. Same size, same shade of grey, same fin, same everything. But his eyes burnt. His pupil looked like a thin red fin, his sclera a vivid yellow. Those demonic eyes narrowed as he stared at me more, his mouth in an angry snarl.
I’ve been waiting for this day for so long, he growled, saliva dripping from his mouth.
‘Just leave me and Jenny alone!’ I shouted at the beast I had waited so long to face.
`I can’t believe you, really I can’t.’ the demon continued, `Most sharks would be happy about their species, while YOU become some guinea pig just to become a pathetic human! With that, he whacked me with his tail, knocking me to the ground.
‘Urm…er…h-humans are superior to sharks.’
He let out a loud laugh, one that echoed throughout the whole area.
Haven’t you looked around that school you’ve attended? Haven’t you looked at all the lazy, worthless specimens watching the world go by? You want purpose, yet you also want to be like them?
You had a purpose, Derek. You were supposed to keep the fish population in check, make people less foolhardy about going into the deep. Now you just want to spend all your time watching television and playing video games. Acacia was right about you.
‘There ARE good humans. I just thought I could be like the good ones, maybe.’ I timidly spoke.
FOOL! There are no good humans. The humans that claim they are good have evil intent locked away, which awaits freedom, and escapes. But who will save us from this evil? GOD? No. God is a lie, fabricated by humanity. Evangelists and ministers alike gain so much income from the lie of God…they don’t LOVE, they only want to exploit him. If God was real, why do we suffer? Why do YOU suffer? Why were you born a shark, the species you hate? Humanity is not a species of love, so the lie of a God is useless. There is no heavenly force LOVING you, Derek, forget those infantile promises.
You want to destroy me to become completely human, to shed every iota of your former species. It’s pointless. Useless. Unnecessary. Sharks are more civilised than those pathetic animals we call humans. We sharks have a reason to kill, to stay alive. Humans kill for no reason at all. They ENJOY murder. Therefore, if you want to be human, you must LOVE death. When somebody kills in a movie, the humans praise him as if he were their messiah. They even enjoy the many massacres sharks bring, it gives them entertainment. That’s how you gain LOVE, by killing. The crowd will cheer!
The demon chuckled with glee.
That’s all you can say, isn’t it? Why are you fighting?
You don’t care about her. You just want her to be part of your little pity party so you can feel better about yourself. You’re selfish, you’re lazy…in fact, you are just like a human.
Forget it, Derek, you can’t defeat me. You’re still trapped in your happy little wonderland where you think all the mean baddies get defeated, and then you get everything you want, and everybody will LOVE and accept you. What tommyrot. This is the real world Derek. Not some happy-sappy fairytale where everything goes right and everybody’s nice and happy. This is a world where murder is useful, sometimes even necessary. Nice guys finish last, you know.
With those last words, he darted right up to me and stared angrily at my face. He then swam through imaginary waters, darting towards me once again, which I dodged by the skin of my teeth. He still persevered to fight, darting towards me with his jaws wideo open. I got a close look at his teeth, which resembled drills rather than regular shark teeth. He swiped at me with one of his fins, which seemed to elongate as long as an arm.
You think I’m going to kill you now, don’t you Derek? Well, guess what, I’m not going to. Want to know why? I want to give you a second chance. Wake up, face reality. Tell that sea witch to turn you back into a shark. Return to your old life.’
All of a sudden, the ground beneath me EXPLODED. I was thrown into the sky, falling, falling into a dark abyss…
Then I woke up.
I could still hear him…
I only want what’s best for you, Derek, he told me, because I am you.