Going to Hell
“I am coming with you.” Ariel snarled, but another bout of vomiting overcame her as she bent over the bowl Eric held before her. He kept her bright red hair out of the way as she had a hand on her throat and the other around her belly.
There was a certain amount of routine in it now, in the days that had passed since the morning sickness had begun. They had bowls deployed around the bed chamber and he usually woke up before her and had a bowl ready.
They had been arguing over this ever since Chedrick had come. Eric knew he just had to wait, while Ariel might be strong enough during the day this morning sickness was draining and noisy. She was more adamant then even no that Aunt Rapunzel and her family had arrived. Ariel knew what that meant.
Catching her breathe she panted, “I will not be left behind as my family goes off to fight. I love you.”
“I love you too, but can’t you stay here and keep the newest member of our family safe, please.”
“I was strong enough to take on Ursula.”
“You were and you won. Now it is my turn.” Her mouth quirked and he held out the bowl again.
“I need to be with you.” She said once the vomiting had stopped.
“I know you do, I need you too, so much. I need you here to bring me home.”
She ducked her head.
“Besides I know you’ve been talking to Grimsby about what hell is like. Do you really want to take our baby there?” He was using the last, best argument he had.
She shook her head and shivered. He held he bowl up but she didn’t need it this time. “Father said the underworld is a terrible place but hell is the worst of it.
“Why do you make me make these terrible decisions? I thought we would have our happy ending now.” She looked so dejected with her hands in her lap.
“I’m sorry. It looks like we have another adventure first. Besides, endings come at the end and we are just starting our lives.”
She smiled a little at him for that. Then she had dry heaves until she was left shaking and weak.
“I want to come with you but I can’t,” she whispered looking into the swirl of vomit in the bowl in Eric’s hand. “I would have given anything before, but I know that price would be too high to pay.” She looked up and put a hand on his arm. “Go save your family. Just try to not take too long.”
# # #
They were on the dock, Eric in armor and Chedrick in wizard robes. There were packs for each of them and save for a few others it was empty as guards sealed the area.
“Aunt Rapunzel, Uncle Eugene thank you for being my family until I was ready for this. I will get them. I love you.” Said Eric.
“We love you too. I know you will, Eric. You are a good boy and we are proud of you.” Said Rapunzel, hugging her sister’s son.
“I can’t think of a better person on the path to hell.” Said Eugene, joining in the hug.
They chuckled at the humor of that.
“Grimbsy. Carlotta. Thank you for always being here for me too. I love you both.”
“Thank you, your Highness… er, Eric.” Grimsby said correcting himself after a look from Eric.
“Thank you, Eric. Good luck. I know you can do it.” Said Carlotta. Eric interrupted her curtsy with a hug.
Then he came to his wife and they touched foreheads for a while before holding each other tightly and Ariel kissed him desperately. Eric could taste a hint of acid on her tongue but he didn’t, couldn’t care.
“I love you.” They whispered to each other as tears ran down.
“Thank you, Mom, Dad.” Said Chedrick to Rapunzel and Eugene.
“We are proud of you son and we love you so much.”
“I love you more.”
“We love you most.” Came from the family hug.
Finally, they took deep breathes and separated. Chedrick settled his hat, hefted his magic staff and slung his pack. Eric belted on his sword and pulled on his gauntlets before slinging a pack over his shoulders. They had split the difference of going heavily armed and armored or not. Then nodded to Ariel.
She went to the side of the dock. “Daddy. We’re ready.”
King Triton rose up on a wave. “You are the bravest people I have ever met. You are sure about this?”
“Absolutely.” Eric and Chedrick said together.
“Very well. Since Persephone just arrived, I was able to get some valuble information about hell. I know where to send you. At least pretty close. The real question is getting back…”
Chedrick nodded, “I am pretty sure we can get back once you show me the way in.”
“In is easy, getting back is the hard part.” Triton warned.
“I know it.” Chedrick said.
Triton nodded his response then aimed the Trident of Poseidon at the end of the dock and caused a swirling portal to appear.
Chedrick went to it and ran his hand over it. His staff spilled sparkles as he inspected the magic. “Yes, I see. Thank you. I am sure to be able to get us back.”
Ariel gave a hiccup of happiness and hugged her husband again. “Good luck.”
After another kiss, Eric put on his helmet and they took their places before the portal.
“Have fun assaulting hell.” Eugene called.
The two men looked at each other, nodded and stepped through, then the portal vanished with a pop.
“Oh, Daddy. Do you think they’ll make it back?” Ariel threw herself at her father.
“I don’t know, but they are good men in hell, and that will make a difference.” He said as he held his daughter.
“Daddy. I’m pregnant. They say I’ll be giving birth next summer.”
“Yes, like a dolphin.”
“A dolphin? But that takes so long. What about laying your eggs in a nice nest?”
“You made me completely human, so I have to do it the human way.”
“Oh yeah, I did. How it is going?”
Ariel ducked her head. “They say it is mostly normal, though the throwing up is a bit much.”
“Throwing up?” King Triton asked.
Rapunzel stepped up, “It’s where the food she ate comes back out through her mouth. It happens to women often during pregnancy.” Having been introduced to the King of the Ocean had been pretty interesting earlier, now it was nice to talk a little.
“Oh. She’ll be okay, right?” said King Triton.
“Yes, we’re making sure she is well cared for. She’ll be fine.” Rapunzel assured him.
“Good.” He said. Then he looked around, “You are still happy here?”
“Yes, Daddy I am. These are good people.”
“I see that now. I think I might as well get back to Atlantica. I love you my daughter.”
“I love you too, Daddy.” Said Ariel and after one last hug the king of the ocean left and the other returned to the castle.