Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Good morning, Mab

They awoke to pitch black, laying belly up in the cold water of a bathtub. They blinked once, twice, before they turned towards the alarm clock they had strategically placed on a chair next to the tub. It read 6:30. With a tired groan they lifted themselves upright, rubbing the night's sleep from their eyes before slamming their palm onto the snooze button.

Pushing up with their long spindly arms on either side of the tub, they stood up with a deep sigh. Their feet made a soft, wet pitter patter noise as they stepped out and flicked on the light.

Good morning, Mab.

Their bathroom was, to put it simply, unkempt, which even still was too weak a word to truly describe the state of their lavatory. Mold had grown in a line circling the inside of the tub where the surface of the water typically was. The mirror was smudged with toothpaste, finger prints, and a layer of who-knows-what that blurred the reflection slightly. The tiles on the walls were loose, barely holding onto the cement wall behind it. Each morning, Mab woke up to this mess, and each morning they would promise themself that they'd clean it that evening. Of course, when evening came, Mab was too tired or too busy or too sore to even think about picking up a sponge.

They looked at their reflection in the mirror with tired eyes, and they saw the same thing that they had for centuries. Dark blue-tinged skin, two slits for nostrils, and sharp teeth hiding behind full lips. Their eyes were beady and dark, like those of a fish, and the sharp eyebrows that topped them were simply drawn on.

They weren't human.

They knew that as soon as they washed up on the shore of what was now Palma, Spain three centuries ago. They were of the ocean, not of the mountains or the plains or the valleys.  "What a beautiful world" They remember thinking to themselves when they were still brand new. The mountains in the distance were soft and sloping, and the sand was as hot and white as the sun. In the ocean, they were alone, but perhaps here, upon this solid earth, they wouldn't be. Perhaps they'd make friends and family, make connections.

Of course, when one spends centuries away from their ocean home, one tends to forget how to swim. They had become so ingrained in their life posing as a human, they simply pushed the knowledge out of their head to make room for new, exciting memories. And thus, Mab was stuck here, at Winthrop place, with a crappy job checking out groceries at the local grocery store. The thing about human culture is that you were not free to do whatever you pleased whenever you pleased. In order to do something, you had to have money. And getting money was something they never really excelled at.

After they brushed their teeth and rubbed themselves top to bottom with body lotion (to keep the moisture in, of course. Without it they'd shrivel and dry after a few hours.), they'd begin their makeup routine.

It was a fairly hard task trying to look remotely human when you obviously were not. First, they'd apply a thin layer of brown fountain over their face, chin, arms, and legs, but never over their neck or the sides of their abdomen (Who would want to get that gunk in their gills?). Then they'd draw their eyebrows on with a sharp brown pen, place false eyelashes onto her second eyelid (She had two), and cover their lips with a soft pink color. Looking at Mab, you could certainly tell that something was not right, but as far as they were concerned, it just looked like they were wearing too much makeup.

The final pieces to their outfit was placed after they had gotten dressed. A long dark wig, to cover up their hairless head, and a scarf to cover up the gills on their neck.

In their kitchen, which was no better than the bathroom, they looked out the window. It was raining.

This was typically a good sign for them for the moisture in the air was perfect for their soft membrane, but alas, the makeup would not stay on if it weren't for an umbrella.