"Too late, Mom!", Melody snapped at Ariel, as she handed the trident to Morgana.
"Melody, no!", Ariel cried as she reached out, but to no avail.
At last, Morgana was holding King Triton's trident in her hand.
There was a bright green glow, and a power beyond anything she ever experienced! Morgana laughed joyfully and swam even higher as the trident continued to glow in her hand.
But then, the sea witch also felt something else at the same time, which she also started feeling ever since Melody came to her seeking the truth about her heritage, and the locket with her name.
When Melody told Morgana about Ariel refusing to tell her anything, the sea witch felt...understood, for once.
Morgana's mother always favored her sister Ursula, since she was more talented with magic and spells. Morgana always had the potential and ability, but Ursula always outdid her.
Not only did Ariel refuse to tell Melody the truth about her heritage, but she forbade her to even spend time by the ocean, despite Melody's deep passion for the sea.
Then after Morgana turned the girl into a mermaid, Melody hugged her tightly while giving sincere gratitude.
The sea witch never experienced such love and appreciation, and she had to admit it was very...
amazing! Afterward, Morgana noticed the new mermaid's determination to find the trident for her, even after the sea witch said it was dangerous.
Nor had Morgana ever had anyone show such dedication for her!
Now here she was, grasping the trident of King Triton himself in her hand. It was then, Morgana realized that Melody also exhibited trust, something else nobody ever gave her.
Granted, the sea witch was quite deceitful and conniving before, but this trust shown by Melody was truly unique and special.
Morgana glanced down at the two mermaids, who were holding each other tightly in fear.
Then she began to swim back toward the mother and daughter duo, when a familiar voice shouted, "Morgana, stop whatever you're doing this instant!"
The startled sea witch glanced over, and sure enough, King Triton, his other daughters, and the royal guards had discovered and entered her lair.
Holding Melody close, Ariel quickly bolted over to her father's side. She then glanced back at the trident.
Just when the guards were getting ready to approach her, Morgana let out a long sigh and replied, "Here it is, your Majesty!", before tossing the trident back to the sea king!
Everyone gasped and stared in bewilderment, including King Triton as he caught his trident. Morgana not only surrendered with ease, but she addressed the royal merman as 'your Majesty.
' Was this behavior authentic, or another act of deceit?
Undertow also gawked, but then glared and bolted over to Morgana, demanding "What is-"
But Undertow was interrupted, by Morgana slapping him away with one of her tentacles. Little did the sea witch know, she knocked him toward some bottles of potions.
The carnivorous fish landed on one of the bottles. As a result, he was covered with the potion after the glass broke! Undertow suddenly felt himself...
growing! Everyone else watched in horror as the shark reverted to his normal size.
Undertow grinned maliciously, then glanced at Melody.
He licked his lips and growled, "Finally, I've been wanting to devour you since I first saw you!" Then the tiger shark bolted toward Melody!
As the pre-teen mermaid hid behind her mother, and the guards prepared to attack, Morgana propelled herself toward Melody and Ariel with her tentacles, yelling, "Undertow, no!
Don't even think about it!"
The shark dashed past the royal guards and behind Ariel. He opened his mouth wide to chomp down on Melody. She gasped and shielded herself with her arms, closing her eyes tight.
Suddenly, a loud pain-filled scream filled the area! But it wasn't Melody. Said mermaid opened her eyes, and gasped! Ariel, King Triton, Flounder, and everyone else gaped in bewilderment.
Undertow had bitten...Morgana! The now panicked tiger shark quickly dropped the sea witch from his jaws.
As he watched her sink, gasping in agony, Undertow whispered "Oops, I better get out of here now!"
He spun around and swam away as quickly as possible. But nobody was worried about what he might be up to. They were all staring in shock at the wounded sea witch.
Finally, Melody dashed toward Morgana. Upon arriving at her side, Melody held and rubbed Morgana's hands. "Why did you do that?", she whispered, tears forming in her eyes.
Morgana gave a weak smile as she stroked the mermaid's cheek with a tentacle. "I was not going to let you get killed.
Dear Melody, you made me realize, that there is more to life than having all the power in the ocean and being the best at everything.
My sister Ursula was always better than me, and our mother made it known she was the favorite. I never received any love, respect, or acceptance. That is, until you came to my lair.
You completely understood me, and you gave genuine love, respect, and gratitude..."
Melody sobbed, "Then this is all my fault!"
Morgana replied, "No, don't even think that darling! I was so overcome with resentment and envy, that I was desperate to prove I could be as powerful and evil as Ursula, or even better.
But everything you gave and showed me, was more wonderful than anything else.
I now see, that I'd rather have true love, respect, and acceptance, for it is much more amazing than being the most wicked and powerful in the sea."
Melody looked up and around, and saw that her mother, grandfather, aunts, and everyone had gathered closer.
She gave King Triton a pleading look and cried, "Grandfather, can't you make her better?!"
Morgana turned Melody back toward her, and said weakly, "No, no, sweetheart. Destiny has made it this way. Whatever awaits me in the hereafter, I accept and welcome it.
Thank you, Melody, you helped me more than you can ever know..." She smiled at the young mermaid one more time, before closing her eyes and going limp.
Melody cried out and shook her. But Morgana remained still and motionless. "No, please wake up!", she cried, but to no avail.
The mermaid hurried over to her mother and grandfather, hugging them both and sobbing. Ariel and King Triton gently patted her back.
"I never would've imagined this," said King Triton.
"Me neither," Ariel replied. "For Morgana to actually change like that...what can I say, Melody is special!"
Her father smiled and nodded in agreement. "Like mother, like daughter," he said, then winked at Ariel.
After a few minutes passed, all the merfolk and marine creatures exited Morgana's lair.
They all swam slowly and silently, still unable to believe that they just witnessed Morgana, Ursula's sister, save Melody's life with her own.
They were also moved by the final words the sea witch spoke.
A few days later, Ariel and Melody were human again, and back at their palace with Eric. Of course they shared the unbelievable story with him.
Eric was dumbfounded, but grateful that his wife and daughter were back home and alright.
Now that the wall separating their palace from the sea had been removed, thanks to the power of King Triton's trident, Melody was strolling along the beach.
Words couldn't describe how happy she was about not having to go to the beach in secrecy anymore. But at the same time, she was mourning. Melody paused, and gazed toward the open ocean.
Just then, a strong yet gentle breeze blew past her, bringing the refreshing scent of the sea. Melody closed her eyes and smiled. All of a sudden, she heard a faint voice whisper to her.
"It will be alright, darling!"
Melody gasped and opened her eyes.
The voice was faint, but clear and familiar! Her eyes widened; levitating in the air before her, was Morgana's soul! What used to be her tentacles was now a long, flowing dress.
"Morgana, is it really you?"
"The one and only, sweetheart!", she replied, smiling warmly.
Tears of joy formed in Melody's eyes. Just then, she heard Ariel and Eric call out for her. She spun around, and her parents hurried over to her side. Then they gasped in awe.
"Mom, Dad, do you see her too?"
"We sure do," Ariel and Eric both replied at the same time, as they gazed in amazement at Morgana's spirit.
Melody turned back toward the sea witch's soul. "I miss you..."
"I miss you too," said Morgana. "I came to thank you again, Melody.
Since you taught me how to love and care and changed my heart for the better, I don't have to suffer intense punishment for a few centuries, followed by complete non-existence.
However, I still need to pay the toll for my wrongdoings.
I've spent these past few days carrying soothing breezes, carrying the scent of the sea and land flowers, creating morning dew, and caring for nature and humanity in other similar ways.
A few more centuries or so, and I can ascend to a higher realm. And it's all thanks to you, darling!"
Tears of joy formed in Melody's eyes. She turned toward Ariel and Eric, and they were shedding tears of joy and amazement too.
Morgana then appeared between Melody and her parents, and said to Ariel and Eric, "You should both be very proud." The former mermaid and her husband nodded.
Then Morgana turned back toward Melody, and gave her a kiss on the forehead before rising higher in the air and fading from sight, all the while the new spirit kept on smiling warmly.
Ariel, Eric, and Melody then began walking back to the palace. "See Melody? There's never been anything wrong with you.
You're very special and unique, just like your mother here," Eric said softly. Ariel nodded and winked at their daughter, who couldn't help but continue shedding tears of joy.