Thursday, April 18, 2013

THE MAGIC MERMAID #five (Saved) by Summer Day

    The next morning, Storm grabbed her swim tote and an orange and walked to school early. The former mermaid was getting stronger. She could run and better yet, she could merge. Ten minutes took ten seconds.
    The water had been changed from mostly chlorine to a mix of salt. This reminded Storm of home, she liked it. She swam badly at first as she held onto the edge and tried to float. She wasn’t used to kicking her legs, but after about ten laps, was swimming like a champion. She was almost ready to tell Jack when he dived into the pool again, at the deep end.
     “Hey,” he said, as he bobbed up.
     “Hi,” Storm replied shyly. Why hadn’t she been given some manual explaining how to talk to human or human-ish boys?
     “Don’t I know you? I mean, from outside school?”
     It was now or never.
     “I… I saw you, at the beach.”
     A wave of recognition spread over the boy’s face. “Now I remember. You saved me,” he smiled.
     Storm looked at her hands and feet, not webbed, not tailed but not really human. How could she ever tell him?
      “Thank you.”
      “That’s okay,” Storm said. “I’d do it again if I had to.”
      “That’s… that’s amazing. You’re amazing.”
       Storm smiled. She felt shy all of a sudden. She knew to let the boy make the first move. All the other mermaids always did that. Humans couldn’t be so different. If you made the first move, the girl always spent the rest of the relationship catching up, didn’t she? Boys were hunter gatherers or just hunters, weren’t they?
       Jack swam forward.
       Storm moved back.
       “It’s okay, everyone here is weird. What’s your secret? I can change shape,” as if to explain, Jack changed into a cougar as he swam, then back into a teenage boy again.
     Storm shivered.
    “That was… amazing. And scary.”
     “Sorry, I don’t normally do that in front of people. It’s not allowed in school.”
     “I heard you were a merger.”
     “I do merge quickly, Sara does too. She’s my, well, she’s sort of my girlfriend but she likes to keep cool about that stuff. We both have this important tournament to prepare for; us against Lavinia and the winners against the Vamps at Venice Beach High. The teachers don’t know about it but all the students do. Sara is a conjurer, she also merges and changes the elements, sun to storms, that sort of thing – a lot of kids around here envy the weather changing part for some reason. It’s pretty powerful.”
   Storm knew her weirdness went far deeper – to tell someone her human form was just a vision, that she was really a creature of the sea? That was sure to create obstacles. It was okay for a guy to be different, faster, stronger but being a mermaid? That was girly and weak, sure to create barriers.
   But Jack wasn’t interested in obstacles. He was interested in joining forces.
   He splashed her.
   Storm smiled and splashed him back.
   “I… I swim fast,” Storm said. Then she hesitated, “or, I used to. It may take me a while to... get my groove back.”
   “That all?”
   “Kind of. I used to be a mermaid… Now, I’m not sure what my gifts are.”
    Incredibly, Storm realized Jack might not love her now that she was so normal. Besides, Sara already had his love bottled away for a rainy day. Storm realized she was reading his mind – could read another’s mind. The girl who hid in the shadows, Lavinia, had just run out of the room.
   “Lavinia was here. She hates you or she likes you, I’m not sure.”
   “Lavinia? She hates everyone. Wow. That’s some gift. I couldn’t sense her, didn’t even notice her.”
    Storm realized she had powers anew. When Lavinia was near her or at least in the room, she could read her thoughts.
     “Want me to show you something? Check this out,” Jack said. He disappeared under the water and the water turned into a rainbow of color and light, then mist, as he swam up to the surface, close to her. He’d transformed the elements.
    “Sara taught me,” he said. “I bet she could teach you.”
    Storm wanted to be near him, his perfect chest and dimpled smile. Just as she was about to swim closer, the other girl arrived.