Thursday, April 18, 2013

THE MAGIC MERMAID #eight (Sea) by Summer Day

    Since it was Friday night, Lavinia Snow, mean girl extraordinaire and unofficial ruler of Sloan Select, was out with Reddie and Rapunzel Jones. They were drawn to Santa Monica Pier. Rapunzel’s hair was wound around her head in an intricate maze of braids although Lavinia had tried to convince her to get it cut properly, Rapunzel had shown some real kick and ignored her advice on this one matter. Lavinia couldn’t help but actually respect that. Reddie, on the other hand, had her hair styled just the way Lavinia had suggested, in the latest most fashionable bob of the season.
    Lavinia liked it when her minions followed her advice; but sometimes having friends who could think for themselves was a load off Lavinia’s mind. Still, she was yet to uncover the secret of Rapunzel’s red-gold hair and Rapunzel herself had never worn it down. Whatever. Lavinia realized, like all the other teenagers she knew, they were just weird. Reddie and Rapunzel had their own quirks and skills. Lavinia told herself normal was boring although she sometimes wondered how it would feel to be ‘normal’ and then shuddered at the thought. She liked being different. It would not be much fun to be a ‘normal’ mean girl with bad intentions.
    That’s why she liked the Minchin sisters. She was O generic so they didn’t want to drain her; and, they were at the top of the social pyramid. The intra schools online blog always mentioned them – their daily comings and goings. Under what was hot (not, what was not), the Minchin sisters always earned a mention. It was just the way things were. 
     When she told Reddie and Rapunzel to be prepared to party with the cool kids at midnight - Lavinia had heard all about the Minchin sisters going to a secluded place near Venice Beach - her followers were totally down with her suggestion. The girls even played the latest Killers cd – at Vanity’s suggestion – so they’d have something to talk about besides their wrong doings.
    The Minchin girls had befriended Lavinia on Twitter because they wanted some information on their ace opponents – Jack and Sara – at the upcoming Tournament of Skill. They’d heard Lavinia was a mean girl, disliked and feared by many at Sloan Select. The Minchins realized she might be surprisingly easy to elicit information out of.
    So, at the edge of the water, down by Santa Monica Pier, the teens met, by planning or mistake. You see, Jack had also followed Storm and was dismayed to see where she’d ended up.
    The Minchin sisters, Hansel (who’d created a huge bonfire), his little sister Gretel who’d woken up, had come running after him (they were homeless this week and sleeping in a tent under the pier).  Storm hadn’t expected to encounter the group. Her blood most definitely appealed, but she had no idea vampires even existed until now and was not afraid. She was not afraid because she cared little about her fate beyond the shoreline now that Jack didn’t love her.
    Storm turned her back to the group and looked longingly out to the sea. She contemplated diving back into the fierce ocean, but something or someone, stopped her.
    Storm hadn’t expected to feel the touch of a hand on her shoulder. Hansel pulled his ear phones off as she turned around.
    “Here, have this.”
     He offered her a drink from his container. The warm flask had belonged to his grandfather and was a memory of home.
     Storm shook her head.
    “What’s up with you?”
    “I… I’m looking for someone, my sisters….”
     “Do they live on a boat or something?”
    “Not exactly.”
     Patience laughed out loud. Jack was always really good with the one liners.
    How could Storm tell them? Who were these people? She thought the sisters looked freakishly beautiful but mean all at once. Then, a new set of girls arrived and walked along the sand. They wore high fashion and Storm could hear their hateful words from a distance. It was all too much for Storm – it was almost like a gang meeting.
    “I… I’m sorry. I must have come to the wrong part of the pier.”
    “You are so right,” Patience agreed unwelcomingly. Vanity smiled, Charity laughed outright. Patience moved towards Storm and just as she was about to savage her, Storm disappeared into air.
    “Wait,” Hansel yelled after her. “Where did she go? Do you always have to scare people like that?” Hansel asked Patience. He was really annoyed. There must have been a better alliance for him and Gretel. He was beginning to realize the Minchin sisters only cared about themselves.
     Meanwhile, the Minchin sisters had been distracted by the arrival of Lavinia, Reddie and Rapunzel, all dressed to the nines.
    Vanity looked up briefly.
    “Hey, where did she go? I was just about to bite!”
    “Vanity, I told you, you have to stop doing that every time we try to make a new friend,” Charity giggled.
    “Is that what we were doing?”
     Hansel looked all around but there was no sign of Storm. She’d disappeared into thin air, which was not unusual in this town.
     Jack had saved her, he’d put his arm on her shoulder, waved the elixir of invisibility (the formula Sara had devised and Lavinia had once stolen) under her nose. They’d merged together, quickly and silently, to the top of the pier. They stood up there, looking down.   Sara rushed towards them.
    “You can’t go back; your home is with us now, Storm.”
    “It’s okay here, after a while.” Jack assured her.
    “Now you can see what we are up against,” Sara added. “The vampires in this town are out of control.”
    They stood on the edge of the pier, overlooking the group gathered around the flames below.
    Storm didn’t know what to say. She longed to return to her home under the sea but it was impossible. Jack and Sara had saved her from throwing herself into an ocean that was sure to be pitiless to a near-human girl without mermaid skill. How would she survive the depths of the sea now that she had no gills? What had she been thinking? Her new friends offered a second chance.  Sara had proven to be more than a rival; an unexpected friend. Jack might not know who he loved and even if he didn’t love her, someone would. Storm was sure of it. As a team, they would rid the town of the scourge of vampires and evil shape shifters. Love could wait.
    Jack took Storm’s hand and Sara placed it on his and Sara’s joined palms.
   “Repeat after me, I must stay…”
    Storm felt no power, no power in her legs to return to her ocean home. Her transformation was complete and there appeared to her nothing in the sea but an endless supply of water and fish. It was almost as if the memory of her underwater world, her past, had shifted. She knew she had a family who she loved dearly, but her new friends needed her more. Together they could be a family here on land.
    “I agree to stay forever…” Storm repeated slowly.
    “…or until the scourge of Venice Beach High and Santa Monica Pier goes away.”
    “or until the scourge of the VB High and Santa Monica Pier goes away…”
     Jack continued:
    “More powerful than friends – our bond is unshakeable.”
    The girls spoke:
    “More powerful than friends – our bond is unshakeable.”
    “Our powers interchangeable.”
    “Our powers interchangeable.”
   As if to prove this, Jack and Sara manipulated the tide with their minds. Water came in slowly, dark and turned golden as it reached shore and lapped the flames of the bonfire. Their sworn enemies ran for cover. The trio on the pier were now Sloan Select’s most powerful trinity.
   Taking cover on the boardwalk, Lavinia could sense danger. She’d merged her new friends out of harm’s way. Although the Minchin girls were immune to every weapon but stake and fire. The tidal wave had flattened by shore. Lavinia knew this work – it belonged to Jack Hunter and Sara Bright. Lavinia vowed to get them and all who helped enable their power.
   The Minchin sisters shivered in the wet. They realized Lavinia Snow was far more valuable than they’d previously thought. They weren’t too sure about Reddie Hood and Rapunzel Jones who just seemed doll-like followers and almost as useless, or so they thought.  
    The Venice Beach High group couldn’t see the Trinity. Under cover of invisibility, Jack, Sara and Storm looked like air in the shadows, like black sky, like lights on the pier. The Minchin sisters, Hansel, Gretel and the Mean Girls looked on and wondered what to do next.
    The enemy camps saw strange days coming. The Tournament of Skill, a month away, meant many weeks of practice.
     Hansel looked up at the empty pier, full of a newly discovered emotion – desire, for Storm. Storm looked over at Jack; she knew she’d have to pretend she didn’t love him. She was almost human now and the swimming pool would take the place of the sea until the challenge was done.
     Sara glanced over at Jack and her new friend and knew the future would be complicated – but how else could they function, if not together in power? Sure, Lavinia had wanted to join them but Lavinia was evil – she turned their power and magic black and dark. This girl, Storm, gave them the balance of light.
    Below, the Minchin sisters considered draining one of the mean girls. Little Reddie Hood was not O generic – she was sweet and delicious just like that mermaid creature that got away. But they knew they couldn’t. There was power in a large group formed partially with spies – spies who everyone had once thought were enemies.
    When the water retreated from shore, one word was written in the sand: The Trilogy.
    The Minchin sisters shuddered. Lavinia knew they needed to be stronger, faster, and more powerful. They also needed a name for themselves. Reddie and Rapunzel were just happy to be part of something – something bigger than them. Hansel and Gretel knew a group was safer than a twosome, but they weren’t sure they wanted to be part of this one. If only they could track those interlopers - that trio. The power of the combined schools would be theirs. The Minchin sisters knew there was more at stake, much more.
    More than just winning some stupid high school tournament. They needed a name.
   Vanity reached over and found a stick, encouraged by the name of her sister’s fave band she wrote: The Killers. It was as apt a name for their school group as any.
    Underneath their name, Vanity scrawled, Winning is everything. 

Summer Day is the author of Pride & Princesses, Wuthering Nights, Anne Eyre, Truly and The Hotness; teen novels inspired by classics. Pride and Princesses is the companion novel to Popular. Snow Bright, Bella Cinderella and The magic Mermaid are novellas inspired by classic fairy tales. Pride and Princesses is currently available on amazon:  
Follow Summer on Twitter: @summerdaylight and Summer loves to hear from her readers at: