The ocean was calm. The tide pushed the broken crab shells and driftwood onto the beach. Most of the treasures that had been washed up were broken and warped from the storm. Sea glass glinted in between rocks and dead fish hung lifeless from the places where the waves had thrown them.

I was seeing this all for the first time. The thrill of it made me tremble, made me hiss in my breath as if I had never lifted my head into the cold, salty air of New Zealand before.

The water dripped from my red hair and ran down my face and my arms. I took a first step and almost fell, and on my second I did. The lulling splash of the surf behind me was tempting, but I scrambled awkwardly up the beach, unheedingly.

The rocky cliff ahead seemed to reach up to the sky. Green grass waved in the breeze above, and I would have to climb as to get to the place I needed to be. Casting one last look at the ocean, I started up.

By the time I reached the top, I was exhausted. With a muffled sigh and the cry of seabirds in my ears, I fell asleep.

I was back in the ocean. I knew I was dreaming, but it didn't matter. I had returned to from where I had come.

A blue-tinged mako swam past and I felt the curious gaze of a stripped marlin on me. When the shark, the mako, spotted me, it zipped away and even the marlin disappeared. I knew that I must have been dreaming about being back in my normal form. My normal form of a sea monster.

I was a marakihau, the beast of Oceania mythology. My lean, long, serpent-like body flowed gracefully through the water like the disappearing form of the mako. I knew if I pushed myself, that I could catch even the speedy swordfish. My body pulsed with power and with strength. Why not give chase? This could be my last timeā€¦

Blinking in the bright light, I awoke. My heart hammered from my dream and my pulse raced. I could swear that I could still taste the mako's blood in my mouth. For a moment, I wondered why I had awoken. Then, with a smile, I saw.

A black-billed seagull hopped towards me. It tilted its head, and gave a chuckle. "Awake, awake?" It crooned.

My blue eyes brightened. Though I was in the form of a human female, I still had the ability to understand seabirds, like when I was a marakihau.

"You understand me, friend?" I crooned back. I hopped it would respond, that it would understand.

"Understand, understand." The gull mimicked. "I understand, I understand!"

"Good." I replied curly. "My name is Grace. And you, feathered one? What is your name?"

"Merv." The bird cackled back. "Merv, Merv, Merv!"

"Merv." I repeated. "Merv is a good name. It means 'loves the sea'. Do you love the sea, my friend?"

Merv gave me a hard stare, but did not reply.

I let out my buoyant breath. Who was I to think that a seagull would keep up a conversation?

Merv flapped his wings and cackled. "Do you have food, Grace? Do you have home?"

"No." I whispered. "I am sorry, lover of the sea."

Merv cackled again, sounding more like a crow then a seagull. "Human without a home! Human without a home!" He mocked.

"Yes," I said patently, "I am without a home."

"Come along, James. We will never get home if you walk this slowly!" The speech was from behind me. Merv fluttered his wings nervously.

"Oh, do be quite, Ethan. It is early and who cares if we take the longer way home? I love it down here, by the sea."

"Humans, humans." Merv crowed. "Fly away now, Gracy. Fly away!"

I wished I could have, but a marakihau never turned away from a fight. I would not run like a coward.

Merv hesitated a moment longer before abandoning me. I crouched lower in the grass, hopeful that the humans would pass me by.

"Look!" I heard one of the boys whisper. "Do you see her?"

"Yes," The other mumbled back. "Who is she? All of these lands are father's."

They came closer. I shied away but they had me cornered between them and the cliff edge. One had red hair like mine and the other was much plumper and had brown hair. Both peered at me through the same green eyes.

"Who are you?" The red-haired one asked. "My name is James."

"I am Grace." I told them. They were younger then me, I could tell. They seemed only about ten or so. "I am from the ocean."

"Shipwrecked?" James said. I could tell them no more so I turned my head away. The boys exchanged puzzled looks.

"We can take you back to our home." The other, Ethan, said. "Papa will have a warm fire and momma will be making dinner."

"Home! Home!" Cried Merv from the clouds. "Go home, Grace of the Sea!"

I was afraid and confused. The human children seemed friendly enough.

Finally I nodded. "Take me home." I said.

I wrote this a while ago and only got up to Chapter Three. What do you think--should I use my time to keep writing it or try something else? Reviews welcome!