Chapter One:

15-year-old Nerissa Sanderson's narrow twin bed was entirely covered by seemingly mile-high piles of clothing and accessories. "Rissie, help me!" pleaded Lady Violet, one of Nerissa's Royal Ladies-in Waiting. She gestured at the mountains of clothes, and then she threw her delicate hands above her pale, black-haired head out of hopelessness. "It's my first day at human school, and I wanna make a great first impression, y'know? Last night when I was flipping through Queen Melinda's Cosmo magazines, it dawned on me just how many fashion rules there are to be followed up here. Apparently, green is the new pink, white is the new black, and the shorter your skirt, the higher your shoes must be. I haven't even started school, and already my brain is burning!"

"Vi, relax" Crown Princess Nerissa of Pacifica soothed. "The only person I know to care the slightest bit about those crazy style laws is Sunshine Valley High's resident Queen Bee, Teagan Wakefield".

"Queen Bee?" echoed a puzzled Coral, Princess Nerissa's other Lady-in-Waiting.

"The richest, meanest girl in school. She's Crown Princess of Sunshine Valley in her own mind, complete with her entourage of Ladies-in-Waiting and Familiars, just because her father happens to be a multi-millionaire and she can swim really well for someone with legs" Nerissa explained. "If I you were you two, I'd avoid her at all costs. She's always extra witchy to new students, as she doesn't want anything new to come to town and, as you say under the sea, steal her current".

"Don't worry, Rissie" Violet reassured her Princess. "Coral and I promise that we will stick to you and Vanessa like jellyfish!". Vanessa Hogland had been Nerissa's best friend since long before the half-mermaid knew who, and what, she actually was. Nerissa had grown up believing her father to be deceased, but, as it turned out, that was a lie. Not only was King Poseidon in fact very much alive, he was a merman and ruler of Pacifica, an enchanted underwater Kingdom off the sunny coast of Southern California. He and Melinda had met when he rescued her from drowning, and, having immediately hit it off, the two of them were quickly married in a lavish royal wedding deep beneath the waves. Shortly after Nerissa was born, the Cursed Black Pearls, objects which contained the darkest magical forces in the ocean, were set free on accident by Della and Mirabella, an inquisitive set of five-year-old twin mermaids, or Sea Nymphs, as they preferred to be called. The evil energy of the Cursed Black Pearls transforms any Sea Nymph who does as much as touches one of them, save for a Crown Princess who wields her Kingdom's Enchanted Royal Aquamarine, into a Sea Siren, a creature so deadly some refer to her as "the vampire of the sea". Once all Hell proverbially broke loose in the once-peaceful realm of Pacifica as more and more Sirens were created, Poseidon figured Melinda and his infant daughter were, at least for the time being, no longer safe in the sea, so he sent them back to dry land, where they were to remain until there were no more Cursed Black Pearls or Sea Sirens in Pacifica, although Princess Nerissa now had a mission to complete, involving rounding the latter up and harnessing the mighty power of her Enchanted Royal Aquamarine Pendant to change them back into their true Sea Nymph selves.

I sure hope Vanessa doesn't mind Vi and Coral "sticking to her like jellyfish", brooded Nerissa. Vanessa, who hadn't been let in on her best friend's mystical secret, had only briefly met the disguised mermaids on one previous occasion, and naturally she was quite suspicious of the supposed "foreign exchange students" who seemed to arrive out of nowhere.

"Just try to lay low today, and not get into any trouble" advised the Princess of Pacifica. "Remember, girls, you've only been in the human world for less than a week, and we've already had a pretty close call". In addition to their ongoing duty to find and purify Sea Sirens, Nerissa, Coral, and Violet had agreed to help Rodney Greenbaum, the Sunshine Valley Chief of Police, with his environmental research after they had saved the life of his young daughter Alyssa and he had discovered on his own that they were mermaids. While out on their first assignment from Rodney, Christian Fonda, of the unethical and environmentally damaging Fonda Seafood Company, snapped a picture from a distance of the girls in their rightful fish-tailed forms and promptly leaked it to the local media who, luckily for them, scoffed at the photograph, declaring the three Sea Nymphs' billowy flukes simply too beautiful to belong to any living aquatic being, and therefore must be part of a costume or another equally logical explanation. Mr. Fonda, however, as of his last on-air interview, did not appear to be fully convinced that that was the case.