When I opened my eyes, I was laying in my sandy pajamas in a little cove on an island. The sun was sinking slowly behind the horizon. I had no idea where I was, but I felt perfectly fine. My hair hung in brown strands down my back, and it looked back to normal. I stood up and looked around.
"Hey, Lana, Look! A girl!" A little girl climbed over the edge of a rocky hill, and into the little cove where I was sitting. She had long yellow hair, and eyes the color of the ocean. Behind her was a girl my age, with unruly black hair, and eyes with every color imaginable in them.
"Oh. She's not one of your imaginary friends this time, Delany." The black haired girl, Lana, said.
"See!" The little girl put her hands on her hips, "I told you!"
"Hi. I'm Lana. Where are you from?" Lana bounded down the rocks in a few leaps.
"I'm Natalie. I live on a small island off the coast of Florida. You wouldn't know where it is. Its in the Bermuda Triangle. Hardly even documented. It's actually self sustainable." I stopped. Wow, I was babbling!
Lana nodded. "Sometimes we find people on the rocks, and we take them to my parents. C'mon."
I took a step back. "Where am I?"
Lana looked up at me, "We're on Calif Island. Its also in the Bermuda triangle, and its also self sustainable." A smile tugged at her lips.
"My mom. I'm her only family. I need to get back to her." I said, and took another step back towards the water.
"C'mon!" The little girl said, frustrated, "We'll take you back to your mom. After we take you to my parents!
I realized I had no where else to go, and followed the two girls to a big house, similar to mine, with its view. Lana opened the back door, and yelled, "Mom! Delany found someone on the beach!"
A middle aged women with a kind smile ran down the stairs with a laundry basket in her arms. She said hello and placed the basket on the ground. "So my kids found you on the beach, right?"
I nodded, and she continued. "Well, Delany knows where the clothes are, and she's going to get you something in a relative size, okay?" I got the assumption they found a lot of people on the beach.
The little girl disappeared and came back a minute later with a pair of jean shorts, and simple gray t-shirt. She had a pair of flip-flops in her other had, and she handed it to me shyly.
"Thanks," I said quietly.
"You can take a shower in there." Lana pointed to a door near the entrance. It had a small standing shower, and I frowned. How would I do this?
I decided to just wipe myself down with a towel, and call it a day. I got most of the sand off of my skin, and turned on the water in the shower. I changed into the clothes I had been given, and turned the water off. I didn't let the it touch me.
There was a blow drier on the counter, and I turned it on, just so my hair would seem like it should be dry. It looked tangled, but my normal color. I crept out of the bathroom, and saw Lana sitting on a chair at the kitchen table.
"So, what's the island you live on called?" Lana asked.
"Wind Cliff Island." I answered. "Do you know where it is?"
"Yeah. Its just a short boat ride across the water. Only twenty minutes. Give or take." Lana said.
"Could you take me back soon? Is there a ferry?" I asked, desperate to get home.
"Yes, and no. I'll take you back tomorrow morning. Its getting dark. And No. There isn't a ferry. I have a boat I'll take you in. its small, but fast." Suddenly Lana looked panicked, "Oh my God! I forgot to give you the phone! Call your mom!" She trust a cell phone into my hands.
I nodded, and dialed my mom's number. She answered with a strangled hello.
"Hi, Mom." I said, not knowing anything else to say.
"Natalie! Thank God… Thank God. Where are you? What happened? Why…" Mom sighed. "Please just tell me where you are."
"Um, I think I'm on Calif Island. Some people found me on the beach, and brought me to their house. They gave me some clothes, and let me shower." I said.
"What's the address?" I could hear Mom starting the car.
"No, Mom. Its alright. They're going to take me home in the morning." I was tired, and I didn't feel like explaining.
"My God! Natalie, tell me where you are!" Mom screamed. I heard a soft voice in the background.
The phone was handed over to someone else, and I heard Ava. "Hi. Thank God your okay! The police are looking for you, and they have been, since yesterday. Please tell your mom where you are."
"Fine! Give the phone back to Mom!" I said.
I heard whispering then Mom said, "What's the address?"
"Lana, what's your address? My mom wants to pick me up." I asked Lana, who was still sitting at the kitchen table.
"Are you sure? Its, like, a four hour drive, just to the bridge." Lana told me.
"Mom, it's a four hour drive, and you don't have a boat, so you can't cut across the water." I said.
"I can't leave you at a strangers house over night!" Mom screamed. "Where are you? Tell me!"
"NO! I wish I didn't call you." I said, and hung up. I think I just wanted to be rebellious.
Lana raised her eyebrows at me and grinned. "Do you think your going to be in trouble?"
I nodded. "There's no way she'll even find her way here. Is it okay if you just take me in the morning?"
Lana nodded. "Come on. I'll show you the guest room. But first, what do you want to eat?" I just took the first thing I was offered, a peanut butter sandwich, and Lana took me into the guest bedroom.
"Thanks." I yawned, and laid down on the bed. "I'm really tired."
Once she left, I opened the window of the room, and looked out at the ocean. It was calling me again. I slammed it shut, and closed my eyes. Not letting it get to me was really hard. Every noise sounded like the crashing of waves, and the light that I could see through my eye lids looked like light on the surface of the water.
The door opened with a crash, and foot steps pounded in. "What happened?" It was Lana. I couldn't talk, and the only thing I could do was listen to her speak in the sound of rushing water. Saying, "What's going on?" and "Natalie, are you okay?"
All of a sudden, I screamed, "Stop!" Everything was too loud! It hurt! "Every noise… hurts." I covered my ears, and screamed. Rushing water everywhere: the sound of a water fall, the pounding of rain in a storm, and the strongest was the crashing of waves.
I stayed on the ground for another minute, with Lana staring at me wide-eyed, before the call was so strong I couldn't take it. I pulled open the window, and jumped onto the roof, leaping to the ground, and running straight to the ocean.
"Oh my God! Natalie!" Lana screamed from the window.
I didn't take off my clothes, or wade in gradually. I just ran straight in, waiting for my legs to start tingling when the water was up to my neck, and the transformation to take place.
When my legs started to tingle, the clod disappeared. My legs stuck together, and shiny white scales appeared. I dove off into the , swimming to my hearts content. A fish swam by, and I laughed, and bubbles flew out of my mouth, making me laugh harder.
The water was easier to breath in than the air. It was beautiful.
The world was icy-clear, and I took a deep breath, the water flowing through my lings, and coming out through gills on my tail.
I sank onto the sandy ground, and closed my eyes. The water was refreshing, and it felt so good! I drifted with the water, laying on the ground in pleasure. Sooner than I thought it would, The sun was rising. The morning light split my paradise into nothingness, and I rose to the surface.
The air was cold, and I was shivering. My hair was plastered to my head with the water, and I had no idea where I was. On either side of me were two islands. Then another stretch of land making it into a big cove of some sort.
I saw houses, a lot of them, on the island to my right, and fewer on the island to the left. I swam towards the left island.
When I got closer, I saw it was almost empty. At least no one was on the beaches. I pulled myself out of the water, struggling with my weight in the sand, and lay in the sun, closing my eyes. I was drying slowly, but it felt good. Nice and warm.
I heard voices above me, climbing on the rocks, and panicked. I almost threw myself back into the water, but instead, I pulled myself slowly backward, until I was under the shelter of the rocks, under a little over hang, or cave.
The voices grew closer, until I could understand them, "-sky's so blue today! Lets go down to the beach."
Someone mumbled a soft okay, and I felt footsteps on the rocks above me. They were loud, and getting louder every second. I pushed myself against the rocks, finding a little opening, and desperately shoving my body as far as I could.
It was a tight, uncomfortable place to be, about the size of a kitchen cabinet. I was still wet, and in my mermaid form, so that made it tighter.
"Oh, Look! The water's so clear!" The voice said. It was a girls voice, maybe ten or eleven. It sounded muffled, and far away from the rocky walls of the small cave, though I knew they were close by.
"It is pretty…" the second voice said, trailing off.
"Lets collect shells." The loud one said. "Hannah, stop splashing my eyes!"
"Sorry." The soft voiced girl, Hannah, said. "It's just so clear, and beautiful. Where are all the shells? I don't see any!"
"Everywhere, stupid! Look…" The loud girl's voice trailed off, as she and Hannah walked away.
After a few minutes, I pulled myself out of the cave, stretching my tail, and settled into a sunny area, and let the light dry me. When I turned into a human, I was wearing sandy shorts, and a gray t-shirt. The flip-flops Lana's family had given me were gone.
At first my legs were shaky, and it was hard to walk, but soon it felt normal again. I climbed up the sharp rocks, wincing in pain when they stabbed my feet. At the top of the slope, I saw a grassy area, and lots of sand. The houses I had seen from the water were there too.
I decided to head to a house, and ask directions. It looked like a long walk.