The Secret of the Sea

A warm summer breeze blew through my open window. My eyes awoke and I looked out to the sight of the orange sun peeking over the ocean. Living by the beach definitely was beautiful. I stumbled out of bed an hour earlier than I normally would have. I had decided the previous night that I wanted to go down to the ocean and collect shells. After I ate a quick breakfast, I brushed my long brown hair, put on my favorite green t-shirt, blue jeans, and grabbed a small bucket. I opted to go shoeless, as did most people who live with the beach in their backyard. I ran out the back door and down to the water. I felt at home.

I have lived at the beach my entire life. My parents purchased this house for vacation before I was even born. They ended up falling in love with the beach and moving here permanently. All I can say is they have definitely passed their beach-loving ways to me. The house itself is small with only two bedrooms, one bathroom and the smallest kitchen on earth, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Almost everyday I come down to the beach to either swim, collect shells or read. The sound of the water hitting the shoreline calms me like no other.

As soon as I reached the water, I moved a few feet forward, until the water was almost past my ankles. Today in particular was an absolutely gorgeous day. The birds were singing and the water was a bright aqua color. I started picking up shells, wandering in random circles until I found something of beauty. Shell after shell, I picked up and placed them in my bucket. Then I noticed something sparkly out of the corner of my eye. It was slightly deeper than what my pants would allow, so I rolled them up and went deeper. As I approached the shiny object, it appeared to be a gem stone of some sort. When I got close, the water around the object seemed to move, creating a narrow, tunnel-like pathway to the object. This was incredibly strange. I was about to pick it up when I heard a voice, “Bloom! Bloom, you need to come back inside and get ready for school. The bus will be here any minute!” I had completely forgotten about school. I was in a different world, and now I was being chased back to reality. I ran into the house, grabbed a pair of sneakers, socks, my book bag and walked out the door. The bus met me at the end of the driveway, I was just in time.

School seemed to drag the entire day, making each class feel like centuries. At lunch, I went through the slow moving line. I got a salad, orange juice and a double chocolate chip cookie. This was my everyday lunch order, except for sometimes switching to a sugar cookie. I sat by the large glass windows in the cafeteria and planned my afternoon when I would return home from school. I decided on going down to the beach again and trying to find the gem. I was extremely excited for the coming excursion. I ate my salad, cookie, and I started to drink my orange juice. When I brought the cup to my mouth, I noticed the liquid started to move to the outside of my glass. How weird. I studied the juice for a moment, and then the bell rang. I got up and hurried to my next class in pure amazement.

When I got home, I went straight to my room, changed into my bathing suit and sprinted for the beach. I ran to the area in which I had found the gem the previous morning. After looking into the water, I saw the same shiny glow I had witnessed once before. I went into the warm, shallow water and made my way to the gem. Once I could see it below me, I reached down, grabbed it and headed back to shore. When I arrived at the beach, I sat down to take a good look at what I had discovered. It was a purple gem with blue veins through its center. It was the prettiest item I had ever seen. I decided a gem that pretty needed a special place.

Once I was done examining the gem, I headed for the house. My mom was in the kitchen preparing dinner when I showed her the gem. She agreed it was a true vision of beauty. She suggested making it into a necklace. I loved the idea.

After dinner, I went to my room to craft the gem into a necklace. I grabbed some old black string and tied a series of loops around the gem to make sure it was secure. Once I tied the loops, it was done. I tied it around my neck and gazed in the mirror. It was beautiful, but something was off. My normally brown eyes were blue!

I thought about all the weird things happening to me lately. First, the water made a tunnel shape at the beach this morning, then my orange juice moved at school, and now my eyes have turned blue. I knew I needed help, what else might happen. I decided the best place to go would be the local fishing pier. There was always a lady working who claimed to know the Secret of the Sea. Everyone thought she was crazy, as did myself, but if she did know the Secret of the Sea, she may know what is happening to me.

It was getting dark out, so I knew I had to be quick. I went down stairs and asked my parents if I could go for a walk on the beach before it was dark. They complied and completely ignored my aqua eyes. The pier was right down the street from my house, so I knew I could make a fast trip. When I got there, I found the woman sitting in her booth reading a book. When she looked up, she was surprised to see a seventeen-year-old girl standing in front of her. We exchanged hellos, and she asked how she could be of assistance. I said to the woman, “I was wondering if you could tell me about the Secret of the Sea.” Her eyes lit up and a smile grew across her face. She invited me into her small booth, and I was seated on top of an upside down bucket. She started in about the Secret of the Sea.

The woman stated, “Long ago there were merpeople with powers. They used their powers to protect themselves, their home and the humans. The humans didn’t know about receiving protection from the merpeople. If it weren’t for the merpeople, the human world would be caught in a storm of trouble. One day a mermaid was sitting on a rock next to the beach, innocently soaking up the sun, when fishermen went by and captured her. They knew there had to be more, so they sent search parties out and divers were paid to search the nearby waters. They never found any others. The one mermaid they did capture could hide her legs, a power the humans didn’t know about, and she was able to escape. Legend has it that the mermaid went back to the ocean to never be seen again. Before she left, she is said to have put some of her powers into a rock which we call the Secret of the Sea. This rock is said to hold the most powerful mermagic in existence.” Once she was done, I showed her my necklace. Her eyes grew wide, and she became excited. She said, “My dear, you have found the Secret of the Sea.” She then asked if I had anything strange happen to me recently. I told the woman about the water, the orange juice, and I showed her my eyes. After taking a glance, she explained the magic in the Secret of the Sea was very strong and would cause changes in eye color and possibly hair color. The woman also spoke of the possibility of growing a tail. She says, “Legend has it that most mermaids will transition and have a tail all the time, but in some cases the power within a mermaid is so strong that they don’t become a mermaid until they are in the water. As soon as they are fully submerged in the water, their legs will become a tail. Once they come out of the water and are fully dried off, their tail will become legs again.” This was a lot to take in. I was exhausted with even the thought of becoming a mermaid and having that much power. I looked outside and realized it was completely dark. I excused myself from the woman and ran back home. When I walked into the house, my parents were watching TV. I said goodnight to them, and I went straight to bed. My brain could not handle any more. I quickly drifted off into a deep, dreamless sleep.

The next morning I got up early again, this time to shower before school. I went into the bathroom and hopped in the shower. As I stood under the water, I watched the water make unnatural circles around my feet. I was about to put shampoo in my hair when my legs started to feel numb and weak. Everything in my vision started to turn dark, and I could feel myself falling. When I opened my eyes again, I was on the floor of my shower. My parents were banging on the door, asking if I was okay, because they heard me fall. I answered that I was fine, and they retreated back to the kitchen. The Secret of the Sea was glowing around my neck, it seemed to do that whenever I touched water. I made an attempt to stand up, but I couldn’t. When I looked down, I was awestruck. My legs were completely gone. I had a mermaid tail!

I stumbled out of the shower, trying to make as little noise as possible. I grabbed my towel and examined my new feature. It was gorgeous, bright blue with dark purple sparkles. When I was done looking at my tail, I remembered what the lady from the pier had said to me, “Once they come out of the water and are fully dried off, their tail will become legs again.” Quickly, I grabbed my towel and started to dry myself off. After a few minutes, I was able to perceive my tail start to transition back into legs. In no time, my legs were back completely. I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were still the striking aqua blue color, but now my hair had purple highlights. I had never dyed my hair before, so this was unusual. Then, another part of the legend that the lady told me came to mind. She had stated that change in hair color was another indication of mermagic, along with eye color. That would definitely explain what has happened to me lately, I thought to myself. I got dressed and headed to the kitchen. I ate breakfast and headed to school.

The bus ride lasted approximately fifteen minutes, as it normally did, and then we arrived at the school. The duration of the day seemed to fly by. At lunch, I got my normal order and sat down by the large windows again. As I was eating, I started to get a waft of something burning. I was in the cafeteria after all, right next to the kitchen, maybe something had been burnt in the oven. A few seconds later, the school fire alarm went off, and we were forced to evacuate out the side door into the parking lot. When I looked up at the school, I saw a small cloud of black smoke rising into the atmosphere. Instinctively, I ran toward the school and through the door leading into the cafeteria. When I got there, I proceeded toward the sink located in the back of the kitchen. I turned the spigot on, reached my hand out and touched the streaming water. My necklace started to glow again, just as it had done in the morning. Immediately, the water started to move toward the fire, almost as if it already knew where I wanted it to go. After about ten minutes, the flames started to simmer down. I knew the fire was now tamed, and the fire department would be here soon. I decided that a dash for the cafeteria exit would be the best decision. When I got outside, five or six teachers surrounded me, asking if I was okay or hurt. I was completely fine, as a matter of fact I felt great. I had just helped to save other people’s lives. If I had not gone into the school and put the fire out, the chances of the inferno spreading to the rest of the school were very high. The entire building could have burned down!

Minutes later, I could hear the fire sirens blaring down the road toward us. Once they arrived, the firefighters jumped out of the truck, unrolled hoses and headed for the school. After about twenty minutes, they appeared from the exit I had run out of. I overheard one fireman talking to a nearby teacher, and they said that whoever turned the spigot on in the kitchen saved the school. If the fire had reached the fryer, about ten feet away from the flames, there would have been a massive oil fire which would have been hard to put out. When I heard this, I was glad I had run back into the building. The firefighters packed everything up, got back into the engine and drove away. After the frightening incident, and the strong smell of smoke being stuck in the building, we were sent home early.

When I arrived home, my parents were both still at work, so I decided this was the perfect time to go down to the beach and experiment with my new powers. I threw on my bathing suit once again and grabbed a pair of goggles. I ran out the back screen door toward my second home. The blazing hot sand hit my bare feet and made me go even faster. When I got to the edge of the sand, I went a few yards into the water and then flung myself toward an incoming wave. I was immediately engulfed in the water. Just as before, my legs started to go numb, and I began to feel the formation of a tail. In seconds, I had transformed from a regular human into an amazing creature.

I came to the conclusion that a swim test was necessary, since I had never actually swam with a tail before. I turned toward the open blue sea, put my goggles on, took a deep breath, and dove. I stayed in the shallow part of the water at first, but after a few flutters with my new appendage, I was comfortable and decided to go deeper. The deeper I traveled, the less I wanted to go back. Then all of a sudden, I realized I had not taken a breath yet. I had been under the water for close to five minutes now, I should be gasping for breath. Instead of rushing to the surface, I opened my mouth and tried to breathe. To my amazement, it was as if I had taken a breath above water.

The next twenty minutes were spent exploring the seafloor. In this other world, I found a bunch of starfish and beautiful shells. My goggles started to fog up, so I decided to go on without them. I took them off, and they floated to the surface, where I would get them when I arose. Another surprise took me by storm when I was stripped of my goggles. I could see everything underwater extremely clearly. I could see all of the minuscule crustaceans and sea cucumbers moving across the bottom. The starfish seemed magnified, and I could see all of the minuscule details on their backs.

When I decided I had enough for one day, I came back up to the surface, grabbed my goggles and headed for the beach. Upon arrival, I came to the realization that I had completely forgotten to grab a towel. The sun was still out, but would be going down soon. Due to this dilemma, I was forced to use the sun to dry myself. My parents would be home soon, so I knew I needed to get dry as soon as possible. I found a sunny spot beside a bench that would satisfy my needs perfectly. The bench also acted as a cover for me, shielding my tail from others. I sat by the beach drying for about ten minutes, and then the magic started to happen. The tail shape faded into the abyss of the sand, and my two legs began to appear. Once I was fully transformed, I headed straight for the house.

That night, I found myself exhausted from the day’s events and went to bed early. I made a small and short plan to go and visit the lady from the pier again. She seemed to have a lot of knowledge about the Secret of the Sea last time, maybe she could give me even more. Tomorrow would be a Saturday, so I had all day to decide when I wanted to go.

I ended up sleeping in until around ten-thirty, and then layed in my bed until eleven when I finally got up. I got changed, headed downstairs, grabbed a small breakfast and was off to the pier. I deeply enjoyed the walk; it was a gorgeous day outside, the sun was shining brilliantly, and the birds were singing like an angelic choir. In no time I reached the pier and found the woman in her tiny booth just as last time. When she saw me, she was delighted and invited me into her extra warm room. I sat on top of an upside down bucket, just as last time, and started about my situation. I told the woman what has been happening. I explained the tail, my hair, and the glowing necklace. The woman provided me with all the answers I needed and more. She explained that the necklace would glow every time I touch water. The woman also went on to explain that since my tail only appeared when I was fully submerged in water, this meant I had a very special power, a power in which I must protect and learn to control. She also explained I fainted because I was not submerged in steady flowing water. Then what the lady said next surprised me more than anything. She described how she too had the same powers as me, and how for years she has had to keep her powers secret from humans. I started to connect the dots, and I asked the woman, “Are you the lost mermaid?” To this question, the lady nodded her head yes. I was astounded! I had so many questions. Before I could start asking them, a long line of people started to come through wanting tickets for the pier. My new mermaid friend explained she had given me all the information I needed, and if I ever wanted to talk to her again, she would be in her small booth.

Over the next few weeks I went to visit the woman, whose name I learned to be Marina, and she helped me learn to control my powers. We started to have evening meetings where she taught me everything she could. From how to swim properly, to searching for the coast so I would never get lost, she taught me all. Wherever we decided to meet, I simply told my parents I was going for a run, but instead I was transforming into a mermaid. In a way, it was hard for me to not tell my parents, but in the end I knew it would be better that way. Marina was never able to answer why she did not return home after escaping. To that question, I will never know the answer.

The entire story I have just told you happened around two hundred years ago, when I was only seventeen. It was the beginning of my new life; little did I know would be this long. Since my transformation, I have found that ageing happens slowly for mermaids. Marina herself is around four hundred years old, but she looks around twenty-five. She and I have stuck together over the centuries and will continue to do so. A mermaid’s lifespan is unknown. We live until we can go no longer. The reason I have told you the story of my transformation is so the legend of the missing mermaids and the Secret of the Sea can live forever. So please, if you are reading this, tell our story to your kids and their kids. Bring our fantastic story into their mind and let their imaginations run wild.

Image Credit: Pexels

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