I swam much faster than the other girls. Let's be clear; I am usually the slowest swimmer out of the three, but I was too panicked to swim at my usual place. We reached a small island where I knew Lewis would be. Just a few years ago before he even knew we were mermaids he had accused Emma and Rikki of stealing his favorite fishing spot. I pushed myself to go much faster until I saw him at the edge of the rocks. I darted up to the surface, "Lewis!"
He jumped in surprise, making him drop his favorite fishing rod in the water. He crossed his arms, "Cleo, you've got to warn a guy before you jump out on him like that."
"Really? Because I can't exactly see any guys around, can you Emma?"
"Very funny, Rikki. Now, what's all this about Cleo? What's wrong?"
"Its an emergency! We woke up this morning in the Moon Pool, with our tails. We had no idea what we were doing there, of course. Emma was freaking out and blaming everything on Rikki."
"I was not freaking out! I was simply acting the way a normal person would when they found out they may be a mermaid forever. Thanks a lot, Rikki."
"This is not my fault, Em!" Rikki defended.
"Is she always this uptight?" Bella asked my rebellious friend.
"This is just a mild version."
"Uptight? You guys have some nerve! I swear, if I have to live like this for the rest of my life I will personally make sure to place you in the nearest fishing net!"
Rikki chuckled, "Oh, please. You are being ridiculous."
"Oh, am I?"
"Yeah! Because let's face it, you couldn't even get me if you tried. After all, I am so much faster than you."
"You are not."
Rikki lifted her fins and slammed it hard against the water, splashing water all over Emma.
"If we weren't already in the water I'd throw you in."
I gritted my teeth and turned around, exhausted by their bickering, "Guys!" I shouted.
Both girls silenced. I pursed my lips and turned back to Lewis, "As I was saying, something happened to us last night. We woke up at Mako, and Emma and Rikki said their tails wouldn't disappear."
"Oh, my. Oh, that's not good." He said.
"Thanks for stating the obvious, Lewis." Emma said.
I ignored her, as did Lewis. I cleared my throat, "Do you know anything?"
"No, never heard of it. I'll see what I can dig up, you four just stay put."
"Woof." Rikki said sarcastically.
I looked over at my two friends, who were still fighting.
"Seriously?" I shouted, "You guys are impossible." I sighed and dove back underwater, only to be grabbed my Bella.
"What?" I asked her, looking up.
"Lewis said not to leave."
"But I'm bored." I complained.
"Oh, quit complaining. It hasn't even been a minute."
"Yeah, but how long do you think it'll take him to find out any information? I don't want to be floating here for an hour."
"She's got a point there, Em. We can't just stay here and do nothing. Maybe we should try looking for some information ourselves." Bella said.
"Where?" Emma asked.
"You know where."
I smiled and dove underwater, followed by the girls. This time though I relaxed a bit and let the water surround me. I was last to swim through the underwater entrance. The girls were already turning over rocks and searching through the sand. I hung back from the others quite not sure what to do.
"Come on, Cleo." Emma said from the corner.
"Yeah, you were the one that said you were bored, weren't you?"
"Funny. That's usually your turf, isn't it Rikki?"
Once again, I started to bicker. So once again, I ignored them. I dove back down under the water and started looking along the sides of the moon pool. It was then I saw a strange symbol carved into one of the stones. It looked like a tail, but the fins were more curved.
I bumped one of the girls with my tail and pointed down at the rock. We exchanged looks of curiosity and swam closer to it.
"What are you looking at?" A new voice asked.
We turned around to see three new girls. All with scaly, orange fish tails. The light blonde one smiled at Bella. She swam over to her like they were old friends and hugged one another.
I looked at the other girls in wonder, "You two know each other?"
"We met on the beach the other day." Bella explained.
"Who are you guys?" I asked.
"I'd like to ask the same." Said the other blonde.
"I-I'm Cleo and these are my friends Emma, Rikki, and Bella." I gestured to them one by one.
"Well, I'm Sirina and these are my friends Nixie and Lyla."
I smiled at them, "Nice to meet you all. Now um, what are you doing here?"
"We live here, dingus. What were you looking at?" The mer called Lyla said.
"We found this strange symbol on one of the—"
Rikki placed a hand over my mouth and glared at the girls, "What she means is that it is none of your business."
Nixie crossed her arms, "Is that so?"
"Yeah." She countered back, "Now get out."
I turned to the other girls, "Why am I feeling a strange sense of déjà vu?"
Sirina turned to face Bella, "Now, what are you doing here?"
"We…" She looked at all of us, unsure whether to go on.
I slapped Rikki's hand off my mouth and explained everything to the girls. All from the Blood Moon from last night to the inability to change back.
The three new mers exchanged looks of horror.
"What?" I asked.
"You're not going to like this." Lyla said quietly.
"What do you mean?" Bella asked.
"I assume you know how powerful the moon is. Well, last night's moon was especially powerful. Have you ever heard of the way mermaid powers can be removed?"
"When all the planets are aligned with the full moon." I said.
"Right. Well, a Blood Moon does quite the opposite. It can make you a mermaid forever."
I scoffed, "You must be joking."
"The full moon is no joke, Cleo. It is extremely powerful. Fortunately for us, we were born mermaids, so the change doesn't affect us." Lyla said.
Everyone turned to her.
"Yeah, because that makes us feel so much better." Rikki said sarcastically. She turned around and smiled at Emma, "I told you this wasn't all my fault!"
"Yes, it was."
"Really? And how is that?"
"You were there."
"Oh, please. You know what you are, Em?"
"A complainer! That's all you do is complain. Seriously, why do I even hang out with you?"
I rested my head on the rocks and exhaled slowly. This was terrible. I wasn't just referring to the being a mermaid forever thing. Rikki and Emma were being ridiculous, and I didn't want to live the rest of my life underwater with those two arguing 24/7.
I lifted my head and rolled my eyes. They were still at it, but now it was basically a screaming match. God, was this going to be a pain in the neck.
If we weren't underwater right now I'd stomp out of the room and never look back.