I put the book in my bag, a grin spreading across my face. So far it was a pretty good day.

I was swimming back to the castle when a familiar voice hit my ears. "Nori? Is that you?"

I turned around to see the face of Nalu.

Ok, I need to explain. Nalu is the son of a book store keeper. I met him when I was exploring a ship wreck. His father was looking for human books, while I was looking for human objects. I was looking at maps when Nalu came in.

Nalu's the one who taught me how to read human.


I pulled down the first map. I couldn't read its title but it was a land I've never seen.

Intrigued I pulled it off the rack and set it on the table. I looked it over. I realized this map is very old. This was awesome! An amazing discovery!

"Excuse me? Can I help you?" I looked up to see a young merman, with a green tail, and dark brown hair. He was holding an armful of human books. The titles completely mystified me. I couldn't read human.

"Uh…maybe. Do you read human?" He nodded. "Come here." He swam over next to me. "What's this map of?"

He looked at the title. "This is map is very old. It's from a long time ago." He explained to me how the humans used to think that the world was a lot smaller. When they finally came to the other half, their maps we're only what they'd explored which wasn't much.

"Oh, so this is the un finished east half of the world." He nodded. "Thanks for explaining that."

He smiled. He had a dazzling mouth of white teeth. "So what's your name?"

I couldn't tell him I was Princess Tazmin. "Um…My name's…Nori."

"Nori." I smiled as he said it. "I'm Nalu, swim with you." He bowed like a gentleman.

I smiled. "Swim with you too." I bowed back. Swim with you is the classic mermaid greeting. It's short for 'I look forward to Swimming with you.'

"So what are you doing here?" He said.

I smiled. "I love exploring ship wrecks and seeing what I can find. Unfortunately I don't know what they all are." I spread my collection out in front of him.

One was a small, metal circle that was about 3 centimeters high, and had a red needle pointing to different human letters.

Another was a collection of three things. A metal sick with its top a large deep divot. Another was the same metal stick with four prongs. The last one was a thick metal stick with a thinner, longer top with a rigged edge.

There were also several rings, necklaces, and pins.

But the weirdest one by far was very odd. It looked like a mini trumpet, but made from wood. It had scotch marks in the large end, and the other end was a very small rectangle.

"Well," He said, "This," he pointed to the metal circle with the arrow, "Is a compass. It always points north. And these," He pointed to the three metal stick objects, "Are utensils. Humans use them to eat. Those are jewelry. You probably knew that." I smiled. "And this is a smoking pipe."

"Hmm…" I picked the pipe up. "How does this work?" I blew on the end like a trumpet. The water around it turned back. "Agh! Ew!"

Nalu laughed. "Nori, I have a feeling that we're going to spend a long time together."

End Flashback

I turned to look at him. "Oh, hi Nalu!" I swam over to him.

"Hey, I haven't seen you in a while! Not since the week after the last full moon festival!"

I blushed. "Oh, well…I've been busy." I smiled.

"It's nice to see you. You've been reading a lot?"

I nodded. I remembered the book in my bag. "Oh yeah! Hey look at my latest find." I pulled the book out.

He read the title and author. Then his eyes widened. "Bella the explorer wrote a book? I didn't know that!" He held the book with awe.

"Oh, you want to read it it's my copy and I've read it like a hundred times."

"Oh, can I?" I nodded. He took the book. "Thanks!" he came forward and hugged me. I was shocked but I hugged back. He let go.

"So, how you've been?" I asked.

"Oh great. I've been fantastic. How about you?"

I nodded, unsure of what to say. "Oh, I've been doing…great too."

There was an awkward silence.

"So," I started, "The full moon festival's coming up soon."

"Yeah," He said as if he just remembered something, "Speaking of that, I was wondering…um…are you doing anything? Like, for the festival?"

I shook my head. "Um, I don't think so." I remembered the girls on land, Cleo, Emma, and Rikki. "But I might have some friends over."

He nodded. He looked slightly dejected. "But that's it. Other than that, I'm totally free."

He brightened up. "Oh, cool. Cause I was wondering if you wanted to hang out for the festival."

Well, if I'm not going to be upfront with my father and sisters during the full moon's highest point, or with my human friends who turn into mermaids, then I can hang out with you.

Man, sometimes I wish I didn't lie to him.

"Um…probably. I've got some prior arrangements to deal with, but they won't last long."

He smiled. "Cool. That'll be great. I hope to see you there. Um…how bout we meet at my dad's store. You know where that is right?"

"Yeah," I said as I nodded vigorously.

"Cool, I'll see you then. I've got to head back to the shop. Thanks for the book." We both smiled. He hugged me again. "It's great to see you again, Nori."

I grinned from ear to ear. "It's great to see you too, Nalu." He smiled as he swam away.

I felt good, but also bad. I'd been lying to my family and Nalu. I couldn't take it much longer.

I decided to head back to the castle. As I swam back I tried to sort out my head. I hated lying, yet I found myself making up stories a lot these days!

I shook my head, trying to shake the thoughts out, when I saw it. It was just a small glimmer far out, past the borders in the sand. Shipwrecks don't normally happen so close, nor do they drop things along the way.

I swam out to it to see it closer. I kept a good eye on the castle, not wanting this to turn into a siren trap and not have someone at the castle to see it.

I finally reached it. I pulled it out of the sand and got a good look at it. "Huh…weird."

It was a black glass sphere with various designs and writing in golden paint. There was some pattern in it in writings I couldn't read. It wasn't human, and it wasn't Mer. I looked closely at it, and could see that there was something inside it. It was a cylinder shape with something thin and white at the top. It was very beautiful, but something about it wasn't right. Something dark.

I turned it around in my hand. Then I saw two symbols I recognized. The first symbol was Mer for "storm", and the other was the one symbol of Siren my dad had taught me. The symbol for "Trap."

I immediately tried to drop the ball, but whatever magic was on this ball made the ball stuck to my hand. I couldn't let it go. I started to panic. I tried using my own magic, but it wasn't working. "Let me go!" I yelled at it. Then I heard whispers in the current.

"Swirl around, the whirlpool, fast and black and true. Take this mer far away, away from any sea's view."

The current started to speed up, getting fast. Swirling around me, getting faster and faster. The water turned into white water. That's when I realized what was happening.

The sirens were creating a whirlpool to capture me.

I screamed for help, but the water was too loud. I screamed names! I screamed for my sisters, Ottie, my father, Emma, Rikki, Cleo. Heck! I even screamed for Lewis! Then for my last chance, I screamed, "NALU!" I could hear something screaming on the outside of the whirlpool, but I couldn't hear it completely clearly.

The chant became louder and louder! Till the words were all I could hear. The water turned black and started rushing around me faster and faster. I closed my eyes and waited for this to be over. I curled up in a little ball. I'm not sure if I was moving or not, but this black egg was not letting up and seemed to be sucking something out of me. I grew tired quickly. I tried to fight and hold on, afraid that if I went to sleep, I wouldn't wake up. Eventually I had to give in. I dropped my head and closed my eyes. "Nalu…," I whispered one last time before falling asleep.

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I lasted updated this, but it's about time. Sorry it's short and parts don't make sense, but they will! Don't worry! Anyways, I love you guys! Thanks for your support! And I'm working on the next chapter. So until next time!