It was another zombie morning and another zombie breakfast. The sleepy girls started to wake up as they trudged to chapel. They perked up as the thumping beat was familiar, and soon everyone was dancing on their chairs.

"Somebody call 9-1-1, Shawty fire burning on the dance floor- wo oh!" The kids sang along. Some of the more awake one attempted to hold up fingers as the 9-1-1 part passed, Nine fingers, then one finger, then one finger. The less awake were failing miserably.

"That's not right." Amanda muttered as her fingers showed seven. She was incapable of math so early in the morning.

Sean Kingston's song slowed and Bob. U. Betcha's them music played instead, as people began to clamber down from the chairs.

The next game needed a kid and a counselor. Sierra groaned as her name was called, but smiled as she grabbed Kate's hand.

"Not going to happen."

"Please Kate! Please please please please!" She whined, and Kate sighed as she followed her up.

"You owe me big time." Kate grumbled as the game rules were read. The camper had to fling marshmallows into the counselor's mouth. The counselor was not allowed to get out of their seat to try to catch them. The first counselor to ten marshmallows in the mouth was the winner. Sierra giggled. She had horrible aim. Kate hated marshmallows. This was going to be fun.

The music started and the other more sporty campers already had a few in the counselor's mouth. Sierra flung one at Kate.

"Ow! Not in my eye!"

"So-ree." She tried another and Kate made a valiant try- and caught it.

Pleasantly surprised, Sierra tried another. And Kate caught it.

Another and another. Kate smirked. What a time for hidden talents.

They had gotten ten moments before one of the other churches had. Kate grinning as she leapt up in a cheer, the Chupracabra section of the crowd going wild. She was glad she had agreed to the insanity, because it was a deliciously fun sort of insanity. Then had won several points for their team, a pack of silly bands, and a jar of jam, and a triumphant feeling. In a heated competition, those points would be well worth it.

On the way out of chapel, Amanda and Sierra cornered Alena.

"Where have you been?"

"Yeah! You promised you'd come back last night but you didn't!"

"Sorry... I was with a friend."



"Do you like him?"

She covered their mouths as Bryce and his group passed by. She let go of their mouths and they let go of a scream.

"You like him!"

"You guys are adorable together!"

"Shut up." Alena said, but her cheeks were bright red and she was grinning like an idiot.

"Sooo what did you guys do last night?"

"The boys were out jumping in puddles in the field. He invited me to join."


"If you guys throw nubbins into this I will kill you."

"We don't doubt it!"

"Wouldn't have it any other way!"

"We need to go to lunch." Alena and Darby said as they appeared, dragged Amanda and Sierra away from Alena.

Soon they reached the dock. "This isn't where we eat lunch." Sierra said, a little surprised.

"It's an hour to lunch, we were totally lying. We needed to show you this. Oh yeah, and totally spill the beans on Alena and Bryce." Darby answered , with a smirk on her face for the last words.

"Well, you know how it rained last night?" Sierra said, focusing on the dishing part first.

"Yeah, Amanda thought we were all going to die." Alena said.

"Hey, it was really windy and it was blowing the trees like in movies of hurricanes!" Amanda defended. She had freaked out just a little last night.

"Just because it's windy, doesn't mean it's a hurricane." Sierra admonished, then continued. "Well, the boys all jumped in puddles in field- which actually were full of dog poo, so not the best idea, and Alena jumped with them."

After a collective Awwwwww from the group, Alena remembered they had something to show them.

"Here" She said importantly, handing them an empty paper towel tube/telescope. She then pointed out where the thing was and Sierra looked-

And almost dropped the telescope into the murky water below.

There, floating on the water, was a mermaid. A dead mermaid, but a mermaid nonetheless.

"What do you think it is?" Darby asked.

"A mermaid." Amanda answered, knowing that despite it being the right answer, they'd never believe her. They needed an excuse to get back inside to call Magnus- or tell Ashley or something! Then Amanda had an idea- it may be drastic but it would be fun! She faked a stumble (which wasn't hard to do, she was sometimes very clumsy) and with a scream toppled into the water. Then Sierra fell in the water, though by accident or on purpose no one would ever know.

"Are you guys okay?" Darby and Alena demanded as they bent down to help them out of the algae-filled water. In hindsight, not Amanda's best idea. But not the worst.

"Yeah, just tripped." Sierra mumbled. "We're going to go back to the cabin to change."

"Meet you guys for lunch?" Amanda offered as she wrung out her dripping hair.

"Okay, see you soon." Darby agreed, and Amanda and Sierra dashed off.

"!" Sierra yelled, barreling through the building in search of the blond.

"Take a breath will you.." Amanda grumbled. She couldn't have Sierra dying on her before Victory jam was over. But the yelling had worked (and they had done it quickly enough so they wouldn't get in trouble) and they found Ashley.

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say you were looking for me." She drawled, before taking in their concerned expressions and sopping wet...ness. "What happened!"

Sierra went up on tip-toes and hurriedly whispered the entire story of the mermaid, conveniently leaving out the purposefully falling in the water part.

"You're absolutely sure?"




"One hundred percent sure?"

"Do you really think we'd come to get you if we weren't sure!"


"Oh. Yeah."

"Okay then, I'll go call my mom I guess. But if there was mermaids, alive or dead, how would she get them out? The campers stay up all hours."

"Pft. Curfew's at eleven, nobody would suspect a boat out for a midnight drive." Amanda said, with a wave of her hand.

"Right." Ashley mumbled, walking off to go call her mom away from eavesdroppers.

"What's up?" Tori asked, having just happened upon the two.

"Oh, ya know. Just found a mermaid so we called a SWAT team to come in and take it back to a secret hide-out where they will protect it from evil organizations that want to mutate it and use it to take over the world, one cheesy James-bond movie at a time." Sierra said in one breath.

"Oh. Okay."

The announcement came at lunch time.

"And the talent show-" The leader guy announced.

"A talent show?" Someone shrieked.

"Do we have to study?" Another nameless one asked.

"What if we have no talent?" Anonymous panicked.


"Please-" The leader guy held up his hands for silence. "If you want to be in it, sign up by five-thirty today.

"You guys should enter." Kate said to the table at large. Not going to happen, came the general response.

"All of my talents can't be displayed on stage." Amanda said with a sigh.

"Like what?"


"You can't skydive." Sierra pointed out.

"Of course not! Lying then."

"But you're the worst liar ever."

"Fine, then being confusing." Amanda conceded.

"Well it worked, cuz I'm very confused." Alena mumbled sleepily.

"That's because you were in the sun all day with Bryyyyyyce!" Katie teased, having heard the gossip about them. Alena stuck her tongue out at the laughing Asian girl, and covered her ears as the rest of the table erupted in teasing.

It was time for the next X-game. The sun was high, and so was the excitement. The Chupracabras donned green war paint, green shirts, and game-day attitude. They were going out in the field to play milk-jug lacrosse, so they also donned plenty of sunscreen.

Mil jug lacrosse was a lot like real lacrosse, save for instead of lacrosse sticks, you had empty milk-jugs that had the bottom cut off, and you were scooping up tennis balls. You then had to fling them in your goal, before the other team knocked you down and stole your tennis balls. It was a rough game, and by the end of it, two of the Chupracabras were driven to the emergency room. During the water break, the gossip spread like wildfire. One of the Bananas, the opposing team, had been too rough, and had knocked down Katie and hurt her tooth. Another one, or the same one, the facts muddled as they flew across from angry teammate to angry teammate, had broken another Chupracabras wrist. The next game, an outrageous game of soccer played with hundreds of balls of all sizes, was played with a little more venom, the green team furious at the offending members of the yellow team, and just a little mad at the rest.

Amanda had long been running on adrenaline. The heat, combined with the multiple games of each sport, combined with the sheer amount of energy required to play the games, left her in a haze, running on empty, but still doing her best. Sierra shuffled around like a zombie. When the whistle was blown, everyone tromped gratefully back to their cabins. Though the Bananas had a little more spring in their step, having won four games out of five.

Exhausted, hot, and tired, Amanda, Sierra, Alena, and Kate got ready to go to the beach. The others stayed behind, not wanting to battle the jellyfish, preferring the chlorinated pool.

But as they arrived at the white sands and crashing blue waves of the New Jersey beach, a cheer went up. No jellyfish. So they frolicked in the waves, warming up to the cold spray that relaxed their sweaty selves. They were a little disappointed to leave.

"Hurry up!" Henry called from the front. They had hardly got to see him, as he was so busy with the boys. But their short interactions had proven he was having a fun time, so Sierra and Amanda jogged a little bit to try to catch up, but then fell back to the back of the group heading back.

"Why are we always in the back?" Sierra grumbled.

"It's a gift." Kate had answered, swinging back to hang with them.

Amanda rolled her eyes, and then swung her towel around her shoulders, tucking it into her swimsuit straps.


Sierra followed her lead, announcing her own superhero name.


They proceeded to make superhero noises (too tired to fly around) until they reached the intersection where they joined in waving at cars, whose alarmed occupants cautiously waved back.

Zombie-ing through dinner, chapel, and the rest, Sierra and Amanda found themselves on the dock with Ashley, gazing at the stars and talking. The conversation drifted violently, switching from one family story to another, Amanda and Sierra telling of times before they came to the sanctuary, where they were just as crazy without the powers. Ashley laughed and shared her own escapades, which led Sierra to start a running count of how many times Ashley had almost died. The number was rapidly climbing, already in the hundreds.

"Pocahontas is real?" Sierra exclaimed, surprised.

"YES." Came the alarmed answer of both Amanda and Ashley. Sierra's knowledge of History encompassed 'Hitler was mean' and 'the Salem witch trials existed', but they never thought she didn't think Pocahontas was real.

"Oh look, Santa!" Sierra then shrieked, pointing up to the starry sky were green and red lights darted through the sky. A boat sped across the bay.

"Oh look, my mom!"

"Santa's cooler." Sierra defended.

"Dude, she probably could hear you!" Amanda whispered conspiratorially.

"I'm sorry Santa! I'll be good!" Sierra yelled to the green and red lights, which had long since disappeared.

"You guys are nuts." Ashley said with a smile, shaking her head.

"We know." They said together. "Jinx!"

Another hour passed before they stumbled back inside, dodging curfew by minutes, and were asleep before their heads hit the pillow.

A/N Sorry for the long wait! Hopefully now that it's Christmas break, I'll have some more time to write... fingers crossed I don't spend it all on Facebook!