FINALLY! I have been diagnosed with severe WBS (Writer's Block Syndrome) and it was slowing me down! Not to mention I was trying to figure out where the story should go and I finally figured it out.
"'To become a mermaid, one must accept the pearl given by a merman, expose it to moonlight, and sing to the moon'," Doyle read from his book.
"I accepted the pearl, it's been exposed to moonlight, and I sang to the moon at least twice," Sam recalled.
Doyle looked up from the book. "Twice?" he repeated.
"Yeah. The first time was with Danny and the second time was by myself," Sam answered. "Although, I didn't notice the changes until the second time I sang to the moon."
Doyle smiled. "Good. Keep that up," he encouraged.
Daniel cocked his head. "I thought singing to the moon didn't do anything to us," he said.
Doyle gave Daniel a deadpanned look. "For us natural born merfolk, yes. But for humans, the moon helps the transformation progress," he explained. "A human changing into a mermaid is a phenomenon so rare our kind has forgotten about it. We have forgotten how important the moon is to our lifestyle."
"You mean I have to sing to the moon more often before I can do magic?" Sam asked for clarity.
"Exactly," Doyle confirmed after checking the book again. "Since you haven't been doing that lately, your transformations have slowed down significantly."
"That would explain why the fins appeared on my forearms recently," Sam muttered to herself.
"You also need to spend more time in the water," Doyle explained further. "Your changing body needs to adapt to its new environment. A few minutes in the shower won't cut it."
Sam frowned in confusion. "That doesn't make sense. Danny and Tucker spend most of the day on land and they haven't become humans," she argued.
"That's because we spend about an hour soaking in the bathroom," Daniel stepped in. "Clockwork recommended that we spend at least an hour in the bathtub so we don't wind up like him." Although for Clockwork and Charles, it took them centuries to keep their legs permanently.
"I see," said Sam. "But what about my family? They're going to have to find out what's happening to me sooner or later."
Charles shut the book and laid it in his lap. "That is up to you, I'm afraid," he replied. "You're going to have to tell your parents one way or another. And don't even think about asking Clockwork."
"Wasn't gonna," Daniel muttered, knowing that the Master of Time wouldn't be much help anyway.
Sam felt conflicted. Exposing her secret to her family? Sam didn't have to be a psychic to know that her parents were going to freak out the moment that she showed them what was happening to her. She didn't know how her grandmother was going to react. The old woman didn't even know Daniel's secret, let alone Sam's.
"Excuse me," said Sam as she rose from her seat. "I need to think." And with that, she left Mr. Doyle's room.
Daniel blinked. What was that about? Was all of this information too much for Sam to handle?
"It's a lot to take in, isn't it?" Doyle remarked, reminding Daniel that he was not the only one in the room.
"Kind of," Daniel answered. "I'm just as surprised as she is."
"That you're going to have to tell her family about what's happening to her?" Doyle guessed.
"That and the fact that the moon holds more significance than I thought."
"It's not that. She needs to have the pearl on her person whenever she sings to the moon. The moonlight needs to be absorbed into her pearl in order for the magic to work and to do it, she has to sing," Doyle explained. "I don't know why it has to be singing. That's just the way Poseidon made us."
Sam ran to the beach to absorb what she just learned. Singing to the moon was something she could handle, yes, but telling her parents what was happening to her? She knew that she had to tell them eventually. How was she going to tell them? Now that it was becoming a major issue, Sam realized that…she was scared to tell them. For the first time in a long time, she, Sam Manson, was afraid. If she told her family, they would never let it down.
Sam's eyes began to water at the thought of the most likely outcome if she told her parents the truth. They'd never let her see Daniel again. Then they'd take Sam to a hospital or a science lab to get her poked and probed until they could find a cure for her transformation. Not only that, but Daniel's secret would most likely be exposed to the world, thus putting his entire race in danger.
Sam turned and saw Daniel standing behind her. The look in his eyes said that he was concerned for her.
"Danny," Sam choked out. She hadn't realized that a knot had formed in her throat.
"Everything okay?" he probed.
For a moment Sam thought about lying to Daniel and say that she was fine, but she shook her head no at the last second. "No," she croaked as the tears spilled over. "No, everything is not okay."
"Kind of hard to process, huh?" Daniel said trying to sound like it was not a big deal.
"'Kind of'? Danny, sooner or later we're going to have to tell my family the truth about us," Sam answered exasperatedly. "Do you have any idea how freaked out they're going to be?"
"I'm guessing at lot," said Daniel.
"They'll be horrified!" Sam exclaimed. Afraid that Daniel would misunderstand, she quickly added, "It's not like I don't want this to happen. I do. But I…" She quickly swallowed. Sam had never admitted to anyone that she was scared of anything and this would have been her first time.
"You what?" Daniel pressed.
A new wave of tears spilled out of Sam's eyes as she broke down. "I'm afraid," she cried as she collapsed into the sand. "I'm afraid to tell them the truth."
Daniel got down on his knees and held his intended mate, soothing her as she cried. "It's okay to be scared, Sam," he assured her.
Sam shook her head. "I'm afraid of how they'll react, what they'll do to me – to us! – if we told them what was happening to me," she explained.
Daniel thought long and hard about this. It would not surprise him if Jeremy and Pamela flipped out if they found out what Daniel really was. Heck, they'd be running him out of town for what was happening to Sam. Perhaps they could tell the only other member in Sam's family who could possibly understand.
"What about Agnes?" Daniel suggested. Sam looked up at him, confused. "Do you think she'll take it well if we told her first?"
Sam thought about it. Her grandmother was the most understanding person Sam knew. But would she be able to handle something as big as Daniel's true identity?
Later on that evening, Tucker and Valerie went for a walk at the pier. It was starting to feel a little nippy outside. Valerie shivered a little. Tucker shucked off his jacket and put it around Valerie.
"Thanks," Valerie smiled.
"You're welcome," Tucker replied.
"I can't believe that Mr. Tock gave us the boot for making out in the living room," Valerie stated, hoping to initiate a conversation.
"He must be feeling bitter because he doesn't have a girlfriend," Tucker joked.
"Does he really need a mate?" asked Valerie.
Tucker shrugged. "I don't know. I didn't think it would be polite to ask."
Valerie then stopped in her tracks when she thought she saw someone she hoped would never appear in her or her friends' lives again. Vlad Masters walked out of a store near the parking lot carrying many large paper bags.
"Tucker," Valerie said, sounding very scared. "We've got company."
The Cecaelia looked where his girlfriend was looking and saw Vlad getting into a Convertible and drove off. The couple ran to the store where Vlad came from. It was a bait and tackle shop.
Tucker took one sniff and his mouth began to water. "What is that delicious smell? It smells like a Mega Meaty burger with anchovies," he drooled.
Valerie tried not to grimace at Tucker's description but failed. "That's disgusting! How is that delicious?" she asked exasperatedly.
"The Mega Meaty burger is from the Nasty Burger," Tucker explained. "I just add the anchovies for extra flavor."
Valerie shuddered. "I take it that it's some kind of specialty where you come from?" she asked.
"Not really," Tucker replied. "We use different meats and other ingredients."
Valerie dropped the subject and entered the tackle shop with Tucker following close behind her. The stench hit Valerie's nose like a truck. She thought Tick Tock Clock shop smelled bad but this place smelled like every sea creature she could think of died and were left to rot in the hot sun.
"Ugh! This place smells awful!" Valerie exclaimed as she covered her nose.
"Are you kidding? This place smells heavenly!" Tucker exclaimed back.
Their little conversation got the shopkeeper's attention. "Hey! If you're done commenting on the way my shop smells, buy something or get the hell out!" he exclaimed.
Valerie approached the counter to talk to the shopkeeper. "Excuse me, sir. Was there a man who bought something from this place?" she asked him as politely as possible. "Middle-aged, grey hair tied in a ponytail, wears a fancy suit, walks around like he owns the place?"
The shopkeeper scratched his rear before answering. "I'm not giving privileged information to a pair of kids like you two," he growled grumpily. "Unless…" he trailed, rubbing his middle and forefinger with his thumb.
Valerie, knowing better than to accept or give bribes, grabbed the shopkeeper's fingers and bent them in the wrong direction. She didn't break them, but it still hurt the man.
"Ow, ow, ow!" the shopkeeper cried. "Yes, a guy came by just a few minutes ago. Ow! Real smartass!"
"What did he buy?" asked Valerie.
"I'm not saying anymore," the shopkeeper said. Valerie bent his fingers farther, causing the man more pain. "Ahhhhh! He bought all of my chum! Cleaned out the entire stock! Ow! Don't know why! He didn't look like someone who fished for sharks!"
Valerie let the man go. "Thank you. You've been very cooperative," she said, putting on her polite demeanor again.
The shopkeeper straightened himself up, rubbing his fingers. "Damn, kid. You nearly broke my fingers… Hey, hey! You eat it, you buy it!" he suddenly yelled. Valerie turned and nearly lost her lunch when she saw Tucker chowing down on some minnows in a fish tank. 'I love him but at the same time I can barely stand him!'
"I'm not paying for his snack but could I buy a fishing lure?" asked Valerie. "It's, uh, for my dad's birthday."
Upon seeing Tucker eat from the tank, an idea came to Valerie. If she was thinking on the same lines as Vlad then Danny and Tucker and maybe Sam might be in serious trouble. Valerie had to see if her friends could resist the alluring scent of fish bait before Vlad made his first move.
I really appreciate your patience with me! I hate having writer's block! I had been working on this chapter for two months and this is how much I got?! WTF! This is what people with WBS come up with!
As for Charles Doyle's explanation: bottom line, the more time Sam spends in the water with Danny, the faster her mer-like qualities will appear (magic abilities).