Chapter One: New Land, New Life
Maddy had decided to try and get to know her new hometown a little so she had left the house but now she was exhausted and didn't know how to get back and unfortunately she had left her phone at home on the charger. She sat down at a table at a local café to rest.
Before long a waiter came to her table "Hi, welcome to the Juice-Net café" he said cheerfully "My name's David and I'll be your server…are you okay?" his voice lost some of it's' pep by the end
"Yeah" Maddy said "I'm just really tired, you people do things waaay to early."
"Us people?" David asked with a slightly raised eyebrow
"Australians" Maddy said "I just got off the plane from England-"
"And you've got a major case of jetlag, am I right?" David concluded
"I know just what'll perk you up. Be right back." David said and walked away without taking Maddy's order but that was okay, Maddy wasn't thirsty.
A few minutes later David came back with a juice in his hand "Here you are, one Mango Strawberry juice, it's like a liquid energy bar-on the house." He then set it down in front Maddy
"You don't have to-"Maddy tried but David cut her off
"Sure I do, consider it a welcome to Australia present" David said and then walked away before Maddy could resume protesting
It was a very tasty juice, Maddy had to admit as she quickly drank it down, it didn't help her jet lag however, and shortly after it was gone she fell asleep.
She was awoken hours later by David gently shaking her
"Hey, we're closing up here, I'm sorry but I have to ask you to leave." David said
Groggily Maddy stood and asked "What time is it?"
"A little after 7" David answered as he left to continue locking up the shop
Maddy's eyed widened in panic as she comprehended what David had told her, it was getting dark, the moon would be rising any minute and it would be a full moon. She would start to turn very shortly, she couldn't change here but she didn't know how to get back to the house or if she'd be able to make it in time even with Wolfblood speed. She began to leave and then she saw an island out in the distance. There were no lights coming from it, that meant there were no buildings there and hopefully no people, it seemed to be her best bet but how to get there?
She soon found the answer, a boat was tied up at the dock…she didn't like it but she didn't see that she had any other choice. She couldn't risk changing in the middle of town, someone could get hurt or she could get spotted. She didn't know if the boat could reach the island in time but worst case scenario would be that she changed in the middle of the ocean…it would REALLY suck for her but no one else would be in any danger.
Quickly she untied the boat, jumped in and turned on the engine. The boat began to move but not fast enough for her liking but she didn't have time to worry about that, she grabbed the rudder and began steering the book toward the island.
A few minutes later David finished locking up the café and then he noticed his boat was gone.
"Hey!" he shouted "What are you doing with my boat?!"
Maddy only barely heard him, even with her wolf blood hearing but she ignored him. She wanted to apologize and tell him that she would bring it back but she didn't want him to be able to identify her when he reported the theft to the police…plus she doubted that he would hear her anyway.
Furious, David pulled out his cell phone and dialed 000 but instead of a person he got a recording "All operatives are currently assisting other callers, please remain on the line and someone will be with you shortly. If you are in immediate danger, please try to escape but stay on the line."
"WHAT?!" David exclaimed frustrated and hung up
"What's going on?" Carly asked as she came behind him
"Some jerk stole my boat!" David said
"What? Who would do that?" Carly questioned
David shook his head "I don't know"
"Did you report it to the police?" Carly asked
"I called 000 but they put me on hold" David answered
"Then call the station" Carly ordered
"I will, I just need to look up the number" David told her
Slightly later David was called the police station
"Police Department, this is Kevin how may I help you?" a male voice answered
"I need to report a stolen boat" David said
"Stolen vehicle okay, just give me one minute" there was the sounding of things shuffling around as the officer searched for a pen
When he grabbed one he began questioning David "Okay, first off is there any one dead or injured?"
"No" David said
"Any property damage, other than the missing boat?"
"Year, type and model of the boat in question?"
"It's a 1979, Cadet speedboat."
"Any information you can tell me about the thief?"
"Not much, they were speeding toward Mako when I saw them."
"All right, I'll send someone out there but it may take a while."
"What?" David said
"Look kid, I'm sorry about your boat but I got 3 car accidents, an overdose, and 2 missing persons tonight and it's not even 9 o'clock yet, I have other priorities right now." The officer said sharply
In that light, David could understand it "Can you at least give me an idea of how long it'll take…I would like to get some sleep tonight." He said tiredly
Kevin could hear the tiredness in David's voice "go home and sleep, I probably won't be able to get someone out until morning." he instructed
"Okay" David said "…is it normally this bad?"
"Not most nights" Kevin answered "the full moon brings out the crazies."
"Oh, well good night officer" David said
"Good Night" Kevin responded and then hung up
Maddy didn't change right in the middle of the ocean, she wound up changing just as the boat began to approach the island. It was a bit difficult with a wolf's body but she managed to cut the engine and push the boat onto the beach proper. Once she was confident that the boat was not going to drift away on the next tide, she began to explore the island.
Eventually she happened upon a glowing cave, curious she entered it. The cave seemed normal, except for the glowing part until she came to something that looked like a door with a trident symbol on it. She sniffed it and it smelled like ocean water. Surprised, she reached up to touch it with her paw, the moment her paw touched the trident a hole appeared in the floor and she fell through it.
She landed in the middle of the Moon Pool, startling the living days light out of Serena, Ondina, Mimmi, Zack and Evie who were spending the full moon in the pool together.
Ondina was the first to recover "How did a dog get in here?!"
"That's not a dog, that's a wolf!" Zack corrected
"There are no wolves on Mako!" Evie said
"Apparently, that one didn't get the memo" Zack responded
Serna moved over and gently lifted Maddy's head above the water
"Serna, be careful" Mimmi said
"That's a wild animal…wolves are predators, they're dangerous." Evie added
"We can't just let it drown" Serna responded "The poor thing's unconscious" the others exchanged looks but they knew Serna would not budge on this.
Together the mermaids and one merman carefully got Maddy out of the Moon Pool and put her on the beach
"Should we really just leave it here?" Serena asked
"It'll be fine, Zack was when you and the others left him" Ondina said
Zack turned to Serena and questioned "Wait, you just dumped me on the beach after you carried me out of the Moon Pool?"
"Well, yeah" Serena responded "what else were we supposed to do?"
Zack didn't have an answer for that
"It's okay Serena, wolves are tough creatures, it'll be fine when it wakes up." Evie said
The group went back to the Moon Pool
The next morning Maddy woke up on the beach and muttered "what hit me?" she couldn't remember anything after touching that trident symbol and despite what Hollywood would have you believe memory loss is NOT normally associated with the full moon transformation.
She brushed as much sand off herself as she could and then pushed the boat into the water, turned on the engine and headed back to shore.
She was just approaching the dock when she saw two figures approaching. She swore and then jumped into the water and swam under the dock, hoping they hadn't seen her…she didn't think they would have, her Wolfblood eye sight was much keener than theirs.
She was so focused on hiding that she didn't notice the water rippling around her.
When David and the policewoman got to the dock the boat was beginning to drift away.
"Hey, that's my boat!" David exclaimed and began racing to secure it before it drifted to far away
"You mean the boat that was reported stolen?" the officer asked
"Yeah" David said happily "I don't how or why it's back but I'm glad it is." He then noticed that the policewoman did not look at all happy
"You do realize that reporting a fake crime is a felony, don't you?" she said sharply
"It's not fake, I really did see someone riding off with my boat!" David protested
Below the dock, Maddy squirmed guiltily
"Right, someone went to all the trouble of stealing your boat only to bring it back immediately the next morning." the officer said skeptically
David opened his mouth to reply but she cut him off "because your record is clean, I am going to let you off with a warning this time, but no more pranks"
The police raised her hand "Don't push it or I may change my mind in a way you don't like"
David let out a defeated sigh and then the policewoman left
David then resumed tying up his boat and then he noticed the gas gage was almost at E "Ugh, they ran it out of gas, I'd just filled it the other day"
Maddy squirmed guiltily again 'I wish I could make it up to him' she thought. She then lowered her head a bit and noticed she was now a fish from the waist down. She couldn't stop the startled scream that came from her throat
David perked up "Who's there, are you okay?"
Maddy didn't answer, her only thought was that she had to get away. She dived under the water and swum, way faster than she ever had before.
David got a sight of a flash of orange blazing through the water
Shortly after that Serena approached him "Hi David"
"Hi Serena, was that you just now?" He asked
"Was what me?" Serena responded
"I take that as no, I saw something large and orange swim by just now, I thought it might have been one of you." David explained
Serena shook her head "I don't think so, Ondina and Mimmi are still at Mako and the others don't come this close to shore."
"Well whoever it was, they need to be more careful." David stated
"Are sure it was a mermaid?" Serna asked
"Pretty sure, I can't imagine what else it could have been" David answered
Maddy eventually found a deserted stretch of beach to for her to lay and try to figure out how this had happened and what she was going to do about it. She had never believed the stories about Wolfbloods having once been merpeople it was too crazy but she had been turned into one…maybe there was some truth to it.
She had heard stories about what happened anytime they got near each other, blood and death. It was why Wolfbloods normally avoided the ocean as much as possible. Her parents had been surprised to find that they were being sent to a coastal community but supposedly near the coast was the last place Dr. Wakeman would be expected to look for Wolfbloods. Maddy thought her pack was just being punished. What would they do if they found what happened, would they kill her as an enemy?
She made a fist and placed it on her tail, what was she going to do? She couldn't face her parents, not like this-how would she even begin to explain, would they even let her? Quickly she was surrounded by steam. She coughed and waved her hands trying to clear the steam away and when it cleared to her complete astonishment her tail was gone and her legs were back where they were supposed to be. She tapped herself, she was completely dry how had that happened?
Shortly after that an idea came to her. She moved onto the wet part of the sand and as soon as the water came up and wrapped around her legs, she fell over as said legs turned into a tail. She then pulled herself onto the dry sand and slowly formed a fist over her tail. Immediately her tail began to steam and the tighter she made her fist, the faster the steam and the greater the heat. As soon as she was completely dry, her tail turned back into a pair of legs.
Her wolf was as baffled by this as she was but it seemed that she was a mermaid when wet and a Wolfblood when dry. She'd have to hide the mermaid from everyone including her parents. Speaking of her parents, she felt that it was time to begin heading home, they would surely be looking for her…only question was, which way was home?
She began walking inland. Eventually she found a road and began following it…knowing she would eventually find civilization. She wasn't certain how long she'd been walking when a police car pulled alongside her.
"Are you Maddy Smith?" the officer driving it asked her after rolling down his window
"Yes" Maddy said trying to stay cool but inwardly panicking that they had somehow identified her as the boat thief
"Your parents reported you missing last night, we've been searching for you since then. Let's get you home." The officer responded and unlocked the doors of the car
Maddy climbed into the back of the car since the officer had a partner with him so there was no room in front
Once Maddy was inside the officer resumed driving while his partner radioed the station
"Dispatch this car 1431, do you read?" he said
"Car 1431, this is dispatch we read you loud and clear, what's your status?" was the reply
"We've located one of the missing persons reported last night-Maddy Smith, we are returning her home now."
"Any injuries or fatalities?"
"Negative" the officer stated
"Copy that, well done car 1431, carry on"
"You're very lucky" one of the officers said to Maddy "a pretty young girl like you….would've been a fine prize for human traffickers, if we hadn't found you first. I don't know what happened between you and your folks but running away from your problems never solves anything"
"I didn't run away, I got lost" Maddy said but the officer that was driving raised his hand
"Save it for you parents, they're the ones responsible for you."
Maddy endured the rest of the ride in silence
When they arrived the officer walked Maddy to the door and had her ring the door bell
Maddy's mother answered "Maddy" she exclaimed and pulled her into a tight embrace. "Thank goodness you're all right"
"Can you take it from here, Mrs. Smith?" one of the officers asked
"Yes, of course, thank you officers" Maddy's mom replied and the ushered Maddie in the house while the officers returned to their car.
Once the door was shut Maddy's mom brought her into the living room where her father was waiting "What do you have to say for yourself, young lady? Do you have any idea how worried we were AND on a full moon no less!" Maddy's mom began
"I know" Maddy said "I didn't mean to be out so late. I wanted to get to know this place so I told Dad I was going for a walk."
"That was a little after 2 o clock, it shouldn't have taken you that long." Maddy's father pointed out
"No, I got to a café and I flew asleep."
"Didn't they wake you up?" Maddy's mother questioned
"Not until they began locking up the place. A little after 7"
"Oh, Mads, don't tell me they saw you turn" Maddy's father said
"No, they didn't…I borrowed a boat and went to an island just of the coast."
"Borrowed" Maddy's mom said sharply "You mean stole"
"No, I brought it back as soon first thing this morning." Maddy protested
"Did you have permission to take the boat?" Mrs. Smith asked pointedly
"Well…no" Maddy admitted "but it was the only to get somewhere safe before I turned, what else was I supposed to do?!"
"You were supposed to never let yourself get into a situation like that to begin with." Mrs. Smith responded "You are grounded until further notice young lady."
Maddy tried to protest but Mrs. Smith talked right over her. "That means no internet, no phone, and no leaving your room for anything other than school, the restroom, or dinner. Speaking of school just be thankful that today was an in-service day otherwise you would have been late on your first day."
"Ugh" Maddy said and stormed off to her room.
"And wash up, you smell like fish" Maddy's mother called after her
The next day Maddy's mom dropped her off at school early to complete some last minute paperwork regarding Maddy's transfer because of that Maddy wound up missing breakfast but it was okay, for some reason she wasn't hungry.
Once the paperwork was finished, Maddy's mother left and Rita approached Maddy. Maddy smelled Rita before she saw her…Rita smelled like fish for some reason. "Hello Maddy, I'm Rita Santos, I'm the school principal. Here you first class is also your homeroom your normal teacher is Miss Treble but since she is sick today, I'm filling in. Come with me and I'll take you there
They were the last to arrive "Good Morning Students" Rita began "Miss Treble is sick today so I will be filling in. We also have a new student joining us, all the way from England, please welcome Maddy Smith. Sit wherever you like Maddy"
Maddy took a seat in the back of the class, she was grateful that Rita hadn't made her stand up and talk to the class. It soon became very clear however that these kids were way ahead of her class in England. She would need help to get caught up. Later she tried to get a drink at the water fountain but the moment she touched it water began squirting everywhere. Maddy only barely managed to get away in time to avoid getting wet.
Later in the lunch line, she tried to grab a juice but it kept darting away as she reached for it until she finally managed to trap it between both her hands. Several people were looking at her weirdly. Embarrassed Maddy found a deserted table to sit and eat by herself.
She wasn't alone for long however, a few minutes after she sat down a blonde boy placed his tray besides hers.
"Hey, mind if we join you?" he asked as he sat down
"Don't you think it's a little late to be asking her that Cam?" a blonde girl asked him
"I thought I timed it just about right" Cam replied with a grin
Carly rolled her eyes
"Its' okay" Maddy said "I don't mind"
"Great" Cam said
Shortly after that David arrived and sat across from Maddy
"Hey, glad to see you're doing better" He greeted Maddy
"Thanks" Maddy said weakly "what did you say your name was?"
"David" David answered "I see you've already met Cam and Carly…we normally sit at this table with our friends Zack and Evie, but if you want us to move-"
Maddy shook her head "No, no. I didn't mean to take your table, I'll go" and she began to get up
Carly grabbed Maddy's arm "No need, you can stay there's room enough for all of us."
Zack and Evie then approached and took the last two remaining seats at the table. As they did so, Maddie started smelling fish but they were eating chicken like everyone else…it didn't make sense.
"Hey guys" David greeted
"So David, did they find your boat?" Carly asked
"What's David lost his boat?" Cam asked
"I didn't lose it" David responded "Someone stole it"
Everyone's eyes widened except for Maddy's and Carly's
"But when I met the policewoman at the café before school this morning, the boat was at the dock" David said
"Well that's good" Maddy said
"Well yeah" David agreed "except now the police think I lied about it being stolen"
"You would never do that!" Zack exclaimed
"I know" David responded
"Are you in trouble?" Evie asked worriedly
David shook his head "No, they let me go with a warning. Can we talk about something else, please?"
Carly turned to Maddy and asked "So Maddy, how are you liking Australia so far?"
"I think I am going to have to spend the rest of my life studying to try and catch up with you geniuses." Maddy answered
"If you need help getting caught up, I'm sure Evie could help you out. She's a brilliant tutor" Zack offered
Evie kicked Zack under the table for volunteering her like that but she turned to Maddy and said "Sure I can help you…and maybe you can do something for me to"
"What's that?" Maddy asked
"I'm the editor of the school newspaper and I'd like to interview you. Most of us have never been abroad, I'm sure the students would be interested to know what life is like for teenagers in England compared to Australia. You don't have to do the interview right away, I'll give you some time to get used to us first." Evie explained
"Ok" Maddy agreed
"Great, we can meet at my place after school today" Evie offered
"I don't think that's going to work" Maddy said "I'm grounded"
"What'd you do?" Cam asked
Carly kicked him under the table
Maddy ignored them and addressed "Evie, I'll call me parents and see if they'll we can work something out"
"Ok, let me know" Evie agreed
Maddy then left the cafeteria to call her parents
Her mother answered the phone "Yes, Mads?"
"I'm really behind in my classes here" Maddy began "I met this girl named Evie who agreed to tutor me so can I go over to her place this afternoon?"
"What part of grounded do you not understand, young lady?" Her mother demanded
"What part of I'm massively behind did you not understand?" Maddy countered "do you want me to flunk out of school, cause that's what I'm looking at right now."
There was a brief pause and then Maddy's mother said "all right, tell Evie that you two are going to be studying at OUR house and I better NOT hear talk about anything other than school work, is that understood?"
"Yes" Maddy said tiredly and hung up
Maddy went back to the cafeteria and told Evie to meet at her house. Shortly after that the bell rang signaling that it was time for them to get to class.
After school Maddy and Evie began walking to her house when Mimi, Ondina, and Serena approached them. All three girls smelled like fish to Maddy.
"Hey Evie, who's your friend?" Serna asked
"This is Maddy, she's just moved her from England" Evie answered "Maddy, these are some other friends of ours, Serena, Ondina and Mimmi"
"Nice to meet you" Serena said politely
"Agreed" Mimmi added
"You too…how come you weren't in school today?" Maddy questioned
"We're homeschooled" Ondina answered
"Do you girls like to fish" Maddy asked
They all looked at her weirdly and shook their heads "I like to eat it but I'd rather someone else do the catching" Ondina added
"Why do you ask?" Mimmi asked a bit suspiciously
"Just curious…being on the coast, I figured fishing was big around here" Maddy responded
"So, Evie" Serna began "we were on our way to the café, wanna come?"
Evie shook her head "Sorry, we can't. I promised Maddy I'd help her get up on her schoolwork"
"You can study at the café, can't you?" Mimmi asked
"No, I'm grounded" Maddy said "Mum would kill me…she may do that anyway, if we're too late"
The girls exchanged good byes and went on their separate ways.
When they got to Maddy's house, her mother offered them drinks. Maddy's can of soda acted like the juice and kept moving away from her, forcing her to trap it between her hands
Evie's eyed narrowed…she'd had the same problem when she first became a mermaid, but Maddy couldn't have become one last night because the only creature that fell in the Moon Pool was a wolf not a person. There were no moon pools in England, were there? She'd have to ask Rita, she would know.
Evie wasn't able to ask Rita until a couple of days later during one of their private sessions
"Rita, are there any moon pools other than Mako?" Evie questioned
"Not in the pacific" Rita answered "I've heard rumors of one somewhere in the Atlantic"
"Near England" Evie said softly
"Ireland, actually from what the rumors say" Rita said "why do you ask?"
"…I think Maddy might be one of us"
"Anything liquid acts really weird around her, like it did me when I first got my tail." Evie explained "do you think she could have fallen in the moon pool over there before she got here?"
"...I guess it's possible" Rita admitted
"I'm just not sure how to test it without freaking her out too much" Evie said "but I've got to do it soon, I've been covering for her as best I can but it this keeps up people are bound to notice."
"Have you spoken with the others?" Rita asked
Evie nodded "They think I'm imagining things but I know what I've seen…they haven't spent as much time with Maddy as I have"
"That's right, you've been tutoring her" Rita said "How is that going?"
"Well, apart from this. Zack joins us sometimes too, when we're working on science" Evie said
"Well if Maddy IS a mermaid, I'd suggest confronting her when it's just the two of you." Rita said "you don't want to alarm her any more than necessary. Bad things can happen when mermaids get scared, especially when they don't know how to control their powers yet."
Evie had thought of that herself but nodded her acceptance of Rita's advice anyway…now the question was how to implement it?