The Water Club was having the weekly Saturday morning meeting down on the beach. This week, they were looking for crab claws for a collage they were making at the clubhouse they had in John's backyard.
John was the president of the Water Club and the oldest member (he was almost 13), and his little brother Charlie was the Vice-President. Everybody in the club had some title: Timmy was the Treasurer (even though the club never had any money), his sisters Cindy and Sarah were Secretaries (even though they never wrote down anything), Laura was the Administrator (nobody knew what that meant, but Laura liked it because it was the biggest word she knew), Tony was the Timekeeper (he had a watch so he could say when it was time to go home), and Roger was the Doorkeeper (he kept non-members from trying to get into the clubhouse, though nobody ever did try).
They had been there at the beach since 9:00, and it was now close to 11:00. At 11:30, they were all going to head back to the clubhouse for lunch. They had already found a few crab claws, but not as many as John thought they would need.
Cindy was looking around by herself over by some rocks near the edge of the water. She had just found a big claw, when she thought she heard a noise like somebody crying. Looking around, she spotted somebody sitting on the rocks.
It was a girl a couple years older than she was, maybe about 11 or 12. She was a little startled to see that she was sitting there with no shirt or top to her bathing suit. She was wet, like she had just been swimming, and she was crying.
Cindy went closer to her to see if she could see what was wrong. That was when she noticed that the girl wasn't wearing a bathing suit at all; in fact she didn't have any human legs --- she was a fish from the waist down!
"Are you a mermaid?" Cindy asked her, coming even closer. The girl was so sad and pretty, Cindy wasn't at all afraid of coming close to the mermaid.
The girl looked up, her eyes red from crying. "Yes, I am a mermaid. Are you a human?"
"I am," Cindy said. "And so are my friends over there. We're the Water Club. Why are you crying?"
"I want to go home, but I can't," she said.
"How come?" Cindy asked. "Where are you from?"
By this time, her brother Timmy had come over to see what his sister was doing. He was also surprised to see a girl sitting there with no clothes on, and even more shocked to see that she was only a girl from the waist up and was all scales below that.
"I am from Faerie," the mermaid answered. "There is a magic cave below the sea here. I was shot through by a bolt of lightning, and now I can't get back."
"Can we help?" Timmy asked her.
"There are gems in the cave that could get me back, but it would be too dangerous to try to get any of them because of the Dagon."
"What is the Dagon?" Timmy asked. It scared him to see how nervous and scared the mermaid became at just the mention of the name of the Dagon.
End Chapter 1
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