I sat on the beach and watched the moon in the sky, humming a song to myself. It was finally a full moon. I looked down eagerly at my orange tail and waited. Any minute now, I thought to myself. Then I felt a tingling in the tip of my tail. I held my breath as, slowly, the beautiful orange and gold of my fin gave way to a brilliant, shimmering Caribbean blue. As the tingles faded, I let my breath out and sighed happily. This had happened ever since I was a little girl. Every full moon, my orange tail would transform into a beautiful blue one! I call it my nighttime tail, but really it only comes with the full moon. I love my daytime tail, but sometimes the change is nice.
I leaned back onto my arms, wiggling my fingers into the sand. I love sitting up on the beach during the night. It’s relaxing and helps me think. Right then, I had a lot to think about. My Mermom and Merdad had just given me some wonderful… and frightening news. We’re going to see the MerCouncil in just two days!
The MerCouncil is made up of very important and wise old merfolk. They meet together when something is wrong in the MerWorld. They don’t settle just any old argument, though. They only meet for very important reasons, and my parents told me that this meeting was especially imperative. They wouldn’t tell me much, but I overheard them talking about Waverlee, the princess from the Pacific Ocean.
I’ve only met Waverlee once when I was a very small girl. I don’t remember much about her except that she was very bubbly and friendly and she had long golden hair, which was strange to me. I didn’t see many merfolk or humans with blonde hair here in the Caribbean. Most of the people and merfolk have dark skin and dark hair. Waverlee was the opposite!
I was excited to see my fellow Mermaidens, especially Serena! I met her just a few years ago. I remembered her very well! She was charming and sweet and artistic. We had so much fun together, painting and dancing. It turns out that I’m not so good with colors, but she is fantastic! She loved to watch me dance, and I loved to dance for her! She was a great audience. Even Frank liked her. And Frank doesn’t like many people, or at least he pretends not to.
Right then, I heard some mumbling coming from behind me, and then I felt little tugs on my curly hair. The tugs rose higher and higher until all of the sudden, a little pair of eyes popped down in front of mine.
“Hello, Miss. You are tired, no?” Frank said, suspiciously cheerful.
I lifted one of my eyebrows and narrowed my eyes at him. Frank tried to mirror my expression, but he doesn’t have eyebrows, which is a tender subject for him, so he just ended up looking confused. I laughed, and then he got upset and turned around on my head, plopping himself down to brood.
“Oh, Frank! Lighten up!” I reached up to my head and nudged him a little. He only scuttled back farther and did his best to cross his front legs. “And I’m not tired. I’m too excited and nervous to be tired.”
Frank turned back around curiously. “You are nervous, Mademoiselle?”
“Yes, Frank. I’m really nervous! I’ve never been to the MerCouncil. My parents won’t even tell me why we’re going! What if something serious is happening? And what if I embarrass myself in front of everyone? Oh, Frank, tell me what to do!”
Frank slipped off the back of my head, scuttled around until he was in front of me, and climbed up my tail. He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment. Then he announced, “Ze crab has two things to say. One. Again, ze name is Francois, not Frank. Two. Ze crab is very smart. He does not ever embarrass himself. He will be your guide at ze MerCouncil. With him as your companion, you will excel!” he said, jumping into the air to emphasize ‘excel.’
I beamed down at Frank. Then I scooped him up in my hands and planted a kiss on his little shell. “Oh, thank you, Frank! You are the best finfriend I’ve ever had! I can’t think of what I would do without you!” Frank had a goofy grin on his face when I set him down but quickly straightened his expression into a stern, business face. I handed him up into my hair again and he tied himself in with a couple of strands. Then he marched back and forth across my head as I flipped into the sea and started my swim home. I had a lot to do before we left!
“Well then, Mademoiselle! Let us get to work! Pack ze jewels! Pack ze combs! Pack ze pearls! Pack ze boat!—”
“Frank, we’re not bringing our sunken ship,” I reminded him gently, hiding my smile.
“Oh yes, of course. Pack ze treasure! Pack ze furniture! Pack ze crab! Zat is very important. Do not forget ze crab. Do you hear? I …”
I started to hum to myself again and thought about the MerCouncil. I will focus on the exciting things, I thought. Seeing all the other Mermaidens and going somewhere new would be exciting! And, I thought while my heart leaped, my father thinks there might be a ball!
Maybe this trip wouldn’t be so bad after all.