Chapter Two

Tails With Scales

Sasha rolled over and hit the floor with a thud.Groaning,she blinked at the morning sunlight filtering through window.

The room she shared with Nixie was really tiny.The walls were painted bluish-green and the furniture was a dark wood.Nixie's bed was already made,meaning she was already awake.

Sasha stumbled to her feet,rubbing the gunk out of her eyes.Leaving her blankets in a pile on her bed,she headed into the kitchen.

“G'mornin' Sasha,"Nixie said from her spot around the table.Sasha sat beside her,waiting for the pancakes to come to the table.

“There is no such thing as a good morning,"Sasha said,“I hate mornings."

After breakfast,Nixie went outside to feed Ole Bob.Bob was a friendly little goat,and one of the several animals on the Evans Farm.

“I'll come too,"Sasha muttered,“I'll feed the chickens."

Sweeping her hair over her shoulder,Sasha filled a pail with birdseed and headed out to the chicken coop.She was almost done when she heard a short yelp and a thud from Ole Bob's shed.

“Nix?"Sasha called,“Nixie?"When there was no answer,she headed for the shed.

Bob was chomping on his hay in the corner.His water trough was empty and upside down.

Nixie was laying beside it,but where her legs should be was a bright blue tail.

“You...How..."Sasha was at a loss for words.She had to be imagining this.Dreaming.It didn't make sense to her.

Nixie glared.“Watching you stutter doesn't help.What do we do about this?"

Sasha's eyes widened.“Last night.When we wished on the stars..."

Nixie inhaled sharply.“What about you?"

Sasha swallowed.“First things first,Bob needs some water."The goat bleated in response.

Her mind racing,the older girl went out back and dragged the hose in.Setting the trough back up,She turned on the water.Bob bleated again.

Nixie was standing up when Sasha came back from turning off the hose.“What happened to the tail?"

Pheonix rolled her eyes.“I dried off,idiot.I wasn't that wet."

“And do you care to explain how you got wet?"

Rolling her eyes again,she explained that Bob kicked over his trough.“Only a few drops touched me.Obviously that's enough."

Sasha swallowed and,nervously,she plunged her hand into the goat's water trough.Ole Bob snorted irratably.

Her legs tingled.Suddenly she lost her balance and collapsed into the straw.

In place of the jeans and tank top she had been wearing before,a green tail covered her legs.There was a green top to match.

Sasha's heart began to pound.What was she going to do?

Nixie gave a snort.Suddenly she froze.“I hear footsteps."

Sasha recalled all the mermaid shows she'd seen.“Hide me!"she hissed at her younger sister.

Nixie,her eyes wide in panic,pushed the hale bales in the corner over to sheild Sasha,and her tail,from view.

The doors opened.“Nixie,where's Sasha?"

Sasha inwardly groaned.Of all people,it had to be Dillon.“I don't know,"Nixie lied,“Probably at the pool."

“But she came out here to help you with your chores,"Dillon protested,“And she never came back into the house."

Sasha winced.Nixie was terrible at excuses.Think,Nix,Think...

“Maybe she's riding Frisky.Or she went to the library,but I bet she's on the trail."

Finally!A good excuse!

“Alright...I guess I'll take Sherbet looking for her..."

Sasha's heart stopped.She could hear her brother coming closer to her hiding spot.She wanted to kick Nixie.The tack room is in here!

“Sasha?"He sounded confused.“Why are you on the floor?"

Trying to draw air into her lungs,Sasha brushed the hay off her jeans and got to her feet.Too close.

“I...uh...sorta fell."

Dillon shrugged.“Well,Dad wanted to take you to that swim team thing?He said if you didn't hurry you'd be late."

“'K...thanks,Dillon,"Sasha said,trying to hide her despair.

As soon as he let the shed doors bang closed,which startled Bob,Sasha sank to the floor and leaned again the wall.The goat came and nibbled on her hair.“I can't try out for swim team now!"

Nixie sighed.“I didn't really think it would actually happen."

“Me either."

Nixie looked at her for a moment.“Well,since we're mermaids now,I guess we should make the best of it."

Her sister shrugged.“Yeah...right after I tell Dad I don't want to do swim team."

“We could hit the library?"Pheonix suggested.“We can see what we can find anoit being mermaids."

Sasha smiled,pulling her hair out of the goat's mouth.“How much do you think they'll have?"

Nixie grinned.“I'm sure they have something."

The big,brick building cast shadows over the front yard,where kids were reading,studying,or playing soccer.Across the side were the words Public Library in white.

“Where do we begin?"Nixie asked.

Glancing around the library,it was hard to tell.Did they want fiction or nonfiction?A chapter book or an encyclopedia?Or would it be faster to use the computers?

Sasha decided she would take computer duty while Nixie combed the shelves.Good Luck with that...

As she made her way over to the desks covered in computers,she bumped into a girl carrying a stack of books.

“I'm so sorry!"She said as the girl's books scattered on the floor.

The girl,whose hair was a shocking red,said,“It's okay..."

Sasha bent to help her pick up the books.Each title caught her eye.“Where'd you find these?"She asked innocently.

The red-haired girl shrugged.“All over.Most of them were just sitting there.No one was looking at them,so I did."

“I'm Sasha Evans,"she said,putting out her hand.

“Miria Kodi."Awkwardly,she reached around the stack to shake Sasha's hand.

Sasha was about to move on.“Were there more than one copy of any of those books?"

Miria nodded.“Would you want help finding them?"

“That would be great."Sasha said eagerly.

With a nod,the red-head led the way,trying not to drop her books.

Remembering the bag she had over her should,Sasha offered it to Miria.“Thanks,"she replied.

“I didn't find an-"Nixie stopped as she saw the books her sister was carrying.“I thought I was doing books."

“Well this girl...she helped me find them."Sasha put the books into the basket on her bike.

Nixie narrowed her eyes.“You didn't tell her,did you?"

“Of course not!"She said,stung by the fact her sister thought she would tell someone their secret.

Nixie rolled her eyes as she hopped on her bike.“Whatever.We'll look at them when we get home."