Author: By Amellie Species: Woman to Mermaid Date: Nov. 30, 2008 Rating: R
A Fish Tale, Part 3

Part 3.

All were now one, locked and fused together to form one long spectacularly coloured and totally fish like tail. And it was all attached to and a part of me. My lower half spasmed and twitched as I tried to take in the spectacle before me.

My flukes lay flat, large and wide across the deck, they narrowed significantly where my ankles should have been, then slowly the whole tail tapered out, fuller and fuller up over my old shins and knee joints, thicker again at my thighs, and became broader still when taking in my hips, then it all curved in at my slender, narrow waist.

I had the ultimate hourglass figure alright. But it was that of a fish. I had grown a great, big, but beautiful fishtail. I had turned into a mermaid. It had been happening to me slowly for days now. Had I guessed? Maybe. Had I closed my mind and pretended that things were not as they seemed all the time my body slowly rearranged itself to a form that could only survive and flourish in or near the occean. Yes I had done that. I did it through a fear and denial that were born of disbelief. There was no denying it now though as I lay propped up on my elbows taking in the spectacular vision of my mermaid body as my fishtail gently flopped my flukes against the wet deck of the boat. How would I ever explain this away in the human world?

The sun broke through the clouds at last just as the day was drawing to a close. I remained propped up on my elbows taking in the surreal sight of myself. The mermaid I`d become following days of subtle, then not so subtle changes. As the sun shone down onto me, my fish scales reflected back its rays. They shimmered brightly, their satiny lustre made all the more spectacular as they moved with my gentle breathing. The sun made my fat nipples harden on my enlarged breasts. I wondered how I`d ever manage to pass off having a fishtail when I could no longer even hide my prominent bust and big nipples.

My flukes patted the deck idly from time as I finally mustered up the courage to explore with my hands and fingertips my new appendage. The hardness that I felt in my legs the past days had gone. It had been replaced by the soft yielding scales of what felt exactly like it was. It was the tail of a fish. I could`nt get my mind around the fact that I was now half fish. No longer human. I was part woman, and part fish. My scales felt very cold to the touch, even as I explored them I could still feel and see new scales emerging on me. I was still changing. Still becoming more fish like. I placed both my hands flat across the surface of my tail. Still very, very cold, even with the sun reflecting on it. As my flukes again tapped against the deck I tried to work out how I could make my tail move. I tried to see what would happen if I made like I wanted to move my toes. At first nothing happened and then as I concentrated harder the ends of my flukes which were tipped with a shade that was pretty much black began to curl a little. I tried harder still and they moved more again. I pretended I wanted to pull my legs up to my chin and my tails flukes curled up to where my bottom used to be. With no knee joints my tail could perfectly easily curl around until my flukes touched my back.

I carried on exploring the new physical mechanics of my tail. I even managed to bend my tail so completely upwards my flukes touched my nose. Thats when I found out that my new lower half was indeed pure fish, right down to the smell. I found that hard to take in. I even smelt like a fish now! In the next couple of hours I think I bent my tail into all kinds of contortions, it was incredible the amount of flexibility within it. All the exertion made me hungry and eventually I enjoyed the fruits of my earlier labour. I ate all the fish I`d caught, by my reckoning that was around fourteen. After all that had happened to me today I figured I`d burnt off plenty of calories and I`d earnt a decent meal or two. I no longer felt any real compulsion to hoist the sail, I really was at a loss as to what I was doing out here in the boat. I wanted to go home. I was torn between home with the people who cared about me, and home on my island. The easier option appealed to me more at the moment if I`m honest. The home where I would be more content, feel more safe, more private. The home where I could be me. The new me. Fishtail and all. I wanted to go back to my island. I lay on the floor of the boat my big tail and wide flukes spreading over the deck. From time to time they involuntarily patted the deck, but by then I was so tired I drifted off to sleep anyway. A new day beckoned tomorrow. And I had some big decisions to make that I needed to get right.

Day 10.

As dawn broke the rolling and pitching of the boat brought me to consciousness. My eyes blinked as I stared at the clear blue skies of dawn. I lifted my head and looked down to my tail, but to my absolute shock my eyes fell on a completely normal pair of human legs. My legs. I gasped and sat upright quickly. "What the.....? Whats happened to my.....,?"

I was bewildered. I dare not breathe as I leaned forward and touched the soft but firm flesh of my thighs. They were my own legs alright, perhaps a little more toned than they used to be. I could`nt understand what had happened to me. I began to wonder if yesterday had all been a dream. But how did I get back on the boat? Was this all some sort of trick of my imagination? Had I become so mentally unstable while on the island that I`d been hallucinating for long periods of time? Had the island itself been a figment of my imagination? I felt a wave of panic and angst wash over me. In a sense I felt lost and helpless again, I was back on the boat, back where I started from, perhaps at this time I was at least heading in the right direction for salvation. I could`nt come to terms just then of feeling vulnerable again. Yesterday at times I`d felt like I had some sort of grip and control over what may happen to me, but now all of a sudden I was being carried along by the sea and I was again at its mercy. It was pushing me back to where I`d come from, it was steadily taking me back to my old life, only now,after a little over a week of being away, I was`nt sure I wanted to go back. The more I thought of it in fact the more I dreaded it. Every dip of the bow, every roll and every pitch of the boat was taking me closer to my old reality.

I put my head in my hands and began to cry. Why did I feel like this? What was wrong with me. If I was lucky I was being taken home by the sea again. Back to the people I loved and cared about, the people who felt the same love and affection for me. So why was it making me feel so bad? Why did it feel wrong what I was doing? I sniffled on and off for a long while as I thought things over and over. I shut my eyes and tried to shut out the sound of the sea, tried to shut out the feeling of it`s almost constant calling to me, tried desperately to ignore the longing within me to immerse myself within it.

"Chloe...., the sail....., you must use the sail....,"

I opened my eyes and looked around.

"Chloe.., you must`nt waste time...., use the sail...., you must trust me Chloe...,"

I looked up at the mast of the boat and the carefully rigged fabric of the sail. Why did it feel like I was being pushed away? I did`nt like hearing voices, but if I was going to, I wanted them to be telling me to do the things I felt I wanted to do. And using the sail to get home quicker? Well I just was`nt sure about that right now.

With a heavy heart I lifted myself from the deck. I gingerly allowed my legs to take my weight, and cautiously walked to the mast of the boat. My legs felt a little awkward at first, but after a while I put my mind to the task of lowering and securing the sail. I struggled with it for a while, my sailing skills were rusty to say the least as I fumbled with the ropes and guides as the strong wind filled and buffeted the eager sail, but finally everything was as it should be and the sail filled and significantly increased the momentum of the boat. I reluctantly checked the compass. It read a more or less constant ninety degrees, the reading I`d longed for a week or so ago, but right now it truly felt like a mixed blessing. I sat back on the deck with no real sense of satisfaction in my labours, my heart feeling heavier by the minute instead.

I stared forlornly across the occean longing for answers, and longing for I knew not what. "Chloe..., don`t be sad....., what you desire..., it can be yours...., if you want it...., Chloe what do you want?....,"

"I don`t know....?"

"Your desires...., Chloe...., don`t ignore them...., you must`nt...., close your eyes and let yourself be...., Chloe."

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of the occean air, then another, and another. I caught a familiar scent, a scent from yesterday....., I relaxed completely and opened my eyes. I gasped and my heart leapt as I watched my bronzed thighs tighten and then dimple like an orange peel. "Ooohh!" I groaned as my legs moved together tightly and began to fuse. All over my legs the dimples started pushing out the lumps and bumps which almost straightway gave way to reveal the scales that lay hidden within the flesh of my legs. I lay and gave into the urge within me to change and watched my lower body begin to turn into that of a fish. The green and blue took a hold of my quickly flourishing scales and moved steadily over me. I could feel my bones yielding to the change rapidly becoming no more than useless as my forming fishtail stretched and grew longer. Moaning loudly I watched my feet literally fold over and flatten out as the magnificent colours of my fluke replaced them. I marvelled at their colours as they grew bigger and wider until they spanned out to what must be nearly four feet wide. The shiny scales were bursting forth all over me, appearing like little stars coming out at night as they encircled and entered my belly button. My vagina disappeared within their midst as my tail widened and thickened while I powerlessly lay and watched what was happening to me. I knew I could`nt stop it anymore, the urges and the need I felt were too strong and overwhelmed me. Was that what the voice meant about my desires? Did I really want this now? Did I really need to be like this to be happy? All I knew right then was that my heart felt lighter and the gloom I`d felt before had left me. My tail lengthened and grew evermore longer as I let out a contented and sensual sigh. My fish half extended until it was nearly double the length of my unchanged upper body. My tail was so entirely covered with the beautiful scales that it almost glowed in the sunlight. Whatever my thoughts on my body now, I could`nt deny that my tail was undoubtedly spectacular in size and beauty, right down to the delicately transparent fins that adorned it just about where my hip bone would normally be. Where my pretty scales faded into my human flesh, I felt an unfamiliar throbbing and gasped as I took in the sight of part human flesh, part fish scales forming slits that were opening and closing as I panted while I changed. I was altering even more than I had yesterday, I was becoming even more removed from humanity now, I was becoming more fish like and I was growing gills, and I could tell that my body was absorbing even more oxygen with every breath I took now. I groaned again as the slits widened and deepened as they efficiently opened and shut, already controlling the amount of oxygen my body was taking and using.

I lay recovering from the sensation and exertion of all that happened to my body in the five minutes or so it took for my fishtail to transform my lower half. As I panted, and my newly formed gills opened and closed like small bellows, I gasped breathlessly. "My God....., Its beautiful...., I`m beautiful..., it feels so...., so..., right...!"

As my flukes gently slapped on the wet deck, and the final twitches and spasms of change ebbed from my fish half, in my head I heard a gentle giggle, and the gentle soft voice said." Yes..., you are beautiful Chloe...."

I lay prone on the deck for a long while basking in the glory of my large scale covered tail. I caught the occasional scent of the smell that was eminating from the part of me that now so undeniably fish, and I amused myself with exercising the movement I was quickly learning to control in my changed lower body. I could`nt deny the inevitable any longer. I was literally itching to get into the sea and feel the soothing waters engulf my tail, to immerse myself in the enviroment I was now so well adapted to.

I eased myself up onto the side of the boat and without pause slipped into the deep. The displaced water around me finally cleared of bubbles and I stared into the clear waters of the occean taking in the view of my immeadiate surroundings. Instictively my tail steadied me and my body knew without me having to think what to do. I flexed my tail and instantly I was moving, I tucked my arms down to my sides and with one more thrust my streamlined body was being propelled through the occean at a speed I never dreamt possible. There was so much power in my tail, so far most of it unharnessed, and with minimum effort I could send myself gliding for several feet at a time. I smiled broadly. Hunting was going to be so easy for me now. I thrust again and I moved quickly forward I pulled a tight turn one way then the other. Another push and I was diving downwards, another and I could feel the temperature of the occean dip as I descended into the half light of the deep. I urged myself forward and performed several turns and flips. I realised I had`nt even drawn a breath since I`d submerged, I did`nt need to, my lung capacity was amazing. I stopped and glided to a stop upright at least 30 feet from the surface, I watched as the delicate fins on my hips acted instinctively to keep me floating upright. I marvelled at the length and size of my tail as it hung below me, its length, and the width of my flukes staggered me. I smiled excitedly again then laughed and thought, "This is so perfect, this is what my tail is made for...., this is soooo cool!!" With that I dived deeper, then swam in tight circles as I chased my own tail.

Finally the air supply stored in my lungs exhausted itself and just when I thought I might need to surface I felt the gills around my lower ribs open and without thought, purely through an instinct that came from I know not where I breathed in and felt the cool water of the occean surge into my gills, then re-emerge again minus the oxygen that I`d harvested from it. I no longer felt the urge to surface, now replenished with my fresh supply of air I excitedly continued my fun and frolics. I was so much quicker than many of the fish now that I started to feel a small amount of pity for them, it had become such a one sided affair now, but I didn`t feel that way for long though as I grabbed them easily and bit into them. I had no need to surface to feed, I could eat right here for who knew how long. And I did. I fed until I was full, then I fed some more for a reason I did`nt understand. All the while I`d kept a close eye on the hull of the boat, never letting it out of my sight for more than a minute or so at a time, and when I finally broke surface again it was just a matter of heaving my heavy self from the sea back onto its deck.

Oh I felt so alive! I was excited beyond words, the sheer joy of what I`d experienced is impossible to describe. I lay on the deck, my large mermaids body soaking up the sun and I replayed the absolute exhilaration of it all over and over again in my head. How I`d swum, dived, climbed and turned, how I`d breathed under water for the fist time, how I`d hunted and fed just like a mermaid would. How my instincts, how my very being had become so totally immersed in that of the creature I`d slowly become. In my heart, in the deepest corners of my subconsciousness and in my psyche I knew I`d changed so much now. It was too late for me now it seemed. How could I ever be normal again after what I`d been experiencing? The old Chloe had it seemed all but gone. I was now the new Chloe. I was Chloe the mermaid. And I felt more than ever that I was going back to my old friend and family to say goodbye before I moved onto my new life. I had to be me. I am a mermaid.

I looked up at the sky, then I looked out at the occean. I said a quiet, "Thankyou." And I hoped the voice had heard me.

I alternated between resting and hunting fish and eating for the rest of the day. Some instinct was compelling me to eat more and more, and I fed until at times I felt I could eat no more. Even in the darkness of the night I plunged over the side of the boat driven on by my insatiable appetite. Finally I checked the compass for the last time that night, still a steady eastward course thanks to the prevailing wind, and then I came to rest for the night. I gently touched and caressed the cold scaly surface of my tail, I explored with my fingers the openings of my gills as they gently opened and closed with my steady breathing, I felt tentatively around inside their moist openings where my flesh and scales were so sensitive and tender that I could barely stand to touch them. My belly button had all but disappeared now overwhelmed by the sheer number of the fishy scales that had surrounded it and covered so much of me now. I carefully lifted and played with my tails scales, the ones that merged with my flesh a little above my waist I paid particular attention, they so fascinated me. By a little movement here and there I flicked the delicate but so effective fins on my hips, they were so pretty yet powerful at the same time. I bent my tail a full three hundred and sixty degrees until my flukes were right in front of my face so I could inspect them more closely. They were so large I felt quite dwarfed by them. It staggered me to think that they were what my former feet had become. It was easy for me to hold my tail in this position, it did`nt exert me in anyway, I was just amazed by its flexibility, and I have to say a little intimidated by its size and the power I knew it held. The now familiar scent of the fish that I`d become filled my nostrils again, and I sniffed the aroma deeply, I`d become use to it now, it was me and I liked it.

The wind had dropped a while ago and silence filled the vast surface of the occean save for the lapping of the sea against the boats hull. I gazed around me as the sea mist engulfed the boat once more. I reached for one of the many fish that I`d thrown onto the deck to snack on and began to nibble around the carcass, my expert hands and teeth wasting not an ounce of the tender moist flesh. I shut my eyes to the rolling mist eventually, and I tried to erase from my mind thoughts of the coming day or two. That would be the only way for me to sleep.

Day 11.

The voice was urgent. "Chloe...., wake up...., wake up..., Chole..., Chloe..! Land Chloe...., you are near landfall...., wake up....,"

"What!? Where!? Where...? Where is land?"

"Soon Chloe..., soon..., you must go ashore...., you must go..."

I scanned the horizon and saw nothing. It had come as no real surprise to me that I had legs again. Disappointment filled me. Then I looked again across the flat surface of the sea. The wind was light. The sea mist was gone and I was in the weak light of the early morning. I checked my watch and it read 5.30 am. The compass held steady and true on eastward still. My stomach lurched in fear of land appearing at any moment. I was`nt ready for this. I did`nt want it. The thought of seeing people and being among them made me feel sick with worry. I fought back tears.

"Be strong Chloe...., be strong...., you must stay strong...., but Chloe..., your time will be short..., you must`nt waste it..., be wary of time Chloe..., be wary...,

"Why? Why must I be wary? What will happen?"

"You must stay strong...., you`ll be tested and tried..., but be strong..., stay strong...trust me Chloe..., trust me..."

I could`nt understand what she meant. I felt more scared than ever. In no way was I reassured by her. I looked back to the horizon and saw seabirds soaring in the sky. Land could`nt be far off now. And then I saw it. A light haze hung above the land slowly emerging. The first dirty air I`d seen for a while now. No doubt I was once more getting near mankind. I felt nausea rising from within me and fought not to heave overboard any of my precious food from yesterday. My best guess was it would take me another couple of hours to reach it, so I sat back and fretted anxiously about what lay ahead. I tried to stay positive, with any luck I may see Chrissy soon at least. Surely she would still be around, she would`nt have given up and wrote me off for lost so soon would she? Maybe my parents and sister would be waiting as well. I needed to keep thinking that. It was the only way I could see me getting through the next few hours.

The Welcome:

The wind had died to the extent that the boat did`nt have the legs to make it to the port from which I`d left. It hit the shore slightly to the west on the shore of a sandy bay that Chrissy and I`d visited and sunbathed on the day before I`d hired the boat. So the hotel in which we`d stayed was a mere short walk from where I`d landed. The boat beached with barely enough impetus to clear itself of the water. I tried to secure it as best I could with some rocks like I`d done back on the island, again it was`nt perfect, but I`d done my best by the boats owner, he was lucky to be getting it back at all after all. I collected my sparse possesions from the boat and with all the courage I could muster I bid the "Sea Shanty" a final farewell and set off across the sands to the hotel and who knows what.

I left the bay and followed the line of cliffs until I was on the beach the hotel overlooked. I made my way to the faded white wooden stairs that led directly from the beach up to the hotels patio restaurant. I breathed deeply and began to climb them to the top. I don`t think I`ve ever been so nervous in my life. When I reached the top I took a left turn then stepped directly onto the dining area. It was barely half full again as I quickly glanced around the faces of the first people I`d seen since I`d left the port. There were a few gasps, men smiled, some broadly, women scolded them and looked at me with what amounted to disgust.

I heard someone scream, "Oh my God...!! Oh my God..., Oh my God.., its her!! Its her!! Chloe!! Chloe!! Chloe!!

A chair was knocked over, a table almost followed, and the dark woman who`d screamed my name came running towards me with a man and another woman in tow. The woman slowed down as she approached and when I returned her disbelieving smile she ran toward me again and threw her arms around me as she hysterically sobbed my name over and over. She made me cry as she hugged me and sobbed, the man and other woman threw themselves upon me as well. And we all cried because nobody could find the words to speak right then. I don`t think I`ve ever felt so emotional before, we all cried and cried, Chrissy started jumping up and down with joy and nearly pulled us all over. The guests in the restaurant looked on bemused and some backed away confused by what they were seeing. I can barely recall much of what followed, but I knew my Father, pulled the cloth off of a nearby table to cover my naked body. I had`nt given my nudity a thought, it did explain the reception I`d received when I`d stepped into the restaurant I guess.

Chrissy would`nt let go of me, and of course I was bombarded with a million questions. At some point the local police showed up, but my Father asked them to give us all sometime alone. He was anxious for me to get a medical check up, but I told him I was fine and we`d maybe see about that later.

Finally when things began to calm down we all sat down. My Mother had brought me a white bathrobe to wear from her room and I sat drinking bottled water as I tried to answer their frantic questions. I constantly fidgeted and scratched at the fabric of the bathrobe as I told them all I could tell them. I never mentioned the island. It went like this. The motor was fouled by a net. True. I was then adrift with no radio and no wind to speak of to help me. True. I became lost in a mist but managed to keep a note of my course. True. And I`d been floating around the pacific for ten days trying to stay alive. Big fat lie. But hey, what could I say?

"How did you manage for water?" My Father asked.

"I took loads with me." I lied. "Remember how you taught me to always be ready for things to go wrong on the sea? Well it saved my life Daddy!" I said squeezing his hand. His face lit up with pride, and I felt a pang of guilt over the lie, if he`d known how ill prepared I was when I left the port he`d more than likely want to strangle me.

"What did you eat?" Asked my Mother.

"Fish." I explained how I`d used the webbing from my rucksack to catch them. My Father loved that bit, improvisation had always been one of his favourite words and for a moment I almost felt like the son he`d never had!

"How did you cook them?" Asked Chrissy.

"I did`nt. There was no way to."

She pulled a gagging face and said, "Ohh my God! No way!!"

I shrugged, "When you`re really hungry, you`ll do anything."

She reached across the table and hugged me for the hundredth time in the last hour. "I just can`t believe you`re back Girl. I never thought we`d see you again. I can`t believe it."

"Well that`s not what you`ve been saying the last week Chris!" My father chipped in. "She`s been doing a great job of keeping up our spirits. She never gave up on you Honey"

I looked from my Father to Chrissy. Her lovely, big, dark eyes beamed at me and I had to look away in shame as my eyes filled with tears. I was going to break her heart all over again.

I got checked out by the local doctor, who looked more like a med student and being a lot younger than me he was as eager to keep the examination as brief as I was, and it seemed he had no interest anywhere approaching south of my bust anyway. Then I sat for a while with a young woman from the local newspaper who was doing her best to appear to be the new Lois Lane and when she admitted to me that newsworthy stories around here were very thin on the ground normally I took pity on her and gave her the same account I`d given to Chrissy and my parents earlier. Happy she had her scoop, she left Chrissy and myself alone to talk at last.

"Where are Mom and Dad?" I asked.

"Booking our flights out of here. They can`t wait to get away now. Uhhm..., its not been easy for them being around each other so much while you were gone....,"

"I can imagine." I sighed, scratching at the robe again.

"But hey Girl your back! And thats all that matters."

"I`ve missed you Chris."

"I know."

"Chris?"

"Yeah?"

"Chris, I`m not goin` home."

"What do you mean?"

"I`m not goin` back with you. Or my parents."

She looked confused and shrugged her shoulders. "Well what are you goin` to do?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I`m not sure yet...., maybe stay here a while...., get my head straight..., I`ll think of somethin`."

"But why....? What d`you mean get your head straight?"

I shook my head. "Chrissy..., I`ve changed...., Whats happened to me..., its made me do some thinkin`, you know..., serious thinkin` about my life an` all."

"Whats wrong with your life? You should be thankful you got one after what you`ve just `bin through Girl!"

"I know..., I am. Its just that while I was out there..., well I did`nt know what was gonna happen to me, and it just got me thinkin` about stuff..., you know, like where am I goin`. What am I doin` with my life? Girl, I`ve not done nothin` different since I started work. I go on one vacation a year and thats it. I work, party sometimes, and then nothin..."

Chrissy reached for a cigarette and said,"Sounds to me like you need a man in your life again Girl. How long has it bin` now, fourteen months? You need some lovin`, that`ll set you head straight! And speakin` of which, whats bin` goin` on with your rack Girl? Did you get a boob job or somethin` on that boat of yours!"

I smiled, "No course not! I dunno. I guess they just liked all that sun and sea air."

"Well, whatever. But have you noticed all the guys that have bin` checkin` you out Girl. They can`t take their eyes off you! Hey, whats with you and that robe? D`you catch cooties or somethin` out there?"

"It itches like a bitch! And no I had`nt noticed them lookin`. Anyway, thats just creepy. And for your information its bin` eleven months since..., you know..., actually..., and that was another disaster. See what I mean? Everybody has these expectations of one another...., I`m expected to find a man and start a family..., I don`t know if thats what I want from life now..., I can`t see me doin` any of that stuff. I need time Chrissy...., time alone."

"What is this? Some kind of early midlife chrisis? You`re twenty six Girl! Nobody expects you to have all the answers yet. Get out there, enjoy yourself...., don`t settle down until you re in your thirties, what does it matter? Just come home with me girlfriend and things`ll be fine again, you`ll see." Then she said. Have you quit smokin` or somethin, how come you have`nt bummed a cigarette from me yet?"

"I have`nt had one for more than a week. I dunno..., I just don`t fancy it right now."

She shrugged, but I could see the concern on her face. This was`nt going well. It killed me to hurt her. She`s the most precious thing in the world to me. How was I going to be able to do this.

"Promise me you`ll think things over?" She said squeezing my hand. "We won`t be goin` anywhere for at least a couple of days. So you get that pretty head of yours straight, then we`ll talk more. Okay?"

I nodded. This was never going to be easy.

My parents returned shortly and briefly discussed the travel arrangements they`d made for us all, Chrissy gave me a look that said, "Don`t you dare tell them you`re thinking of not going home." So at least we agreed on one thing for the time being. Now was not the time to say anything to them. I was feeling tired by then so Chrissy and I excused ourselves and started to make our way to the lobby.

"I still got our room, and everythin` is how you left it, before you gave us the fright of our lives."

I stopped at the reception desk. "Chrissy, don`t take this the wrong way, but I`d like a room of my own for now."

I saw the puzzlement and then the wounded look on her face. "Okay...., I`ll.... uhhm, I`ll put it on my credit card."

She turned quickly from me and started speaking to the young receptionist behind the counter.

"Thanks." I said. "For doin` this. I..., I just think its best for now...., I need a bit of time to myself..., to think..., you know....,

"Its okay Girl. You`ve bin` through a lot...., I don`t mind....., really.

"Thanks Chris." I said guiltily.

A deeply tanned bellboy showed me and Chrissy into the room next to hers, and after a quick look around the room, Chrissy advised me to rest and try to grab some sleep as my parents wanted us to eat our evening meal altogether to celebrate my return. She said she`d call in for me, when it was time, and then she left me alone. Alone again at last! I turned the key and locked the door and quickly let the robe slip off of me on to the floor glad to be free of its constant itching, and sat on the bed. I sighed and looked around the room. I felt a tightness grip my thighs, and they began to dimple. I groaned as scales began to push through the skin of my waist and hips. I bit my bottom lip and fought the urge to give into the change.

I panted as I tried my hardest to stop my tail bursting forth from within my flesh. My struggle had`nt gone unnoticed it seemed.

"Chloe...., not now...., not yet...., fight it...., you must fight it....,"

"How....? Help me...., I can`t stop it....,"

"Yes..., you must...., think of your friend...., your family...., think of anything but the occean...,"

I tried, and gradually the cramping and pulsing began to subside. I looked down to see my legs had returned to normal.

"I can`t stop it..., I can`t hide it anymore...." I panted.

"Chloe..., you must keep your secret...., nobody must ever know about you...,"

"But its too hard..., I`m trying...., but I don`t think I can do this anymore..."

"Your time is getting shorter Chloe...., soon you will be overwhelmed, by urges...., urges that you are just only beginning to feel..., you must hurry Chloe...., time will not wait for you....,"

"I need...., to say goodbye...., don`t I?"

The voice sounded softer and pitying, "Yes Chloe...., you must...., what`s done cannot be undone now..., you have no more than one day...., before you must leave, Chloe...,"

"One day." I said to myself. I turned and buried my head in the bed. "Ohh Chrissy!" I sobbed.

I was afraid to go anywhere near the shower, so I just ran my hairbrush through a few times and then tried on half a dozen or so of my beach dresses trying desperately to find something that would hide my large chest. I gave up. I simply had outgrown all of them, and with no bra that could even begin to contain me, my big, fat nipples pullled the fabric of my chosen dress even more tightly across my swollen bosom. This was not going to be easy to pass off I decided. I then waited for Chrissy to come get me. We made our way down to the patio and I sat answering more questions from my parents and Chrissy than I cared to, but that was a small sacrifice to make given the angst and heartache I would soon be heaping on them. The three of them quickly ordered their meals, but the only thing that appealed to me on the menu was the lobster, I wanted mine raw of course, but I knew that here they grabbed the poor things from a tank of seawater and dropped them alive into boiling water to cook them. I was apalled by this, so I half heartedly ordered a vegetarian lasagne of all things, which I never touched, something I knew would`nt go unnoticed but what else could I do if I did`nt want to spend the night throwing up over the toilet?

Chrissy and my Mom left my Father and I several times to have a cigarette and on one of these occasions as we struggled to make conversation not about my adventure I said, "I did`nt know Mom was smoking again."

"Apparently it was the divorce. All the stress I was causing her. If you ask me she`s been looking for an excuse to start again for years. I guess they`re over there because they know how much I hate the habit. I`m kinda surprised you`re not over there with them to be honest."

"Hmm. I guess I`m just not in the mood just now."

"Have you quit?"

"I guess."

"Good for you Honey. You won`t regret it I promise you."

I giggled. "Remember how you bust my ass when you found out I`d started? Man, you really flipped."

"Jeez, Honey, `course I did. What were you..., sixteen or somethin`...?"

"Eighteen Daddy. I was eighteen and I was old enough to legally buy them."

"As you frequently kept tellin` me as I recall." He shook his head, "Huh, I was sure wastin` my time there. You never took one bit of notice of me."

I put my hand on his. "Daddy, I know you were only lookin` out for me. I realise that now....., I`m sorry I was a pain in the butt...., you know all the times...., all the times I messed up....,"

"Hey..., whats gotten into you....? This ain`t like either of my daughters to admit that they were`nt nothin` but perfect all of the time."

I smiled at him. "I`m just sorry is all. I know I don`t say this enough..., but I love you Daddy... you and Mom."

"I know you do Honey. We both do. You know, what with the divorce an` everythin` I never stopped lovin` you and Sara? You two are what I work for now, you`re the most important people in my life now. You always will be Sugar."

Daddy...., I`m not goin` home. I`m not goin` back with you..., or Chrissy. I need some time alone....., what happened to me..., its made me look at things different..., work and stuff..., it does`nt seem so important right now. D`you understand?"

He looked at me and breathed deeply. " I know you`ve been through a hard time...., I know that can have an effect for a long time after. What happened to you..., well that would get anyone thinkin` about things. But you can do to much thinkin`. Don`t over analyse things too much Honey, thats important to. You`re doin` okay in the grand scheme of things. I`m proud of you..., your Mom is to Sugar."

"Y`know Daddy, I know I`m not that smart..., I`m Chloe the younger dippy one...., I could never hope to match Sara when it comes to brains and stuff...., but I wanted to tell you....`cos I know this matters to you...., when I was out there..., I did stuff, you know...., stuff that would make you proud of me. I wished you could`ve seen me sometimes..... `cos I was thinkin` about when we were sailin` and stuff, I know I was hard work...., you had the patience of a saint with me, showin`me stuff over an` over `til it got through to me..., not every Daddy would have done that...., what you taught me saved my life y`know. I want you to know that I love you is all. and I`m sorry for...,"

Right then Chrissy and Mom came back and what I wanted him to hear was left unsaid, I hoped I`d get another chance with him.

The conversation at the table lulled and I got the feeling that Chrissy and Mom had been talking a little conspiratorially while they`d been smoking their cigarettes. Mom was quiet in particular, Chrissy I guess had been Chrissy. That girl was never good at holding her tongue! She`d been discussing what I`d said earlier about not going home with Mom. I just knew she had. I guess it did`nt much matter. I`d be talking with her soon enough anyway. As a hush gathered around the table and each of us was lost in our own thoughts I picked up the sound of the occean. Within moments my legs lurched forward. I`d kicked someone. "Ouch!" Said Chrissy.

I looked down to see the fabric of my dress pressed tightly against my legs, and lumps straining across the surface of it. My legs started to press harder and harder together as I looked up at the faces around me. My face started to burn as I felt it turning a scarlet colour.

"You just kicked me!" Said Chrissy.

"Sorry! Cramp!" I gasped. I bit down on my lower lip. Think Chloe! Think! I implored. I thought of the three of them, I thought of everything I could to stop myself from hearing the call of the occean. I almost screamed I was trying so hard. It took over a minute before it would pass. I heard, "Chloe...., Chloe....., move away...., move away from them...., you need to be alone....., you have to be alone now...., go Chloe...., go quickly....,"

"Chloe...? Chloe....?" It was my Moms voice this time. "Are you listening, Honey?"

I snapped out of my daze. "Sorry Mom? What did you say?"

"Did you forget to pack any underwear?"

"Uhh, no. No I...., I just have`nt got anythin` that fits right just now."

"Well I think you might need to get somethin` soon. You`re attractin` a lot of stares if you don`t mind me sayin` Sweetie!"

I did mind actually. Mom was never big on subtlety! But it gave me the perfect excuse to leave. I feigned a slight amount of offence and said I was feeling tired, before saying my goodnights. I quickly strode through the patio, and spied the unfortunate lobsters in their watery prison, my stomach growled hungrily and I could almost taste the juicy flesh of the six lucky survivors of the evenings feastings. I walked through the lobby and stepped into the empty waiting elevator and rode it to the floor my room lay on. I shut the door thankfully behind me and locked it, then checked it again. Yep. Locked! Good.

"Chloe..., make the most of now...., while you have the chance...., you must make use of now...., set youself free Chloe...,"

"Yes...., I have to..., I can`t stop it..., I can`t fight it any longer.."

"Its alright Chloe...., you`re safe for now...., but beware tomorrow...., your time is almost at an end Chloe...., you must leave soon...."

"I know..., I can`t do this anymore...., its too hard....., this longing...., its too much for me to bear anymore...,

"Don`t worry Chloe...., you`re going to be fine...., not much longer mind...., time is not on your side now...,"

I nodded. Then I walked over to the window of my apartment and looked down on the patio. The three of them still remained at the table. Mom was smoking a cigarette like her life depended on it, I guessed my Father had pissed her off again. I watched them as I slowly slipped down the wall, all the strength in my legs ebbed as they wrinkled, spasmed and fused becoming powerless in helping me to stand. I twisted onto my back as I watched my fishtail emerging once again. I moaned contentedly as I felt the stress of the day and retaining my legs disappear from within my tired body. My legs were conjoined by now. Scales rapidly climbed up my body, the fins on my hips grew outwards and then splayed open to reveal their pretty transparent colours. I felt throbbing at my side as my gills slowly emerged, gradually starting to function, as my feet already mottled green and blue, started to flatten out to there now real form as flukes. I groaned louder as my bones faded to nothing, and I slipped lower onto the floor pulled along by the momentum of my growing lower body. Scales now covered me from the waist down, my feet unfolded and my flukes unrolled like a proud flag and grew and grew. My odour reached my nose and I breathed deeply of my own scent, the scent of the occean, the home that was pulling me, urging me, compelling me to leave the people who had known and loved me the most. When I had my tail and when I was a mermaid it seemed like it would be easy, there was no desire to stay, just the urgent physical and mental need to be a part of the sea. The will to stay was easily overpowered by the call and need to be the real me. The mermaid I`d become, and the mermaid that I knew I had to be very soon for the rest of my days.

I throbbed and spasmed on the floor for another five minutes as I completed my transformation to mermaid. Watching myself become who I now was felt all the more surreal knowing that my parents and Chrissy were only the otherside of the apartments walls. Really, they were a matter of feet away from me. I mused upon what they`d think if they knew the young woman they`d spent the evening chatting with, their daughter, their best friend, was just above them going through an amazing metamorphosis. Their attractive daughter had blossomed into a beautiful mermaid. And soon she`d leave them to live the life she could no longer fight against. Total surrender to my new body was just a matter of hours away from me now.

The Last day:

Day 12.

I came to on the floor where I`d fallen asleep after playfully flexing and exercising my fishtail for an hour or so the previous night. It was early still. I had legs again, and the sad feeling in my heart which I`d slowly begin to understand was a sense of loss I was feeling over the temporary loss of my tail once more. I looked at my wristwatch on the bedside table as my stomach growled deeply and loudly. I slipped the dress I`d worn the night before over my naked body and picked up the wornout rucksack that had accompanied me through so much of my adventure. I unlocked the rooms door and quietly eased myself out to the landing, gently closing the door behind me. I hastily made my way along the corridor to the stairs and down to the lobby. I saw nobody as I quickly passed through it and made a beeline for the tank containing the imprisoned lobsters.

I thought it best to be quick about this, so after a quick look around I thrust my right arm into the tank almost up to my shoulder. I seized the first lobster by one of it`s legs pulled it from the tank and dropped it into my rucksack. The remaining five followed quickly, then wasting no time I rushed back through the lobby, up the stairs and back into my room. I collapsed on the floor against the bed and bit my lower lip as I fought the strong urge to begin to change. Lumps began to furrow my thighs as they pulled and began to tighten, then finally I began to wrestle back control of myself. Slowly things returned to as they were before, and feeling relieved I grasped my rucksack and grasped one of the lobsters. I bit hard through its brain and it died a quick painless death, I had spared it the agony of being dropped into boiling water at least. I tore into its flesh as I fed for the first time since the night before I landed back on the sandy bay. I`d not caught lobsters before, so this was my first time and they were delicious. An instinct within me helped me make a quick and satisfying feast of them. I left not much waste as usual, but by the third one I was begining to become overwhelmed by the desire to change again. I had scales around my hips and thighs before I`d barely noticed. I fought it again and the seemingly all knowing voice had become aware of my struggles again.

"Chloe...., you are almost out of time...., the urges are growing...., they will get ever more stronger now...., fight it for now...., but you will succumb to them soon...., you have but a little time left Chloe...,"

"I know...., but its hard." I thought.

"Yes it is Chloe...., its the hardest thing you will ever have to do...., but it is must be done soon....., Chloe you have no choice...., be ready soon....., soon Chloe....,"

"How did you hear me then?" I asked.

"You are...., empathic..., Chloe. A sign...., its a sign....., that what`s within you now is growing stronger...., time Chloe..., don`t ignore it...,"

"I won`t." I thought.

My legs were okay again. But around my waist a ring of greeny blue scales remained and stubbornly refused to leave. "It must have started!" I gasped. Was this the beginning of my final descent into my new life? Were the scales now on me permanent fixtures, firmly embedded of my flesh forever more? I tried as hard as I could to make them disappear, but to no avail. They were here to stay it seemed.

I ate the remaining lobsters quickly and stuffed the remains of their carcasses into my rucksack, and pushed it under the bed. Later as the hotel came more to life, I slipped downstairs to the hotels gift shop and bought a notepad and pen. The assistant gave me a look that all girls understand. She thought I was a tramp because of the way I`d been forced to dress now. Whatever! As I started to walk through the lobby back to my room I noticed my Mom sat alone in the cafe. I walked over to her table and pulled up a chair. She smiled up at me and bid me good morning.

"Hey Mom." I returned. "I`m glad I caught you alone. Got time for a talk?"

"Sure Honey. What`s on your mind?"

"I don`t really know where to start." I began.

"If its what I think it is, don`t worry. Chrissy told me last night."

"I thought as much."

She laughed. "That Chrissy, huh! She loves you...., but she can`t keep nothin` to herself."

"Don`t I know it!" I smiled.

She took my hand. "Honey..., listen to your Mom. You do whats right for you. Don`t let anyone else ever tell you whats right and what is`nt for you. If you want to do...., whatever it is with your life then you do it Girl. Don`t make the mistakes I did. See..., I thought I`d made all the right moves in my life...., found the man I thought I`d be with for the rest of my life...., married young, kids soon after...., and well what have I got to show for it now? I would`nt trade you or Sara for nothin` Honey. But you two were the best things I ever did. Hey, look at you now Girl. You`ve turned into a beautiful woman, make the most of that..., have the fun I never got around to when I was your age. Okay..., I know I don`t have a bad life now ...., I don`t have to work for a livin` or nothin`, but sometimes I feel like I let my life pass me by, know what I mean?"

It was a rhetorical question and I let her continue in her own time. She reached for her cigarettes andoffered the pack to me. The long all white menthols she smoked were visually very appealing to me, but I declined. She shrugged and placed a long cigarette between her lips and greedily sucked the smoke into her throat. Her voice had a slight rasp, and around her mouth there were faint little wrinkles beginning to appear, attractive in a way, but a testament to a near lifelong habit of cigarette smoking.

"What I`m sayin` Honey is that if you feel you wanna take timeout and see a bit of the world then go for it. Don`t let nobody stop you. Live your life and have fun, the rest of it`ll fall into place.You`ll know when the times right for you to settle. Don`t be pressured to keep up with other people, just because so and so is doin` this and doin` that...., havin` babies and stuff, don`t mean you gotta be doin` it to Girl. You understand what I`m sayin` Chloe. Live your life and be you. Whatever it takes."

I nodded. Her words meant a lot to me. She had no idea of how prophetic they were. They helped me justify what I had to do a little more to myself. I thanked her and hugged her, before leaving her alone with her cigarettes and returning to my room. I threw off my dress and I pulled a chair over to the vanity table and began to think of what I wanted to say to those I loved. It was easier and less complicated than I thought it was going to be. It did`nt take me long. I simply wrote what was in my heart. I cried softly the whole time, my tears blurred parts of my messages, but they were still clear enough to be read, and hopefully understood...., but that would take time...., and I tried not to aknowledge to myself, that it might not indeed ever happen.