“The Calling” Scene 6: “The Change”

Penny sank maybe three feet before she kicked hard and broke the surface. She gave her head a quick shake and pulled her hair back out of her eyes, all the while treading water. She spun around and faced her mother unable to conceal her excitement. “Mama. Did you see that?”

Leigh was showing a great deal of excitement as well. “I did, Honey. You look like you belong in a pool.”

Penny had no trouble maintaining her position. “I told you I can swim in deep water.”

“I know you did.” Leigh waved her daughter over. “Come here, Honey.”

Penny swam over and hung on the pool edge. “What is it, Mama?”

Lee knelt down. “Penny, I’m going ask you to do something and it’s going to seem pretty weird. But it will end up making sense.”

“Okay, Mama. What you want me to do?”

“I want you to take off your bikini bottom and hand it to me.”

For a moment Penny didn’t know what to say. “Mama, I won’t be wearing anything down there then.”

Lee nodded. “I know, Honey. I told you it would sound weird. But it’s gonna make complete sense and about a minute.” She flashed another bright smile. “Please?”

Hanging on to the edge of the pool Penny did exactly as her mother said, we going out of the bikini bottom using one hand. She handed it up to her mother feeling slightly light headed. “Mama?”

Lee put the bikini bottom aside. “Yes, Honey?”

“I feel kind of funny.”

“It’s just all the excitement, Honey.” She motioned out toward the open water. “Why don’t you swim out a bit; you’ll feel better.”

Penny did as asked, but the light-headedness didn’t go away. She stopped trying so hard to tread water and lay back, attempting to float so she could relax. Her head began to clear as she spread her arms to her side and stopped kicking. Her breathing slowed as she felt herself slipping below the surface of the pool—

It was only when she was about eight feet below the surface that Penny snapped out of her few and realized things weren’t right. For one, she should be holding her breath, but as far as she could tell she wasn’t. In fact, it felt almost as if she were breathing, but that were impossible: if that were the case she would be drowning, and she most definitely wasn’t drowning.

Also, her legs felt funny. She held them together, although she wasn’t really holding them together: it was almost as if they were pressing together on their own. She tried to give the mechanic, but her legs weren’t moving correctly. Actually, they weren’t moving at all. Though, they were moving–it was almost as if they were moving together at the same time…

She spun herself so that she was upright. Everything under the water came into sharp focus, which was impossible: the only time everything should appeared like this was if she were wearing swim goggles, and she wasn’t. She bent at the waist to see what was going on with her legs—

Only they didn’t look like her legs.

They were indeed pressed together tightly, so tight but there wasn’t any space between them. In the skin seemed to be growing together. Her feet no longer look like her feet: they had instead lengthened and grew wider, looking almost like a…

Penny screamed and flailed around. She reached down to her waist and felt the demarcation where her smooth alabaster skin seemed to melt into something that felt like—scales? Just like the scales that were growing over what had been her legs and were now turning into a—

A tail? I have a tail? Why do I have a tail? Why am I breathing underwater? What is happening to me? I don’t understand.

Something crashed into the water a few feet away and Penny easily moved back, her arms and her new tail working together as if it had always been a natural part of her. Out of the bubbles came Penny’s mother gliding slowly through the water about five feet below. Penny watched in amazement as her legs quickly locked together and began transforming into a magnificently brilliant green tail shot through with speckled lines of violet. As soon as the accelerated transformation finished, Leigh spun around and shot upward with two quick thrust of her tail.

She stopped directly in front of Penny, floating maybe three feet away, her hair swirling around in her arms out to the side and she slightly curled her tail upwards and back. She gave her daughter a quick examination and smiled. “That went exactly as I expected…”

“The Calling” Scene 5: “The Pool”

The pool area was just as Penny’s mother described. It was a large area surrounded by a fence perhaps eight to nine feet high, with lots of foliage between the pool and the fence. The house enclosed the pool on two sides, while there was a pool house to their immediate left were Penny assumed one could change and cleanup.

It was unlike any play she’d never visited before. And then there was the pool—

While Kemena’s pool was like most of the pools she had seen around her neighborhood, this pool was like something she might find at a YWCA. It was maybe two and a half times longer than three times wider than Kemena’s pool and while there wasn’t a diving board, there was a section of stairs at the far end where one could simply walk in and a couple of ladders on her end where a person could climb out if necessary.

Leigh Ann moved up alongside her daughter. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“It is, Mama.” The reflected sunlight seemed to dance and shimmer upon the surface of the pool. Penny was fairly certain she wasn’t wearing sunglasses the light would actually hurt her eyes.

“This pool is sort of special.” Leigh pointed at the end near where they were standing. “The the family likes to scuba dive, so when they had the pool installed they made it deeper than a normal pool. It’s actually about twenty feet deep on this end.” Before Penny could speak Leigh began pushing her in the direction of the pool house. “Let’s get changed.”
Penny was surprised that her mother had bought a new bathing suit for her. She was even more surprised that it was a pink and gold bikini, for she had never worn a bikini before, always a one piece. She slipped into it feeling a little self-conscious, because she’d never imagined she’d show this much skin.

She stepped out of her changing area to find her mother waiting for her, attired in her neon green bikini. Leigh smiled. “You ready for this?”

Penny didn’t need to be asked again. “I’ve been ready since you said we were coming here.”

“The let’s get going.”

With her towel over her shoulder Penny headed back to the pool area and began walking toward stairs at the far end. She was about a third of the way there when she heard her mother call out. “Where you going?”

Penny turned around and faced her mom. “To the shallow end, Mama.”

Leigh shook her head. “Not today, Honey.” She pointed at the end of the pool where she was standing. “Today you do the deep end.”

Penny walked back toward her mother with a shocked look on her face. “Really?”

Her mother nodded. “Yep. I think it’s time you started swimming in the deep end.”

Given the excitement she was feeling Penny wasn’t about to wait. She laid out her towel on the hot concrete, slipped out of her flip-flops and removed her sunglasses, and walked to the edge of the pool. She stared into the shimmering water feeling strange excitement. Even though she had never swarm in deep water before, something said that she wouldn’t have a problem staying afloat.

She glanced over at her mother. “Just jump in?”

Leigh gave her a bright smile. “Just dive right in.”

With a huge grin on her face Penny jumped up into the air and dove into the deep end of the pool—