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…”