I felt emotions crashing about inside me as I watched Cindy's pale figure anxiously. She seemed to be almost green. A thousand questions flooded my mind. What's wrong with her? Why won't she wake up? Is she dead? Don't be dead, Cindy, please don't be. You have been so friendly, so nice...
I looked up and saw everyone else fretting, too. Owen was standing to the side, chewing his lip nervously, Fern was standing shock-still with a look of intense concentration on his face, and Marina and Denver ... they were a different story altogether.
Marina was panicking, pulling at her hair and making strange scared noises. I'd never seen Marina like this before. She's always been the strong one, the one who has arguments with people and generally wins. She doesn't get worried or scared. She doesn't have tears streaming out of her eyes and a panicked look on her face.
Denver was absolutely pale, almost as pale as Cindy, as if he were the one who'd gone into the polluted water. He was kneeling over Cindy, murmuring pleading sounds. Let her live, please, I heard Denver whisper. His hands were wrapped around her head and cradling it, his chest heaving with sobs.
I didn't think Cindy would wake up at all, the way everyone else was acting. That was why I was thoroughly surprised when Cindy opened her eyes.
Denver was the first to react. His eyes widened, and what happened next was almost to fast to see. He leaned down and planted a kiss firmly on her lips. Cindy looked surprised, but reacted quickly. I stayed looking long enough to see her eyes close as she returned the kiss.
I was too embarrassed to watch any longer, and immediately turned my head away sharply. I kept myself looking to the side for as long as I could bear, feeling my face go red even though I had nothing to do with it.
Aww, you guys are so sweet, I heard Owen say. It just made me blush even harder to think of what they might be doing.
I heard someone laugh softly behind me, and I turned my head to see Denver chuckling at me. I wanted to say something, but Denver was looking back down at Cindy again, with a strange look on his face that I didn't recognise. Cindy was wearing the same look, staring up into Denver's eyes. They leaned inwards again.
I almost knew what was coming next, but before it could happen, Fern started saying something.
Something's happening. Someone's com--
Before he could finish, I heard something and sensed the presence of something that wasn't meant to be there. I could tell that the other mermaids felt it too, because Denver had raised his head slightly and Cindy had stopped gazing into his eyes. Owen, Marina and Fern were on their alert, but it seemed that Fern knew something more than the rest of us, because it showed in his eyes.
What is it, Fern? I asked, but he didn't have time to answer, for two figures appeared, one trailing after the other, both wearing some sort of suit which allowed them to breathe. They were humans!
There was a flash beside me and I realised that Denver had swum off, carrying Cindy. He had reacted extremely quickly, and I couldn't help but admire that. Owen already had the right idea, hurriedly swimming after them. The rest of us didn't have to be told to know what to do.
As we powered after Owen, we saw two still figures in the distance. I hoped it wasn't more humans, and surprisingly, it wasn't. It was Denver and Cindy, who had now stopped.
Why did you stop? Keep... Owen trailed off as more figures materialised in the distance. This time, there was no mistaking it: they were humans.
We all turned back to go the other way, but were greeted by an evil-looking man in a scuba-diving suit, a smile plastered on his face like he was meeting us at a pleasant coral-picnic. Behind him, a blonde girl trailed, looking ashamed. She was the one whom Denver had pushed aside before!
Fern's thought was clear in our minds as the blonde girl looked to the ground, an apologetic look written all over her face, showing in her body language and her expression.
We've been trapped!
Marina's voice echoed in my mind, bouncing around and around and around and around. I felt my own eyes widen in shock, and heard someone's scream.
The last thing I remembered seeing was men coming towards us, sharp-looking syringes held in their hands, ready to inject...