A New Friend

Skylar Hollingberry

I admit, flying didn't seem fun at all to me, but when Aasimah took off, I never wanted the flight to stop. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, since sitting on a dragon was a lot less comfortable than one might imagine. Yep, my bum was getting really sore. 

''Be prepared to get a little wet,'' Aasimah said. "Once we're out of the Outback we'll be going directly through cloud cover to stay hidden, so that we're not in plane sight."

Oh hell no. I had no idea how was going to avoid getting wet or turning for that matter. Was it time for them to know my secret? I couldn't exactly keep it from them forever. I knew that. I just wasn't sure yet if I could trust them with this big a secret yet. I mean, I had only known them for about two weeks. I muttered some curses under my breath at my luck. I just had to tell them the truth.

Sam and Aasimah were having an animated conversation about all the places Aasimah had flown to when I turned back in. Sam seemed to know about all of these places, while I had no idea what they were talking about. The Eiffel Tower? The Leaning Tower of Pisa? Mount Fuji? Mount Kilimanjaro? Disney World? She went to completely different world? Wow, and I had never even left the Pacific Ocean. 

I wanted to ask her about this world, but I was scared to be honest. Wasn't it strange that I had never heard of this? Then again, I was about to tell them my real identity. Or maybe not my real identity. I could just tell them I was a mermaid and leave the whole princess thing out, but I suppose telling them the whole truth would be better.

''We're now leaving the Outback.'' Aasimah informed them.

Well, here goes nothing. 

Aasimah flew us through the cloud and I immediately felt the waterdrops fall on my skin, but strangely enough, nothing happened. It always took a few seconds for me to turn, but I always felt the change in my body. Yet, nothing happened and a few minutes later I still had my two human legs. How...?

''Everything alright, Skylar?'' Sam asked me, looking a bit worried.

I nodded, still taken aback by this sudden twist. What was going on?

Sam turned around, trying to see where we were going, but it was impossible for him to see. I myself tried to figure out how it was possible that I hadn't transformed into my original body, but everything seemed to be normal. Oh Poseidon, was it possible that I had turned into a human? No, that couldn't be right? Was that even possible? I had heard many tales about mermaids turning into humans, but they hadn't just changed out of the blue. Nothing like this had ever happened, as far as I knew. 

I shook my head. I shouldn't draw conclusions yet. I looked down. Two big eyes staring right back at me. 

''Oh God of the Sea, don't just start shaking your head when people are trying to enjoy a good flight!''

Sam turned around at this strange voice.

''What's with your voice, Sky-''

His eyes turned just as big as mine when he noticed the creature in my lap.

''What is that?''

Funny you should ask, since I'm still trying to figure that part out myself. It had exclaimed 'God of the Sea', referring to Poseidon, so clearly this... er, animal (I had no idea if it was even an animal) was from the ocean like me. I had never seen anything like it though. It was about as big as my fist, but with big eyes that seemed to be about half it's body's lenght. It had five tiny tentacles and a beak. A sea creature with a beak? But then again, we were flying to the sky when it had apparently landed on my head, so maybe it was also somehow a bird? It had no wings though. I was also a bit disturbed that it had been sitting on my head for who knows how long without me even noticing it. 

The creature turned around to face Sam and glared at him.

''Well, aren't you rude! Can't you see that I'm a cute little birdsquid?''

Sam stared at it with an open mouth, before he composed himself.

''Oh, yes. Of course. Now that you mention it...''

''Guys, what's going on?'' Aasimah asked, clearly confused. 

''A birdsquid?'' I asked flabbergasted. ''I thought you were a myth!'' 

Now it was my turn to be glared at.

''A myth! A myth she says! Oh, Earth-Shaker can you believe this? Even down below they don't even know of my kind's existence!''

Sam kept staring at the birdsquid, not knowing what to say. Neither did I actually, but for different reasons. I had read a lot about these apparently not so mythical creatures and had wished they existed. Actually, I wanted one as a pet when I was five, but I wasn't sure if this particular birdsquid would take that as a compliment.

''Guys?''

Aasimah's voice snapped me out of my trance.

''What are you doing here?'' I asked the birdsquid. 

''Your brother sent me to help you.''

Trite sent it to help me? 

''You have a brother, Sky? What's he like?'' Aasimah asked. She was desperately trying to keep up with what was happening on her back, but since she had to fly us she couldn't exactly turn her neck and see for herself.

''A big pain in the- Ow!'' the birdsquid slapped me.

''Do not speak ill of your brother!" 

Sam stifled a laugh. 

''Did that tentacle seriously hurt you?''

The birdsquid responded to that question with a slap in Sam's face.

''Ow! Jeez, what was that for?'' 

The birdsquid pointed a tentacle at him, declaring that he shouldn't underestimate the power of the birdsquids. 

Meanwhile, I tried to figure all this out. Had this little birdsquid prevented me from changing into my original form? What could it have meant when it said that my brother had sent it to help me? Help me with what? Make my decision? 'Cause I had already done that.

''So buddy, do you have name?''

For not the first time since we had met the little animal, it glared at Sam.

''I ain't your buddy, buddy.''

Sam looked at our possible new friend in astonishment. Now it was my time to stifle a laugh.

''So, your name?''

''Poly.''

I stared at it in shock.

''Short for Polyphemus?'' 

Sam looked at me with a questioning look, clearly not knowing who Polyphemus was. Okay, I didn't really know who Polyphemus was either. Just that he was one of Poseidon's sons and wasn't very nice. Could this agressive little thing really be...?

''No, you dimwit. Do I look like a Cyclops to you?''

Oh Poly was definitely sent by me brother. Obviously he had told it to insult me as much as possible. 

''Well, I didn't know Polyphemus was a Cyclops, so there.''

Ha, I proudly thought. Got you there, buddy

''There what?'' Poly challenged. 

Oh dear, this was going to be a long flight.

The End

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