Authors: Liz Kessler
Tags: #Ages 8 and up
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously.
Text copyright © 2009 by Liz Kessler
Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Natacha Ledwidge
Cover illustration copyright © 2009 by Sarah Gibb
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in an information retrieval system in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, and recording, without prior written permission from the publisher.
First electronic edition 2010
The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:
Emily Windsnap and the siren’s secret / Liz Kessler. — 1st U.S. ed.
Summary: When Neptune tells Emily and her merman father and human mother to return to Brightport to try to make merpeople and humans work more closely together, Emily faces problems with old enemies, her new, half-merfolk friend Aaron, and a mystery related to a group of legendary lost sirens.
ISBN 978-0-7636-4374-4 (hardcover)
[1. Mermaids — Fiction. 2. Interpersonal relations — Fiction. 3. Neptune (Roman deity) — Fiction. 4. Sirens (Mythology) — Fiction.] I. Title.
[Fic] — dc22 2009046540
ISBN 978-0-7636-5247-0 (electronic)
99 Dover Street
Somerville, Massachusetts 02144
visit us at
It wasn’t a night for going out. Not unless you had to.
Sharp tunnels of wind whistled and shrieked around every corner. Trees bowed and shook and broke. Rain splattered viciously down on the pavement.
Out at sea, it was even worse. On the water, the storm had turned swells into walls the size of skyscrapers. Waves foamed hungrily, like giant rabid dogs.
Anyone who knew about the sea knew that this meant one thing: Neptune was angry.
And anyone wild or crazy or brave enough to be out on such a night might have seen two figures in the distance, way out at sea, way beyond safe. A man leaned out from his fishing boat, calling to a woman in the water below him. “Take it. Take it. Keep it close.”
“What is it?” the woman called back, shouting to be heard over the thunderous waves.
The man shook his head. “I can’t hear you!” Leaning farther out, he added, “When it’s safe again, find me.”
“How?” she called, panic hitting her as hard as the waves that were now dragging them farther and farther apart.
He pointed to the package he had just given her. “The shell!” she thought she heard him say, and then he added something that sounded like, “There’s magic in it.”
The woman thought about what she was leaving, and the pain of it slapped against her harder than the next wave. “What about —?”
The wave washed the rest of her question away — but he knew what she was asking.
“I’ll look after everything,” he called. “Everything. Don’t worry. It will be OK. Go now. Go, before it’s too late.”
A moment later, the onlooker would have seen them part, each disappearing behind the hills and mountains of the raging sea. Then the onlooker would have wondered if they’d imagined the whole thing, because surely no one would go out on a night like this.
Not unless they had to.
I know you’re going to think I’m crazy when I say this, but something about my life wasn’t right.
Why would that mean I was crazy?
Because for the first time in my life, I was living with my mom and dad, together, in our beautiful home at Allpoints Island, with my best friend, Shona, living just around the corner and my new friend Aaron and his mom living nearby. There was
wrong with our lives.
Really. Absolutely nothing. No dad to be rescued from prison, no sea monsters trying to squeeze the life out of me, no storms hurling our home halfway across the planet — all of which
happened to me in the last year.
Now all I had was day after day filled with sun, sand, friends, and laughter. My life was perfect.
So why had I woken up restless and rattled every morning for the last week? I just didn’t get it.
I sat up in bed and stretched, trying to remember what I’d been dreaming about. Fragments from a jumbled mass of weird dreams chased each other around in my head, but I couldn’t piece them together. All I could remember was the feeling they’d left behind. Not exactly unhappy — but definitely unsettled and, well, not right.
Like I said — crazy. How could anything about my life not be right?
There was something, though, and I couldn’t ignore it. What’s more, I had the feeling that Mom felt the same way. Once or twice, while she was making dinner or reading a book, I’d seen her eyes get all distant and gray, as though she were looking for something far away, something she was missing.
I think deep down inside, I knew what was eating at us both; I knew what we were missing, even before the conversation with Archie that changed everything.
“Knock, knock. It’s me!” a familiar voice trilled through the doorway, followed by a familiar thump as Mom’s best friend, Millie, landed on the deck.