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Something Special

This short story is about an Israeli teenage girl who unexpectedly turns into a mermaid after reading a mysterious message she found inside a seashell.

By Talia DevoraPublished about a year ago Updated 4 months ago 11 min read
Something Special
Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash

We will never know when and why strange things happen to us, even in the most sane and predictable world we dwell in.

By Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

There once lived a beautiful, creative, open-minded, outgoing, and intelligent 16-year-old girl named Tiferet. Tiferet lived in the vibrant, modern-looking, and diverse city of Ramat Gan, Israel. She resided in an eggshell coloured, luxurious, motel-resembling house with her parents. She had no siblings or pets.

Tiferet was this living brunette-haired Israeli Barbie doll who'd go to school dressed in adorable shirts, midi skirts, and her favourite ivory white sneakers with hot pink laces. On scorching hot days, she'd wear her pearl white high heel flip-flops. Her wavy, shiny, chocolate-brown hair fell to her waist, and was always up in a high ponytail or a half-French braid. She wore cherry red lipstick, onyx black mascara, peachy pink eyeshadow, and her precious small silver hoop earrings from time to time. She was known to be a no-nonsense, committed, friendly, gregarious, and award-winning straight-A student. She never got a single test answer wrong; that's how valuable her education was to her. Even though school was an imperative aspect of Tiferet's life, she also looked forward to the summer breaks. On her summer breaks, she'd hang out at Banana Beach and shopping center with her two best friends, Alon and Yefet. Yefet was a reserved, kind, caring, humble, and loyal boy who never got angry or confrontational with anyone. Alon was an athletic, hyper, talkative, affable, and happy boy who loved to participate in sport clubs and hang out with his friends.

By Sergio Rodriguez - Portugues del Olmo on Unsplash

Since Tiferet was a child, she always dreamed of visiting the iconic, sacred, and trendy Greek city of Athens. Six months before summer break began, Tiferet, Alon, and Yefet established a plan to visit Athens, Greece for four weeks in July, but they didn't end up executing the plan later on; Alon had family plans that he refused to change, Yefet couldn't afford to chip-in money for the plane tickets and hotel fees, and Tiferet's parents refused to pay for her plane ticket, due to the lack of funding. In lieu of the three teenagers sojourning to Athens, they created another summer break plan; to visit as many beaches in the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as possible.

The three teenagers aced all of their examinations, and decided they truly needed to let loose.

The day after they received their exam results, the adventure to HaMaravi Beach began!

“Hey Tiferet. Today is our first day of summer break- the day we’ve been looking forward to all this time!”, Alon said to Tiferet on the telephone.

“Hey Alon. I know, and I’m so looking forward to our adventure, even though I’m so disappointed about not being able to go to Greece with you and Yefet. Oh well, we can’t always do what we want, when we want in life!”, Tiferet mentioned.

“Let me give Yefet a ring, and confirm the plans with him. I’ll call you back once I’m off the phone with him.”, Alon said.

“Okay.”, Tiferet uttered.

While Tiferet was waiting for Alon to call her back, she decided to stay in the comfort of her bedroom and read her favourite book The Life of Pi. Besides being a beach-goer, she was also a voracious reader. She had a massive library of novels and non-fiction books in her bedroom, and she’d spend every night, every weekend, and every holiday break reading books inside her room.

A few minutes into the book, she heard a melodic sound that was her ringtone. Alon finally returned her call.

“Hey. I already spoke to Yefet, and he said that he’s down to linking at HaMaravi Beach at 11:00 am on Tuesday morning. See you then!”

“See you then! I’m psyched for this adventure”, Tiferet responded, enthusiastically.

Butterflies started swimming in Tiferet’s gut, and the vivid thought of blue oceans, white sand, sunshine, comfy beach chairs, fun volleyball games, vanilla ice cream and mango-banana smoothie binges, and lengthy conversations with her friends put a big, chubby, juicy smile on her face for the rest of the week.

By Gaddafi Rusli on Unsplash

This exciting, jam-packed, amusing summer fun day has just begun! Tiferet noticed the sound of the bamboo flute at 7:00 am- it was her alarm clock! Just as she expected from the night before, she woke up to the bright, yellow morning sunshine, the birds singing, the baby blue sky, and white fluffy clouds.

Dressed in her favourite light blue denim midi skirt and a bubblegum pink polo shirt, she made her merry way to the bathroom to brush her teeth, and French braid her shiny, healthy, wavy, brownie fudge-coloured tresses.

As soon as she went to the front door, she grabbed her miniature peach-coloured backpack, and popped on her navy blue high heel flip-flops. All put-together and ready like a young lady attending a summer BBQ party, out she went for the day!

By Jack French on Unsplash

"Hey Alon!" Tiferet greeted.

"Hey Tiffy!", Alon responded.

"Did you get a good night's sleep?! I certainly hope you did, because today is going to be quite the day!", Tiferet commented, as she and Alon continued walking.

The two teenagers made their way to HaMaravi Beach. Beach ball in hand, Yefet approached his two best friends at the beach entrance. Excited and content, Yefet welcomed his two friends.

"Hey friends!", Yefet greeted.

"Hey Yefet", the two friends answered.

"What's our plan for today?!", Yefet inquired, assuming that something extravagant will be happening at the beach.

"Once we've settled in nicely at the beach, I was thinking of us playing a game of volleyball. Sound like fun?!", Tiferet suggested, enthusiastically.

"I'm down!", Alon and Yefet answered, in unison.

"Sounds splendid!", Tiferet exclaimed.

Once the three teens have settled in at the beach, they made their way to the sandy play area, and began a game of beach volleyball. Unfortunately, the game only lasted half an hour, as Tiferet got distracted, after noticing a white-like-a-dove, shiny, fragile seashell laying down on the sand beside her left foot. Eager to make this unique discovery, Tiferet bent down to pick up the mysterious seashell. She noticed a little piece of paper hiding in the shell. Shocked that a piece of paper could ever be found inside a seashell, she grabbed it, rolled it open, and carefully read the encrypted message that no one else would have ever been able to read and absorb.

The encrypted message wrote: "Every girl on this beach is a mermaid. They are born to be beach lovers. A girl may not realize she is a mermaid until she regularly visits the beach”. Tiferet questioned this for several minutes, before beginning a pre-lunch swim in the frothy, wavy, cool turquoise ocean with Alon and Yefet. Ten minutes into the pre-lunch swim, something enigmatic occurred: Tiferet transformed into a mermaid after she dipped her body in the water. Her legs and feet were covered in a sparkly magenta mermaid tail. Her top became a hot pink halter bikini top. Now an Israeli mermaid, she whipped her tail back and forth in the sea, and continued swimming, not realizing she went a little further than expected.

By Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Once it was time for Yefet and Alon to leave the beach to grab a light lunch at the local cafe, they rapidly swam back to the beach lounge. As they finished swimming and started jogging back to their chairs, they noticed that Tiferet wasn't with them. She vanished unexpectedly.

Fear and anxiety hit the two boys as hard as a jumbo rock in the gut. Their arms and legs wiggled back and forth inconsolably, their minds wandered off into another realm, and their voices disappeared. This was how severe this dilemma was to them. They had a tough mission to accomplish: to find Tiferet safe and sound at sea. Hair still soaked, and still clothed in their swim trunks and black V-neck t-shirts, they jumped right back into the ocean to begin their mission to find their dear friend alive. It didn't matter if their whole day was wasted; they were not going to leave Tiferet alone at sea, even if it meant that they had to stay at the beach until midnight.

By Tom Winckels on Unsplash

Ravenous, exhausted, shivering, nervous, and frustrated, they continued swimming in circles, to see if they could spot Tiferet on a vacant wooden boat somewhere near the scenic rocks. Boy were they wrong! Tiferet was still nowhere to be seen. They couldn't even hear her angelic voice she was that far away from them. They began to surmise that she drowned and that she would never make it alive. Although the fear was intense and it chewed up their valuable time, they couldn't give up. Nothing else was a priority, except for Tiferet, so they resumed swimming and swimming, even if dinner time was well on its way!

During one of the gloomiest, scariest, and windiest afternoons of the week, the two boys luckily found a vacant wooden boat in the middle of the sea. This was one of the most successful moments for them, because it meant that they could find Tiferet easily, but that they could also take a pause to catch their breath after four, painfully long hours of swimming and running around like wild kangaroos at the beach. After their well-needed break to rest on the boat and catch their breath, they resumed their action-packed, overwhelming, and frightening mission to spot Tiferet.

Alon and Yefet grabbed their wooden paddles, and made their merry way to the scenic rock area, where they anticipated Tiferet may be sitting, all alone with no one to speak to.

Despite the confusion and frustration they felt all afternoon and evening, optimism was right around the corner for Alon and Yefet.

A minute after they reached the scenic rock area, they heard a powerful siren call: Tiferet’s angelic, poetic, and confident voice. She was reading the message she discovered inside the seashell to the grey clouds and black birds that she called her khaverim b’erev (evening companions). She’s had these friends since she was a little girl. Whenever she’d visit the beach in the evening, she’d commune with the clouds and the birds. They were her friends, her best friends that she could rely on and speak about whatever she wanted without feeling judged or worried that she’ll offend one another.

After Tiferet read her message, she said a little prayer to herself, as she sat quietly on one of the rocks, still dressed in her sparkly magenta mermaid outfit.

Alon and Yefet finally spotted Tiferet, sitting calmly on one of the scenic rocks. She was healthy and happy as a queen resting on her throne. Feeling relieved, they arrived at the scenic rock area.

“Tiferet! Are you okay?! Where were you?! I can’t believe you took off without letting us know!”, Alon reacted.

“Yes, I’m totally okay! I was just daydreaming and enjoying the water so much, that I lost track of time. I’m sorry I spooked you and Yefet. Can you please forgive me?!”, Tiferet explained.

“Yes, we’ll forgive you, but we don’t want my best friend to disappear like that ever again! You are a young lady, so you’ll never know what kind of situations will land you in hot water. Since you are young and vulnerable, it’s crucial that you tell people where you’re going, especially at a beach that’s flooded with strangers!”, Alon responded.

“I’m just thankful we found you alive. I’m glad you didn’t drown; that wouldn’t have been spooky. It wouldn’t have ruined our whole summer vacation”, Yefet commented.

Now that Yefet and Alon rescued Tiferet, they left the scenic rock area, hopped back on the wooden boat, and travelled back to the main beach area, where they played beach volleyball and lounged around before their pre-lunch swim.

By Marko Kelecevic on Unsplash

Unfortunately, the beach excursion came to an abrupt halt. Alon, Yefet, and Tiferet began their adventure to Dizengoff Center, a local shopping centre in Tel Aviv. After a chaotic and stressful evening for Alon and Yefet, they thought going to have dinner at the mall was the answer. Once they've arrived at Dizengoff Center, they couldn't think of anything else except for the savoury scent of falafel balls, crispy french fries, meatballs in a rich, bright red tomato sauce, and rice pilaf. The pleasant smell made their stomach scream in complete hunger.

The three approached the Food Market, and started determining what they wanted for supper. Alon and Yefet were going to have falafel sandwiches stuffed with french fries, hummus, tahini, and all the veggies. Tiferet wanted something light and easy, so she got a bowl of tomato soup, Israeli salad, and a bottle of water. As they were eating and enjoying each others company inside, they all reflected on the whacky beach excursion. They couldn't believe Tiferet turned into a mermaid and abandoned her friends, unnoticed. Tiferet found it fascinating that such a powerful, encrypted message would change her entire day. She began to actually believe she was a mermaid. On the other hand, Alon and Yefet were consumed with anxiety and fear that they didn't have time to enjoy games of beach volleyball and frolicking in the ocean. They wished Tiferet never turned into a mermaid, so they wouldn't have to stop what they were doing to rescue her. It was the most insane thing they've had to do on a fun day.

Once the three teenagers finished dinner, they got ready to leave Dizengoff Center, and made their way home for the evening. Another fun day was still on the calendar, but strict boundaries had to be put in place, so they wouldn't lose Tiferet again!

As Tiferet continued walking back to her neighbourhood with her two friends, she began to question why something so strange would happen to her. She spent thirty minutes trying to find answers to the question that she repeatedly asked herself. No answers were to be found.

As Tiferet continued thinking and reflecting, she bid her two friends goodbye, as they arrived at their houses.

Two minutes later, Tiferet entered the house feeling mentally itchy, and frustrated that she couldn't find any answers to explain why this strange event happened on a normal day with her friends.

As soon as she went into her bedroom for the night, she finally found an answer to her question.

"Some things just happen, and we don't always know why", Tiferet thought.

By Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to read my first short story I wrote. If you enjoyed this story, please give it a ❤️, share it with others, comment, and feel free to send me a tip/pledge to show your appreciation and support. To find and read more exciting content, please consider subscribing and visiting my public profile. Stay tuned for more poems, stories, recipes, and much more fun stuff!

Please feel free to stay in touch with me!

IG: @tdwrites24 (where you'll find all of my literary creations) @and taliascreations331 (where you'll find all of my visual art pieces)

By Alexander Grey on Unsplash

AdventureYoung AdultShort StoryMysteryFantasy

About the Creator

Talia Devora

Poetess, visual artist and lifestyle/quiz writer! My pastimes include reading, sleeping, gaming, music, fitness, etc! Be yourselves, be kind and value life! Let's connect and be friends!

My IG accounts: @tdwrites24 & @tdcreates97

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (7)

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  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Nicely done. Good luck.

  • Ashley Shiflett4 months ago

    Wow! What an adventure. I wish I could be a mermaid. Very nice work! Loved it!! ❤️

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    I enjoyed this story so much! I always wanted to see a mermaid at the beach, I can't imagine just becoming one. I'm so glad her friends didn't give up on finding her. Wonderful work :)

  • Whoaaa, I wish I was Tiferet! I would love to experience being a mermaid at least once! I loved your story so much!

  • That was a lovely story , well done

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Talia, love your young adult adventure story!!! Wonderfully written!!! Loved it!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Tiffany Gordon about a year ago

    You are so talented Talia! I loved your plot, setting & characters! I especially loved the name Tiferet too! It is so cute! This was so cool. You may want to consider doing a young adult novella series with these characters or at least a part 2! They were great! Awesome work Talia! 😊

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