Before we can move any further ahead, we need to back up…

Alice was born in a castle, inherited by her great-great grandparents and passed on through generations. Her childhood was extremely sheltered, with overly protective parents who never granted her any freedom. She was homeschooled and never allowed to leave the house unless she was running errands with a parent or going to Sunday service once a week.

Church was her only chance at making friends — and even then, there was no “Sunday school” for her to socialize with peers, just exhaustingly long services where she was forced to sit there in silence. Even if she were to make friends, “play dates” were not allowed and sleepovers were out of the question.

Alice was comfortable speaking to adults at the church. She was always kind, courteous, and polite. They often complimented her on her dedicated and studious ways, always praising her parents for raising a perfect angel. Alice felt at ease with her naturally ability to impress the adults: the way she stood in silence and never interrupted their stories, the way she always said “please” and “thank you,” the way she never raised her voice or whined…

And yet her peers made her feel opposite, like a total outcast. The children at her church were like animals. The girls liked to talk about fashion and makeup, they liked to sing and dance to pop songs, debate who the cutest celebrity is, topics Alice knew absolutely nothing about. The only topics she really had to offer were regarding school subjects or the Bible. The boys were much, much worse: they liked to throw things and make fun of people and beat each other up. Alice’s composure that was so well-praised by adults meant nothing to her own age group.

It had almost been a year now since Fuchsia, the pink-haired mermaid had met The Captain. And she had never seen him again, since that one brief encounter. He made a promise to her that he would sail by these seas someday and at least wave hello, though he never did… Yet that did not stop him from flooding her head.

The Mermaid Ball was approaching — the biggest and hottest party for all mermaids, mermen, and other mystical sea creatures. This was the first year Fuchsia could attend, as she was finally of age. Her older sisters Amber and Turquoise had been before, meanwhile her younger sister Emerald still had to wait a couple more years.