I call down all the power I feel around me, until my body is fairly coursing with the rhythm and flow of every waterway in my realm. Until there is nothing and nowhere any creature may hide from me. All creatures are part-water, and in this moment, I can move you all. Five billion humans, and all their prey are in my power now.
Do not speak. Do not sigh. Do not even blink.
Every heart beat is mine. I shape every breath. In this moment, I can command you all. If I wish.
It is enough. The cries cannot lay me low like that now. Mistress Nyx holds sway above and right now, in this moment, I command all on this earth. There is near-total silence as I process the deaths of so many of my beloved children.
The only other sound is the swash of the waves. My ship begins to rock. Holding onto the railing, the wind keens against my skin: icy, sleeting and achingly cold. My beard dampens with salt and ice, and I lean down as something rises out of the darkest ocean depths towards me.
Something wholly black and shining, glistening. Beautiful as black diamonds and three times as precious. It is enormous: the size of a mountain or something more. Until the largest berg ever seen on this earth emerges, moving menacingly towards my ship. Slowly and deliberately, as though steered by some unseen hand, the cursed iceberg attacks my vessel.
Shaking my trident, I utter a shout, but the ice keeps coming. Its appearance of floating is deceptive. I know how these things look slow. It’s a myth; their speed is rapid, and in the dark, I cannot see, cannot be sure. Suddenly, I doubt myself. Me! (I know!)
“Who are you?” I call out to the night. “Show yourself!”
I hear nothing at first. Just the slow re-forming of Notus by my side. I will him to get below, or somewhere out of sight, but the boy stands, rooted to the deck as a new sound makes itself heard. Is that-?
A slithering…and now I truly have no idea what is going on. I clench my fists, feeling the whirlpool opening. A memory forms; very old, very angry. Deep, oh so deeply buried this one…
A laugh sounds by my ear.
I flinch. “Notus?”
“No, Sir!” whispers the kid and indeed, he is beside me on deck, backed against the cabin wall. Smart, that. Whereas my three-thousand-year-old arse is standing right out there in the centre of things, like this is my first bloody fight.
“What do you want?” I call out, feeling as though I am, indeed, speaking into nothing.
The laughter again. Low, dark and unmistakably malicious.
Silence again. The inky darkness above. The churning waters beneath. Not even the wind stirs this night (because he is, it seems, too damn scared).
I stamp both my feet on the deck. Instinct tells me to hold my trident close. This is no ordinary challenge. It feels like I am being purposely driven mad. I clench my fists as the whirlpool spins faster. Dizzy, sick, and holding my temper in check by a thread, I try again:
“What do you want?”
“Jusssstttiiiccceee.” It is a hiss.
There before me, rising on a tidal wave of fury I did NOT create, is the architect of all this carnage. The destroyer of peace. The bringer of blood – mortal and Mer.
“Oh.My.GODS!” Notus whispers beside me, shrinking further against the cabin wall as if he might disappear into it. Don’t you bloody DARE, kid!
“What in the name of Lord Zeus is that?”
Notus actually tries hiding behind me.
I tighten my grip on my trident. “She, not ‘that’.”
Brothers, send me someone who can fight. Fight, but not kill.
I’ll have to hope Olympus heard me, and buy us a little time.
“Good evening, Father!” she almost spits, and it is likewise a hiss.
Notus whispers in my ear. “Is – is she talking to me? I assure, My lord, I am still – er -,”
“NO!” the monster thunders, the seas around her boiling with her wrath. “I am addresssssing HIM!” One sharply-curled talon points at my chest, inches from drawing blood. Her monstrous scales writhe, shaking with rage.
I gaze upon her for the first time in…I do not know how long. Hmmm…perhaps this is why she is here.
Many miles long, scaly as a dragon, with power over water and the blackest look on a girl’s face I have seen in some thousands of years, I barely refrain from shaking my head in wonder. Murderess she may be, she is still one mighty fucking force to be reckoned with (gets that from her dad). Still, she IS a killer.
“How are you, Lamia?” I glare back at my daughter. And how DARE you harm my Mer?
“How kind of you to assssk, Father,” my daughter hisses, twisting her head in a thoroughly reptilian manner. Blood-red lips curve menacingly upwards to reveal gleamingly wet fangs. Wet with the blood of my sea folk.
As if to confirm this, another mercorpse floats slowly by. Lamia eyes it thoughtfully for a moment before unhinging her lower jaw, mouth gaping wide and wider, the tongue sliding out to carefully, deliberately, wrap around the rotting Mer, dragging the meat between her jaws to gulp and swallow. My Mer forms a foul bulge beneath her already bulging scales while her forked tongue flickers over her lips, terrifyingly sinister. Her eyes stay locked on mine, keeping the same kind of eye contact Amphitrite used to when she – never mind.
Lamia’s snack is too much for Notus. He transforms immediately. As do I, in full immortal form. As high as my daughter above the waves now, I watch her snake-eyes flicker, her tongue rolling out and in again, testing, tasting, flickflickerflick. Her mother Scylla taught her well, and I do not want to fight our child.
Olympus, can you hear me?
“How’s your mother?”
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