Drumming boned fingers along the dark, desolate surface, black orbs scanned the underworld below from their high place in the rigid castle.
Stumbling feet broke the silence behind him.
“Pain!” The fat, grotesque minion screamed out, tripping over another’s foot and landing on it’s comrade.
Said comrade screamed out as well. “Ah! And panic!”
“Reporting for duty!” They stated in unison.
Irritation showed within the Dark Lord’s gaze, but he let it pass. “I want both of you to stake out the southern shores of Phaeacia* and report what you find. Do not leave a grain of sand untouched, nor a sea line unlooked.”
“But-but, sir-” Panic started.
“We’re not permitted to travel-”
Spinning around to face the two demons, Hades let out a deep growl, chilling enough to make any mortal heart stop. Flames turned into fiery red instead of their usual calm blue. “Do it! If you value your immortality, you will not cross me this time. I expect nothing less than perfection from you two. I find out you have fallen from your duty, your deaths will be the least painful punishment I will act upon your rotting flesh!” Sending a bolt of fire casting down upon their bottoms, the warning shot sent the two flying down the stairs as quickly as their burnt bodies would allow them.
Hades took a deep breath, and turned back around to cast a disappointing gaze upon his kingdom below. For once in his life, he wanted someone to cast a little light on his darkening day.
“Arial!” The small, yellow fish swam as furiously as he could after the siren. “Slow down! I’m not as fast as you! Arial, where are you taking me.”
Red locks fluttered and pounded under the water as the majestic creature turned around and performed perfect circles around the bright fish. “Come on, Flounder, you can pedal faster than that. Give your fins a good working or else you’ll miss the initial excitement!”
Fluttering faster, the guppy gained a little speed. “I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying!” He gasped for more liquidated oxygen. “Where we going?”
“The surface!” She screamed, pushing ahead of him. Drilling her fins through the water as hard as she could, the mermaid broke the surface with such speed, she flew through the air. Reaching a height higher than she ever had, the girl screamed in glee. She came crashing down, head first into the water and dived down as far as she jumped. Turning, her momentum dropped as she broke the surface a second time, without jumping into the air. Arial reached the water level the same time Flounder did, giggling as he gave her a glare. “Arial-”
“Look!” She pointed to the shore, swimming forward. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Yeah, sure.” He swam after her. “Arial, we got to go.”
“Hold on a second, I want to get a closer look.” Paddling her fin back and forth, the girl swam closer, reaching a close rock.
The golden sand glimmer in the sunlight, the shore provided a shining invitation against the bright blue water that beat against it. The orb of warmth behind her pushed the creature forward; farther than she had ever gone. Allowing the waves to take her in, Arial smiled as she felt the shore beneath her fin. The sand kicked up and rubbed against the green scales, tickling her.
A slight giggle of joy, and Arial reached beneath her to bring the ground to her face. The pebbles gave off an essence of need, and she felt as though the smell was every bit of intoxication that was need to simply jump upon the shore and roll around Swimming farther, she was almost close enough to pull herself up on the land when a small fish cried out for the last time.
“Arial!” Flounder screeched. “What are to doing! Are you trying to kill yourself?”
The noise snapped the sea creature out of her delusion, and she pushed away from the dreaded land, kicking back.
The fish swam a little closer. “Arial, are you alright?” He asked, shaken.
The girl took a deep breath and shook her red locks. “I… I don’t know… I just…The shore just seemed so inviting…” she whispered lightly.
“Well, if you ask me, that shore is bad news. Arial, you could have killed yourself!”
The mermaid looked away.
“What were you thinking? Is this what you wanted to show me? I could find cooler things on the coral reef.”
“But… I thought…” The girl shook her head. “Never mind.”
“What is it Arial?”
“… I’ve been coming to the surface for months now. But, only to look at the sky. It’s so beautiful, I… I couldn’t get enough of it. And then… I decided to venture closer toward the shore…”
“Curiosity… I never came this close, though… Except once…” Arial looked away.
“What happened, Arial?”
Blue orbs looked back at the guppy, and they sparkled in a strange enthusiasm. “There was this man! The one time I came so close, this man was there!”
“Arial! What was he like? What did he say?”
“He… He only said a few words… But… He was…”
“Was what? What was he like?”
“what, he was like blue?”
“No, he was a dark… Blue… It was weird. His skin, and his clothes… But… He looked so…”
“What, he was? He was magical… Amazing. His deep voice was…”
The little fish looked away. “If the king heard you talking like this…He would be so upset…”
“Well… I…” Looking down, the girl picked up water in her hands. “I just can’t help it. I thought maybe… Coming back would let me see him again…”
Flounder looked toward the sunset.
“Arial, we should go, before your father gets upset.”
“Alright.” Turning away, the creature began to follow her friend away from the island. But, she stopped, and turned around glance upon the shore once more.
“Bits and pieces of your form
Rain upon me like a storm.
Melt into my skin and make me feel warm.
Sweet upon me like a wave,
I am young and unafraid.
Embrace the wave and float;
Take me into another time and place,
Oh beautiful man of grace.”**
Her lips ended their silent song before she turned around indefinitely and swam away.
Unbeknown to her, two small, grotesque demons watched from the cover of some distant bushes. And as they watched, so did their master.
The man in blue, with a twinkle in his eye, smiled a small smile, something that had not happened in ages. “If you wish it, my dear, then I shall deliver.”
Phaeacia*: An island in greek mythology closest to sierenes, the place with the sirens, which are essentially mermaids, in the Odyssey.
Singing**: The tune and most of the lyrics were from “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime” By Nina and Kim Wilde. I changed a few of the words to fit.