A Seafood Feast

This is chapter 11 of my webnovel, The Elementals: Song of Spirit. If you’re on the wrong chapter, or are just starting to read, click here for the linked table of contents. And happy reading! ~ JR

Chapter 11
A Seafood Feast

Poseidon sat in his opulent dining hall surrounded by giggling merfolk, whispering selkies, and other various excited Water-Born, slowly drumming his fingers against the mother-of-pearl and coral dining table. This languid, underwater movement was the norm for the god of the seas, though anyone unused to Atlantis would find it almost dreamlike in its slowness.

Of course, a peaceful, dreamlike state was the very heart of the Water-Born.

As he waited for his Princess to make her entrance, the Water-Lord found himself once more thinking deeply on a subject that he hated, but one which had haunted him for the last thirty moons. The Water-Born had always been a peaceful people from the moment of their foundation. So very long ago, while his greedy brothers Zeus and Hades had contended with each-other in a futile war for who would rule over the earth, Poseidon, the middle brother, had gladly taken the seas and sunk far below their depths, forming his kingdom in peace and tranquility. He had been more than happy to leave his bickering brothers behind, and when The Great Queen banished the two to The Great Empty for their greed, she had, in turn, offered Poseidon the rule of the Aether Plane as a reward for his peaceful nature.

From that day forward, Atlantis had been a haven of peace and security for all sidhe (though the Fire-Born had a hard time spending very much time within its watery walls). Poseidon had always been welcoming, kind and giving to all sentient beings who served The Great Queen.

And yet, for a reason he could not possibly fathom, now, after eons of peace and friendship, the other planes came against him in force.

It was true that there had been no actual attacks, but his ministers had come to him with grave news of plots and war campaigns from the Earth-Born, the Air-Born, and the Fire-Born. This was a serious offense that he could not lightly brush aside, and it hurt him deeply. His army, long used to fighting sinister Water-Born and pirates within their own plane, now trained to fight those whom they had once called friends.

It was a dark, dark time for the peace-loving Water-Born, and Poseidon was nowhere near to finding the answer to why it had even begun.

Slowly, he smiled. Yet this day a ray of hope had come to them at last. Their Princess was returned to them! True, she came with grave news of the evil sorcerer Adams’ return to the planes, but at least that was an enemy the Water-Born could feel right about fighting.

And with their Princess to lead them once more, they would surely be victorious!

Of course, first they had to get to the bottom of this confusing sidhe war.

He frowned sadly again, his fingers continuing to drum in their languid, underwater way. A sigh escaped from his lips, forming tiny bubbles that rose to the hall’s high, vaulted ceiling.

Suddenly, a joyous fanfare rang out from the horn bearers who stood near the hall’s great clamshell entryway. Slowly, the doors opened and a Traveling bubble identical to the one that had brought the Princess to Atlantis floated in, followed by a large retune of mermaid attendants.

Poseidon smiled wide, rising up and floating at his place. Like a tidal wave of creatures, all at the table followed his lead, floating in respect at their seats.

Princess Kathleen had arrived!

The bubble floated to the right of the Water-Lord’s chair, lowering into a specially prepared seat-like cradle for the Princess. Her mermaid entourage floated behind her, waiting to serve.

Poseidon held up a hand. When he spoke, his thunderous voice shook the room. “All Hail Princess Kathleen, Elemental of Water, Daughter of the Muses, Holder of the Sacred Whistle!”

The room erupted in whoops and cheers. Kat, inside her bubble, took it all in with a mixture of amazed awe and confusion. Nobody had ever been this excited to see her before, and while it was wonderful, and the feeling of being home had not left her, she couldn’t help but worry over what it all may mean.

The Water-Lord held up a hand again and the crowd grew silent. “These have been dark days for our people, but The Great Queen has finally answered our cries for help. With our Princess to lead us, we can defeat any foe! So eat and be joyous! Our Princess has returned!”

Kat’s eyes grew wide in worry. Lead them in defeating foes? She was no warrior!

The crowd roared again. Poseidon sat down as various Water-Born servants brought in half shell plates piled with green seaweed cakes, pink shrimp puffs wrapped in more seaweed, strange blue discs the size of quarters, mysterious orange balls with red spikes sprouting out of their tops, and an array of other colorful underwater delicacies. It must have been a touch of magic – what Romin had called glamour – that kept it all from floating up from the shells. Kat eyed her plate somewhat distrustfully as it was set before her. Remembering something she had heard about some kinds of sushi, she hoped that none of it was still alive.

“Princess, we have much to discuss,” Poseidon said, putting one of the blue discs into his mouth. “Why aren’t you eating? Are you feeling ill?”

Kat shook her head. “I’d love to try the food, Papa Poseidon, but the bubble … I’m afraid of popping it.”

“Ah, yes,” the god replied, nodding thoughtfully. “Well, for now you should know that it is perfectly safe to reach out and take what you need in the water. Just as it did when you first entered it, the bubble will not pop, but will mold around your arm, letting no water in.” He frowned. “But water should never be the enemy of our Princess. Your first lesson must be in returning to your true form so you may be among us without fear.”

“My true form?” Kat asked, reaching out a finger to poke at the bubble’s shiny surface. It gave way easily, but did not pop. With renewed courage, she reached her hand out more, taking a shrimp wrap from her plate and bringing it into the bubble with her. Both the shrimp and her hand dripped a bit, but that was the only water that got inside. Realizing how hungry she was, Kat popped the morsel into her mouth. It tasted just like the shrimp from home, only a bit more salty. She liked it.

“Yes,” Poseidon answered as he swallowed another bite. “You are a mermaid, Princess. And in your mermaid form, you will have complete freedom here in Atlantis. Once you have perfected it.”

Taking another shrimp, Kat nodded thoughtfully. “I heard you and Romin talking about that. Is that why I had to jump into the water so bad?”

“Yes Princess,” the god replied. “To a point. Your elemental source pulls you now that you are out of the sealed Earthen Plane, as it did your ancestor, the first Princess of the Aether Plane. Her name was Atlantia, after our fair city. Of course, she was born here, unlike her descendants.”

“Atlantia,” Kat mused. “That’s a pretty name.”

“She was very beautiful,” Poseidon agreed with a sigh. “But being half human had its disadvantages. She lived for a long time, and bore many children after the Great Battle. But in the end, she was mortal, and therefore she had to die.” The god sniffed a bit, then looked at Kat, his eyes full of love. “I never knew her children or their children or their children or … for a very long time. At the order of The Great Queen, she and the other Elementals went to live on the Earthen Plane after the Great Battle, to be with other mortal humans so that they could grow old naturally. When The Queen sealed the Earthen Plane many generations later, we lost track of her progeny entirely.”

“Progeny?” Kat asked.

Poseidon smiled. “Her descendants, Princess.” He reached out, his hand passing through the bubble to cup her cheek tenderly. “You.”

Kat giggled at his wet touch.

“But you are home now,” the god went on, returning to his food. He frowned, not looking at her. “And we need your help dearly… not just with Adams.”

Kat scrunched up her nose in thought. “How else?” she asked, exasperated. She was still confused about all this Adams stuff that Romin had spoken of with the Water-Lord, and now there was more to worry about?

Poseidon thought for a long moment. Finally, he shook his head. “That is for another day, Princess. After you have trained more… and after you understand more.”

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3 Responses to “A Seafood Feast”

  1. […] to Explore « Who are You… Really? A Seafood Feast […]

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