Ogygia was a stunning island with clear blue water and bright white sand. The lush emerald forest shone in the Mediterranean sun. I say Mediterranean, but really Ogygia was in a realm all its own, shut off from the rest of the world, keeping its sole inhabitant apart from the rest of her family.
I crested the waves, swimming slowly up onto the shore. Calypso was always looking for new visitors, even though she knew they would eventually have to leave. I shifted back into my human form, kept my spear in my hand, and walked up the beach. The small hut on the beach beckoned, and I walked over slowly.
“Calypso?” I called out carefully, wanting to make sure I didn’t startle the goddess.
A head of golden hair, radiant as the sun, peaked out of the cabin. She always was gorgeous. Soft green eyes, tanned skin from her life in the sun, and a body made for dancing.
“And who has come calling this time? I have not had a female visitor to my island in some time.” Her voice rang out, a crystal bell in the calm air of the island.
“Hello, Calypso, it’s been a while.” I approached cautiously, unsure of her reaction to my arrival.
“It…cannot be. Amphitrite?” I nodded, and she squealed before launching into the air at me. “Amphy!”
I caught the small goddess and chuckled. “Hi, Calypso. I’ve missed you.
“Missed me so much that you have not come to visit in over two thousand years?” The question stung, and I flinched slightly.
“I’m sorry, Cal. I really am. I was,” I sunk the butt of my spear into the beach and held her, trying not to sob, “I was stuck. I couldn’t come back to visit.”
Her small feet landed back on the ground, and I looked at her. We were roughly the same age, but Calypso was petite. It suited her, though. Everyone who looked upon Calypso loved her. It was part of her charm. She wrapped an arm around my waist and guided me into her cabin. It was warm, well-furnished, and very homey. I could definitely spend some time here.
“Sit, Amph, and tell me everything,” Calypso ordered, and on Ogygia, you must obey her.
I sat down on the couch, and poured a glass of water before beginning my story. Calypso listened with rapt attention, only interrupting every so often.
“Dionysos? Really?” She snorted, and I flushed. She sounded like the rest of the ladies in my family. But they didn’t know the love we shared. They didn’t know the hole in my heart that he had filled and then vacated.
I bit my lip to keep from crying.
“Yes, Calypso, I love Dionysos. Loved. It’s complicated.”
“I understand.” She patted my hand gently. “So, what brings you to my fair slice of paradise?”
“A vacation?” I asked, a tired smile on my face. Calypso laughed, and I sighed. “Honestly. I was planning on a world trip vacation to sort of process the last couple of years. Then Nis— Dionysos arrived at the Amphitrite.” A look of confusion crossed her face, and I sighed. “It’s a restaurant in Tunisia. Someone in the past named it after a fictional goddess of the sea. As far as I’m aware, it’s one of the only mentions of my name outside of mythology.” I kept the bitterness out of my voice, but I felt my shoulders slump. “I just need a break, Cal. A long one, maybe a permanent one.”
“What kind of talk is that, Amphy? I know a couple of goddesses who would absolutely have your head on a platter if they heard you speaking like that!” She stood up, and thunder clapped outside. It never rained on Ogygia unless she wanted it to.
I shrugged again, feeling more defeated than I had in years. “Those goddesses are no longer around. And the one that is,” I looked down, “is too busy to worry about me. It’s okay, Calypso. I don’t expect anyone to be there for me. Not anymore.”
I stood up and walked back out onto the beach, looking out over the windswept waves.
“What is it, Amph?” Calypso came out to join me, her voice tinged with concern.
I looked away from her. “I have to visit your father, or at least his island, and I haven’t been able to go back since I returned from the foam. It’s stupid. I spent so much time there as a young nymph, but I’m terrified. I can’t put it into words, but something, or someone, is coming for me, and I don’t think I can escape it.”
“Then do not. You have always been a goddess of two worlds, Amphitrite. Your father’s realm and Atlantis, the sea and Olympus. Now, it seems as though you are split even further. Nymphaeum, the sea, your family, these things are all one when you really think about it.” I nodded. “So then, why the schism in you?
“I’m just not worthy,” I whispered.
“Worthy of what?” she asked, standing beside me.
“But you are, Amphy. Your friends love you. Poseidon loved you.” I coughed a little. “Dionysos loved you.”
“And they have all left. I should be used to it by now.” I waved off her upcoming statement. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll figure my life out. It’s no one else’s problem.”
“Amphitrite,” Calypso wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me into a hug, “you know you are welcome to stay here as long as you need. You are not bound by the mortal rules. I know you will not stay forever, but we can build you a second little hut here while you need it. It will be here for you, as I will, always.”
“I wish I knew of a way to break your curse, Calypso.” I placed my cheek on hers and sighed. “You don’t deserve to be alone.”
“I know! Why not sing for me?” she asked happily.
I looked at her quizzically. “How will that help break your curse?”
“It will not. But I miss your voice, and you always knew how to lure mortals to you.”
I gulped. “You want me to use Siren Song?” She nodded vigorously. “You know, it could take some time to lure someone in?”
“I know. Although, I anticipate that someone will arrive in time for you to continue on to Atlas.”
I winced. I didn’t want to think about the next stage of the journey. I knew it wasn’t Atlas who spoke to me, so who? “Do you really think my voice will draw in a mortal you’d want?”
“Of course, Amphitrite, your voice has the power to change the world.”
I laughed. “Hardly. I’m just a simple nymph with a decent voice.” I teased back.
“Amphitrite. Stop berating yourself. Your voice is powerful. You have a power dedicated to it. Siren Song is not just any old magic, power, or skill. Whatever you want to call it. Not everyone can wield it. The sirens of old taught you something they shared with very few. Use it to your advantage, and right now, for mine.” She giggled impishly. “Call it my fee.
“Your fee?” I asked incredulously.
“For helping you.” My mouth fell open. “I know who is on my father’s island. I know who is calling you. I will share that information only after you sing me a song.” I started to respond but Calypso held up her hand. “A song worthy of your power.”
I gulped. Using Siren Song was dangerous. I’d only used it a couple of times since my return and the last time was to help calm Rhodes during her personal storm.
“Alright, Calypso, you win, but I need a lyre.” She looked at me quizzically, and I smiled. “You want me to sing? I need accompaniment if the song is to carry into the mortal world the way you want.”
“Really?” I nodded, and she bustled off into her cabin. I heard her rummaging around inside before she burst back out into the sunlight. In her hands was a glorious golden lyre.
“Where did you get this?” I asked, reaching almost compulsively for the instrument.
“I am not sure. It washed up on shore a few centuries ago. I thought maybe it was one of Apollo’s lost lyres, but I could never check. He has not stopped by in eons.”
I nodded. “He has recently returned to us. I’m sure if you wanted, you could leave Ogygia. The big cheese recalled us all, Calypso, you included.”
“Perhaps, but first, my song, please, Amphy?” I nodded. “And make it a good one.”
“As you wish, my lady.” I bowed gracefully and plucked the strings carefully, checking the tuning. It had to be one of Apollo’s. It hadn’t been played in eons, but it was still in perfect pitch.
I strummed slowly, picking out an old tune, and I ran the melody over a time or two before I added the lyrics. Once I began to sing, my fingers picked the harmony. I didn’t elevate my voice. I wasn’t going to screech. I had no need. That was part of the power of my song. It would carry as far as I wanted, and I wanted this song to encircle the world. I wanted the one person who would stay with Calypso and never leave to find her. It was the only gift I had to give her.
I didn’t know how long I sang, and I wasn’t keeping track. I just sang. The connection I was looking for was elusive, but I was determined to find it, so I sang until I could. Night fell, and Calypso built a fire. I’m not sure why she needed one, but the warmth was a nice comfort.
I continued to sing, and there it was. Finally, I found the thread I was looking for.
“Come here, to this island of paradise.” I wove the message into my song. Something Calypso couldn’t hear. “Find the soul you’ve yearned to meet, the one who’s waited for you.”
I felt a click and a tug in the song, and I smiled. I sang a few more refrains and concluded the piece. When my fingers fell from the lyre, and I finally looked at my friend, tears sparkled in her eyes.
“What’s wrong, Calypso?” I asked, my voice crackling slightly. I needed water badly.
“It was such a beautiful song, Amphy. I have never heard its equal.” She hugged me again tightly, and I smiled.
“That’s not entirely true. You’ve heard the muses sing and Apollo. I don’t hold a candle to them. Thank you, though, for the compliment.”
“I mean it, Amphitrite. There was something different in that one, something almost personal.” I simply smiled. “Fine, do not answer me. But thank you, Amph, for gifting me this song.”
“It’s okay, Calypso. I just hope I did a good enough job for your help?” I stuck my tongue out at her playfully, and she laughed.
“Of course. The voice you mentioned, the one calling you from my father’s isle, was Peisinoe.”
My mouth fell open. “Are you shitting me?” Calypso stood up, shocked. “How did I not recognize it?”
“Silly nymph. She can shift her voice as easily as you can.” I rolled my eyes.
“Thank you, Calypso. I will never forget this.” I smiled softly.
“Will you stay a night or two and relax? Take a mini vacation like you wanted before you go see the sirens?” she asked.
I nodded and smiled. “Of course, I’ll spend a couple of nights. Oddly, I’m not in any rush to see what my old teacher has in store, and it will be nice to catch up with you.”
We walked back to her cabin arm in arm, and I placed the lyre back down. There was a twinge of regret when my fingers left the gold instrument, and I sighed.
“Let us get some rest, Amphy. You have been awake for a whole day already, and I can see the exhaustion in your eyes.” Calypso smiled as she pulled back the blankets.
“Alright, my friend, we can get some rest, then maybe in the morning we can go for a swim.” I curled up on the bed, Calypso lying beside me, and before long, we were both asleep, the sound of the waves calming our souls.
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