Sighing heavily, I tighten my grip on the staff and lift the prongs into the air. Spinning the Trident, I slam the points into the ground of my bedroom. In the same motion, I drop to one knee and press my forehead to the side of the golden artifact. I reach out to the sea monster’s soul, and the glow descends into the earth, slipping through the prongs and sending the creature to its next destination.
My feet catch up to me, and I step onto the stone walkway. I have always preferred walking rather than swimming on castle grounds. Something about swimming through one’s home almost made it seem like work.
I just hoped sooner rather than later. I had to admit that his kiss, even if it was on the cheek, got me a little hot under the collar that I wasn’t wearing. I flung myself back into the pool and rested there, floating on the surface like foam on the sea. “I hope you find me again sometime soon, Dionysos,” I whispered as I watched the sunset.
With all the voices surrounding me and the burning fever of the madness threatening me at all times, I could not help what came next. I leaned close, kissed her tenderly on her right cheek and whispered, “That is why I have a special place in my heart for you, you know that.”
The three-pointed prongs shine, the sea immediately responding to the presence of the trident. My hand tightens around the shaft, and my crown appears on my head. The circle of golden coral, decorated with silver shells from all parts of the oceans, heralds me as the ruler of the deep. Obnoxious thing.
I would switch from bright and bubbly, to calm and docile, to violent and stormy. We called it Maelstrom, and the mortals took it as the name of a sea storm. Most of the gods I’d met didn’t know how that felt, to be containing such a force at all times. Feeling her build until she broke and took everything with her.
“No, I am,” I coughed gently, “technically single for the first time in, oh gods…30,000 thousand years? Something like that. I don’t even know what year it is right now. So no, I am going to enjoy myself, the massive bed, and have all the room to move and sleep where I want.”
My grandfather’s eyes crackle with life for the first time since I entered the office, then they narrow. “You’re not suggesting you’re planning to break her out, are you? I’m still dealing with the fallout from the last prison break.”
When I exited the portal, the devastation surprised me. Sure, Poseidon had warned me about it, but to witness the lingering carnage? I felt tears well up, and I had to wipe them away. It would be no good, going before the King of the Gods crying.
Helios was released, suddenly and hard. He staggered back, staring at his unmarked flesh, rubbing it as the pain receded. His eyes lifted to the black obelisk as it vanished from sight, no longer needed. Helios is bound – Above, Below, and Between. Flesh, Blood, and Bone – forever.
I ran my fingertips over the golden edge of the sundial, hesitating. I hadn’t seen my siblings in so long that even though I was terrified at what had just happened to me, I couldn’t bring myself to visit them.