The trench’s pull was strong, not that the currents were trying to pull me. The weight of my memory, the cold I felt, everything wanted me down there. I didn’t, yet. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the journey. I pulled my way up the wall and laid flat on the shelf, looking down into the blackness. I swore that I could see eyes staring at me, but most of the Trenchers wouldn’t come up this far. It was too bright.
Random voices, all sounding different and yet familiar at the same time, assaulted my ears. I had no idea where they were coming from, but they surrounded me. Looking down into the darkness, I saw faces, familiar and devastating.
“Father!” I shouted and tried to push myself away from the edge, to leave this place. If Nereus was here, we were all in trouble, and I needed to warn Poseidon. A hand shot out and grabbed my arm, holding me fast. I had just enough time to catch the charm that Hekate had given me and shout out, “schizo!” My soul was ripped from my body, and the hand that had been holding my arm was suddenly grasping water. I looked back and saw my limp body floating at the edge, looking down. I was worried about it; predators would take pleasure in ripping me to shreds. I hadn’t had a chance to speak with Poseidon about guarding me while I did this, and suddenly I was worried. Hekate had warned me not to do this alone, and here I was, alone. Like I always had been.
A figure appeared in the shadows as my soul moved towards the beings, entrancing me with their voices. I had enough time to recognize Rommel. He must have followed me. “Rommel! Protect my body until I return! Protect it!” I screamed at him. Rommel’s eyes widened in fear, but I saw his mouth move, and he nodded, before taking a defensive position over my body.
I followed the being that had grabbed me into the darkness, and I lost sight of Rommel. I knew he was capable, and this being that had my attention wasn’t letting me go. “You’re not my father. Nereus was cruel, but he never dragged me into the trench.”
“Oh dear, I am your father, the worst aspects of the sea that you don’t want to admit live within.” We stopped and floated. I tried to see what was in front of me, but couldn’t. The black surrounded me. I was held fast by my fear, and I knew I couldn’t stay here. If my soul didn’t return to my body, I would die. The sea glass inside the pendant that Hekate had given me was glowing softly, and I remembered that I had until the light disappeared to return to my body.
“What is it you want with me?” I demanded of the creature before me. The glow of the pendant illuminated three faces, almost ethereal in nature. One resembled and sounded like my father, the middle one was Poseidon, and the third was…Dionysos. But why him? I almost reached out, my soul responding to each of their presences. “Why you?”
“We are what you fear the most,” Poseidon’s voice resounded. It mimicked his strength, the sea at his command, the great and terrible Lord of the Sea, but I knew it wasn’t him. My love, my husband, my consort…he wasn’t here, he didn’t care.
“You left me! To fend for myself in your kingdom!” I lashed out, my power over the water failing me. I didn’t have that with me…was it attached to my body? I craned my neck and tried to see my body, but outside of the pendant’s soft glow, it was just black. “I…you gave up on me, on us. Did you care? Did you know I was missing? Did you look for me? I gave you my everything, Poseidon. And you abandoned me.”
Dionysos’ voice spoke softly, and as he did, I shuddered. “This is why you’ll never be worthy of love again, Amphy. Because you were never worthy to begin with. Poseidon only chose you because you weren’t fawning over him like your sisters were.” My heart stopped, and I looked at the ghost-like face of Dionysos. His words rang true and cut me deeper than any fishing knife ever could. I sank, my heart, my soul. I could feel it sinking deeper into the Mariana Trench, and I didn’t care.
They were right. Of course, they were. I was worthless. My father knew it, that’s why he tried getting rid of me in the trench when I was young. That’s why Poseidon left, to escape me and the responsibilities he had in Atlantis. And Dion…how could he ever care for a wreck like me? These three faces showed my true fears. It wasn’t the deep, crushing black of the Mariana Trench like I thought. It wasn’t even my father’s beasts that lived down here. Maybe if I were lucky, one of the leviathans of the deep would snatch me, drag my soul down to the depths and leave me there for my father to collect.
Nereus’ voice spoke again, harsh and cold, “You ran from your responsibilities, from the family and me when you married Poseidon.”
“From Atlantis and me, when you went to Rome,” Poseidon chimed in.
Dionysos finished the chant, “From me, when you kept me back and wouldn’t allow me to come with you.”
Something hit me though, a memory, the one that had been pushing through when I first ran into Rommel. Why Rome? Why did I head to Rome, and why didn’t I return? The question was vexing me, and I turned from the figures haunting me as I tried to suss it out. I don’t think they liked it too much that I wasn’t paying attention to them, and the figures started to circle me, chanting that I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t good enough. I was barely a goddess.
I could have sided with my father in his personal grudge against Poseidon, but like my sisters, I was entranced by him. I just didn’t admit it to myself, and I kept myself aloof when he came to Naxos that day. I pretended like I didn’t want him, and maybe that’s what drew him to me, I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything anymore. I didn’t know my own heart, or where it lay. Part of me wanted to give Poseidon another try. I loved him. I did. Another part of me wanted to let him go and see where the currents brought me, and this attraction I had to Dionysos…well, it helped keep to my rudder straight the last few weeks.
Dion… “Nisos!” I shouted, and as my mind began clearing, I remembered the promise that I made him; that I would fight this. I would confront my fears and go home. I started to swim up, the light from the pendant guiding me back to my body, but the figures of the men present in my life surrounded me. They couldn’t touch me, but they could distract me.
“Trix, you’re just a little fish, caught in a much larger net…” the voice of Poseidon teased, and once again, I stopped dead. The light from the sea glass began to flutter, and I knew I didn’t have a lot of time left, but the word net shouted at me, and it ran through my mind, pulling the memory forward.
“Net, net, NET!” I finally pinpointed the memory, and my mind faded to black as I raced back to ancient Rome, before Trinity Inc took over.