I didn’t want a big send off when I took my daughter up to the surface. A fortnight after making my case in front of the High Court, it was time. I woke my daughter up in the dead of night and led her to the underground caverns. None of my subjects knew of what resided down there, except for Aria, my father, and I.
“Why’d we gotta leave so early?” Aalia moaned as we traversed down the long, narrow hallways, which only seemed to become danker and darker with each step we took.
“I know, darling. But I promise it’s worth it.” I squeezed her narrow shoulders and grinned. “Besides, I thought you wanted to see the human world, hm? Or shall we just turn back?”
Her golden eyes flew open and settled on me. “No, no, I was just kidding-see, I’m awake!”
I pressed a finger to my lips as we neared it. The door to Walean’s magic chambers. He was as old as the seafoam that rose and fell against the rockiest shores. The door was made of the smoothest sea glass that showed my reflection in all sorts of jagged ways.
It opened by itself, with a gentle woosh. In the entryway stood Walean, his form shriveled and gnarled, covered with a hooded robe made with the thinnest threads of sea kelp.
“Walean,” I whispered. “My dear friend. We have come for our departure.”
He reached up a fragile hand and stroked the end of his wispy beard. “Come, Son of Poseidon. And granddaughter.” He said in a weak voice, yet it was drenched in authority.
I ushered my daughter inside, and the door slammed shut.
“It took you long enough, sire.” Came a snippy voice from beside me. I looked over and saw Aria, as well kept as ever, sidled up beside me, a smirk sat on his lips.
“Aria? You’re accompanying us!” Aalia squealed and ran up to hug my advisor. It was clear that he wasn’t prepared for impact. “Yes, yes.” He hissed, his tail fluttering about. “Your grandfather didn’t think your father would be able to handle life on the surface.”
I felt my brows furrow. I tightened my lips into the grimmest line I could and crossed my arms over my chest. Walean grabbed at my forearm and led me to the deep, porcelain bath that sat in the middle of his chambers. White steam rose up from it in whispering curls.
“Step inside.” He said, letting his hood fall. I was surprised to see that he still had quite a lot of hair that tumbled about his shoulders in white waves. I did as told, one foot after the other. It was warm and comforting-
Until I got my head shoved underneath. I struggled for air in a panic until I felt sand under my feet. I blinked open my eyes and was standing on a cliff overlooking the churning waters of Pelican Island. I watched as it crashed into the jagged rocks that seemed to shoot up from the earth.
I turned around and was met with the open door of my temporary home. It was a strange house. Angular and modern in style, with glass doors and tinted windows.
It was nice to be back.
I heard a cacophony of groans from behind me, and found Aalia and Aria collapsed in heaps beside each other, arms and legs fanned out like the limbs of a starfish.
“Come on, darling.” I knelt by Aalia and pushed a lock of her glossy brown hair out of her face. “Let’s walk off those sea legs.”
“Oh, I love it when you call me that,” Aria giggled lucidly as he reached up a hand aimlessly toward the sky. “I want to be in those big strong arms again, you know.”
“That offer doesn’t apply to you.” I hissed.
I watched as his eyes flew open and he sat up bolt right. “I-I didn’t..I mean..”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll see you inside.” I swept up Aalia’s slight frame into my arms and stalked up the front steps.