“Where are you taking me?”
“Just trust me…please.”
I shake my hand away from Blue. He’s been leading me out of the palace and into the city. I’m pissed. Blue just let me know that he was the one who killed Yara. He just let me know that he was the one who did all these horrible things for my grandmother.
“That’s the point. I don’t trust you. I feel like everything you’ve ever told me is a lie,” I respond to Blue.
“Not that I loved you,” he explains, “I’m not innocent. I’ll admit to my faults and deceptions. Everything but that…”
I shake my head. I don’t know if I want to see Blue again. I don’t know if I ever want to talk to him again in my life. Right now I’m beyond mad. My blood is boiling. The anger that I have in me just keeps building up higher and higher thinking about how miserable he made me on the dry land. Now he was back telling me that it was all in order to make sure I fulfilled some ancient prophecy.
“You’re so full so shit,” I respond.
I start walking the other way. Blue grabs me. He pushes me up against the nearest wall and keeps me there, pinned down. I’m a god. I could remove him if I wanted to but for some reason I let him pin me down. I let him pretend like he has the upper hand right now because deep inside I don’t want to believe Blue is this horrible person.
“And you aren’t?” He asks me.
My eyes squint at him. Was he really trying to turn this back on me?
“We both fell under her trap. She’s been leading me on for years. She lied to me. She made me think that it was my destiny to lead you on. Just how she is making you think your destiny is to flood the world. I didn’t physically kill Yara. I just…arranged it.”
“You think that makes it any better?” I ask him.
“I’m not making excuses. I’m just trying to get you to stop looking at me in the way you are looking at me.”
“What way am I looking at you?”
Blue shakes his head, “Like you’re disgusted by me…”
For some reason when he says this I can relate to him. There were so many times that Blue gave me the same look that I must be giving him now back on the dry land. He looked at me like he was disgusted with me. Maybe part of it was real. Maybe it was all fake. Maybe he faked it until he really started to really hate me back on the dry land. Either way the pain was real. Having someone you really care about look at you like you are some sort of enemy hurts.
“That’s not the case,” I explain to him, “I’m not disgusted by you Blue. I know no one is perfect. I just assumed this was going to be some sort of fairytale.”
He nodded, “It turned out more to be a nightmare.”
We stand there for a moment in silence. I don’t know what made Blue change his mind as far as helping Amphitrite. I’m scared of asking because I’m scared of the answer. Did Amphitrite cross the line somehow with him? Maybe it was the fact that his brother was in jail. Maybe I had something to do with the reason Blue had a change of heart.
Right now though I can look in his eyes and see that he isn’t for Atlantis anymore. Whatever goal that my grandmother has now is not the same goal as he has.
I wonder what my goal is.
“What did you want to show me?” I finally agree.
He offers me his hand, “Follow me.”
We get to public baths. Torches are lit. It’s really late and most of Atlantis should be asleep by now. There were no festivities so it was rare that people would be out here. When I get to the public baths though I see all the mermaids sitting around. They aren’t regular people from Atlantis. They are the children of Atlantis. They were all the orphans that swam down with me. They were the orphans that my mother used to hide my identity from the sisters.
It feels like we’ve come so far when I go among them. Most of them are in the waters. Most of them have tails. I don’t join them though. I stand up on the banks of the pool, cross my arms and just seem a little surprised.
“What is the point of this?”
“I called all the others to meet in secret,” Blue tells me.
“You know damn well your grandmother replaced me with Sebastian. The very moment I stopped doing what she said she found someone who was willing to do whatever it took. Sebastian is your grandmother’s pet and you know that. Deep inside you know that.”
I shrug, “He’s a sexy pet.”
“This isn’t a joke Krill.”
I roll my eyes, “Actually it is. You keep saying my grandmother is using me. Well she used you. You turned out fine. Maybe I should let her use me for a while. Because of her I am a god. What more could I possibly ask for?”
“We’ve been meeting here for weeks,” Reign tells me, “She isn’t who you think she is. We’ve been onto your grandmother for a while now…”
Reign comes out of no where. He gives me a weak smile. I can tell that he doesn’t look at me the same after I basically forced myself on him. Maybe that was my fault. I’m not sure how Reign looks at me but right now, in this moment, things seem to be very orchestrated and planned. They wanted me to come here.
I look at the faces. The concerned faces. For a moment I was having a Julius Caesar moment.
“I’m a god…” I state.
I state it out of no where. Some people seem confused by it, but not Blue. He walks over to me and holds my hand in a comforting way.
“We aren’t here to hurt you,” he assures me.
“Atlantis isn’t what we thought,” Reign adds in, “We thought we were returning home but this place…it isn’t home. There is an evil here and your grandmother leads it. We want to go home.”
“Back to the dry land?” I ask.
Blue and Reign nod.
I almost start laughing at that point.
“You people have to be kidding.”
“We’re dead serious,” Blue responds.
“You are merfolk. You don’t just go back to the fucking dry land,” I respond shaking my head, “Have you all lost your minds?”
I look around. There is no laughter. They aren’t amused at all. I don’t know what they’ve all experienced in Atlantis but they must not have shared my experience. The look on their faces show looks of despair and even depression. They are completely not having it right now.
“Atlantis is a cursed city,” Blue tells me, “The things our parents have done. The thinks our ancestors have done. They are horrible. Look at what I’ve done. Look at what you’ve done…”
I laugh rolling my eyes, “I haven’t done anything.”
“Holding orgies?” Reign asks, “What you did to Marina…”
“You did that to Marina. I have no loyalty to you. You wanted it.”
Reign shakes his head at Blue, “He isn’t getting it.”
Reign is talking past me. It’s almost as though he is acting like I’m not standing right there. It’s almost as though he is pretending like I don’t exist. It reminds me of how I felt like on the dry land. I remember all those times Reign seemed to want to talk to me but he didn’t because of some fear of hurting Marina or Blue’s feelings.
“I’m standing right here. No reason for you to talk to Blue. So matter of fact how about this? How about I just fucking leave at this point?”
I start walking away.
I start walking away. I get to the front. These people are ridiculous. They wanted us to return to the dry land? Were they fucking crazy?
Why would I ever give up the life that I had now for the dry land?
Blue follows me down the street calling my name in an attempt to stop me.
“We are going back to the dry land,” Blue explains to me, “Atlantis is changing us. All of us. Reign didn’t mean to point the finger at you. You know he would never do that to you. He’s just been hurt a lot about what is going on. You are a victim of this cursed city. I’m a victim of it. Reign is a victim of it. He sat there and had sex in front of a girl who he’d loved for years. He told me about that. I couldn’t blame him for what he did just like I can’t blame you. It’s this fucking city.”
“This city is perfect.”
“You can’t honestly believe that.”
“If you hate it so much then leave.”
“And what will you do? Stay and drown the world? Even if I am on the surface? Will you drown me Krill?”
“You’ll be fine. Mermaids can’t drown,” I tell him, “Ask Wade about that.”
Blue gives me a hard look. I can tell that he’s annoyed with this conversation. I don’t get why he isn’t giving up on me. I don’t get why he just doesn’t let the conversation go. This clearly isn’t going anywhere.
“That’s not the point. The point is there are good people up there. Come back up to the surface with us. Swim back with us. Stay with me.”
I look long and hard at Blue.
“Your life was amazing on the surface. Not mine. I’ll never go back.”
“It can be better. I promise. There is a reason Atlantis was sent to the bottom of the ocean. This place is evil and it makes it’s people evil.”
“No. The surface is where all my pain was. It was where you hated me. I’m not going to go back there. I’m not going to go back to all the pain. I’m not going to go back to feeling like there is some place that I don’t belong. I remember all the days I woke up thinking that there had to be something else out there. I was lost. I was confused. I didn’t know who I was. You know what Blue? I know who I am now. I am the God of the Ocean. And I am going to flood that pain away…forever.”
Blue looks devastated. He must be thinking there was no way to get through to me. He was right. He wanted me to hate the dry land. That’s why he made my life a living hell. It worked.
I hated the dry land.
And I was going to bring Atlantis to the surface and wipe everything else away.
“Today’s your big day,” Sebastian says.
Sebastian and my mother are at my side. It’s weird that Sebastian is the person I’m going to end up with in the end. A part of me thought it was Reign for a while. A part of me thought it was Blue. They didn’t want anything to do with me though. They wanted to return to the surface and live that beautiful life they had before.
I’m sitting on the shell throne. Today was the day that I would flood the world for good. Today was the day that I would end things.
“I’m proud of you,” my grandmother tells me.
She walks up to me and puts a hand on my face. She strokes my cheek like she has done a million times now.
“Am I doing the right thing?” I ask my grandmother.
In my mind I’m torn. My loyalty was to the people of Atlantis. I shouldn’t feel bad about the humans. They weren’t my responsibility. They were cruel and made my life a living hell. Still. I just feel like Blue would be really upset if I went with my grandmother’s plan. I don’t know why right now I am thinking about Blue over everything.
“You’re doing what you have to do. You’re doing what you were born to do,” my grandmother explains to me.
Raise Atlantis out of the ocean.
That was the prophecy.
That was my destiny.
“OK,” I nod finally. I grab my trident. I grab my conch.
Just at that moment sprites alert us. They fly into the room distracting me with how frantic they are. I can hear their little voices alerting us to something.
“We found several people attempting to escape Atlantis,” they tell us.
My grandmother looks at me. There is a look of concern on her face but a part of me knows exactly who it is. I’m just a little surprised that the sprites are saying people were trying to “escape” Atlantis. They are acting as if Atlantis is some sort of prison where no one was able to leave or something. I had no idea that was the case.
The guards bring in the children of Atlantis. They are in chains. Among them are Blue, Reign and Marina. I’m shocked when I see them in chains like that. It’s not what I expected honestly.
“What do we have here?” my grandmother asks.
“We’re leaving,” Blue responds.
His voice is deep. It’s challenging. He’s not scared of my grandmother even though I think he should be. He’s fully aware of what is going on and he seems pissed about it. I look him up and down wondering if there is anything I can do to stop anymore further drama.
“Leaving where?” my grandmother asks, “Haven’t you heard? Soon there will be no place to leave to. Atlantis is going to be the center of the world.”
“I won’t be a part of this. We all know what it was like to live on the dry land. We won’t be a part of this genocide,” Blue argues.
He is speaking for the rest of the orphans. The idea of Blue speaking out like this kind of throws me.
“Put them in jail,” my grandmother instructs.
“Krill…please,” Blue says.
He looks me dead in my eyes. He’s an idiot for trying to leave Atlantis. We were giving him everything he would want and he’s just leaving for the humans. I didn’t get it. I didn’t even understand it.
I remain quiet. I don’t say anything.
“I’m sorry!” Marina screams out of no where.
I stop and look over at Marina. Our eyes connect. The fact that she is apologizing right now is kind of blowing my mind.
“What did you just say?” I ask Marina.
Marina looks over at me. The guards stop her long enough for her to speak. She has this look in her eyes. A girl who has been broken somehow by the world. I wonder if Atlantis is just as horrible to her as the dry land was for me. I can remember how she used to treat me. She probably regrets above all else coming to Atlantis. If she was back on the dry land she’d still have Reign. She’d still be bullying me. But right now this tone that is coming from her isn’t the Marina that I knew.
She was different.
“I said that I was sorry,” Marina explains.
“For what?” I ask.
It’s a simple thing to say. She doesn’t get specific. She doesn’t show a huge amount of emotion. She isn’t crying or anything like that. She just seemed to be heavy hearted. For a moment I think about it all. I’d taken everything from her. I’d gotten my revenge. There was nothing left to her. There was nothing left to any of them.
“Too late,” my grandmother speaks for me before waving them off, “Lock them up. All of them. For treason.”
“No,” I stop her.
My grandmother seems confused at that moment. I don’t care if she is. It’s not really up to her. I’m the King of Atlantis. I walk down the steps and make my way to Blue. I release him from his chains. My grandmother seems confused when I take off the chains. She isn’t the only ones. The guards look back at my grandmother as though wanting her to make a command to stop me. They don’t dare say it out loud though.
“What are you doing?” my grandmother questions me.
“Letting them go,” I respond.
“We can’t just let them go…”
“Like you said. There is nothing for them to go back to,” I state, “Let them go. All of them. Even Wade. If the world is going to drown then it might as well let them be where they want to be when it happens.”
It’s clear Blue didn’t want to be with me. He chose his side. He chose the humans. My grandmother leans into me. I can tell by the look in her eyes that this isn’t a decision she agreed with.
“They’ll try to stop us if you let them go.”
“How?” I ask, “I’m a god. Remember? How could they stop me?”
My grandmother thinks for a moment. She takes a deep breath and looks back over to her guards. She nods. The nods means that she agrees with what I’m saying. Soon all the children of Atlantis are being taken out of their chains.
They are free to go.
Blue looks back over at me before he leaves. He stop right when he is walking out and says something strange, “I’m sorry it’s going to have to end this way. This was supposed to be a fairytale. This was supposed to be happily ever after…”
“That doesn’t exist in the real world,” I explain to him.
With that Blue walks out of the fairytale. When the children of Atlantis are released to return to the surface I am preparing to drown the world.
With my magic I start the process. I make the waves choppy. The ocean roars. Tidal waves begin to form. I can feel the ocean all around me stir.
By the end of the night I would drown the dryness away.
I would make the whole world drip wet…