I know its a novel or short-story, but I hope that's okay anyway! :)

The maiden of Neptune~ A contribution to Zoya and Alienas Water element challenge

She took a deep breath and inhaled the clear air surrounding her. Once again, the God of water, King Neptune, had saved her life.
She played back the whole experience in her head like a scene from a movie.

She saw herself standing on that cliff, dressed in nothing but a white nightgown. She remembered her utter sorrow, and her will to end her own existance. She thought of everything that had ever gone wrong in her life.

A lonely tear that fell from her eye took the first plunge into the black depths of the crashing sea beneath her.

One, two, three seconds of hesitation, then she threw herself over the cliff with such force that she herself even became impressed with her own strength. What happened next happened so quickly that she hardly had the time to react.

The impact of her body crashing towards the sea surface was incredible.
Her body twisted in pain.

"Now, I am dead" she thought to herself, and everything went dark before her eyes.

Yet, the fall had not killed her, and she floated around on the surface like a piece of seaweed, controlled only by the movement of the waves.

While she floated there, half-paralyzed, visions came to her in the form of dreams.

She dreamt of her childhood, that faithful day when she had nearly drowned while playing by the cliffs with her younger brother.
They had decided to go and play in a small cave by the cliffside and had been completely unaware of the tidalwave coming their way.

She had been seconds away from death when they found her, and her brother had died the instant the wave crashed over them.
Now, she wanted to join her brother.

When she, as a child, had had that near-death experience she had also dreamt. In her dream a giant man-octopi had come to her and spoken to her.

"Tasha, I am King Neptune, God of the seas and King of the underwater kingdom. Have you ever heard of me?"

She had answered truthfully, no, she had never heard of him.

"I ask you now, if I save your life... will you do me a favor when I ask this of you?"

She had nodded. All she could think about was that she wanted to see her family again.

"So be it." the King had replied, then he had vanished in a whirl of bubbles.

Tasha had forgotten about this vision almost directly after she'd had it, but now it all came back to her.

"What do you want me to do?" She pleaded in her mind, "My king, I have come to you, what do you ask of me?"

All of a sudden a whirl of bubbles surrounded her, and in the next instant she was wide awake, sitting in a chair of corals.
Surrounding her was a city of sea-creatures.
Seahorses with small crabs riding on their backs passed by before Tasha. She rubbed her eyes with the palm of her hand. Could this be true, what she was seeing before her?

"I must've gone mad..." she thought to herself.

A swordfish passed by her and stared at her with huge eyes. Infact, all of the little creatures were staring at her, as if SHE was the alien and strange creature, and not them.

"Tasha, Tasha my darling" she heard the voice coming from behind her, and there was no mistaking of where it came from.

"My King" she replied, and fell to her knees.

"No need for formalities, my dryland friend" King Neptune replied and glanced her way, "We're friends from old, remember?"

"King Neptune, I don't want to seem rude.... but could we cut to the chase at once, what is this favor?"

The smile which had been resting on the Kings face slowly withdrew its presance. He reached out one of his tentacle-arms and put it around her shoulders. Then he whispered:

"Tasha, my dear. There is really no favor... all I want is for you to live! Do not give up your life! But, do not forget the sea... I know you still haven't truly forgiven me for taking your brother, but it was his time, and deep down in your heart I know you realise that too. Return to the surface, and do not forget to show me your gratitude from time to time. Only one of you could've lived.... and I chose the strongest one, you!"

Tashas eyes would've filled with tears, if had it not been so that she was in the water, but she thought a few tears made their way into the salty ocean anyway.

"Thank you, my King" she whispered, "I will never forget to honor you! Infact, I will devote my life to you... I will be your maiden on land. It will give me a purpose."

King Neptune smiled, the way only a man-octopi could, then he slowly vanished before her eyes, and she found herself half-suffocating from the water in her lungs, lying on the beach. She turned over and let all the water out.

She had survived... yet, she knew she would. The King himself had granted her life!

And this is how she became the maiden of Neptune, forever devoting her life to honor the sea and its mighty Kingdom...

Short story by Sabrina
Read 993 times
Written on 2006-11-07 at 19:48

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Kathy Lockhart
great story Sabrina. You had me in the depths of its tale. Interesting, clever, and unique contribution.