This was my entry to last Friday’s microcosmsfic. Hope you enjoy.
Nymph / Underworld / Myth
Special Challenge: Death
Within the depths of the great ocean lay a vessel of stone and wood and metal. As ancient as time. A primordial husk borne of demise. Upon the splintered furrows etched into the wood, emblazoned in gold aged and weathered, remained a single word that spoke of times past: Nereus.
From the hollows of the great sunken ark, worn trembling fingers wound gleaming gears onto the bosom of coral shaped as one of human descent.
“Ne’er shall ye taste the bitter elixir of death.” The voice rumbled. Creatures of the sea squiggled away from the words. Fearing entrapment. The old fingers slid the final piece into place, a soft caress and an ancient chant of a forgotten tongue sealing the alabaster skin of the slumbering creation.
She gasped to life with a flurry of froth and foam and the quiet tick of clockwork. Spiralling lashes fluttered open to reveal dark orbs reminiscent of Hade’s realm.
“Bring me souls dear one. Forty-nine more. The surface shall know our woe. This domain shall be Sheol to them.”
The young creature of the sea swam from within the dark abyss to the bright cerulean waters above. To the passing ships and echoing shouts of passing sailors. One of which gazed upon the waters to see a creature of immense beauty. Long dark tresses flowing down bare shoulders. Pink pouting lips whispering promises of love and pleasure.
Unperturbed, he dove to the waters and let the creature drag him into the watery depths. Death clawing at his lungs and throat until it seeped into him and faded into darkness.
She brought the sailor to her father Nereus. The ark thrumming with life as yet another coral-created form waited for the sailor’s soul.
“My daughters… no my Nereids. Long shall ye live with me.”
Shout out to Carin Marais who shared the Community Pick win with me. Read her microcosms entry: The Sisters Oath.
I built this story from the mythology of the Nereids:
THE NEREIDES (Nereids) were fifty sea-nymphe daughters of Nereus the old man of the sea. They were goddesses of the sea’s rich bounty and protectors of sailors and fishermen, coming to the aid of those in distress. Individually they represented various facets of the sea from the salty brine, to the sea foam, sand, rocks, waves and currents, as well as the various skills possessed by seamen.
The Nereides dwelt with their elderly father in a silvery grotto at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. The Nereid Thetis was their unofficial leader and Amphitrite was Poseidon’s queen.
The Nereides were depicted in ancient art as beautiful, young maidens, sometimes running with small dolphins or fish in their hands, or else riding on the backs of dolphins, hippokampoi (hippocamps) and other sea creatures.
The name Nereides means “Daughters of Nereus” but also “the Wet Ones” from nêros the Greek word for “wet”.