POSEIDON SWAM THROUGH THE DEPTHS OF AZURE-BLUE WATERS, HIS trident crackling with power. Fish scattered and manta rays parted before him, as if sensing his ancient fury roiling beneath the surface. He reached out, grasping a manta ray in one hand, feeling its leathery skin bumping against his fingers.
The sea creatures were an unwelcome comfort; man, and god alike, had forgotten him. Now he felt only bitterness and isolation in this lonesome kingdom of shadows beneath the waves. “What is my purpose?” he snarled, lightning bolts sparking from his trident as he spoke. The fish fled, leaving only silence in their wake.
With a flick of his trident, Poseidon propelled himself upward, breaching the surface. A bath of foam exploded. The sun blinded him for a moment, its reflection rippling atop the waves. Poseidon blinked, then turned his gaze to the horizon.
He plunged through the depths of the sea, feeling a thrill at the icy embrace that welcomed him. Schools of fish fled in terror before him as he pierced through the water with his trident, sending clouds of sand into the air. Anemones swayed and tentacles unfurled to reach their microscopic prey. Poseidon shivered in delight at the sight.
A pair of dolphins materialized beside him, chirping, and beckoning him to play. He let out a low chuckle as he followed their graceful movements, spinning and twirling amid the crystalline waters. They lifted a burden from his shoulders, and he enjoyed his domain.
He noticed a whale breaching in the distance, its humped back shining against the filtered sunlight. With every passing stroke, Poseidon drew closer until he reached out and ran his fingertips along its barnacled skin.
The whale seemed to accept him without judgment or demands. Here, Poseidon felt accepted, and he swam onward with a newfound purpose.
Yet though he held dominion over the wide expanse of the sea, Poseidon could not escape the suffocating sense of betrayal that lingered within him. Zeus had cast him aside, relegating him to the depths, and had kept Olympus to himself. Poseidon was indignant, as Zeus did not consider the sea as an equal, despite its being the cradle of life.
Poseidon sunk into his ornate throne, crafted from coral and adorned with pearls. This was his kingdom, yet it felt like a prison of solitude. Poseidon glanced up through the arched windows at the sunlight rippling far above—the surface world where his divine siblings now reigned supreme.
In the past, Poseidon commanded reverence and awe. Things had changed, and he’d felt purposeless again. A deep sorrow filled his heart as Poseidon wrestled with despair.
What was his destiny, according to the Fates? What was his new role? The answers eluded him, as murky and unfathomable as the ocean depths.
Poseidon clenched his trident, its golden prongs glinting. Though his power had waned, he was still a force to be reckoned with. He needed to remind others of his power and shake Olympus’s foundations.
But how? And to what end? The questions churned within Poseidon like a maelstrom. For now, they remained unanswered.
Poseidon rose from his throne and swam through the open arched windows, leaving his palace behind. He moved through the blue-green waters, the sea creatures scattering before their lord.
As he swam, memories of the distant past surfaced in Poseidon’s mind. He recalled walking the earth in his full glory during the Golden Age of the Titans before Zeus cast him down. Back then, the mortals had worshipped the gods, built grand temples and making rich offerings. How vividly Poseidon remembered processions of robed priests leading bulls garlanded with flowers to be sacrificed in his name. The smoke rising heavenward, carrying his praises.
Those days were long gone. Human perception had turned gods into myths and legends, and relegated Poseidon to the silent depths, his only companions the fish that darted around him.
After ages, Poseidon desired the sun and wind. To experience the crash of waves on the shore. A brief visit to the surface world was possible. To recall the feeling of being revered, take a walk on land.
He tilted his head back, gazing up at the rippling light far above. Yes, he would ascend and reacquaint himself with the earthly realm again. He must be careful, as Zeus wouldn’t approve of him being on land. It must be a brief visit.
With powerful strokes, Poseidon swam upward, ready to breach the surface. He broke through, feeling the sun’s rays on his skin for the first time in decades. The warmth invigorated him, filling him with a vitality he had not known since the days of sacrifices and prayers.
He scanned the horizon, looking for signs of life on the nearby island. In the distance, he could make out the shapes of buildings along the coastline. A harbor bustling with ships and people.
As he swam closer, flashes of memory surfaced in Poseidon’s mind. Laughing maidens dancing along the shore, offering wreaths of flowers. Bronze braziers burning, sending the smell of roasted meat and incense into the air. He could almost hear the cries of adoration from throngs of worshippers.
But as he drew near the island’s edge, Poseidon saw no wreaths or braziers. No throngs lined up to praise him. The ships in the harbor flew flags and banners he did not recognize. He heard sailors shouting in an unfamiliar language.
Poseidon’s heart sank. This was no longer his domain. The changing world had left him behind. All that remained of his glorious past were myths and legends.
He watched the sailors go about their work, loading cargo and mending nets. So focused on their mundane tasks. Oblivious to the god staring at them from just offshore.
With a flick of his mighty trident, Poseidon turned away. He no longer belonged in the surface world. Sea creatures would give him purpose in the silent depths. They, at least, still treated him with reverence.
As the sunlight faded behind him, Poseidon descended into the cool darkness of his underwater kingdom. Acceptance had replaced the longing in his heart. This was where he belonged now.
Poseidon swam deeper into the ocean, leaving the island and its unfamiliar inhabitants behind. The rays of sunlight faded as he entered the midnight zone.
Strange bioluminescent creatures glimmered in the surrounding darkness. Poseidon reached out a hand and caressed a passing lantern fish. Its light brightened at his divine touch.
Though the ocean’s residents still revered him, Poseidon felt disconnected from this realm. He had been in control of marine life for ages, but a subtle change was occurring.
The sea creatures behaved more erratically in his presence. Their communication became garbled and confused, as if his very divinity disturbed them. Poseidon pondered what the change meant.
In the distance, a shadow moved. Poseidon swam toward it, his godly senses detecting a massive creature ahead. As it came into view, he saw it was a giant squid, larger than any he’d encountered before.
The squid’s tentacles lashed out, its eyes wild and frenzied. Poseidon raised his trident, ready to subdue the maddened beast. But he hesitated, sensing this was no ordinary animal. A sinister intelligence lurked within it.
The squid fixed its savage gaze upon Poseidon. In its abyssal voice, it spoke a single word: “Hecate.”
Poseidon recoiled in dismay. The cult! They had reached even these lightless depths. A profound unease filled him, along with a renewed sense of purpose.
The challenges ahead would be great. But Poseidon resolved that no matter what darkness lay in wait, he would regain his rightful place in this changing world. For now, he still had dominion here.
With a roar, Poseidon surged forward, his trident gleaming.
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