The merman August patted his leather pouch as he strolled to meet Arka and the Atlantean kings for the dolphin/unicorn race. The ten kings, their repast complete, relaxed around the outdoor table. From behind the long row of pink and white azaleas in the colorful garden, he could hear lively chatter.
Azaes, king of the Azores, hazel eyes laughing, sat across the cedar table from his brother Mestor of the Black Sea. Teasing him, he said. “I remember our last race. Your merman could not stay on his unicorn.”
Mestor’s face began to flush like the pink azalea behind him. “Yes, well, whoever saddled the ride did not tighten the synch properly.”
He protested. “Marca kept sliding off. Besides, I cannot remember when the unicorns ever won.”
Arka saw the blue-green August approach and waved to him. “August, please join us. We were about to begin our drawing of which king with champion, either a dolphin or unicorn, in our next race.”
The high-priest, Amun said. “Once again, we have come together to add fun and games to our gathering. As you know, we have invited August and our merman friends to add their multilingual talent to aid us with our next race. Because they are multilingual and can communicate with dolphins, unicorns, and you to make sure you and you mount understand one another. August will be the overall coordinator for both teams.”
Amun. “No one from either team may assist or interfere with the other team to win. Our aim is to enjoy a bit of competition with good sportsmanship. The prize will be a plaque with your team member’s names.”
August opened his leather pouch. With his right webbed hand laid the five dolphins, five unicorn wooden tokens on the table. “Gentlemen, as you can see, here are the ten tokens.” He turned his leather pouch inside out to show it was empty. Then he dropped the tokens back into his leather pouch and shook the contents briskly.
“Now I will walk around the table. From the leather pouch, each of you takes one token. Do not look at your token until everyone has taken one.”
Meanwhile, Amun whispers to Arka. “Where is Raka? He’s the captain of the dolphins.”
Arka shrugs. “My brother does not take races seriously. They bore him. Most of the time, dolphins win.”
August playfully instructs. “Okay, open your palm and discover which lovely creature, dolphin or unicorn you will ride for our prestigious event.”
Mestor’s face lights up. “I am champion of a dolphin this time.”
Atlas shook his head.
“I have a unicorn again. They are so gentle. That is why they rarely win the race.”
The kings share their token with one another. Two teams of five begin to form with a gentle rivalry.
August instructs the group. “A meeting of Arka’s unicorn team will meet at the Alcyone Stables tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. Each of the unicorns will have a merwoman who will ride for you. Those of you on Raka’s team will have a merman ride a dolphin. You will meet your merman and dolphin tomorrow at 10:00 am at Eastwards Watch lighthouse.”
August turns to Amun. “I look forward to a fun event. Each group will train one hour a day for a week. The people of Atlantis are eager to see the race next Saturday. Now I will leave you and let you get back to your scheduled events.”
Amun smiles. “Before we reconvene this afternoon for more of our serious business, let us adjourn to our villas and rest. Remember today is Friday our communion practice is breath awareness. The in breath and out breath of the universe as you breathe in and out rhythmically. We should support breath awareness throughout the day. Maintain your communion with the Angel of Air.”
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