So, I'm entering the Tenth Daughter of Memory again, this time fully intending to vote! I have to give a shout-out to my daughter who gave me part of the idea and the first lines for this. For more 10th Daughter Stories, click here.
“A hurricane?! That’s the best you could come up with?”
“My brother would swallow the hurricane and burp it back up just to laugh at my incompetence…Do you smell salt?”
Turning around, Neptune spied his wife, Salacia, shimmering in the doorway. Her flashing blue/grey eyes told him that she had heard some, if not all, of his conversation. The eels wrapping her body next to the seaweed and shells woven into her hair made her anger all that more beautiful. Knowing that she wouldn’t say anything in front of his assistant, Fons, Neptune just gave her a sheepish, ‘caught me’ look.
Turning to glide away, she paused, “Oh, your son, Triton will be joining us for…”
“Hellooooo! Anyone home?” The voice interrupted Salacia and soon Triton, newly shaven and in a spectacular coral necklace, swooshed in with his ever-present dolphin.
“I just love what you’ve done with the place,” Triton exclaimed, water kissing Salacia before turning to his father. Glancing from Neptune to Salacia, Triton guessed immediately.
“Ooooo, Mommy and Daddy are fighting again!” Triton turned to his dolphin, “Be a dear and go help Sally in the kitchen.”
The dolphin and Salacia slithered away as Triton turned to Neptune.
“What is it this time?”
“He took Vesta! Knowing full-well she was mine.” Neptune could barely get the words out. “He knew I had been planning for weeks to seduce her and take her for myself so he had to have her first.”
“Well, perhaps you need to be a little more discreet in your bragging. Uncle J wouldn’t have known you wanted her if you hadn’t been shooting your mouth off about your impending conquest.” Triton admonished as he tidied up his father’s wardrobe. “And, please, blue coral is so last year, daddy, we need to update your wardrobe.”
Neptune loved his son but never really understood his…well, his mermanishness. And yet, Neptune always felt he could be himself around Triton and he valued that more than anything.
“Jupiter always thinks he can take anything he wants: I’m god of the earth, mom always liked me best, here take the oceans.” Neptune whined. “This time, I’m going to get him though. And, not with a hurricane.”
Fons just shrugged. He thought it was a good idea.
“Okay, now I know why mummy has been redecorating.” Triton laughed to himself before turning to his Neptune . “To humiliate the big guy, you’ll need to do it on a grand scale, a spectacle for everyone to see. Something that will make him wish to be mortal so he could die.”
Neptune laughed at how much his son resembled his brother Jupiter. Neptune sat down at a table to plot. He put his head down just as Salacia appeared and slammed down a cup of hemlock in front of him.
Looking up, Neptune stared straight into the eyes of Socrates, his teacher.
“Sleeping again Aristophanes?” Socrates smirked as Aristophanes shook off his dream. Socrates brought his ever-present stick up over his head as if to strike again but thought better of it.
Aristophanes groaned inwardly. “I, uh…” Aristophanes didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what to do. He definitely didn’t want to be there, under the flashing eyes of his teacher, the greatest mind in Greece.
“Perhaps Plato would care to answer?” Socrates turned abruptly toward his star pupil with a wide smile.
Aristophanes rubbed his eyes and nursed his sore ego, muttering: “Yes, let the star pupil answer, he’ll know it, he knows everything. No wonder Socrates likes him so much, he probably goes home and writes down everything he’s heard here.” Aristophanes was sick of everything, this school, not knowing the answers, this new-fangled method of teaching. Who asks questions in order to teach? “I’ll show them. Socrates thinks he’s so smart. I’ll show him. I’ll do something so spectacular…but what?”
It would be difficult to bring down such a man as Socrates, for while Aristophanes didn’t think he was the wisest man in Athens, he knew he wasn’t the dumbest. “If I could just make people see how annoying he really is.”
Aristophanes eyes flashed as a seed of an idea popped into his head. The beginnings of story, maybe best told on stage in front of all of Athens…yes that’s it. Total humiliation…Socrates will be begging for hemlock.
Aristophanes stared straight ahead, his mind tumbling with ideas, his eyes fixated on the story in front of him. Socrates continued questioning his students, ignoring Aristophanes, and never realizing that this was the beginning of the end.