The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

Tag: Poseidon

Temple Guardian

After escaping to an underwater ancient temple, Nerine jokingly asks the temple’s god to save her from the mechanical mercenaries. Someone responded.

Another explosion. Nerine bolted out of the boulder’s path–narrowly avoiding getting her fin squashed–as parts of the ceiling collapsed in the underwater cave. Before she could return to hiding, her entire body became engulfed in a red beam of light from the eyes of one of those responsible for the destruction. She thought the mercenary looked like a centaur, but with a crab body instead of a horse and the whole creature was mechanical. They pointed at her, triggering a swarm of mechanical crabs the size of octopuses to march after them.

“Go! Go! Go!” Nerine’s best friend shouted.

Nerine followed Océane as the two mermaids swam out the tunnel they came through.

“Keep going straight,” Océane ordered. “I’ll take the path on the right at the fork.”

“Split up? No!”

“It’s for the best.”

“But, you don’t know where that other path goes!”

“I’ll be fine. I’m faster than you. Now go!”


“Just do it for me!”

Océane turned right at the fork while Nerine continued straight down the familiar path. As Nerine got closer to the exit, the tunnel narrowed slightly, but she knew it wouldn’t be tight enough to stop the mercenary. She swam through the neon pink seaweed that concealed the cave’s entrance, emerging beside an ancient temple in Neplor’s Historic Square District.

Due to the holiday, the local shops were closed, making the district deserted. With no alternatives, she swam into the Hall of Poseidon to hide. The building had an extensive open floor plan when the merpeople modernized the temple to become a vendor market space. The temple got built initially when the Atlanteans’ first arrived to the Blue Planet after being exiled from Earth thousands of years ago. After some freak storm soon after the temple’s completion, it sunk to the bottom of the ocean where the merpeople claimed it. Nerine only knew all this because she recently turned in a report about the district for history class. 

With the venue’s open concept, Nerine’s only option to hide was behind the towering white marble statue of Poseidon. In this depiction of the ancient god, he stood tall with human-like form complete with legs and chiseled chest as he warmly looked down at those in the temple. The metal trident spear stood erect in his hand, which Nerine had often seen it used to hang banners and flags whenever Océane and her came to the market.

The moment she got behind the statue’s base, the mercenary made their presences known with the sound of the mental claws dinging against the marble floor. Nerine clenched her fists, resisting the urge to sneak a peek. Océane crossed her mind. She hoped her friend was safe. As a yellow beam of light scanned the area, Nerine looked up at the statue.

“I wish you were real and here to defend your temple,” Nerine prayed.

The sounds of the claws clink, clink, clinking on the marble floor echoed louder and louder in the waves as the mechanical crabs crept closer and closer. Then the tapping came to a halt. The light turned red, followed by sounds of metal ripping and bashing against the walls.

“Is that the best you got?” a voice provoked.

More metal clashed as the intensity ramped up. The mercenary’s light flickered out, and silence followed.

“You’re safe now,” the unfamiliar voice welcomed.

Nerine popped her out. Floating above the pile of metal wreckage was a merman wielding a trident who bore a striking resemblance to the statue of Poseidon, but with a merman body and luxurious, curly sea-green hair. He ripped off the mercenary’s head from his trident and added it to the scrap pile.

“Thank you,” Nerine spoke as she swam out, still on the alert for any danger.

“It was my pleasure,” the merman replied. “It’s been ages since someone called out to me for help.”

That can’t be Poseidon, she thought. He’s just a character.

“My brothers are going to be upset for interfering,” he rambled. “Worth it, though.”

“Why would your bothers be mad at you for helping me?”

“We’re supposed to work in ‘mysterious ways,’” he mocked with air quotes. “But Hades is one to talk with what he’s been doing lately for Cassie. Families, am I right?”

“Yeah, families can be tough,” Nerine remarked. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Don’t drown people with a statue of my head as a tribute,” he joked.

“I can do that,” Nerine responded, confused, not understanding the reference. “Anyway, I don’t mean to be rude, but I really need to go find my friend. Thank you again.”

“Safe travels, Nerine!”

Nerine swam out of the temple, but when she reached the entryway, Nerine paused to look back when she realized she never shared her name. The merman was gone.

I wrote a second story featuring Nerine and Océane for this week’s short story. To me, this could work as the last half a chapter for a book about their adventure. In case you missed it, read Upgrade Cave for the first story I wrote with them. I also made a subtle reference to another one of my previous short stories, Sacrificed, and a nod to one of my books I’m writing.

This story was inspired by the following writing prompt: “On the run from mercenaries, a young girl stumbles into an old Greek temple and in a last ditch effort to save herself, begs for help from whichever god or goddess it belongs to. She didn’t expect them to show up in person.”

Thank you for reading!

Sacrificed - art by Janine De Guzman at Design Pickle


Alexia should’ve been dead as one cannot survive while being chained to a sculpture of the deity the farmers wanted to please.

Alexia should have been dead. It is basic science that a seventeen-year-old girl cannot survive being tossed into the ocean while chained to a “stupid boulder.”

Okay, so it’s not a stupid boulder, Alexia reasoned as she tried to wiggle free from the marble sculpture of Poseidon’s head.

Alexia’s real anger was at the oracle, who said the sacrifice was required to please the gods if the farmers wanted a successful harvest. Alexia had insisted the framers had used too many chemicals and polluted the soil. The city depended on the farms, and she volunteered to assist in their production. She had developed a new farming method where plants could grow vertically, saving space, and did not require soil.

Now Alexia was sinking to the bottom of the ocean for her blasphemy. In hindsight, she could see the signs of their superstitious nature. Alexia wished she paid better attention to her religious studies. The failure of not metaphorically building a bridge of understanding weighted her down, along with the rock. She did know the head she was attached to was the god of the seas, but the farmers worshipped him as a god of agriculture. It made no sense to her. 

The only other question bigger on her mind was how she was breathing underwater. She was mesmerized at first; however, as she sank, her enthrallment was replaced by rage.

“That’s a nice sculpture there.”

Alexia turned to the voice, which put her off-balance as the sound was in her head, but she could associate a location with it. Swimming beside her was a merman twice her size with pristine muscles, almost god-like–if she had believed in the gods. His fluorescent blue tail swished back and forth to keep pace with Alexia’s descent.

“Who are you?” Alexia asked in her head.

“Can’t you tell from your sculpture? You know what, it’s not an accurate depiction of me.”


“That’s one name for me. Yes, let’s use that name.”

“Poseidon, huh?” Alexia responded with a hint of disbelief. “Think you can free me?”

“Under one condition.”

“Name it.”

“You destroy those that did this to you.”

Alexia smiled. “It would be my pleasure.”

With a snap of his wrist, a golden trident burst to life in his hand. He slashed the chains that bound Alexia. The statue drifted downward while Alexia remained stationary.

“Take this,” Poseidon kindly offered as he handed her his weapon.

The moment Alexia took hold of the trident, its glow engulfed her body and shot her upward, into the sky. She landed back on the cliff on the flying island, where the farmers sacrificed her.

Everyone was in the middle of their celebrations when Alexia made her splashy entrance. The music stopped, and all eyes–including the oracle–where on Alexia. Alexia pointed the trident at the party, and from the ocean, a fist of waves slammed into the crowd.

Off in the distance on a hill, Poseidon stood on his legs, watching the seaweeds tangle themselves around the people and drag them to their watery grave. A man with similar stature and physique, but with an impeccable white suit, walked up beside him. 

“I wouldn’t have expected such retribution from you, bother.”

“The Atlanteans’ arrogance grows. Either they are too devoted to their sciences, or they worship us incorrectly, thus causing us to change. Are you not worried, Zeus?”

“I am concerned, but I am also fascinated. The interplanetary travel they’re developing will take us to new worlds.”

“If their belief in us holds.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll remind them.”

This week’s short story was inspired by the following writing prompt: “The local humans are having trouble getting their crops to grow so they decide to sacrifice a young girl to their god, by tying her to a heavy rock and throwing it into the sea. She is found by you, a powerful ocean deity…who is displeased by their cruelty.”

Thank you to Janine De Guzman at Design Pickle for creating such beautiful cover art for the story.

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