Sara in Atlantis

Entering another world of magical mysticism, it was just like Alice going down the rabbit hole.

Sara fell head-first into land of Atlantis that was under the cruel reign of Poseidon. She was a girl on a mission, a simple mission in a world she knew nothing about and didn't know who she could trust. Stumbling through the world of water-fairies, mermaids and pirate ghosts, she discovers magic isn't all she thought it'd be...


[First Draft, Completed]


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10. A Smashing Ball, Literally

Chapter Ten

At the palace, they handed their invitations to a pair of grim-looking great white sharks before they were allowed admittance. Sara couldn't help but stare helplessly as she tried to keep her tail from seeming too limp or from knocking intricate and delicate trinkets down in the long pristine-clean marble and obsidian hallway.

The ballroom was as grand as she could have ever hoped to find it. The ceiling was the highest ceiling she had ever seen, actually she couldn't see it. Fairies fluttered in large crowds above their heads lighting the magnificent room to show a glistening quartz floor, the band that Sara recognized from her fall to Pulchram and many fresh-faced bejewelled guests dancing, laughing and singing, surprisingly.

Sara went to stand by the large statue at the centre of the ballroom then realized it looked odd, a mermaid standing. She swam around the statue awkwardly, pretending to enjoy the shrimp and prawn delicacies the fishy waiters were serving on silver platters. Suddenly, Queen Amphitrite appeared by her side.

"How are you, Sara dear? I'd like you to go down to the dungeons and free the prisoners to come assist in the battle. Tell some of the fairies to help you, none that are wearing blue and black though! Also could you please check if Cora has gathered the mermaiden army?" the red-haired Queen smiled with a glint in her eyes. She certainly looked the strong-minded intelligent queen the seas would need.

Sara nodded and swam out of the ballroom discretely, wondering where she'd find the dungeon entrance. She followed the hallway and noticed it was sloping downwards. While she bobbed out (bobbing was slightly less tiring than swimming, plus she could see better when her head was upright) she checked the fairies that lit the hallway. Most did indeed seem to be wearing blue and black. Sara guessed that meant they belonged to, or worked for Poseidon. Luckily, because of the ball, he needed all the fairies he could get so Sara found a few dressed in greens, ambers, lavenders, and pinks.

"Sara!" Prail yelped with excitement fluttering around wildly.

Sara grinned, she was pleased at least one of the fairies was familiar. "Hi there Prail!"

"I guess you're here on a mission," Prail suddenly looked serious.

"Yes, we need to free the prisoners, tell your friends to come and help. Make sure they don't work for Poseidon."

"This should be easy, I've met the guards. They're so witless! You can easily pass the test."

"Test? What test?" Sara furrowed her brow.

"Oh, you'll see. I hope you're good with riddles..."

Sara blanched. She was smart, yes, but riddles had never really worked for her. Is this going to be like Bilbo and Gollum's riddle match? Huh, why am I thinking about that at a time like this? Wait, didn't Gollum plan on killing Bilbo anyways? Sara swallowed as signs of distress took over her smiling face.

Prail had finished gathering her trustworthy friends and now a team of two dozen fairies and one mermaid-imposter were racing down to the dungeons.

"You guys wait out here," Sara ordered the fairies, "If you hear struggle or anything then go find Quixotic Crab." She wondered if the Quixotic Crab would even want to help her anymore. Taking a deep breath, she walked through the dungeon doors alone.

"Who enters?" a mighty voice bellowed.

"Who are you?" Sara shot back, defiantly.

"My name is Anahita, guardian of the oceans. What is your mission?" the voice said.

"I am here to release the prisoners. Poseidon is being dethroned. Surrender your position!" Sara said, hoping her voice didn't betray her internal terror.

The voice laughed a dark laugh before a beautiful mermaid warrior came out of the shadows. She looked undefeatable. Sara noticed that right away. At a towering two metres in height, the mermaid with her blue skin, stern features, and silver trident could easily have her enemies running for the horizon squealing in fear.

"If you wish to pass me you must defeat me in either a test of wits, or a test of strength, and then a test of courage to show your worth. Now I know you came in here alone, which shows your chivalry. But, that could be a sign of foolishness. I also know you aren't a mermaid, so feel free to dispose of the tail. What say you?"

"I have a request. If I win, you join our side."

"Who says I'm not already on your side, little one? Then I must have my terms too. If you lose, you stay bound to the sea forever," the warrior grinned maliciously, "As my apprentice, then my guard."

Sara felt a shiver run down her spine. "Do I have a choice?" she asked desperately.

"You could let me kill the prisoners and your friends," the warrior shrugged.

Sara blanched, she couldn't let happen. The warrior could surely cause a war all on her own. Sara shuddered to think of the damage that would cause.

"Agreed," Sara said, offering her hand shakily. How do mermaid warriors make deals anyways?

The warrior turned her back to Sara, ignoring the hand and swam to a large rock, where she sat. Sara wondered if it were polite to sit, uninvited on the rock opposite then decided that manners didn't matter in a life or death situation involving sea-creatures.

"I choose the test of wits," Sara said, as she sat on the rock after removing her tight tail. She wiggled her now free legs to restore the blood flow.

"I shall ask you a riddle; if you answer correctly then you ask me one. If I answer correctly then I ask for a second time, and then you again and then I for a final time. If you get even one wrong, you lose. You get three guesses on each one."

"What if you get one wrong?" Sara questioned.

"Then you win," the warrior replied in a cool tone.

"What shines with life,

Is neither dead nor alive,

Sustains and reflects life,

Is kissed by life,

Produces death,

Sustains death,

Provides few a breath,

Embraces with arms,

In an abyss of cold,

Where only the blind and clammy reside,

Hidden from the human eye," the warrior rattled off at a pace that left Sara blinking.

"Can you repeat it slowly?" Sara asked in a bewildered tone. She couldn't afford to panic at a time like this.

The warrior gazed sharply at the young girl before begrudgingly complying.

The little girl pondered long and hard, her great memory had already captured every word. She re-chanted it internally. She started analysing the last line. Something hidden from the human eye, could it be invisible? Really small? Or just far away?

An abyss of cold?

So somewhere cold and dark? Outer space popped into her mind, but wasn't outer space really hot at the same time from the stray rays? Somewhere underground maybe? The underworld had somehow been a second instinctive guess. That couldn't be it: 'shines with life'. Maybe literally underground? But how would there be a reflection of life under the soil? And kissed by life? Surely that line referenced the sun bathing something that could reflect and sustain life. Neither dead nor alive... Sara gasped, she had found the answer.

"The ocean!" she spluttered.

The warrior looked disappointed. "Correct."

Sara let out a breath she hadn't known she had been holding.

She wondered if she could find a riddle that would stump the warrior so she wouldn't have to keep guessing. She racked her brain for one to do with life above the sea, something a sea-guardian wouldn't know.

"I can move fast, but I have no limbs. I am the invisible wanderer between the travelable worlds. My scream can be heard, my glacial fingered touch felt and my bite will eat your fingers. What am I?" Sara quickly improvised, not noticing how obvious it was.

The warrior didn't seem to let anything past her stoic poker face. Sara didn't know if she had really confused her or not. She held her breath.

"What has a fingered touch but no limbs? You lie!" the warrior roared, rising up from her rock looking formidable.

"I swear I did not lie! Think hard," Sara tried not to cower, hoping desperately that the warrior would acknowledge her victory.

"Ah, wait. I remember something from a time when I visited the lands above. What was it that they called it? I believe it was 'wind'?" the warrior settled back on her rock, looking completely satisfied.

"Yes," Sara said, suddenly feeling full of dread. Could she somehow win this? She was starting to doubt herself.

 

 


A/N: More riddles in the next chapter. I had a hard time writing that first one, whereas for the second I stole an idea already taken and added to it. Can you guys come up with your own original riddles? Let's have some fun, post them in the comments.

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