Luther found it on the rocks beside the lighthouse.
It was the size of an egg, but infinitely more precious. Delicate strands of helical shell intertwined in complex patterns, forming a lattice around a huge pearl. He held it up into the midday sun of a cloudless day. Surely, this was the luckiest find any human ever discovered.
By the time he returned to his station in the lighthouse, dark clouds rushed through the sky. Impossible! thought Luther. No storm could form that quickly. Waves began to crash against the rocks and furious winds rattled the doors and windows. As he looked outside at the sudden appearance of 12-foot waves, he saw a woman struggling in the killer swells. In moments, her fragile human body would be crushed against the rocks.
Braving the wind and rain, Luther ran back outside. Incredibly, he found her alive. She was shivering, wearing only a simple green shift. Her shoulder was dislocated and blood poured from a scalp wound. Her injuries looked bad, but Luther considered her lucky to have escaped so easily.
Her brought the soaking woman inside and set her down on the couch. He collected towels, put on hot water, and prepared a cup for tea. As he returned to the teapot, he realized it was empty. In fact, the teacup was gone too. Am I getting senile already?
No matter. He rushed into the living room with the towels…and his jaw fell open.
The woman sat on the couch, completely dry with no sign at all of injuries. She had the teacup he’d prepared in her hand. How did it get there so fast? I only put the pot on seconds ago! But this wasn’t the only cause for his shock. The towels fell out of his numb hands as he gaped at her. She was beautiful, inhumanly beautiful. Her golden hair shimmered and her skin glowed faintly. Her shift clung to a figure most human beings could only imagine. The words tumbled out of his mouth before he could think.
“My god, you’re a goddess!”
She waved the thought away modestly. “Pshaw! Please.” She sipped her tea. “Demi-goddess will do. Thanks for the tea, by the way.”
Great sense of humor too.
Luther gathered himself. “I can’t believe you survived those waves. Why on earth were you out there?”
She rolled her eyes. “Oh! Just a little argument with my guy. You know.”
“He threw you overboard?” Luther couldn’t help his shock.
“He’s got a tempestuous temper. Anyway, he knows I’m a great swimmer.”
Luther shook his head. “Wow. With swimming skills like that, you must be the wife of Poseidon himself!”
She looked stunned. “Do you know ridiculous that sounds?”
“Please!” She paused. “I’m his mistress, Calysidonia.”
With all he’d seen, he believed it immediately. He felt his knees go wobbly. “I…uh…you…well…”
“Yeah, I know. It’s been a while since Gods contacted mortals. This might be overwhelming.”
“Uh, yeeeahh.” he sat into a nearby chair in case he fainted. “So why now?”
The walls shuddered and dust fell as a giant wave crashed over the lighthouse. Luther wondered how much longer the structure could withstand the storm’s fury.
Calypspania said, “Poseidon’s upset. He can’t find his Heliconch.”
“Size of an egg. Helical shells wrapped around a pearl. It’s a family heirloom.”
Impulsively, Luther gripped the strange shell in his pocket. A window crashed open and water seeped in through a crack in the wall. He looked up. “My god, this storm is strong. Poseidon must be really angry.”
Calypspania smirked. “This? Oh this is just Poseidon a little miffed. If a mortal has touched the Heliconch, then he’ll be furious!”
Written for the 100th Sunday Photo Fiction. Photographer Alastair Forbes provides a photo each week inspiring us to write flash fiction about it. Sadly, this will be the last one directly from Alastair, as he is taking a break to write novels. Good luck Alastair! Look here more stories based upon the prompt photo: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/sunday-photo-fiction-100-february-15th-2015/