The ships roll smoothly through the waves in the distance, unaware of my little island. I would prefer to live on the mainland, and whether they know it or not, they’re my ride. I dip my hand into the water, and it understands, forcing the ships to turn towards me. The men aboard may struggle at first, trying to get their vessels to return to their original course, but I know they will not be able to do so. The sea prefers me.
As the ships approach, I notice they don’t belong to any nation. These are pirate ships, though it doesn’t matter much to me, they’ll do the job all the same. They arrive at the island and the pirates jump out, rushing over to me, mumbling amongst themselves.
“Look at the clothes he’s wearing.” One says, unaware I can hear all their quiet mumblings. “It’s so nice, perhaps he’s a prince.”
“We should take him then.” His cremate responds. “Maybe we can ransom him for a good amount.”
Ignoring their comments, I wade out into the water, pulling myself up onto the nearest ship. The captain stares at me in shock, raising a hand to signal his crew back onto the ship.
“Here’s what is going to happen.” I begin. “You and your crew are going to separate from your flock to take me to the mainland, any mainland, at which point I will depart from you. Afterwards, you may rejoin your flock or go out on your own, I really don’t care, but you will not speak of this encounter to anyone. You and your crew will go on as though we never met. Understood?”
He takes a threatening step towards me. “And who are you to speak to me in such a way?”
I wave my hand dismissively, not caring enough to answer. I wander down to the cellar room, happily finding some wine alongside the rum. I take a mug and fill it. I would prefer a proper glass but I’ll take what I can get. Coming back to the deck, I raise my hand and the water churns, leading the ship away from the fleet. The crew on deck all stare at me, shocked. I sit on a barrel, crossing my legs as I sip on my wine.
“Well don’t just stand there!” The captain demands. “Bind him!”
I look up for a moment, curious to see how loyal his men are. None of them make a move. They’re smart. Grumbling, the caption stomps over to a crew member that’s holding a rope and rips it away from him, before starting towards me.
“If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.” He mumbles under his breath.
I raise my eyebrows at him, infuriating him further, and place my mug down next to me. He grabs my arms, kicking the barrel so he can tie my hands behind my back. He ties the rope around my wrists as tight as he can, but the second he steps away, I feel them loosen and drop to the floorboards. I wave my hands dramatically in his face, and pick up my mug once again to sip on my wine.
Walking around the deck, I feel a tightening around my neck. Again with the rope, could he not be a little more creative? I drop my wine and touch my hand to it, and feel it begin to slither. I’ve always loved snakes. It slithers off of me, and onto the arms of the man who held the rope. When I turn, I am surprised to see it was not the captain, but his first mate. The snake wraps around his neck, choking him out as he intended to do to me.
As his face fills with fear, I smirk. He doesn’t appreciate a good dose of irony. He falls, having lost his life’s supply of breath. When I look around the deck, the crew is no longer shocked or curious, but horrified and angry. I suppose they liked him more than they do the captain.
The crew all rush at me, ready to fight over the death of their mate. The first hand reaches me, attempting to scratch at my arm, then another going for my eyes, and another reaching for my hair. No. Anger fills my soul. How dare they.
Fur spouts from my skin as I fall to my hands. My teeth lengthen, becoming sharper, and my already long hair turns into a mane. Will they fight a lion? I bite the pirate closest to my mouth. He screams in agony and his friends rush away. Releasing my grip, I prowl around the deck, enjoying the fear in each pirate’s eyes and they run, yelling in fear, but they have nowhere to go. We are in the middle of the ocean.
I stand, once again becoming myself.
“Who are you?” One pirate manages, his voice quivering.
I narrow my eyes. “I am Dionysus, son of Zeus, god of mischief and wine.” I reveal. “And you have all treated me poorly. I merely asked for safe passage, but you have tried to bind me, choke me, and even attack me as though my actions weren’t all in defense. You even made me spill my wine.”
At the notion of upsetting a god, the men one by one throw themselves overboard, perhaps hoping it will have mercy on them. Even the man I bit hobbles over to the edge. His mates beg him not to jump, knowing the blood will attract sharks, but he pushes himself over anyways.
These poor men have no sense of playfulness or fun, and without a ship they will die. The ocean does not care for them, but they did leave me this boat full of rum and wine and riches. They deserve some thanks for that.
I look over the edge and wave my hand at the swimming pirates. They transform into the most playful of creatures, but will forever be searching for a new ship. They must now live out their lives as dolphins. I take a map left on this vessel, and set course for the mainland.