Amphitrite found the dolphins on her way back. It was deliberate. They were in such a playful mood she could not resist. She loved to go down with them into the depths and shoot straight for the surface and leap out of the water. Of course, she could swim faster and jump higher than any of them, but that was not the point. And the fact that she had on her mermaid tail instead of legs was not the point, either. She did not care who saw her. The point was it was fun, and she was feeling rather playful.
That may be why she swam right to the shore in her mermaid form and let the dolphins crowd her out of the water. The beach was filled with vacationers by then along with all the locals who served and preyed on the vacationers. There was a collective noise when Amphitrite’s tail vanished and she stood up on her own two feet. Every eye on the beach was on her, and rightly so. She was beyond beautiful, as all goddesses are, and she glowed just a little, as all goddesses should.
To be honest, there were two sets of eyes that did not see any of what happened. They belonged to the two policemen who were trying to get a passport from Alice and Pumpkin, who naturally had reverted to her big form so as not to attract attention. They were also wondering why a United States marine in combat fatigues was lounging in the sand. Josh and Wilson, who saw the policemen coming, had gone into hiding by the food stand. When Amphitrite came up to the group, she smiled for the one policeman before she turned to the other.
“Excuse me. Perhaps I can help straighten this all out.”
The eyes of the man she smiled at got very big and he quietly breathed one of her many names. He did not dare to say it too loud. “Calypso.”
Amphitrite frowned. Presently she thought that name made her sound like a left over Disney character.
“One minute, missy. I need some answers first.”
“Oh, Great Lady, I am so glad you are here.” Pumpkin was hiding behind Sergeant Thomas’ big shoulders.
“You need to call your government or home office or whatever you have. We were all cleared at the airport on special visas.” Alice the lawyer argued.
“Alice, dear. Do you mind if I have a turn?”
“What?” Alice paused and squinted before she spoke. “Be my guest.”
”Pumpkin, you can get little if you promise to stay on my shoulder.”
“But everyone is watching.” Pumpkin was uncomfortable under the gaze of so many human eyes.
“You can hide in my hair just like Periwinkle.”
“May I? Oh, yes Great Lady. Thank you Great Lady.” And without another thought, Pumpkin resumed her natural fairy form and shot straight to Amphitrite’s shoulder where she easily hid in those luxurious black locks.
“Um.” The policeman articulated.
“Josh and Wilson!” Amphitrite called and the two appeared like the fairy had once appeared. Wilson stood like a statue and stared. Josh made a circle where he stood as he tried to figure out what just happened.
“Just a minute.” Amphitrite spoke in her girlish best while she wiggled her finger toward the sea. A three year old was getting too close to the waves, unobserved. The boy left the ground and floated safely back to his mother’s arms before Amphitrite turned to the policemen. “Now, I understand there is a problem here?” She smiled and at least one of the officers looked like he was going to faint from this vision of loveliness.
The other officer shook his head, vigorously.
“Well, good. If that is all cleared up, we need to go.” With that word they vanished from the beach and reappeared in the tight quarters of the Kargill cockpit. Pumpkin screamed.
“Now, Miss Pumpkin. It hasn’t been that long since we have seen each other.”
“Sorry, good Mister Smith,” Pumpkin said. “I thought you were an ogre.”
“She says that every time.” Mister Smith assured everyone. They were all staring at him with uncertain eyes, Alice in particular. Amphitrite felt it best to proceed immediately with the introductions, and by the time she was finished, she could see that Mister Smith had won them over. A Zalanid, it was said, could sell a drowning man a glass of water or a mother her own baby. Fortunately for the universe, the Zalanid turned their talents toward negotiating peace and harmony in the universe.
“Yes Great Lady.
“Have you had a good visit?”
“Oh, yes. I’ve made lots of new friends.”
“But I think Moira may be missing you, don’t you think?”
“Oh, I hope not. That would not be good.”
“I think you should go and see, don’t you?”
“Yes. Oh, but—“
“Be good, Pumpkin dear.” It was hard to say exactly how, but somehow the goddess managed a kiss on that little fairy cheek. “Say good-bye for now.”
“Good-bye for now.” Pumpkin intoned the words exactly like the goddess, and then she vanished. Amphitrite also vanished and Glen returned to sigh in Amphitrite’s place. Everyone looked at him. “It was too crowded in here.”
“But she was so little.” Wilson said it.
“Yes, but I was afraid she would start touching things. By the way, don’t touch anything until I tell you.”
Mister Smith laughed quietly so Glen had to ask what he was laughing about.
“With you, it is always a circus.”
Glen felt that sounded about right.