The Last Triton

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The Last Triton
Hui Nga Chit, Cheryl, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Swim into the murky depths of this fantasy story. But bring a friend – the undertow may leave you breathless.  


The Last Triton

By Hui Nga Chit, Cheryl


The Triton Queen was not easily frightened. She was a symbol of grace and strength, which the entire empire looked upon with admiration. Clearly, she was no coward, but the fear in her husband’s usually stoic green eyes shook her courage to the core. 

“Take Glaucus,” he urged, as he pressed their baby into her arms, “and keep him safe.”

The alarm in his voice and the desperation of his command were such that the Queen knew she should turn and leave immediately. But she hesitated. 

“I’ll find you,” her king said in reassurance. His scaly tail touched hers as they kissed amidst the increasing chaos. “I promise, I will. Now go.”

It was their last embrace. 

With her newborn son held close to her chest, the Queen swam away from the attacking Sirens and their searching eyes. As the sounds of the battle cries faded behind, her heart ached with the thought of abandoning her childhood home and her beloved, now fighting alone in their undersea castle. 

With a tail sore from her desperate escape, her body aching with the wounds she had suffered, and her arms near exhaustion from carrying her son, she found momentary refuge under a rock shelf.  A flash of a shadow on the open waters above caught her attention. She hugged her son tighter in the desperate realization that in her current state, it would only be a matter of time before the Sirens caught up with her… and her baby. And she knew well what that would mean, and what she now must do. Her motherly instincts recoiled at the thought.

The screeching of Sirens was getting closer again.


Dimitri was close to dozing off when his small boat suddenly rocked with such violence that he was almost thrown overboard. Then, without warning, a hand surged out of the waters and clamped on the railing opposite him. With his heart thumping, the fisherman reached for the wooden club at his feet and cautiously stood up to peer over the side at this intruder from the depths. 

What he saw was a sight shared by few mortal men. The hand belonged to a beautiful topless woman. Her smooth neck and bare shoulders were painted crimson with lacerations that splattered spots of blood upon the canvas of her pale skin. When she looked up, Dimitri could feel his heart start beating again. The stranger’s aqua-coloured eyes – framed by dark green hair that floated upon the water’s surface – locked onto Dimitri’s with desperation.

“Please, take my child,” the woman begged.


Too preoccupied with the shocking appearance of this naked beauty, the fisherman had failed to notice the baby, wrapped in wet cloth, nestled in her other arm. The woman lifted the infant up towards him. 

“But…I, I don’t…”

“Please, take him,” the woman insisted again, her arm noticeably shaking with the baby in hand. “I can’t protect him anymore.”

With no other choice, Dimitri took the swaddled infant, who, amazingly, was fast asleep. He pushed the wet cloth away from its face, revealing whisps of the same beautiful green hair.

“What about you? Let me help you up.” Dimitri reached his free hand down.

“Please, just keep him safe,” the woman urged as she nervously scanned the waters behind her before turning back to him, “and keep him away from the waters. Promise me!”

“Okay, okay! I promise. But please, let me help you up.”

The woman shook her head and released her hand from the boat. 

“Go,” she urged as she faded back into the dark waters, but then called out a final warning, “and beware of the si—”  

Dimitri couldn’t make out her last words as this strange creature of the deep left in obvious haste.

The fisherman’s gaze lingered on the water as if the explanation of what had just happened would rise there. It did not. All that was left was the delicate life in his arms, which made gurgling noises as it dreamed.  As he cooed the infant, he wondered what he had just gotten himself into. Little did he know that this day’s sole harvest from an otherwise quiet sea would bring huge waves to his otherwise quiet life.


The seaside town of Anthedon was bustling with its usual activity as all the town’s fishermen had returned with their daily catch. With densely packed vendors and throngs of people gathering about, it was difficult for anyone to navigate the streets. But for a mountain of a man like Chlorus, who was carrying a bucket of bricks in each hand, it was an especially daunting task.

When he finally arrived at the construction site, his two fellow workers were exactly as he had left them; slumped against a tree. Sighing, the big man dropped the buckets, squared his shoulders, and began working on an unfinished wall. 

“Looks like you’ve got yourself an admirer,” one of his colleagues teased as he approached and swung an arm around his wide shoulders. He nodded towards a dark-haired girl leaning against the wall of a nearby alley and flicking through a book.

The other worker also sidled up and quipped, “I don’t think I’ve seen her around. But honestly… she doesn’t look half bad.”

“Boys. Come on, we’ve got work to do,” Chlorus chastised his perpetually mischievous mates but kept his eyes on the alleyway. 

Flicking her hair back, the girl pretended to turn a page and lifted her head slightly to glance at Chlorus once again, only to find three pairs of eyes staring back. She dropped her head. After a second of hesitation, she turned and moved quickly down the alley with the grace of a cat.

The three watched as the girl disappeared into the afternoon’s shadows. Chlorus returned to his work while his mates returned to their tree with snickers of, “Ah, young love.” 


That early evening, like any other, Chlorus trekked up the hill on which his home sat. Though the journey was long, he could understand why his stepfather, Dimitri, preferred to live so high up. The peace and quiet provided a nice sanctuary away from the hectic noise of the town. 

Plus, it came with a spectacular view. With hands on hips, Chlorus stopped halfway to watch the town’s lights flicker below and illuminate its shimmering shoreline before fading into the dark expanse of the sea beyond. 

“It’s so far from the water,” a voice sounded from his right.

Chlorus turned his head in surprise to find a girl standing a few paces away. She had her back to him and was looking out ahead, long hair moving softly in the wind.

“Are you talking to me?” Chlorus asked after a moment’s hesitation.

“Who else would I talk to?” The girl turned to smile at him. 

Something about her features seemed familiar to Chlorus. He squinted in the dimness.

Then it hit him.

“Ah. You’re that girl from this afternoon, right?”

She giggled and said, “You sure live a long way from town; It must take you a long time to go back and forth for work, which I assume is building and fishing.” 

“So, you are following me, I see,” Chlorus smirked.

The girl tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and confessed, “Well, I like your green hair…” as she glanced sideways at him, “and I think you look nice, so I wanted to meet you.”

They stared at each other for a moment until the silence became awkward. Chlorus looked away and cleared his throat.

“We don’t fish. My father doesn’t like the docks; He thinks the work is too messy,” Chlorus replied to her implied question. He then held out his hand. “I’m Chlorus, by the way.”

“Adrielle, by the way,” she slipped her slender hand into his large palm.


In the following weeks, Chlorus would often find Adrielle passing by the construction site or wandering around the docks. Their encounters were never long but always warm with hints of flirtation, leaving him wanting more. To Chlorus’s delight, it seemed that Adrielle was as interested as he, especially given her insatiable questions about him. Although he enjoyed the attention of this pretty girl, he found himself still knowing little about her.  

A cat in the darkness, indeed, mused Chlorus, while noting Adrielle’s skill at deflecting questions and remaining an elusive yet intriguing mystery. Some weeks they would meet almost every day, but others would go by with no sign of her. And just as he would begin to lose hope, Adrielle would reappear, much to his relief. 

One Sunday afternoon, Chlorus was helping Dimitri with woodwork when— “Heads up!”  

Out of the corner of his eye, Chlorus saw a shadow hurling towards him. Without thinking, he lifted a hand and stopped whatever was coming just inches away from his face. He looked up past the volleyball that was now in his hand and saw Adrielle giggling from afar.

“You could kill a man with this,” Chlorus smiled and threw the ball back to her. He tried to hide the excitement, relief even, of seeing her again.

Adrielle tucked the volleyball under her arm and sauntered towards him. She leaned against the edge of his worktable, her black eyes never leaving his.

“Wanna go play some volleyball at the beach?”

Intrigued, Chlorus leaned forward. 

“Just the two of us?”  

“Hmm, good point. We can go swimming instead if you want,” Adrielle purred and closed their distance.

Before he could respond, a grunt sounded behind them. They sprung apart in surprise and found Dimitri watching them with narrow eyes. He shot a hard look before wobbling up the front porch steps with his walking stick.

“Well, if you make up your mind, come find me at the docks tonight,” Adrielle gave him a playful punch before leaving as swiftly as she had arrived. 

That night, Chlorus and Dimitri were eating dinner when his father suddenly asked, “That, that girl… what’s her name, again?”  


“Yes, yes…” Dimitri shook his head. “Doesn’t she have anything better to do than to… badger you all day?”

“Why do you dislike her so much?” Chlorus asked after a moment.

“I just think it’s strange of her to keep dragging you near the sea.”

Chlorus sighed deeply, “Is this about the ‘keep away from the waters’ thing again?” “Chlorus, your mother told me—”

“To keep me away from the waters. Yes. I know, Dimitri!” He leaned forward. “But WHY?”

“I don’t know—”

Chlorus sighed in desperation and slumped back into his chair. Dimitri set down his fork.

“Son, I already told you everything your mother told me.”        

Chlorus shook his head and looked away.

“This is exactly the problem between us. I am an adult now. For God’s sake, I’m twenty!” he added for emphasis. “You can’t forbid me from doing things without giving me a reason!”

Silence hung heavily between them. Abruptly, Chlorus stood up and moved towards the door.

“Where are you going?” Dimitri asked in alarm.

“Just getting some air, don’t worry.”  

He let the door close behind him with no further words.


When he said he was going to get some air, he had meant it. It was just going to be a stroll to town. But as he walked, it was like the sea was calling out to him. The closer he got to town, the louder the crash of waves became. It was rhythmic, like a lullaby, calming his soul. And just like that, he ended up at the docks, the last place Dimitri wanted him to be. 

“I’m surprised Dimitri let you come,” came a voice as soothing as the seashore. 

Adrielle sat down next to him, their shoulders touching and feet dangling above the water.

“He didn’t,” Chlorus sighed, “but I wanted some space to think.”

“Penny for your thoughts?”  

Chlorus hesitated before asking, “Do you ever get a feeling like you don’t belong in this place… this world? Like… you don’t fit in?”

Adrielle lifted her eyebrows, “How so?”

“I mean, look at my hair. And my height! I stand like a sore thumb. And I don’t even know who my real parents are. All I know is that some woman from the sea handed me away before mysteriously swimming away. It just doesn’t make any sense!” Chlorus paused to control his anger before confessing, “Sometimes, I just wonder, who AM I?”  

Adrielle touched his shoulder in understanding. After a moment of hesitation, she wrapped an arm around him and rested her head on his shoulder.  Other than touching hands, this was the first time their bodies embraced. Her protective arm around him felt more than right.  A comfortable silence descended for a moment before Adrielle broke the spell by suddenly withdrawing her arm and sitting upright. Slowly, she turned to him.

“What you need is an awakening.”

Chlorus looked at her with mixed emotions: frustration, confusion, and desire all swirled within. Smiling, she stood up and began removing her dress. He knew he ought to look away, but instead, found himself watching her every motion intently as she revealed herself.

He cleared his suddenly dry throat before asking, “Adrielle… what are you doing?”  

Standing before him in just her thin undergarments, she winked at him and dove gracefully into the water. Chlorus stood up in concern and watched as she resurfaced. She swiped her wet hair back from her lovely face and gave an earnest smile that beckoned.

“Aren’t you going to join me?”

“I, I can’t,” Chlorus laughed. “I don’t even know if I can swim.”  

He looked down at the mass of deep blue below him, eyes following the gentle waves of water as their crests lapped over one another. Adrielle swam closer to him and looked up with her long fingers hooked on the edge of the wooden dock.

“You said you wanted to know who you are; You said you wanted to know me better. 

This is your chance!”

Chlorus found himself drawn into her gaze; Her black pupils sparkled with promise under the moon’s soft light. The sound of waves registered within his ears again like a lullaby, luring him to get closer. He remembered Dimitri’s warning, but…

“Ah, screw it.”

Chlorus pulled his shirt over his head. 

Arielle couldn’t help but notice his impressively muscled chest. As her large friend moved to remove his pants, she knew it was a bad idea to keep enjoying this man’s undeniable beauty. When his trousers did fall, she looked away as she felt heat rising to her neck.    

Feeling suddenly vulnerable in his near-naked state, Chlorus squeezed his eyes shut and leapt into the water that engulfed him in blackness.

First came a loud roar seemingly from the depths of his brain, and then nothing. Second, came the sound of his heartbeat, steady and strong. Gently, he moved his arms and felt the water around him. It slipped between his fingers and seeped into his skin. Instantly, all the soreness in his muscles from the week’s work faded away. Realising he would be out of air soon, he kicked his legs and burst onto the surface. Adrielle looked at him expectantly. 

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Alive,” Chlorus laughed. 

His heart was pumping fast and hard against his chest and his skin felt tingly. When he recovered somewhat from the surprise of these powerful sensations, he felt Adrielle’s presence close to him. With uncharacteristic boldness, Chlorus closed the short gap between them. He could feel her warm breath on his face and her fingers grazing his like reassuring lifelines. Everything went still, and time slowed.

Adriell began, “Listen, I want to tell you something…”

But before she could finish, Chlorus felt something grasp his ankle like a vice. His brain had barely enough time to register shock before he was pulled underwater.

The moment Chlorus disappeared from the surface, Adrielle knew that it was done. She had completed her part, and the others would do theirs.  And yet, she felt no happiness nor even satisfaction at doing her duty. Willing herself to transform, she dived down into a darkness that was easily illuminated by her heightened eyes. She scanned the water below her, and with a stroke of her tail, she followed the others deeper into the depths. 

Her sisters were ruthless. They had dragged Chlorus toward the seabed. She watched as dozens of them circled their captive, taking turns to make their marks with their teeth and claws. Screeches of laughter echoed in the vast ocean. Chlorus had stopped moving, but that didn’t stop the attacks. A strong scent of fresh blood reached her, making her stomach churn; with hunger or disgust, she couldn’t tell.

Pain. It was everywhere.

Pain throughout his limbs. Pain in his head. Pain in his lungs. Its intensity made Chlorus wish he were dead already. But as the last bubble of air left his mouth, death didn’t come. Instead, he became more awake with every passing second. Sounds were no longer muffled; They were as clear as church bells. The water was no longer dark; It was as clear as the heavens above.

High-pitched laughter was all around him adding to the confusion of his spinning mind.

A shadow rammed into him as it yelled, “The King is dead!”

Another pierced his back. “No one to protect you!”

One slapped his face. “Weak little Triton baby!”

The last punched his stomach. “Not loved; not cared for!”

Chlorus thought of Dimitri. His father was right all along. He should have stayed onshore. He thought of Adrielle. 

Adrielle! Is she safe? Did they get to her as well? 

The captive tried to move his legs, but it was as if they were glued together, and no matter how hard he tried to flail his arms, he kept sinking. With growing alarm, he glanced down. But what were supposed to be his legs was now replaced by something shiny, something scaled—

A tail!?

His mind screamed in panicked incomprehension of what was happening in this descent into madness. Flailing his arms and swinging his body around, he tried to fling the thing off his…legs. With every fling, strong currents of force were created. With a loud bang, his tormentors were thrown back. Silence filled the ocean briefly.

Chlorus finally had a moment to get his bearings. He looked from one enemy to another. There were at least a dozen of them; all females with black spiky tails and long black hair covering their naked upper bodies like armour.  They hissed at him, revealing sharp teeth within menacing mouths. 

This is not happening, he thought to himself.  This is all a dream, he was sure. 

That was until he locked eyes with a familiar face now just a few feet away. She had a tail and hair like his attackers. Except it was…. 


Then darkness mercifully fell upon him as exhaustion took over his shattered mind and body.

When Chlorus woke up, his head was pounding and his whole body pulsed with pain. There was an annoying buzzing that was making his headache worse by the second. He wanted so badly to cover his ears. 

That was when he realised that he couldn’t move his hands. They were tied. His eyes flew open, and his senses jumped back to full alert. 

As his fuzzy vision slowly cleared, the first thing he noticed was the bars around him and then came the faces peering through them. They were chatting excitedly among themselves as they pointed and sneered. Chlorus felt very much like a fish on display in the market. He then jerked in startled awareness of a man and a woman on either side of him. Similarly, their wrists were cuffed to the bars above them and their tails to the bars below. Their upper bodies were covered in thin and fine aqua-coloured linens with long sleeves which created a sharp contrast to their dull and lifeless skin. Their long hair was floating aimlessly in the water. They were both dead.

Chlorus was starting to feel sick when suddenly the chatter died down. It was replaced by whispers of, “It’s Queen Deidamia; She has come.”  

Slowly, the faces in front of him pulled back to the sides revealing two approaching women with black tails. The leading figure had a darker and more feral look. In her hand, she held a large golden trident, and on her head, sat a black crown. But when Chlorus looked at the one trailing behind, he froze. 

“Adrielle,” he breathed.

Queen Deidamia waved her hand and the other girls all scattered. With the stifling crowd dispersed, more light crept inside the cage and Chlorus could see that he was in the middle of a clearing, with surrounding mountains creating a secluded deep-water valley. 

“So, finally, we meet, Glaucus, son of King Triton,” the queen acknowledged while suspended a few feet above him, peering down as if on a throne. “You were a difficult creature to find.”

Despite his countless questions, Chlorus ignored everything except the girl behind Deidamia. But Adrielle remained emotionless and avoided eye contact. 

The queen continued, “Let me answer the question you must be too scared to ask: Why are you here?  Let me speak plainly. It is here you will meet your end. And after you are gone, the last of the Triton bloodline will be washed away, and we, the Sirens, will finally secure our undisputed rightful place as rulers of the deep!”

“What?” The queen’s words finally got through to Chlorus and he shifted his focus to her in complete confusion. 

“No, my name’s not Glaucus. It’s Chlorus! And what is a Triton?”

“Oh, my dear Glaucus. Stop the denials and accept your fate! The Triton empire has fallen, and you cannot bring it back,” the queen declared as she opened her arms and let a wicked smile spread across her face, showing her sharp yellow canines. 

“No! You don’t understand. I have nothing to do with this Triton business! I am just a regular builder. You must have the wrong person!”

The queen suddenly surged forward and gripped the bar with one hand. 

“Enough with the pathetic excuses!” she bellowed. “You think cutting your hair short and living with the land folk could hide you from me? Look at your dark green hair and your sparkling tail! You are a Triton! The last one with any royal blood.”

The queen pointed at the lifeless forms beside him and said with full conviction, “You are the same as these two! And you will join them soon.”

Her words revibrated inside the captive’s reeling brain:  Was it possible that all his life he had been pretending to be someone he was not? He had often felt like he was meant for something different…somewhere more, but this all seemed too…surreal. 

As he looked at the light reflecting on the dark green hair and shiny green scales of the Tritons beside him, his mind cleared, and his heart hardened.

His name was Glaucus. And he was a Triton.

Adrielle allowed herself a long sigh when she was finally alone in her chamber. As they had left Glaucus, she had stolen a glance back at the caged Triton. She tried not to think about the wounds covering his body and the pain in his eyes from her betrayal. 

“You did well. I am impressed.”  

Adrielle whipped her head around to find the queen smiling at her from the entranceway. 

“Thank you, mother,” she replied with head bowed.

The queen sashayed into the chamber and sat down on the bed of rocks.

“Ah, finally,” her mother said, flicking her black hair to one side, “I had been waiting for this day for so long. The day we extinguish the Tritons once and for all!”

Adrielle gave a tight smile.

“My dear, aren’t you excited? We no longer have to live in fear anymore.”

“Of course, mother. I am excited,” Adrielle hurriedly explained, “but… I’m just thinking…”


Adrielle lowered her head as the queen rose and approached her.

“Mother, I knew you said that we Sirens and the Tritons have long been enemies and this war started from our ancestors over food,” she started slowly with careful navigation. “I guess I’m just wondering… what is our purpose in this fight now that food is sufficient?”

“To kill all those arrogant and ruthless monsters,” the queen said in a matter-of-fact way.

“Well… what if they’ve changed?”

Queen Deidamia grabbed Adrielle by the forearms. “It had better not be you who is changing,” she scolded, but then immediately softened before continuing. 

“Don’t you remember the stories I told you? They almost exterminated our ancestors once and it took us nearly a hundred years to recover. Their existence is a threat to our kind!”

“But mother, wouldn’t it be a bit unfair to Glaucus since he had been living on land all his life—”


The queen glared at Adrielle, her nostrils flared, and her body trembled with anger.

“You have grown soft on the Tritons, Adrielle. This is not how I raised you to be,” the queen spluttered the words through clenched teeth. She then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “You must understand that Tritons are terrible creatures. That will never change. Now, get your mind right and prepare for the execution tomorrow. I want it to be perfect.”

With that, the queen exited and left Adrielle alone with her own thoughts.


The sun must have set above the sea, for what dim light there had been now faded into black. Many of the Sirens had left the clearing, and Glaucus could hear laughter in the caves nearby. At this time of the day, Dimitri would have laid out dinner, waiting for him to return home from work. He must be worried sick. Glaucus wondered what he would say if he found out that he had entered the sea. He wondered if he would still treat him the same if he knew he was a Triton.

“Now you know who you are.” 

A voice sounded from behind him. He twisted his neck to find Adrielle hovering. She flapped her tail and swam in front of Glaucus. The trident that the queen once held was in her hand, its gold shone exceptionally bright in the dark sea. Glaucus glared at her as she approached.

“Was it all a lie then?” His question floated between them. And when Adrielle didn’t answer, Glaucus shook his head and sighed, “It doesn’t matter now. I’ll be dead tomorrow anyway. At least I get to die beside my own people.”

Adrielle ended her silence: “You are a Triton, Glaucus. Even though I’m taught that Tritons are arrogant and ruthless—”

Glaucus lifted his eyebrow. 

“— I’m also warned that they don’t go down easily.” 

Alerted shouts from afar cut through the silence of the waters. 

“I think this belongs to you.” 

Adrielle slipped the golden trident in between the bars, and solemnly announced, “With this, I right the wrong I did to you. Now, we are even, and I don’t owe you anything anymore.”

And with one final look at Glaucus, she disappeared back into the shadows.

With cuffs around his wrists, he stretched his fingers as far as he could. The second he touched it, the trident glowed even brighter, and some type of energy surged through his body, healing his wounds, and brightening his vision. He wrapped his fingers around the thick handle, which fit perfectly into his palm.

The distant shouts became more urgent, and Glaucus knew this was his one and only chance. Adjusting his grip, he stabbed the tip of the Trident into the cuff chains. With renewed strength, it only took him a few tries before all the chains connecting the cuffs to the cage fell off. 

From the corner of his eye, he watched as a steady stream of Sirens emerged from their caves. With heart hammering in his chest, he used the Trident as leverage and bent the bars. But the cage wasn’t complying as easily as the chains.

“Come on. Any time now,” he muttered as hordes of Sirens started to close in.  

The muscles in his arms were straining and his breathing quickened. With one final roar, the bars finally buckled. With only seconds to spare, he squeezed out of the cage with what seemed like hundreds of Sirens on his tail. 

The water was dark, but that was no longer an issue for Glaucus. With his recently heightened vision, he surged towards a gap between the ragged canyon walls that rose like mountains. The Sirens followed close behind. He was faster but speeding through a narrow path all the while getting used to his new tail turned out to be very challenging. Glaucus bumped into the rock walls several times, which allowed the closest pursuers to catch up.

A Siren closed in from below, while another from above him. Using his trident, he pierced one’s tail and stabbed the blunt end towards the other. The two screamed and fell behind. Several others rushed in to take their place. With no time to think, Glaucus simply shoulder-charged his way through the group. But what the pursuers lacked in skill, they made up for in numbers. Before long, more Sirens caught up and began clawing at his tail. Although he succeeded in flinging the first few off, others quickly took their place and clung onto his body, slowing him down. In seconds, dozens of Sirens surrounded him. They dug their sharp nails into him, scratching his bare skin and clawing his scales off. Tears welled up in his eyes, but he didn’t dare to slow down. Pointing the trident in front of him with his near-exhausted arms, he began to spin himself, hoping to fling the Sirens off. It was like the trident was guiding him, now. The moment he started to spin, his weapon acted like a motor, dragging him faster and spinning him quicker. When he reached the highest speed, a blast was released. The walls around him shook and the Sirens were immediately thrown off. With rocks pelting down from above, Glaucus allowed the trident to guide him out of the gap and, finally, into open waters.

The blast had brought down half of the surrounding mountain, blocking the gap completely, but it also cost him much energy. Glaucus slowed down and allowed himself a moment to rest. But before he could catch his breath, he detected movement to his right. With no time to react, he was tackled sideways. The attacker slammed him into a coral reef and Glaucus lost his grip on the weapon. Without giving him a second to breathe, the assailant instantly began to squeeze his throat. Glaucus looked up in a panic and found the face of Adrielle. 

“I thought you were on my side—” he wheezed while struggling against her hold. 

“I told you, I evened the score,” she hissed through her pointed teeth, but her tone was not as sharp as she intended.

Behind her, Glaucus could see the silhouette of the queen from a distance. 

“You don’t have to do this…”

Her hold slackened for a moment before it tightened again. 

“You don’t understand, Sirens and Tritons are meant to be enemies. I gave you the trident, I don’t owe you anything more. Now I must fulfil my responsibility to my sisters.”

Glaucus glanced at the trident, but it was just out of his reach. Adrielle’s hold on his throat was growing more painful and he would be out of breath soon. But the light of the open seas reminded him of how close he was to freedom. He refused to give up now. 

In one desperate attempt, he swiped his tail into his assailant’s side and flipped her around. Adrielle gave a yell of pain and released her hold. Glaucus used the opportunity to retrieve his trident and pointed the sharp prongs towards her throat. 

Adrielle clutched at her side and glared at him. Staring into her eyes, Glaucus thought of her betrayal and all the horrible things the Sirens must have done to his parents… to his people. Killing her would be justice. He gripped his weapon tighter and raised his arm. 

He sighed…

…and stabbed the coral reef beside her.

He used the momentum to push himself out and streak further into the open waters, leaving a bewildered Adrielle behind. 

A high-pitched scream pierced through the waters. Glaucus didn’t need to look behind him to know that the queen must be closing in on his tail. But even a Siren queen was no match for a Triton prince with a golden trident. Using his newfound skill, Glaucus swam faster and faster, leaving the Siren territory and their enraged monarch far behind. 

“Missing the waters already?” Dimitri called as Glaucus returned home from his stroll to the seaside. 

Glaucus smiled as he flopped his large frame into a chair on the porch beside his stepfather. He picked up the town’s newspaper from the table. On the front page, the heading declared: Sailors from the Emerald Ship Missing.

“It’s the third time this month,” Dimitri sighed.

“They’re trying to lure me back,” Glaucus frowned.

“‘Some believed those missing sailors succumbed to the Call of the Sirens’,” Glaucus read aloud with a shake of his head. “Call of the Sirens. I can’t believe they got that right.”

“It seems word has spread about your little adventure.”

“How is it possible? The only people I told were you and—” Then it hit him. He smiled knowingly as he continued, “The fisherman who saw me with my trident.”

“Petros has a big mouth,” Dimitri laughed. Glaucus shook his head again and chuckled.

As the smiles faded away, Glaucus couldn’t help but glance at his trident leaning against the side of the house. Its gold was gleaming brightly in the sun.

“You should go,” the father said softly.

“I don’t want to leave you alone,” the son said with conviction. 

“This town needs you. The sailors need you,” Dimitri spoke as he turned to Glaucus and looked him in the eyes before continuing, “You are a Triton. You belong to the sea more than to the land.”

Glaucus gave him an understanding smile.

“I have lived most of my life alone. I can handle myself,” Dimitri reassured his son as he patted his shoulder. “Just promise you’ll come to visit every now and then.”  

Glaucus nodded and squeezed his father’s hand while confessing. “I do have loose ends to tie up.”

The last Triton then placed the newspaper on the table, and there, under the ‘Missing Persons Column’, was a picture of Adrielle with a disarmingly soft smile that revealed a row of white teeth. 

Hui Nga Chit Cheryl
Hui Nga Chit, Cheryl

About the Author
Cheryl is a PolyU junior who has lived all her life in Hong Kong. When she’s not focusing on numbers in her accounting studies, she enjoys mystery and fantasy novels. Inspired by her love of Harry Potter, she hopes to one day create her own fantasy world. Cheryl is secretly a daydreamer and has been accused of indulging in this habit – never proven – during lectures, theoretical discussions, and on the bus while tucked under her headphones. A favourite pastime is blasting music (preferably AURORA’s) through the speakers when her parents are home.

Author’s Reflection
Taking a creative writing class was a goal of mine before attending university. But when I began crafting a fantasy short story for my ELC1A04 course, I struggled with several ideas. It was my first time writing a complete story, and I wanted it to be perfect.

One of the challenges I encountered was writing an ending. Since there were time and word constraints, I finished the story rather hastily to meet the assignment deadline. After its submission, however, I was unsatisfied and told myself I would give the story a proper ending no matter what. I remembered pulling an all-nighter during my summer trip just so I could hand in my complete story with its proper ending to Inscribe.

The true message of The Last Triton revealed itself very late in my writing process. Apart from giving readers a chance to escape from reality as they embark on a fantastic adventure, I hope the story can comfort those who are struggling to fit in and encourage them to never give up on being themselves. Even though the search may take time, there is always a place for everyone in this world where you can be understood and appreciated.

I would like to thank my editors for their kind support and useful advice. With their help, the editing process has become an enlightening and memorable learning experience.

Lastly, I hope you will enjoy the story! Please do dive in.