“Where did you go?” Angelos asked.
“Where did you go?” Eudora demanded.
At first, Aristides was lost for words. The run to the shore prompted by Eukleides had been a blur, all brought to a sudden halt by a bolt of lightning striking “his” island. Aristides wasn’t sure if it was fear or reverence that had caused him to stop, and that uncertainty gnawed at him. “Petros was swimming with the sharks,” he heard himself say. “Eukleides wanted me to bring him back.”
Angelos and Eudora both looked confused. Aristides fixed his wife with a steady gaze. “The sharks, Dora. Petros was out in the water, in one of the boats. Then the storm came, and the sharks came, and he didn’t come back.”
Eudora’s eyes narrowed at him, suspicious and accusatory. “Are you so afraid of a dream, husband? This will be twice.”
Aristides was confused. “Twice?”
It grew dark. Light refracted around them, twisting in silvery strands like sun across the surface of the sea. “Petros was taken by sharks. Now your own family is swept up, and you do nothing.” Aristides could see them now. They were circling, just out of sight, little more than silhouettes darting through the streets of Athens. Before he could act, one shape lunged forward.
Angelos was gone.
“No!” Aristides tried to chase after the shark, but struggled to move. He tried to run, and when that failed he tried to swim, but nothing moved him.
“Do not fear the sharks, husband.” Eudora reached out and stroked his cheek. “They are fierce, but only beasts. You are smarter. Stronger. More cunning.”
Aristides could hear the sharks coming closer. One laughed, and Aristides remembered the old man who had jeered at he and Timaeus after their wrestling match. Rage bubbled in his heart and he turned to face the predator, but as he did another monster lunged from the depths.
Eudora was gone.
“You cannot have them!” he screamed into the looming darkness. “They are mine, and I will return them! I will tear the flesh from your bones, rip the teeth from your mouth, and dance in your blood if you harm them!”
The sharks laughed and circled closer. “I was hoping for a fight,” one said. It had Xanthippe’s eyes, and it hovered before him in a challenge.
When Aristides lunged for the creature, it wasn’t a shark that his hands grasped. It was an old man. “Let’s get this over with,” he had said. But when Aristides came for him, the old man’s resignation quickly turned to surprise.