"It's an ocean, Ver." Shax spread his arms toward the crash and retreat of the waves, the cool salt spray exciting and new.
"Yeah? Where's the magma? Where's the sulfur mist? How the fuck is this an ocean?" Verin scowled hard enough to scare away a group of nearby birds.
Shax patted his companion on the shoulder. "It's a water ocean. It's all salted water. Amazing, don't you think?"
"It's stupid. And colder than ice dragon balls. And who had the shitty idea to pour salt into it?"
"Pour…? I don't think anyone did, you know. I think they simply come that way. Oceans." Shax frowned at a creature with huge claws scuttling sideways past his toes. "Though some of the wildlife looks much like home."
"Why're we here, genius?"
Shax gave a one-shouldered shrug and wandered closer to the waves with his boots in one hand. "I'm not certain. I wanted to see it, I suppose. Auntie Lilith talks about the sea. It always sounded unbelievable. A story."
"Tons of better places we could've gone if you wanted something fucking unbelievable."
"I think it's quite lovely, in a melancholy way." Shax dug his toes into the sand, relishing the soft spread of it as he pressed down. "Besides, pearls are said to come from oceans. Pearls are so pretty."
"Whatever. Some hell-boar flank would be a lot prettier right now."
Shax shot him a startled glance. "You can't be hungry again already."
"Always fucking hungry." Verin crouched, drawing angry lines in the sand with a stick. "Stupid body needs to stop the stupid growing already."
Since they'd hit puberty it had been like this, and had only gotten worse. As Verin outstripped Shax in height and breadth of shoulder, his constant gnawing hunger only increased with his size. He hoped that Ver would stop growing soon. Mum said he was to be Shax's bodyguard and would receive the proper training and, granted, while it was good to have a sizeable personal guard of impressive strength, Shax didn't want to have to look up too far to speak to him.
"Psst. Hey. Demon kids."
Shax peered up and down the beach, frowning when he didn't spot anyone.
"Down here, dummy," the voice went on. "By the waves."
A glance down and to the left revealed a fascinating being. They, for gender was difficult to determine with an unknown species, were built something like a fish, though with sleek watertight skin rather than scales and a breathing opening atop the head.
"Well, hello there," Shax smiled tentatively. "Who might you be?"
The being emitted a series of high-pitched whistles and chirps. "But my name's not important right now. You kids shouldn't be on topside land. Didn't anyone tell you humans live there?"
Shax blinked at that. "Well…yes? We've met quite a few humans. They're rather fun."
"Filthy, greedy, violent," the being with the whistle-chirp name went on heatedly. "No sense of proportion and their singing is terrible. Not to mention, they think dolphins are fish! Idiots. Look, you boys be careful. All I'm saying. Humans are trouble and they're multiplying. It'll only get worse from here."
"Thank you, Mr. um…Dolphin." Shax swept the ocean being an elegant bow. "We'll be as careful as we can. It will be part of our jobs when we're older to seed chaos in among the humans. We can't really avoid them, I'm afraid."
The dolphin, since they didn't object to the name, snorted through the hole atop their head. "Sucks to be you, then."
With a flip of their tail that soaked Shax, the dolphin used its flippers to turn, humped back into the water and swam away.
"Can we go home now, your dripping highness?" Verin muttered. "The water ocean is fucking ridiculous."
Shax shoved his sodden hair out of his eyes. "Yes. To both those things. And I'm going to have some sharp words for Auntie Lilith when we get there."
About The Brimstone Journals
Extra treats for our Brimstone readers, Brimstone Journals will post every Tuesday. Short scenes from characters' lives before, after or during the stories.
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