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Man of the Sea [AAC]

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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Man of the Sea

Silt, the Innkeeper’s daughter, stole herself out of her father’s large low-roofed house and stepped lightly with bare feet down the oldest path, first carved out by seafaring ancestors from the rocky beach below. It was slick with wind blown spray, and made smooth by the generations that had lived on this island.

No one went down there at night during the high-tide that obliterated the crescent beach and hammered the cliffs. Down below, she could hear the crash of nighttime waves as they thundered against the high cliff walls, while the moon’s half opened eye, as detached and remote as a god, watched her descend to the sea and foam.

She left everything; the smell of stale beer, the stench of unwashed men mingled with smoke from moss stove and pipe, the fish stew and wild onions, the sweet edge of brown bread and the burning fat of the lamps, the back handed blow when she did not move quickly enough, the broom, the buckets of water and bales of dried moss and kelp, the heavy loads of filthy laundry and burning lye, the waste of the Inn that was hers to empty and wash into the midden heap, the dead eyes of fishermen waiting for storms to pass, and the pinching, groping hands that had grown increasingly persistent as she gained height and curve.

She fled the young men, who had begun arriving in the evenings to watch her bend and work, like foxes hunting a lamb, they watched, restless and impatient, with cunning words that said she was sweetest honey and eyes that said they would spit her from their lips like the Silt she was. They gathered gold to tempt her father, and it was only a matter of time before his debts were due; he would relent, and they would pounce.

As she struggled her way down, slipping and clinging, she remembered how she had met Him, the flitting form in the water where she worked, hauling in a trap full of crabs. She saw his curious face watching her under the waves, and before she could run in terror, she felt his mind speak to hers, sending her the serenity of whales and the playfulness of seals.

She had frozen, and he had risen from the waters to show his face, then he flipped like a dolphin, spinning and rippling into the water and she watched in astonishment until his pale form disappeared into the dark sea. She had wished to follow him even then. That was the beginning.

He came to the same place each time, letting her see him. They spoke a language that was heart-filled and she opened the oyster shell she’d wrapped herself in, and showed him the pearl born of her pain.

She found herself smiling more, singing as she worked, and finding or making him small gifts from the land, tempting him to reach out to her and take them with his odd hands; a white flower, a bracelet made of spring grasses, a bit of driftwood she’d carved into a fish. And he kept coming back, a tease, a splash, a fin and ripple, until she told him of the young men and what gold could buy, and he had grown serious, and angry, and sent her a promise.

In her hands she held nothing but hope. She wore her torn homespun shift that she had pounded into softness over several years washing, that now showed the middle of her calves. Wind from the surf and from the incoming storm pushed against the cloth, whipping it around her knees in a tangle as she fled.

Down with speed, she went, grasping wet rock and handfuls of the determined brush that sprouted on small ledges, clinging to the occasional knotted rope wrapped around a metal spike for a handhold, down the thousand-times walk with an urgency that burned her thighs and bloodied her knuckles.

The sea was rich in her mouth; salt and brine and moon-tinged drops made liquid light on her tongue. Her long, amber hair was lit with fire and gold, and she fought it from her cloud grey eyes as she stumbled half-blindly down the treacherous path.

Tonight, he said, he would come for her. Tonight, nothing would stop her from meeting him, with his strange eyes and hands, with his pearl-smooth skin that shone like the inside of the shell her mother had given her before she died, and his long, dark green hair, which tinged to black until the sun revealed its color.

Silt worked her way, terrified that she would hear her father’s shout against the wind, and see a torch above her on the cliff, but the herb she had put in his beer had turned him into a snoring stone, which she had gingerly stepped over to make her escape.

At last she was on Founder’s Rock, which jutted out beside the low curve of now-covered beach. It was slippery with sea moss and the waves beat dangerously down beside her, urged on by the threatening sky. The moon’s light winked in and out as the ragged clouds began to chase nearer to the island.

Was she too late? She could not see him, and how could he come near to find her with the raging waters beating the rocks? Was this really a cruel joke to play on her, to make her come down to shiver in the dark, her heart open and bleeding for him while he laughed from the deep. Was she a fool, and to be a fool’s harlot in the beds of her father’s Inn, sold and tied like a lamb?

No. He would come, said her heart. And if he did not, then the waves could swallow her whole. She waited, watching and worrying as white bright lightening began to play in the sky and thunder crackled and boomed closer and closer. Spray and tears; her salt added to the night, to the rising tides.

Still she watched, when the moon went dark and the night became impossible to see in, and she could only feel its liquid menace, the blood rushing in her neck, and the terror of knowing she could not go back.

It was then that she saw, when a sharp crackle of lightening spread violently across the black, that a bit of something shiny was very near to her, floating on the waves. Another flash burst out as if to rend the sky in two, vibrating thunder so close, so very close to where she sat clawing fingers and toes into slime and rough rock. It was closer, and she could see it was round.

What was it? Her heart, already beating fast, was jumping inside her chest like her fists against the locked cupboard when her father had seen fit to put her there. She tried to ignore the misery of water streaming down her hair and into her eyes, that she could not wipe away lest she lose her purchase on the edge, so she endured and clung like a crab as waves began to reach up and splash over her toes; the sea was rising, more with the whipped up waves brought by the storm.
edit on 21-8-2013 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 


Then from somewhere came a light, a circle of it, glowing greenly in the fierce water, holding its position under the waves, unmoved by their churning. It rose up steadily next to the rock, a full moon rising from beneath the waves.

She shouted in fear, in hope, in rage and in love as it came out of the dark waters as serenely and smoothly as the moon made its path through the sky. It was no moon. The circle turned onto its side, and was nearly flat, like two round trenchers pressed together, lip-to-lip.

It rose higher and she knew it was him, she knew he had not forsaken her, and her body, shivering, sleek and wet from waves, trembled more with the tears she could not stop. The flat round light moved above her, not even a drop fell from it, as if all the water had burned away. She felt warmth from the light. A door, like the one that swung down from the attic, opened, with small steps that touched down in front of her, also lit like the glow of fireflies, while the night raged on recklessly around her.

She saw his strange foot and calf, first, angled a bit sideways and made green by the color of the lights; broader in front, like a cat’s, with webbing between his blunt-nailed toes. The heel was like that of a man, and his calf had a thin, graceful edge of pale fin, edged in colors of sand and the hidden purple of shells, that trailed up the back and disappeared at the knee, which she now saw for a moment until he had curved down and whipped his lithe body out from the strange ‘ship’ he came in, holding out a webbed hand, his dark hair draping down, his eyes burning through the colors of the sea.

She reached up with one bloodied hand, he grabbed and gently pulled, came down quickly to steady her, while holding onto a rail. She ended up in the curve of his strong arm, nestled as he half-lifted her up the stairs, unwilling to let her fall. She flailed at the railings, trailing a red smear from her fingers as she tried to gain her balance. Then they were walking up the little stairway and into the glow above, her feet sore and shredded. The stairs came up behind them after they reached the top.

Once inside, the world became a wonder. Strange jewels were lit in colors that flashed and there was a slight hum in the air, but that was the only sound. It was as if the storm did not exist, so calm was the round room they were in. He took her hands with concern and sat her gently, dripping wet as she was, into a chair that seemed to mold to her comfort.

Darting to a cupboard, he pulled out a white box and rooted through it, pulling out strange things. Carefully, as she watched, he took her hands and cleaned them with a white cloth, then he used his magic. The pain went away, the skin healed as she watched, amazed. One hand, then the other, then her feet and every small scratch, met his concern and his care. She watched him, heart open, tears brimming and spilling, from knowing kindness of a man.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 

His face, his dear face, not handsome like the baker’s son, or like any man’s, but oddly planed with a rim of fin at the cheeks and chin. His eyes were the only sign of the storming sea as he rose and pulled her toward him. He was salt and tasted of sweet grasses and the brine of the deep, as he pulled his mouth to hers.

He did not speak, not with sound, but his meaning came through clearly to her: joy of waves, summer sun, dolphin caress, spinning dizzy in the water and racing through waves – he gave her images and feelings and then took her mouth again.

They stood and breathed together for a moment, forehead to chin, skin-to-skin (somehow she had lost her shift) and then, distracted, he moved to the center where a table of jewels blinked. The walls seemed almost alive now that she could feel where she was; it was more like being inside a creature than walking about a room.

Quickly he opened a window of sorts, that let her see the crash and thrash of wailing waters, splintering, shattering light from the clouds and then, without her feeling a thing, the window showed water climbing higher in the soft glow, then they were submerged.

He pressed his fingers against the jewels and, Captain, he was, set them in motion under the surface. Free! Then, course once set, he turned to her, reaching out and questioning. She took his hand and pressed it to her lips, then he enfolded her into sweet grass, salt and storm.

* * *

The child grew – a miracle – within her. His child. She stared out through the dome of the white walls, watching a school of tuna fin their way in and out of the light. The great domes of the City, where she lived amidst high white arches and odd, delicate spires that all were each alive, like coral reefs, and grown for some use she could not comprehend, where orchards and hatcheries and gardens with all manner of strange plants and animals roamed, where people, like Him, greeted her with kindness.

His people had been here so very long, and had told her the story of their arrival and how they came to love the earth and the creatures they found, how they taught the men and women the arts of the sea, and laughed at how they had been named “Mermen” and “Mermaids.” But many of them were leaving now, going off to found new cities on new worlds, from what she could gather of their language of image and feeling.

She felt a kick deep in her belly, and smiled, patting the place she had felt it.

He had shown her maps of the sky, that with his magic were made of light and hung like windows in the air, and she had recognized the stars, like any girl born of a fishing village would. He pointed to one far away, one of the Dog stars, and flooded her senses with him as a child, him swimming like a fish and walking on the land, exploring caves and picking the strange purple globes to suck out their sweet and salty pulp, a sun, a sky of different stars, the scents and sounds that had no names for her, but resonated something she had only come to understand with him; Home.

They were going Home. It had startled her to know how old he was, that he had been born to another sun, and that, the biggest miracle of all, he had chosen her small human self to join him.

Just then, he interrupted her thoughts and came in to their rooms, the door whisking aside for him and shutting behind, his face, upon seeing her, arched in a mimic of her smile. He was so tall, the strange shining fabric he wore, slivery grey and clinging like nothing she had ever seen before, came only to his knees, and opened around the ridges of fins at his sides, snugged over broad shoulders and finished at his forearms, at the edge of the graceful arc of the tapering fin at his elbow.

He was magic. He came over and kneeled by her seated form, putting his hand on her belly then kissing the baby through her body, giving a low hum of happiness in the back of his throat. She felt another jump inside her womb, and saw his eyes light with softness and mist as he felt the new life respond to his touch.

She trailed her fingers along the fin at his jaw, finding the spot just under it that made his eyes close, then open with the fever of sea storm in them. Trailing her hand through long green hair, softer than wet kelp, she twisted it in her fingers and pulled him to her, a sly, wicked grin teasing her mouth and heat rising in her. His eyes flew open with the question he never failed to ask, sending delicious thoughts into her head of what and how and where; “Yes,” she said, with every part of her, and there was no more need for words.


[THE END]



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by AboveBoard
 

Your descriptive writing immediately pulled me in. Wonderfully done. The idea that love could exist between them and create shared life resonates with me. The idea that love can overcome great differences is one of my core beliefs. Good writing and thanks for sharing your soul.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


Thank you, Grayeagle!! Most appreciated. It is good to get the feedback, as I've been feeling nervous as a cat since posting it. It is a challenge to put pieces of your soul on display...thank you for seeing that.

peace,
AB



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