Here’s The Seashell Ch. 2
Waking To The Colors Of Another Life
“You, who came into this world
So young and unexpected
So small and unsuspected
Your life has come unfurled
And has come to join with mine
My sleep, you brought it to its end
Awareness breaking over me
Like a crashing wave from the sea
You caused fate to make an amend
Forcing justice from the divine
Oh, my beautiful love too mortal
What boon could I ever give to thee
To match this kiss that set me so free
What sweet debt you leave this immortal
Fear nothing, my love so gently fine
Wake to the colors of another life
Take me for a friend of fate unafraid
Or as a loved one by gods preordained
Express your heart and fear no bitter strife
Look on me and smile with joy as a sign
Throughout dark time you were always in my mind
In my dreams I longed for you to be by my side
In my heart rises the swelling of a high tide
That you with me in love shall we here abide
Wake…awake to the colors of another life!
Waken…awaken to the colors in my eyes.
Wake…awake to the solitary sound of my voice.
A song. It is my first awareness, this song. A singing voice that works it’s resonance through my bones. My breastbone vibrates with a harmony I could never have heard by any musical instrument made my man. One voice twined with many voices each singing with concordance to the main voice.
The voice is so close. It is above me and what is more I feel gentle fingers stroking my hair. The touch is so calming and so lovely. More than a mother’s touch, this touch is gentle as butterfly wings but as strong as the fingers of a marble statue. I feel a breeze upon my naked skin, but it is warm and oh so pleasant.
The warmth continues beneath me where I lay cradled. I feel the unmistakeable touch of skin against skin. This skin somehow does not cause me to perspire with the warm closeness as it would normally. I lay in absolute comfort.
Beneath the skin I feel iron muscles that are somehow pliable enough to offer a pillow for my head. Interestingly my nether regions rest on something slightly cold…and wet?
This makes me open my eyes and my first sight captures smiling eyes staring down into mine. They seem to shine in all the colors of the sea. They are so beautiful that I sigh involuntarily. The smiling beautiful face is framed by that same golden hair that I saw before, but only now it is dry and blowing in the warm sea breeze like the sari of an exotic Indian lady. I smile back thoughtlessly.
I’m faintly aware that we seem to be moving. Then I remember!
Reflexively I jump up out of the lap in which I’d been laying and attempt to scramble away from this….stranger! It is a bad move. Whatever I am crouching on is incredibly slippery. I cannot tell exactly what it is but I do know we are in water. I am in danger of slipping into this water.
It’s then that I look and find, to my astonishment and dread, that we are at sea! At sea and moving fast! The shock causes me to lose my balance and I begin to slip off my feet on the slimy surface. I am in imminent danger of falling into the sea!
But, something catches me from behind. It conforms to my body like a chair…and I am held to it by giant suckers! I look over my shoulder in horror and see something I cannot comprehend.
The thing in which I sit is a giant pad with suckers all over it and it’s attached to a very long and thick…tentacle! I panic and begin to struggle against the gripping thing, but it is to no avail. I am firmly stuck onto this giant ‘hand’ of suckers!
Gently the tentacle pushes me back toward the Stranger who is chuckling at my expense, but not in a mean way. He reaches for me as the great tentacle basically hands me to him like a lost puppy! The great thing gently releases me and returns itself to the sea.
The Stranger holds me in a gentle embrace even as I stand leaning away from him stiffly. I am trembling and I think I’m beginning to whimper like a little frightened child. I am so utterly terrified because I don’t know where I am or what is happening! I don’t know this Stranger! I am in a new world that I don’t understand…and I am afraid!
This pauses the Stranger’s mirth and his face changes to one of concern. I have begun to cry because I am sure I must die. This situation can only end in my death.
“Why do you cry, Sweet One?” Tenderly he wipes the tears from my eyes while still holding me gently but firmly so that I will not fall or do anything foolish.
“Wh-who?” I manage to gasp out at him since I am basically frightened beyond the abilities of rational thought!
“Ohhh…yes. We didn’t have time to introduce ourselves. I must say though…taking such liberties with someone without giving your name first can be considered rude! A kiss no less!” The Stranger snickers.
The humor is lost on me and I feel a scream rising out of me to release the pressure of this panic! He presses his finger gently against my lips to stifle the shriek so that it only comes out as a kind of sputtering ‘raspberry’.
“Now. You have no cause to be afraid! You are safe and more than safe here with me. I am Nerites.” Somehow the firmness and confidence that he says this settles my blind panic into something more akin to mere terror. He says his name, though, as if I should know it.
“O-Oh-Kay?!” I manage to get out from my strangled voice box. I don’t know what else to say…my brain isn’t working at all well! I am still shivering as if I am in an arctic blizzard.
“Oh my…it must have been a very very long time I was in that shell. You do not know my name! Alas…but then…I was never an Olympian. Just a mere sea deity. One of many that are Poseidon’s sons. I doubt that many men even knew of me before Aphrodite did…what she did to me.” It is Nerites’ turn to look sad. He hangs his head and his beautiful hair falls partially covering his sculptured face off to one side.
“Na-Na-Nerites?” Somehow something manages to fire in my poor frenzied little brain. A glimmer of recognition of an old story that my Great Grandfather once told me. He loved to tell me all the old Greek stories of Gods and Men. He had so many that it was hard to keep them all straight. He knew them all by heart and told them to me next to a bonfire on the beach. I lived for those stories.
One of them had been about a minor god. A being who’s estate it was to ride the waves and laugh. A god of joy and, for lack of a better word, fun!
Upon my Great Grandfather’s description I could not but think of my friend Sean. I only got to see him now and then in San Diego where he liked to surf. He had no anchor. He lived always with friends and I don’t know if he worked a day in his young life! But…he surfed! Surfing was his life and his religion! The sea called to him and took him and thrilled him as it could no other person I knew.
I would always remain on the beach tanning as he surfed. He tried time and again to get me to surf with him or at least bodyboard, but I was always too chicken.
Some things never mattered very much to Sean. He was totally free and unashamed of anything. When he was done surfing he’d strip naked in front of me and jog over to the showers to rinse the salt water and sand off. He never paid any heed to anyone else on the beach who saw him naked. He was never caught by lifeguards or police either…which was strange!
I think he knew what he was doing in enticing me like that. I have always had a fondness for handsome boys as I do for pretty girls. I never acted upon my desires though. I don’t believe Sean had wanted that. I think he just did it to tease me. Sean was and is and has always been someone I’ve looked up to because of his carefree attitude and…faith in the moment!
In any case, the little god of the waves was a divine Sean. A person that lived for the joy of life and never looked to tomorrow or yesterday. He embodied the joy of life in the present tense. His joy was such that he was a favorite of Poseidon who found his antics highly entertaining. Poor Poseidon had many concerns…mostly due to the reckless nature of his brother, Zeus. Zeus who was the King of the Gods and brother to Poseidon was rash and careless. Poseidon always worried Zeus would go too far and do something…irreparable one day. The little god served to lift Poseidon from his endless pondering and caused him to remember again why the sea was his to love and take joy in. The young god embodied that joy!
Poseidon often took this little god to his abode in the deepest ocean. There the young lord of the waves would describe his many adventures and achievements. He would then grow tired and settle in to Poseidon’s arms, spent from his long day enjoying his father’s beautiful sea. It was also said that he rode and perhaps even drove the Poseidon Chariot, a vessel driven by horses of white sea foam who were faster than a tsunami.
It came to pass that the little god became recognized by Aphrodite, the Olympian Goddess of all Love and the arbiter of new Life. She was a subtle but powerful deity who’s power was often overlooked by the other gods. Her province made possible new life through the joys of creation. She was also a goddess of change…and so her powers of metamorphosis were perhaps the greatest of all the Olympians.
She was daughter to Poseidon but a peer to him in power and authority since her ascendency to Olympus by the will of Zeus, her uncle. This made her sister to this little god of joy as well, but her aspect and station among the gods made her eclipse her little brother in seeming importance. He barely knew her…but she knew of him!
Aphrodite was not immune to her own godly purview. She was, by her very nature, a being of passionate and relentless desire. Where beauty came to rest anywhere in the flesh of gods or men, she would covet it and seek to cherish it and enjoy it fully. Alas, for the subjects of her fickle affections, her passions were often too much for those that she focused them upon. These poor souls rarely ever made a good ending of it.
So it was with Poseidon’s favored companion. Aphrodite wanted him for the very same reasons Poseidon kept him close. He brought her great joy as she watched him go about his carefree existence. She desired the little god greatly for he was the most beautiful of all the gods. His grace and his strength and especially his shining radiant happiness made him the most attractive of all the gods to her, Olympian or otherwise!
So, she came to him and offered him not only her love but also Ascendency! He would join her on Olympus and she would induce Zeus to cause the little god to take on the mantle of the God of Joy and he would be her perfect consort. Love and Joy should ever be bonded! It was a match to be made in heaven!
But, the boy-god refused her. Something thought totally impossible by all. No one could refuse or resist Aphrodite. She was the very definition of irresistibility. She was Love itself!
But the little god could not choose between her and his beloved father. Poseidon was the young god’s everything! He was the sea itself and he loved the sea above all things. So, he had to refuse her. In his mind it was the only choice.
Aphrodite did not care for this decision in the least. Her desires were never overridden. Even Zeus himself could not resist her. So, this refusal could not stand without an answer.
Her powers in metamorphosis were great as I stated before. They were indeed vast! She was an aspect of life that induced change and growth. Love always changes one…and love can often break one. Love can, indeed, be cruel at times and so Aphrodite was most cruel. Most cruel indeed.
She transformed the little god into a seashell as beautiful as he had been as a living god. She also left him to be the ‘lord’ of all the mean shelled and related creatures of the sea. He sank to the bottom of the ocean never to ride the waves again.
Nerites was the name of this minor god!
“So you do recognize that name!” Nerites exclaims with joy.
“Uh…I…I…” I can’t form the words because this sudden revelation is too much for me to factor. It makes no sense.
Nerites is merely a myth!
“Ah! Don’t be shy! I know you recognize me! I know you do!” Nerites bounced me playfully as if I were a baby in his arms.
“After an eternity of time, I am still remembered!” Nerites threw his head back with joy and laughed. The sound seemed to stimulate a number of fish around us who began leaping into the air.
His laughter is a beautiful sound to hear and its beauty is what is so deeply terrifying to me. Nobody laughs like that. This must be a dream. Yes…a nightmare that’s all this is. I shall wake up soon. I’ll wake up on the beach and have a sunburn but I’ll be on dry land able to walk back home. I won’t be here with this Strange being on this swimming….THING!
Please wake up Alex! Please wake up!
“Why is it that you shake your head? Do you have something in your eye?” ‘Nerites asks with concern. He wipes at my eye with utmost delicacy. I try to pull away, but his strength is completely irresistible. Why am I not waking up?
“M…My eyes are just fine…er…Nerites. It is what I am seeing with them that bothers me!” I say to the god with what might be taken as impertinence. I cannot regret it though. I feel I am dead already so it only matters that perhaps I learn why I must go like this.
“Ah…you see what you do not understand. This is not surprising. Even Ganymede was so disoriented when he came to join the Olympians on high!” Nerites said rather academically.
“You ride with me on the sea! It is a great joy, is it not?” Nerites’ smile should be infectious and despite everything I feel I want to smile…but my fear is just too much. I can’t laugh at this. I am not a brave soul by nature and this thing is like a waking nightmare!
I must know, if I am to continue this horror and so I ask: “What…what is it that we are riding on? What was that…” I swallowed hard another sudden desire to wail mindlessly.
“What was what?” Nerites ask as he sits me down on, um….air and sea spray! Somehow, Nerites sits on this with great comfort not touching the slimy thing below us. He seems to hover cross-legged over the Thing with the Tentacle. Now he is causing me to so this.
I must be going completely insane!
“The tentacle! What was that?” I say trying not to hyperventilate.
“Oh. Yes…This is Kraken.” Nerites says with a matter of factness that is not in any way reassuring.
“K-Kraken?” I try to remember what that is. I try, but with each passing moment my brain functions less and less.
“Yes. This is my friend Kraken.” Nerites says again as if it is nothing.
Beneath me the slimy ‘vessel’ turns and suddenly I am presented with a gigantic yellow eye with a blacker than black pupil. It blinks at me once and then the Kraken turns again and the eye is gone.
“Wanna go! Get me out of here! It BLINKED at me!” I am hysterical!
It is then that I come to understand, finally, who I am with and what he means and what he is. He draws my frantic body to himself and easily guides my struggling head into his kiss. Upon the first touch of those divine lips on mine I feel my body go limp as a rag doll. A thrill of absolute sensual bliss shivers through my entire body and the terrible fear that had been growing within me vanishes.
I stay connected to Nerites like this for what seems an eternity. An eternity that I wouldn’t mind living in for the forever that it would ever be. I dare to reach for his head and my fingers find his hair. This only causes me more pleasure!
His golden hair feels like heavy strands of silk in my hands or perhaps the finest filaments of true gold. Under his beautiful hair is a scalp and a head…just like mine! I suspect its harder and more durable though. Everything about Nerites seems stronger and more durable than my flimsy little body.
Despite his strength, Nerites does not press his kiss so hard that it might injure me. I feel the strength there. I know that his arms and his hands and even his lips themselves could injure me very badly or kill me. His strength is what I always thought Superman’s strength would be like. But his gentleness and control are just as perfect as Superman’s as well! In no way does Nerites harm me. There is no clumsiness in him and no carelessness.
He is perfection and he really is…a god!
Finally, after a time outside of time, Nerites releases me from his divine kiss. I am forever changed and the expression in my eyes seems to tell that to him.
He smiles slightly with a look of deep wisdom and says: “You believe now. You believe! Don’t you?” I slowly nod my head as I look deep into those viridian waters he has for eyes.
Before long, I find sleep in his arms again. All concerns over my deadly plight and how my family would be missing me ended. I became just slightly aware of a change in the light and the voluptuous rush of sea water as it closed around Kraken, Nerites, and I. We were going underwater…
…and I didn’t care in the least!