Sky & Sea: Part I

Updated: Sep 13

Moonlight Kiss


Ring sat on his Rinus Cloud travelling over the shining sea that was lit by the rays of the crescent moon. Though his father ordered him not to leave the fort at night, Ring disobeyed intending to meet his lover. He called her the “Jewel of the Sea” and she called him the “Flame of the Sky”. Both of them loved each other wholeheartedly and they met when the moon’s first rays kissed the lovely sea. For once, Ring was late and found his Jewel sitting on the golden rock waiting for him. He whispered in the air an apology to which he heard a sweet cold wind, filled with love striking back saying he did not need to apologise.


Ever since Ring saved her from being caught in the nets with the help of a hawk, the mermaid loved him with all her heart. However, the problem was that Ring could not go down the clouds nor could the mermaid reach up to the sky. Although they loved each other they could not even touch one another. As years passed the only solution that could unite them was marriage but their races would never agree to such an alliance.


It’s proclaimed in the Lightning Law which Ring’s father - the King followed, that merpeople are considered inferior to white clouds and according to the law, they were fit for nothing. Even if Ring dared to talk to his father about a mermaid, he would thrash him beneath the clouds and banish him forever. The mermaid also knew that even if Ring was brought to the water world by any means, her father would have them both killed without a second thought.


Yet Ring decided to take the risk to declare his love to his family despite the penalty. The mermaid dreaded the decision but knew that they had no other choice. They could no longer bear the distance between them. Ring, at last, went to his father’s chambers after the sun rose thinking that it would be the most fitting time to talk. He presumed that the morning prayers would make his father peaceful. To his surprise, his mother was also in the room. Without any hesitation, he stated with no sort of foreword that he loved a mermaid and wished to marry her. His mother, who was arranging her husband’s crystals, looked back at her son dazed.


As he heard the crystals touch the floor and scatter, Ring could see his father’s face ablaze like a cloud that just created a bolt of lightning. For a while, Ring could hear nothing but a deluge of scoldings. He could see his mother stopping his father from hammering him down. That very evening, King Hast ordered the arrest of Rinus cloud for disobeying his command and sent a few of his soldiers to house arrest his son before calling upon a meeting with his generals.

 

King Hast informed the gathered generals of the perilous decision his son made. They all remarked against the prince and appreciated King Hast’s work. Then they imposed new wind protocols on all the clouds to prevent any such mistakes from happening ever again. From that very day, Ring was always forced to stay in his room and only his mother visited him with his food. Every day he would sob thinking about the mermaid while the mermaid waited down on the golden rock every night for her flame to arrive and talk to him.


Two full moons passed by and one day Ring could no longer bear his separation and yelled at his mother who, as usual, came up to make sure he ate. Though his mother wanted to help him, she was in no position to do so. She tried to soothe her son in numerous ways but her attempts were futile. Unable to find a way to persuade her son to get off this dim desire, she gave in and informed him of a way to succeed instead.


She told him there was no way the Sky Lords would welcome her as a mermaid but if she intended to become a member of the Lightning family then, she might help him in convincing the members. Ring’s happiness knew no limits for a short span but he soon started plotting about it. He asked his mother how would that change be possible to which the queen gave no reply. A moment later, she stated, “It is your responsibility to make it happen since it is your desire to do so.”


She left soon after Ring finished his lunch and the young Prince thought for about half a day before recalling the promise to “The Grand Tree”. This was the only living tree on the clouds and renowned for granting wishes. He recalled how the old saint under the tree once promised him a boon because Ring eased his hunger in his time of need. Ring now wished to redeem this wish and called upon the old saint by chanting the hex which was once instructed to him. As soon as he opened his eyes, he could see the saint before him.

 

Ring prostrated before the saint and quickly explained to him all about his predicament and asked for his help. Hearing his tale, the saint hesitated a bit since he knew the truth that he would have to break the law. But still, he a wish is a wish and he had to fulfil it. He whispered that there is only one way to make the conversion. He said that a true lover’s kiss on a full moon day sitting on a lightning bolt could make the mermaid transform.


Following the advice, the saint warned that once changed, there are only a few ways for the mermaid to transform back and so he asked Ring to make sure the mermaid gave good thought before making her decision. He concluded by saying if she decides to transform, in just three days it can all be done.


That evening, Ring pleaded with his mother for just one last favour and travelled to the golden rock on his mother’s Royal Chain clouds. No wind dared to stop him as the clouds were of royalty. When he reached, Ring could see his lover sitting on the rock looking at the sky and waiting for him like every day. He could not whisper because the winds would recognize him and so he wrote up a note explaining the condition and concluded the letter by saying that if she wished to transform she should shoot the “Orun’s Spear” in the Temple of Irma. He also informed her that the next full moon would be the day of transformation if she so accepted.


He left down the letter binding it like a scroll and it reached the mermaid. Now it was her turn to make the choice and for a while, she was in a dilemma. She knew that if she intended to transform, she could no longer come to meet her family and if she stayed, she would be losing the love of her life and would be forced to live with an unknown king for the rest of her life compromising on many unseen attributes.


To her, the decision was hard but she thought about it for a while before deciding to inform her younger brother. But she damn well knew that he would stop her. The next morning when the sun rose, she prayed to the Sun God to protect her and threw the spear. Noticing it from the sky, Ring was overjoyed seeing the spear from his window and immediately summoned the saint to inquire about further instruction.

 

The saint began by explaining to Ring that if the mermaid was directly hit by the lightning, she would die and if she saw it, she could become blind. So the saint insisted that the Prince should himself set forth sitting at the edge of the lightning and kiss the mermaid. He promised that the lightning would reach the required distance and also assured that the clouds that were being used had the power of producing lightning without thunder.


As promised, the old one managed to bring the Bright Lightning Clouds from the Temple of Ornus and Ring’s mother assured to keep her husband busy that night while the generals were given a party in Wine Showers. Winds were called off for that one night by the queen. Ring started his journey on the bright clouds and was reaching the golden stone and so did the mermaid.


Surprisingly, that night, Merpeople King woke up hungry and found his daughter travelling out of the fort and was curious as to where his daughter was going and so he started to follow her. The mermaid soon reached the golden stone and sat on it eagerly waiting for her first kiss. She was overjoyed with the new life she was going to start. Soon enough Ring also reached and the Merpeople King was watching the whole thing from far beneath the sea. He stood still wondering why the clouds were so bright. All of a sudden he could see a bolt of huge lightning erupting out of those two bright clouds after they dashed each other.


He could see a young beautiful boy sitting on the edge of the lightning travelling towards his daughter. Merpeople King rushed forward to drag his daughter out of danger but he was too far. Ring reached sitting on the lightning towards the golden rock, closing his eyes and kissing the red juicy lips of his lover for the first time. The next thing Ring could see as soon as he opened his eyes laying on his bed was his Jewel standing before him as one of them.

 

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Credits

This contribution is edited by Edlyn ​D’souza, & Manognya Bethapudi & illustrated by Sravani Dhulipala.

 

Product

This short story is available as paperback & ebook.




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