VII. [1]

VII. [1]

A Chapter by Writer #00

~VII.~ ~ ~ ~


            It’s official.  We’re not taking any chances.  As far as Kami and I are concerned, I am the reincarnation of the angler.  Yesterday, after dinner (and a ten minute glad-you’re-okay reunion) we got Josh to lend us his phone and I showed her the same article I’d found earlier that day.  I also filled her in on some of the other things I’d noticed over these two days that were out of the norm, the fish pendant Mrs. Diaz wore that triggered my dreams (or, as we were now convinced, anamnesis), the word ‘trogon’ I’d heard during my unconsciousness, Felix’s strange behavior, and the ring on Mrs. Diaz’s middle finger.  With this information, I had let Kami take over the research.

            The first thing she typed in was ‘Trogon’.  Apparently, it not only means ‘eater’ in Greek, but it’s the name of a type of tropical bird.  She then typed in ‘Merida the angler’s wife’.  I’d completely forgotten the angler’s wife had a name until then, and it almost made her seem more human.  With a bit of scrolling and page-browsing, we’d found a story about a merchant, which was connected to the one Mrs. Diaz had told us the night of the bonfire.  I’ll see if I can give you a summary.

            The protagonist was someone named Oraios, the captain of a trans-mediterranean merchant ship.  On one of his ventures, Oraios was forced to protract his trade route at the sight of a terrible tempest on the horizon.  Not wanting to risk being caught in such a storm, Oraios docked at a small isle known as the Isle of Anoixi, named so after its ruler, Queen Anoixi.    Oraios fell in love with Queen Anoixi’s daughter, having spotted her out by the merchant ships for trading purposes, and, spell bound by her beauty and charm, passed his ship on to his first mate and vowed never to leave the Isle of Anoixi.  When a year had past, Oraios gathered the courage to request an audience with the Queen and ask for her permission to have her daughter’s hand in marriage.  Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I should just show the rest of the story to you:


            The Queen refused, naturally, for he was not of noble birth, but, once she saw how much her daughter truly loved him and how much Oraios truly loved her, she decided to offer him a bargain.  She would give him her daughter as his bride if he were to humble himself and request a dowry from his family.  Oraios agreed, but he was unsure as to what his family, which had been in the fishing business for many generations, would have to offer.  He borrowed a ship and sailed towards the village by the sea in which he was raised; however, mysterious storms winds blew him off course and into a sea fabled by sailors, one from which only one man was said to have ever returned, the Phantomsea.

                When the phantom winds hit, Oraios hadn’t enough time to escape to lower decks for safety and was promptly knocked against a portion of the boat and flung into unconsciousness.  When he awoke, there was a brightly plumed bird perched on the bow of the ship.  He waited for the two fragments of his vision to swim in sync, then wobbled over to the bird.  Upon closer inspection, he saw that the bird was a trogon, which immediately reminded him of his father who was of the same name.  Then, he felt a moment of panic.  What if his father had died out in a storm or from some sort of illness while he had been away?  He only visited him once a year, it wasn’t an impossibility.  Cautiously, he approached the trogon.

                “Excuse me, spirit,” Oraios began, “would you happen to be Trogon, my father?”

                The bird hopped around to face him, then shook his head, chirping: “I am Fylax, a spirit of wind who has vowed to become guardian over the relations of Merida of Limani Village.  You are her son, correct?”

                Oraios nodded, wary of the ominous creature.

                “In order to protect the three members of Merida’s close family, including herself, I have split myself up into three parts: two parts wind (one for you and one for your father), and one part water, for your mother.  I will be your guardian, and the guardian of your family, until the day your blood has left this earth.”

                Under any other circumstances, Oraios would have refused such an offer"why would he want to become entangled in the business of the spirits?"but he was trapped in their world as of now, and he needed to find a way out.  Fylax sensed his concerns and promised to lead him to the nearest gateway to the earthly world.  He summoned the gales of a storm, leaving behind the rain and thunder, and pushed the boat along the Phantomsea.  A gateway appeared before them, twirling rapidly on the sea, and Oraios made for the safety of the lower deck.  Before he reached the hatch, though, a terrible monster erupted out of the sea behind them, its body like that of an eel and its face like that of a woman’s.  Stricken with fear, Oraios beseeched Fylax to blow stronger winds, and the boat with its captain passed onward to the earthly side of the gateway.  Unfortunately, so did the monster.

                “What shall we do, Fylax?” Oraios asked, brandishing his saber as the beast swam ever-quickly after them, now but meters from the vessel’s stern, “I mustn’t die here, for I have come on a quest to win my lover’s hand in marriage.”

                “Is this lover, perhaps, of the Anoixi Isle?” Fylax inquired, increasing the strength of the winds and widening the distance between them and the monster.

                Oraios nodded, curious as to how the spirit possessed such knowledge.

                “Then this quest you speak of is, no doubt, a dowry for your bride’s family?” Fylax presumed, familiar with the matriarchal ways of the Anoixians.

                “Yes, yes, indeed, it is for Queen Anoixi herself, but how does this pertain to my current plight?”

                “I know your family is of little wealth, and I know that fish alone is not something that will persuade the Queen to give you her daughter.  Listen closely to me: the flesh of a gorgona will grant a mortal gross longevity and its eye will turn into spiritual amber when removed and the tears it cries will be of sapphire.  If you can obtain these things from this monster, then your dowry will have more of a chance.  I will enchant your blade so as to give it suction upon what it afflicts.  Stab the monster’s eye and it shall come away with your blade when you pull it out.”

                Oraios obeyed the tiny spirit, waiting for the monster to near the stern.  Once it did, the terrible creature launched itself into the air and came diving down upon the ship.  The captain held his enchanted saber directly overhead so that the monster pierced its eye on the tip.  He swung the monster down on the deck, yanking its right eye out of its socket.  The gorgona writhed in pain, sapphires spilling out from its left eye as it squinted its socket shut. He gathered the sapphires in a sack, then, feeling both sickened and sympathetic, Oraios sewed the socket shut and tossed the gorgona back out to sea, sparing its life and the chance at living many years.

                After such a dramatic event had died away with his adrenaline, Oraios realized he had arrived at his birth village.  He docked in the harbor and went immediately to his mother to explain the arrangement he had made with the Queen of Anoixi. 

                “But we have no valuables to spare, son,” his mother told him sadly, “we never even had enough money to afford wedding rings.”

                “If you allow me to salt, smoke, and dry a barrel of fish, I promise you I will repay you,” Oraios begged.

                His mother agreed, reaching into her supply of salted, smoked, and dried fish.  She packed them away into a barrel and gave them to her son, wishing him luck and happiness.

                “Will you and father not be coming to the wedding ceremony?” Oraios asked, “I would happily take you to the Isle of Anoixi.”

                “Your father has been out at sea for many days now, and I must wait for him to return.  I received a good omen, so I know he shall return, but I am not sure of the exactness.”

                Oraios nodded in understanding, unable to stay for fear that he had been away from his to-be bride long enough.  He visited a blacksmith, asking him to make jewelry out of the spiritual amber (because it looked like normal amber and may not entice the Queen alone).  When the black smith had finished, having made the amber into a fish pendant (to represent their town), Oraios paid him with sapphires. The blacksmith was a magical blacksmith and offered to enchant the pendant so that the amber would never fall out.  Seeing he still had many sapphires remaining, Oraios decided to pay for this as well as for a wedding ring for his mother.  Knowing Oraios could not stay in the village long, the blacksmith tended to both the pendant and the ring in the same flames, causing some of the enchantments of the amber to pass on to the ring.  Once the blacksmith had finished these two commissions and Oraios still had plenty sapphires remaining, he paid for another pendant to be made for an orb of sapphire (so that the Queen and her daughter could where matching ones) and for a ring for his father.  Again, the blacksmith tended to both in the same fire and the enchantments of the sapphire passed on to the ring.  Following this, he had a ring made for his bride.

                Oraios thanked the smith; then repaid his mother for the fish with the wedding ring.  He left for the Isle of Anoixi, Fylax watching over him from the Phantomsea (to appear invisible).  On his way there, he crossed his father’s path, spotting the little fishing boat as it returned home.  He and his father exchanged a few words, Trogon telling him of a huge catch he had just made and Oraios giving him the wedding ring he had paid for.

                Oraios arrived at the Isle of Anoixi in about a week, docking at its busy port and heading straight for Queen Anoixi’s palace.  He gave the Queen his dowry and Queen Anoixi, being satisfied with the gifts of sapphires, fish, and jewelry, gave Oraios her daughter’s hand in marriage.  Elated, Queen Anoixi hosted a wide banquet, inviting nobles from near and far to take part in the celebration of her daughter’s marriage.  As the entertainment, Queen Anoixi requested the famed sisters of the Isle of Seirena.  They were quite beautiful, with skin the brown of a taiga goose and hair as dark as ripe black olives.  Their performance consisted of one sister playing an exotic instrument known as the dulcimer, another playing the flute, and a third singing.

                After the banquet, Queen Anoixi was so impressed by the Seirena sisters’ music that she offered them a position as her royal musicians and Oraios could not stop thinking of the beautiful voice of the singer, Faios.  Eventually, he became so enchanted with her that he began to send for her to sing for him privately.  Singing changed to conversation, conversation to secret meetings, and meetings to love. 

                One day, having heard the sounds of moaning echoing from her chambers, Queen Anoixi’s daughter went to her mother in a fit of tears, knowing that her husband was no longer loyal to her. 

                “It is those wretched Seirena sisters!” she exclaimed, “I saw the way the men look at them"they are enchantresses!  They have seduced my husband, and who knows who else, and one of them is now sleeping in bed with him!  O, Mother!  We cannot leave these seductresses in our palace!  We must banish them!”

                Queen Anoixi knew the pain of betrayal"her own husband having attempted to usurp her throne"so, even though she knew her daughter’s claims were ridiculous, she exiled the Seirena sisters, giving them the pendants from her dowry for money and a few provisions, and cast them on a raft out to sea.

                Furious at the fate of Faios, his love, Oraios left the Isle of Anoixi in search for her.  He never found them, and eventually decided to return to Limani Village. When he arrived, he found that neither his father nor his mother were home.

                “What is the meaning of this?” Oraios asked Fylax, knowing the spirit was with him in the Phantomsea, “were you not supposed to protect them?!”

                “I apologize,” Fylax replied somberly, materializing in the earthly world, “but I was unable to save either of them.  I was met by sirens and their music so enthralled me that I found my enchantments had no effect.  Your mother now roams the Phantomsea and your Father has been cursed to be reincarnated forever.”

                “Take me to these sirens!” Oraios demanded, his saber in hand, “I must avenge my parents’ death!”

                “I will do as you wish, but I warn you: if I fail to protect you, all three versions of me will rejoin and my powers suppressed until I can redeem myself.  It will make protecting your children much more difficult.”

                “What children?!  I have no children!”

                Fylax ignored this, warping through the Phantomsea to the island upon which the sirens rested.  Oraios followed the sound of the sirens music, being afflicted with sadness as it reminded him of the music of Faios.  He entered the cove where he heard the music emit from, covering his nose to block out the stench of dead bodies.  As soon as he entered, the music ceased and was replaced with the sound of beating wings and scurrying.

                “Show yourselves, sirens!” Oraios shouted, lighting a torch and splashing the darkness of the cove with light.

                From one of the tunnels on the far side of the cove, he was shocked to see who emerged.  Her hair was as dark as ripe olives, and her skin was the brown of her wings.  He dropped his saber, tears forming in his eyes.  How could he kill the one he loved?

                “Was it you who killed my parents?"an angler and his wife?”

                Faios nodded sadly, “I did not kno"“

                Oraios did not listen.  He left the cove, head down and heart heavy.  When he returned to his ship, he found a bowl of salty stew waiting for him on the upper deck.  Though he was crestfallen, his hunger overtook him and he ate every morsel of the stew.  He did not think to ask where it had come from or who made it until after he had consumed it.

                “You enjoyed our stew,” two sirens presumed, flying down from the crow’s nest and alighting on the bow of his ship.

                Oraios’ eyes widened, fearing poison “What have you done to me?!”

                “Do not worry, Faios begged us not to kill you, so we took our revenge in another way.”

                “Revenge?”

                “Yes, it is your weak heart that led to our exile and the best position we have ever been in.  So, we fed you our stew.”

                “What was in the stew?”

                The sisters smiled, “The ashes of your father.”

                  With that, the sisters flew off, leaving Oraios alone on his ship.  He no longer loved his wife, and even if he did, there was no way he could show his face to her once more, his parents had been murdered by the one he loved, and now their ashes were swimming in his stomach.  He no longer had a taste for life, and dropped his wretched frame into the ocean.


            Well, that’s the end of the story (apparently written by a Mr. Smithy Shadow...odd name...Kami thinks it's a pseudonym).  I know, not quite a happy ending"and what’s with the men cheating on their wives?  I'd made a mental note not to follow in their footsteps.  By the time we’d finished the story, it was already time to retire to our respective cabins, so we hadn’t gotten a chance to really discuss all the things it’d revealed.  Today at breakfast, however, Coach informed the team that our warm up would be a five-mile bike ride down to the southern beach, which he estimated would take about half an hour.  This would be the perfect opportunity for Kami and I to…I dunno, get a game plan?  I mean, the angler’s wife had probably already tried to drown me"and in shallow water, too!"so thinking of a way to survive the remaining eleven days would be ideal.

---

            We left breakfast (I noticed Sasha had never returned from ‘the bathroom’…why was Coach still letting him go?), jogging down the foot-tall-grass-lined path with our counselor to change in our cabin.  As I jogged, I looked up at the sky, the clouds now beginning to thin into white wisps…like the stray cotton on the end of a Q-tip (maybe not the best analogy, sorry for the image).  I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d stared at this same sky when I was Trogon however many years ago.  What had the weather been like when he…I?..arrived on Icthyes?  Would little things like that start to trigger anamnesis?

           I clomped into the cabin last, Felix jogging directly behind me…and I mean directly behind me…as in: the guy was breathing down my neck like a vulture onto a…a….a something dead.  Okay, again: bad analogy…that makes me sound dead.  Anyway, it was very uncomfortable, but at least he hadn’t spoken to me in a while.  Maybe cracking his phone had actually gotten to him.  Awkward.

           We all changed into our baseball uniforms (though, in hindsight, maybe riding a bike in baseball clothes wasn’t such a good idea), taking a pair of our cleats to change into after the ‘warm up’.  Again, the quotations to emphasize how ironic the word is given the event it represents.  Any of us could have told you: today’s morning training was going to be Hell"and it was only our third day on the island!  Our calves were going to be beating like my heart that one time when I was up to bat and the fate of the game lay sprawled in my hands.  I’d actually hit a pretty decent ball, too; it probably would’ve been a grandslam if that leftfielder from the visiting side hadn’t caught it.  The only person on the team who hadn’t flared with loathing towards me was Dale"even Sasha made a little quip…something about how a star-nosed mole could’ve caught my ball.  Speaking of Dale, I’m pretty sure he was the only guy who was changing in the lavatory.

          We exited the cabin, slinging our bats over our shoulders and placing our baseball caps over our heads for shade against the merciless heat of the sun (or, in the case of Ali, putting our hoods on to hide our earphones).  Felix waited for all six of us to leave before rushing to my side and commencing to breathe down my neck once more.  Literally, this time, with a soft, whisper of a “Sure you’re feelin’ up to this bike ride, Laddie?”

           I will admit to a slight jolt of surprise at feeling the warmth of his exhaled words erect the strands of hair on my neck, but I soon recovered with a hopefully convincing: “I’m fine, Felix, and if I start feeling unwell, I’ll tell Coach and he’ll send me to Mrs. D"“

            “No!” Felix whispered, trying to keep his voice at a hush so as not to alert the other group members, “Not Mrs. Diaz!  Hadn’ I taught you one thin’ yesterday?  Come to me if you’re feelin’ unwell.”

            Okay, so that’s what he said, but I’m going to tell you how it translated in my mind: “Hey, Harrison, the next time you drop unconscious or start to feel like you want to introduce your intestines to the world, don’t go to anyone with medical experience, but go to the creepy, borderline insane, possibly pedophilic counselor.”  Yeah.  Totally.

            “If it’s so imperative that I stay away from Mrs. Diaz, then shouldn’t you be telling everyone what you just told me?” I asked as we took a left onto the trail that led to the baseball diamond, impressive evergreens peering down at us from above.

            “Not ‘everyone’ has cause to believe me,” Felix answered, “an’ I’m not obliged to protec’ ‘everyone’.  As long as I can keep you safe, everythin’ll be alrigh’, okay, Laddie?”

            “Cause to believe you?  What in the world are you talking about?  I don’t have any cause to believe you.”

            We emerged from the forest into a large clearing the baseball field had been built.  Most of the other cabins were already here, beginning to pick out their bikes (which JJ had apparently stored in a shed not too far from here) and strap on their helmets.

            “That’s what you think, Laddie,” Felix said with a spine-shivering pat on my shoulder and a wink of his silver-speckled eye; then he leaned into my ear and whispered something more spine-shivering than his physical contact:

            “Or would you prefer I call you Trogon?”



© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00

Well, I'm posting another Chapter in parts again ^^; (probably two like the last one). You might be able to tell from the awkward introduction that I had trouble finding a way to start this chapter. I wanted to move on to the next day, but I also wanted to make sure the reader knew about the merchant's story and other research Kami and Harri did later yesterday evening, so I had him begin Chap. 7 in the past perfect...but maybe that isn't a very good way to begin a chapter and the transition in to normal past tense might've been off...????? Thanks for reading and reviewing and hopefully making suggestions to better this chapter ^.^; ! I'll have more notes up for the last part of the Chapter.

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Posting the chapters in two separate parts is definiely a good idea, it's easier to read a shorter chapter and then review it. I have to consider it myself.

The parts of puzzle begin hopping into their place, tension rises. I must admit, the past 3 chapters were thrilling. Felix gives me creeps, by the way. I can't wait to read another chapter, the storyline is sucking me in. I think it would prove interesting if Harri wasn't the reincarnation of the Angler.


Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

I got the two-parts idea from Xerclipse and Shep, glad it did its job : )
Nice to know you w.. read more
I still think Felix may have a very shady role in the story. Interesting way of extending the story of the Angler's wife by using a new character Oraios. Suppose I was right after all Harri is the reincarnation. Sorry I wasn't able to review this yesterday but now I enjoyed it. Just have to wait what happens next!

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Think away, maybe you'll be right about Felix, too. : ) Thanks, I might be adding one more extensio.. read more
I think you uploaded this chapter twice...

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Writer #00

6 Years Ago

He DOES have a backstory, but I don't go into detail with it because he's a side character. Felix t.. read more
Brandon Langley

6 Years Ago

lol, no, I just somehow confuse all mythical creatures: mermaids, sirens, bigfoot, god, etc. We'll d.. read more
Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Agreed..... (

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Added on July 14, 2013
Last Updated on July 14, 2013
Tags: song, of, the, sirens, SOS, retreat, fantasy, biking, reincarnation, anamnesis, story


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Writer #00
Writer #00

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I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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