Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Sealover ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Destiny knows no reason or mercy. And from the start she loved the sea.

As a baby it was the sound that lulled her to sleep in the little cottage on the beach. As a child she would stare endlessly into the waves, enraptured. Her father often teased she must hear or see things they did not in it's endless blue. As she grew, so did her passion for the waters. And it seemed she did indeed have a gift for all things of it. She could outswim anyone in the village, and the little skift her brother made her seemed to stay afloat regardless.

"It seems the sea loves you as much as you love it." Her brother told her one day. She only smiled in reply.

Her true name is lost in the records of time, but they called her Sealover most, and that was the name history came to know her by. It was more suiting than any of them knew. At fourteen she blossomed into the beauty her mother often said she would, with long blonde wavy tresses and the body of a syren. And she was wanted by the boys of the village, but her grey-green eyes only had room for the waters they seemed made of. It was then she began to disappear from her room late in the night, and her mother would worry for her honor as much as her safety. They would always find her on the sandy shore alone, though. And when asked straight out if she had a lover, she would laugh. "No lover but the sea." And her family's worries were eased.

They couldn't hear the other laugh that joined hers from the waves, Sealover alone could hear it. A musical sound, and distinctly feminine. A voice she loved, and that loved her. And protected her time and again from those that would steal her from it. For the boys of the village came to try and claim her, and some accepted being turned down. But others didn't.

She was alone only by the sea, and there they would try to sneak up on her. She was warned, though, by the musical voice she alone could hear, and into the cool waters she would dive - to safety. For try as they might to follow her, the sea itself seemed to forbid it and never could they reach her. And as she tred the water far from shore, watching them, a protective hand that she alone could feel or see, wrapped around her waist and held her up when she tired. And always the boys walked home soaked with sea water, frustrated, and never having come near her.

And again and again her family found her alone by the shore, and again they would ask the same question. And each time she would laugh and answer the same. "No lover but the sea."

She was mysterious to the people of her village, but those with secrets often are. Sealover knew, for she had been warned before, that no one could ever understand, and so she never explained though she spoke the truth again and again. And as she grew older and the queries about a lover came not out of fear but hope - for her family hated to see her go without love for her whole life - then there was sorrow. For they could not know, or understand, or share in the joy. And even if she told them, they would not believe her.

Tears her lover didn't understand, for there had been no tears for her in her whole existence. And Sealover hadn't wept since childhood, and never in front of her, though she'd known her since she was a babe in her mother's arms. "I love them, but I love you as well. And in making one happy I make the other miserable."

And then her lover understood, and sorrow was not alien to her, though tears were. "You could hear me as a babe, you are gifted. And it was not by me, for that is a gift I have no way of giving. Even I do not control fate, destiny is the domain of another. If you chose someone else, I would never blame you. I do not know what it is like to be stuck between like you, but I can guess it is not pleasant."

"Life isn't always pleasant." Sealover told her, still crying. "I could never find another, for in my heart there is only room for you."

Was it strength or folly? Who is to say? But perhaps it was destiny from the start. And, as I stated, destiny knows no reason or mercy. And it was destiny's hand, perhaps - her family's decision to take a journey inland, away from the sheltering shore. Maybe that was why, when she begged to stay, their answer was no. More tears came then, near to hysterics, and for the week before she stayed in her room. Even the musical voice that called for her through her window could not get her to move from it, until the final night.

For the second time she cried in front of her lover, and her lover knew sorrow again, and their lovemaking desperation. With the knowledge she was created with long ago, perhaps she knew. But perhaps she didn't, for why give her the gifts if she did?

"Gaze into this and you will see my face. Place this to your ear and you will hear my voice. A remembrance, not truly me. It is all I have to give, as away from the sea I cannot be with you. Cannot protect you. But keep my gifts closeby, and I will know if you are well and safe."

It was a beautiful pearl, the size of her fist, with a rainbow that danced across it's surface even in starlight. The shell was no smaller, and colored a pale pink, with a rainbow at its edges. Sealover took them, crying again, and left.

When her family saw what she carried on her return home, they asked her the infamous question. And for the final time, their was no laughter, only a nearly inaudible response, though it was the one they knew so well. "No lover but the sea."

As they left, she gazed back one last time, clutching the bag that held the treasured gifts. And to the musical voice's wishes for a quick return, she only nodded. Perhaps there were secrets she kept even from her lover. Perhaps she knew what lay ahead.

Destiny's hand was revealed two weeks later to the village that was waiting for the family's return. And no one doubted what it meant. That they would never return. That Sealover had died. What other reason was there?

For one day the sea raged in a stormless sky, and a wind howled through waves that crashed against the shore. And rain fell, though there was no clouds to bear them. And briefly, only briefly, the people of the village could hear her. A sound that was beyond natural, and contained more sorrow then a human heart could take. The broken-hearted crying of a goddess.

Salmon 2004