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The Moonlit Bloom

The Moonlit Bloom

By ANNA CORALPublished 27 days ago 3 min read

The salty spray on Scarlet's face were freighter rumbled towards the emerald jewel of Oahu. Her heart pounded a frantic counterpoint to the engine's thrum. At 16, she shouldn't be on a rickety cargo ship bound for Hawaii, but desperation had a way of rewriting plans. Her father, a renowned botanist, lay bedridden, struck by a mysterious illness. The only cure, according to a tattered legend in his research notes, was the elusive Hinano Lehua, a moonlit white hibiscus said to bloom on a hidden volcano.

The journey was arduous. Scarlet, used to the quiet comfort of their old bookstore, found solace in the endless blue horizon. The grizzled crew, initially wary, found themselves warming to her fierce determination. Captain Kai, a man with eyes reflecting the ocean's depths, taught her the ways of the sea – tying knots, reading the stars. Under the vast canvas of the night sky, he'd regale her with tales of Polynesian voyagers, their courage echoing in Scarlet's own journey.

Oahu was a whirlwind of vibrant beaches and lush rainforests. She followed cryptic clues in her father's notes, deciphering ancient Hawaiian symbols with the help of a kind librarian. The legend spoke of a "sleeping giant," a dormant volcano shrouded in mist. Finally, after days of relentless searching, Scarlet found an old fisherman willing to take her on a rickety boat.

The journey was fraught with danger. Towering waves threatened to capsize their vessel, and the volcanic fumes stung Scarlet's lungs. But the image of her father, pale and weak, spurred her onwards. They reached a black sand beach, the air thick with the sulfurous smell of the volcano. The path ahead was treacherous – jagged rocks and loose scree. Scarlet, her boots sinking into the volcanic ash, felt a surge of doubt. Yet, Captain Kai's words echoed in her head, "The greatest treasures are often found on the most difficult paths."

As dusk painted the sky in fiery hues, she stumbled upon a hidden valley. Nestled amidst the volcanic rock, bathed in the ethereal glow of a full moon, bloomed a field of moonlit white hibiscus – the Hinano Lehua. Dewdrops on the petals shimmered like tiny diamonds. Relief washed over her, so intense it brought tears to her eyes. With trembling hands, she carefully collected a few flowers, their scent an intoxicating blend of honey and citrus.

The return journey was faster, fueled by hope. Captain Kai, surprised by the speed and determination in her eyes, simply smiled and steered the boat through the moonlit waves. Back in their small town, a hush fell over the room as Scarlet entered with the flowers. An inexplicable energy emanated from them, filling the air with a sweet fragrance.

Her father, weak and barely conscious, stirred at the scent. He opened his eyes, a flicker of recognition in their depths. Scarlet crushed the petals and brewed a tea with boiling water. Holding the steaming cup to his lips, she watched, her heart pounding, as he took a small sip.

A slow transformation began. The color returned to his face, his breathing eased. Slowly, over the next few days, her father regained his strength. The legend of the Hinano Lehua, it seemed, held true.

News of Scarlet's daring feat spread like wildfire. The once-quiet bookstore became a destination for the curious and the afflicted. Scarlet, alongside her recovered father, became a beacon of hope. They used the remaining Hinano Lehua seeds to cultivate a small garden, a testament to her courage and the power of a daughter's love. The once ordinary girl had become a legend herself – the girl who braved the sea and climbed a volcano to bring back a flower from the moon. And in the quiet moments, when the scent of the Hinano Lehua filled the air, Scarlet would close her eyes and remember the vast ocean, the sleeping giant, and the captain who taught her that sometimes, the greatest adventures are born out of the fiercest storms.

Short StorySci FiMysteryMicrofictionFantasyFan FictionClassicalAdventure

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