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Why the Waves Still Collide With the Shore

A myth. A love story.

By Gina C.Published 7 months ago Updated 5 months ago 11 min read
Top Story - August 2023
83
"La Sirena" by Michael Parkes

Long ago, when the four elements of the Earth were first coming into existence, the land and the sea fell in love.

During this time, the land, whose name was Liram, was the strongest and most important element of all. With great, majestic mountains and tall, viridescent trees, Liram was home to all the Earth’s fauna. He was vast and uncharted, extending all the way across the planet as the giant supercontinent known today as Pangea.

Proud of his empire and the life that thrived in it, the young, handsome Liram often boasted to his rival, Faraj, the fire.

“Behold the infinite span of my landscape, Faraj. So great is it that even I, myself, have not walked its entirety. Have you ever seen a kingdom so brimming with space and life?” His voice was a piercing howl, akin to the wolves that roamed freely among his untouchable peaks.

Faraj, who was envious of Liram, hissed and sizzled beneath Liram’s feet. Faraj was a prisoner during this era, for fire existed only at the innermost core of the planet, far below the Earth’s crust.

“One day you will see just how strong I am, Liram, and it won’t matter how great, vast, or uncharted you are. Animal life will come to depend on me just as much as it does on you.”

Liram only shrugged off the fire’s jealousy.

“I don’t believe that to be true, my friend. Once I travel to the edge of my empire, I will extend my gift of life to the sea, and the ocean itself will become home to a great part of my animal kingdom. Then, I will be truly invincible. The animals shall depend on you for nothing. You shall see."

Faraj let out an acute, searing laugh from beneath him.

“Tell me, Liram, do you truly believe that you, Prince of the Land, can create life in the sea?”

A twinge of embarrassment harpooned through Liram's chest, for the fire had caught him in his bluff. However, a warrior of faith, Liram maintained his composure before his foe.

“Of course, I do, Faraj. As I said, you shall see.”

Faraj only continued to snicker and jeer.

“Naive you are, Prince Liram. Everyone hath knowledge that the sea is a still, barren place - without movement, warmth, or capability of supporting life. You may be powerful, Liram, yes, but you are not nearly powerful enough. The sea will remain vacant forever.”

***

That night, as the stars cast their pale, ethereal glow upon the Earth’s surface, Liram tossed and turned in his sleep. Deep within him, his subconscious wrestled with itself. Was he truly as great as he believed himself to be?

Liram was mighty and dignified, yes, but he was also a kind, loving, and considerate father to his animal children. The home he provided for them was as rich with flora for nourishment as it was ample in diverse terrain. Liram took pride in the fact that all his children were thriving in the home he made available to them - that he had created for them from the very dust that he was. Was it absurd for him to believe he could also create children who lived in the sea? That he could provide a home for them in the place where salt mixed with water?

As Liram continued to fade in and out of a labored sleep, his heart and mind became nuanced with vivid, enigmatic dreams. Drowsy, his eyes caught sight of the shadows of nearby flowers and leaves as they drifted, serpentinely, in the ruffles of moonlight.

Of course, Liram lived during a time when fish did not yet exist. Even waves were a notion seen only in dreams, for as Faraj had said, the sea was a place of stillness and void. But, as Liram lay in the darkness, he saw life in that stillness - he saw a deep, cerulean void that yearned to be full.

And, as the ruffles of moonlight swayed his soul back into a hopeful slumber, he felt peace in his belief that the sea was meant to stir and rock with aliveness.

***

By morning, it had become clear to Liram what he needed to do: he needed to travel the great, uncharted expanse of his land with the goal of meeting the sea. There, perhaps he could discover the true boundaries and possibilities of his eminence.

It was to be a long and tiring journey, and also a dangerous one. Liram was almost certain to come into contact with many of his own wild, predatory animal children who would not recognize him. Being that Pangea was so wide and untravelled, he still had not had the privilege of introducing himself to many of them. The probability of attack was great, and, in order to prevent his children from becoming frightened and defensive in his passing, Liram adorned his head with a casque made from the horns of a bison. It seemed to be the most perfect, divine camouflage. For Liram, somewhere deep within his heart, felt that he embodied the spirit of this robust, impressive land creature.

“Where are you going, fierce one?” Asked Winsor, the wind.

“To the sea, my friend.”

“And why is this so?”

“I must attempt to extend my gift of life unto the salt-laden water, for only then will I know the possibilities and boundaries of my greatness.”

“Very well,” said the wind. He soared high and low along Liram’s side, assisting the strong and handsome Liram - who inevitably grew weak from his journey - in pushing back the branches and leaves of the foliage.

Finally, after many days, Liram caught sight of the sea. He was so overcome by its tranquil, blue beauty and vastness - vastness that seemed to rival his own - that he fell to his knees before it. He had never seen or imagined such peacefulness before, and, for a moment, he wondered if it would be a shame to try to change it.

“Who are you?” Asked a soft, whispery voice.

Liram shaded his brow from the sun and discovered the most beautiful young woman he’d ever taken sight of, with long, gilded tendrils that concealed her bare chest and cascaded down to her waist. Her eyes were the essence of sapphire as they reflected the light of the sun, and her voice echoed on and on through the shell of his ears like some serene, hidden secret. She sat, hip-deep in the tranquil, blue water, close enough to be beheld but far enough away to appear as if a mirage.

“Who are you?” She repeated. Her manner was patient and kind.

But Liram, still mesmerized by the view that she was, could only remain on his knees and gaze at her. It was as if the salt of the cool air about her had reached into his chest and pulled out his breath in one swift, effortless motion.

The sea smiled, seeing how tired and weak the young, handsome traveler was.

“I am Sirena, the sea” she cooed, “come, some time spent by my side will ease your limbs and rekindle your soul.”

The last thing that Liram remembered before he fell into a deep, restful sleep was the soft lap of the water kissing the sand and Sirena's two, lustrous blue eyes, which danced around him in an aquamarine dream.

***

When Liram finally awoke, three days had passed. Though he did not recall much from his journey, he remembered the beautiful, sapphire eyes that had lulled him to sleep.

“Hello, Sirena,” he said to the sea as he approached her. She was waist-deep in the water with her back to him, and he made sure his footsteps were soft so as not to alarm her.

Sirena’s head turned slightly to the side to acknowledge him.

“Did you sleep all right?” Her long, sea-swept gold hair cascaded down to her hips, swaying gently in the sparkling ripples around her.

“I did,” answered Liram, “thank you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m shore - I mean, sure,” Liram corrected himself, blushing profusely at his slip of the tongue.

Sirena spun around and gave him a warm, captivating smile.

“So maybe that’s what we should call that part of you there,” she said, pointing to the sandy bank between the land and the sea, “I’ve been trying to think of a word for it for months.”

Liram bent down to pick up some of the wet sand by his feet, then let it fall between his fingers. “This?” He asked her, confused.

“No, silly, not just the sand. I mean the part of you that is also part of me - the place where the land and the sea come together, as one.”

Liram raised his eyebrows.

“But this here where I stand is land. Why do you say it is also part of the sea?”

Sirena let out a small giggle, then dove into the water.

Liram’s heart skipped a beat as he watched her disappear. He then inhaled with awe as her seraph-like face emerged right before him. Her silvery legs were spun and woven together, much like the serpentine shadows he’d seen in the moonlight. He bent down, meeting the beautiful siren where the soft laps of sea met the taper of sand.

There, at eye level, she smiled at him, reaching her small hand out to touch his cheeks, then his chin, and then up toward the ivory horns adorning his head.

“Come with me, I’ll show you,” she whispered. And before Liram could reply, she pulled him into the water.

Liram gasped for air as the taste of salt swept into his throat. He thrashed around violently, then felt the gentle touch of Sirena as she steadied him on the sandy sea floor.

“You can stand here,” she assured him, “see?”

Liram looked down toward his feet, but only saw water. Bewildered, he then noted the soft sensation against his skin as the sand swallowed the tips of his toes. He gasped.

“How can this be?” He asked, still catching his breath.

“It is as I told you,” said Sirena, “this place is of both of us.” She slid one hand up to his bicep, then pointed the other in the direction of the land. “We’ll call this place the ‘shore’. It will be our place, from now until the end of time.”

The two stood there for some time in the water, each admiring the marvel that was the other.

***

In the months that followed, Sirena and Liram fell deeply in love. From their intense blossom of romance, the sea - which had been vacant of animal life - began to fill with beautiful and curious creatures of every shape and kind. By the cusp of the spring and summer solstice, the salt waters surrounding Liram’s great empire were awake and animated with fish, coral, and sea lions. There were kind and playful creatures that resembled the beauty of Sirena, such as dolphins with sleek, silvery tails. There were also fierce ones that took after Liram, such as walruses with hard, ivory horns: bison of the sea.

“Faraj will certainly be impressed by what we’ve created here,” Liram said to Sirena, gazing fondly into the two spheres of life that were her blue eyes.

Sirena laid her head into the crevice of Liram’s strong chest.

“And who is this Faraj, my love?”

Liram smiled. “Someone I’m certain you wouldn’t much tolerate, given your nature.”

Sirena let out a small sigh of contentment, and the salt of her breath called a flock of seagulls back to the glow of the water. There, a school of plankton waited to offer themselves to them.

The two held each other as they admired their creation.

***

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Liram and Sirena, Faraj had grown considerably more powerful. Full of rage and desperation to prove his strength to Liram, his fury now seethed beneath the Earth’s surface.

So violent had his determination grown that small cracks and fissures began to feather all throughout Liram’s empire, releasing brilliant plumes of hot molten magma. The earthquakes caused by the eruptions were so great that the magnificent Pangea began to break into pieces.

“Take my hand!” Liram called out anxiously to Sirena, for their two bodies drifted further and further away from each other under the force of Faraj’s tremors and upheavals.

“Don’t worry, I’ll come back to you!” Sirena yelled back. And, with her magnificent, watery weight, she surged forward again - crashing back into Liram’s arms in the form of the first wave.

But, the two were unable to embrace for long. As Faraj’s power grew, his hot, molten magma welled up through the ever-growing weak points in Liram’s crust, creating more and more volcanos. Each time they erupted, a rush of unstoppable energy rocked both the land and the sea floor, causing Liram and Sirena to be pulled apart over and over again.

In the end, Faraj achieved what he wanted. Fire became so powerful that he broke free from the core of the Earth and ascended into the sky, claiming the sun as his kingdom - the warm source of energy that all life knows and depends on. But that was not all. So violent was the thrust of his escape that it cast eternal repercussions on the Earth, and Liram - the great Pangea - remained forever broken into pieces, forming the continents we know today.

As for Sirena, her love for Liram was so immense that she had no choice but to console him. She tried her best to absorb his sadness and shock as he was ripped apart. However, the force from both Faraj and Liram was so great that she became stuck in a state of forever motion and wave.

“I will always come back to you,” Sirena whispered as she was whisked away, once again.

“And I will always wait for you here,” promised Liram.

To this day, Liram and Sirena embrace each other for one small, sweet moment as the waves collide with the shore.

Fantasy
83

About the Creator

Gina C.

Achievements:

  • Twice-published in Vocal's Moment of Freedom Collection:

My Soul of Red

Free Verse

Free-Form poet of ethereal style🧚‍♀️✨

Fantasy writer

A sucker for a good rhyme☺️

Fueled by a conflicted soul of fire & water

TT: poetry.in_pajamas

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Comments (52)

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  • Gia St. Thomas15 days ago

    Very colorful read. Loved it!

  • moontextile992 months ago

    Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article https://www.faisalabadfabricstore.com/black-hoodies-wholesale/

  • Darkos5 months ago

    Beautifully written taken me into another land and it feels so light to read ! Congratulations 💓

  • Alex H Mittelman 6 months ago

    Wow! Detailed and really well written!

  • J. S. Wade6 months ago

    Your mastery of imagery through words amazes me Gina. Beautifully written. I’ve been out of the loop a bit and catching up now. Hope you are doing well. 🥰

  • Grz Colm6 months ago

    Hey there, I’m uncertain if I had read the original Gina, but I’m sorry I only got around to reading your epic entry now! Detailed and luscious language throughout, but I enjoyed the coda about the waves! That left a fantastic picture in my mind. Good luck!! & I hope you are going well?

  • I loved every part of this. I don’t often read fiction on here but I trust anything your name is on now!!! What a truly magical read. I hope this places, it deserves to ❤️✨

  • You have gotten so brilliant at your descriptions and imagery. Ruffles of moonlight I love that! I hope one day Vocal recognizes your talent and you win one of these contest

  • Thavien Yliaster7 months ago

    I like how this story is told from the perspective of the first humans, even though we never had the idea of the first continent. When I read about Pangea, I was like, "Ohhhh, we're going to get early stories about creatures from the Cambrian to the Permian era?" Then when I read that there were mammals in there I was like, "but those only started to exist in the Jurassic era, and most of them were still monotremes, egg-layers." So, it was really nice to see that this is a story that would truly arise from a Native people in their early forms of history to explain the way the world works. Especially since as a person who's always interested in evolution I'm surprised that You started with life beginning on the land and then migrating towards the ocean, and not the other way around. Though to be honest when it comes to a lot of marine mammals they all evolved from something in the water first, to the land, and then returned back to the water. I'm looking at You whales and sea lions and walruses. The story of how the elements were in some form of relationship to one another was fantastic. I was still surprised at how the animals and plants lived before Faraj ruled the sky as the sun. I just have to ask, "How did all of those plants and animals that rely upon them survive without the suns light and warmth? Did Liram not needs Faraj's help to keep his animals warm, from succumbing to the cold? Is that why Liram suppressed Faraj beneath the earth, only allowing small amounts of his flames to leave between its crust to provide nourishment in forms of warmth, light, and ash?" Then when I was reading about his relationship with Sirena, it felt like that of a newlywed couple that's barely known each other, but also have all the time in the world to get to know each other for themselves. Goodness, You put so much passion behind this that it gripped me with every word. Fantastically done, Gina.

  • Dean F. Hardy7 months ago

    I'm sorry I'm getting to this wonderful piece so late Gina. A challenge made for you. And I think one that you will win 🙏☘

  • Sirena was my favourite! I also liked Liram and Winsor. But forgive me for laughing at Faraj. In Malay, it means vagina 🤣🤣🤣 I love how the term shore came to be and how Pangea broke into seven continents! This was such a magnificent story!

  • Thavien Yliaster7 months ago

    I am so glad I got to read this story. This was a lovely surprise that gave me just the relaxation I needed. A lovely creation myth, Gina. I got so much to comment about this and so little time as of today. I will return.

  • Joe Luca7 months ago

    A great fantasy with history woven neatly throughout. Nicely done!

  • Jennifer David7 months ago

    GINA! This is absolutely fabulous. I was browsing the contest entries to see if there were any submissions close to mine. And I also wanted to see where I could've done better in my writing. Yours captured me even from the title. And your visual was so fitting. Then I decided I'd skim the writing. But I won't do that. That would be criminal. I'm going to come back and really read it. If I weren't in a hurry, I'd read it now. This is the kind of writing the I love to read. Thank you!

  • Kelly Robertson7 months ago

    This is so incredibly beautiful, Gina! I love the way you paint Liram and Sirena's relationship from start to finish. It's so sweet and heartbreaking. Well done!

  • Raymond G. Taylor7 months ago

    Lovely story and great choice of artwork. Not enough mermaids in contemporary fiction. Well done and good luck with the challenge

  • Babs Iverson7 months ago

    Fabulous absolutely fabulous!!! Immensely enjoyed your tale!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Samantha Jamison 7 months ago

    One of the most beautiful stories I've read.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby7 months ago

    I love your dialogue it is very expressive and thoughtful👏❤️Great work as always. Congratulations on your top story 🤩

  • Margaret Brennan7 months ago

    such a beautiful story. I love it. As the others have said, and I agree: CONGRATULATIONS. Beautifully written. Well done.

  • Test7 months ago

    Congrats on top story. Well written story :)

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🤩💯😊💖‼️

  • Mariann Carroll7 months ago

    Congratulations Gina on another great story telling 🎉🥰🍉

  • Catherine Dorian7 months ago

    What a hypnotic, gentle retelling of a phenomenon so beautiful. Just as Sirena and Liram's love is ephemeral, so are the waves. Brilliant.

  • Natalie Wilkinson7 months ago

    I love 4 elements stories. I could imagine a story featuring each one individually in this telling.

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