The Calling of the Tide

moon over water

The soft crashing of waves sends tingles down my spine. Or maybe it’s the anticipation of seeing you again.

“Luna?” I sneak behind the large rock that marks our spot and there you are, moonlight spilling over your face. “I was worried you wouldn’t make it.”

You clasp my hands and brush your lips against my fingertips. “For you, Azura, I will always make it.”

I pull you into my arms and we tumble into the sand, giggling. I hold on tight and wish I would never have to let you go.

The ocean’s waves embrace our bare feet and the full moon shines upon us. My Goddess and yours, connected.

Just like your silvery locks and my straight blonde hair, intertwined in the sand—different and yet the same.

I’m lost in your eyes when I hear pebbles shift behind us. It’s too late to run. Rough hands grasp our arms and tear us apart.

“What have we here? A blessed ocean daughter entangled with a moon witch. What would your father say if he could see this blasphemy?”

“Let her go, Ketar!” I yell at my father’s right-hand man.

“No! He can never hear of this. No one can ever hear of this. We must give her to our Goddess. It’s the only way to wash the moonlit stain from you.”

“Ketar, no! She can’t swim. Let her go!” I try to wrench myself free from his calloused hands but his grip is too tight.

“She will be sacrificed.”

Ketar nods to his men and I watch you scream as they drag you into the ocean. You struggle against the men and the waves. You won’t let them take you without a fight. I see fire in your eyes, and something else. A silver radiance begins to glow around you as the moonlight shining down swathes you in its protection.

The men curse as your skin burns them. They try to cool their hands in the water but your fire cannot be stopped.

Ketar’s grip fades as he watches his men flee in horror. I take my chance and bolt away, toward you. I crash into the waves. The men heading my way are badly burned, their skin blistered and peeling. They ignore me as I force my way toward the bright light you have become.

“Luna!” I can barely see you through the silver moonlight. The harder I fight to get to you, the further you drift away, until you become the moonlight itself and disappear.

I splash through the waves and cry your name to no avail.

Your God saved you from Ketar’s men but in doing so, you were also taken from me.

I cannot go back to shore. I do not want a life without you. I cry my throat raw, sending my pain and sorrow, my longing for you up into the sky to the great silver ball that has taken you from me.

But it is not your God that answers; it’s my own Goddess that hears my plea. The ocean beckons and I sink beneath the waves to become a part of Her endless grace.

Now, I know that our gods are more connected than I ever thought.

I can feel you again. Your soft, sweet tug at the edge of my senses. You are up there, so far away, drawing me closer. Yet gravity pulls me back.

But I know you.

You will keep on fighting until I rise up to be with you again.

Copyright 2022 Kai Delmas

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

Story notes

I wrote this story for a microfiction contest that had the theme “oceans.” I don’t recall if there was a full moon out or not but something in me clicked when I thought about the relationship between the moon and the ocean. There is a tragic romance between them that I wanted to put into words. I quickly had my title and the rest came easily after that. I didn’t win the contest but that allowed me to go back and add more depth to the characters and the world.

Kai Delmas

Kai Delmas loves creating worlds and magic systems and is a slush reader for Apex Magazine. He is a winner of the monthly Apex Microfiction Contest and his fiction can be found in Martian, Tree and Stone, and several Shacklebound anthologies. Find him on Twitter at @KaiDelmas.

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