Chapter 1: Watery Grave, Forgiving Hands

By GrandSushi

Mikah had felt the warm reflection of the sun come from the ocean his whole life. Everyday he would wake up to the sound of the waves lopping against the shore, making their soft, delicate music by dancing over the beads of sand in their path, each bead of sand offering a different instrument for the water to play as it went back, forth, back, forth, over the sand. Mikah’s earliest memories were listening to this music and letting it inspire learning of every instrument that his mother would give him. It wasn’t long before Mikah was making his own instruments that the world had never seen, instruments that used the ocean itself as strings, the wind as bass, the rain as a drum. Mikah played his music for his family, for travelers, for warriors, for lovers…and eventually, for enemies.

It was well known that Mikah’s talent for music was beyond this world, and the king would have Mikah come to play in his court more often than not. A hostile envoy came from far beyond the sea to his kingdom, and the king had an idea: let Mikah play his music.

The galleons were coming, the cannons started to gleam in the distance, the swords cut through the air, making terrible sounds to Mikah…but this was his world; the wind belonged to him. Closing his eyes, Mikah raised his favorite instrument and began to play a harmony that stretched out over the air, over the water, and the melody itself began to dance over the waves of the ocean. It danced and danced until it reached where the swords were cutting through the wind, making the wind cry out for a savior, for a friend to help… and the song of Mikah answered their call. In a flash, the wind was strengthened by the power of the melody and the wind had been made so strong that it grabbed the swords of the enemy and made them stop. There was confusion in the air: how had the swords stopped moving? Why had their terrible song stopped?

Mikah’s eyes remained closed: he did not need to open them to know what was happening. Those standing around Mikah were in shock and started to yell their supposed triumph, and in that moment, the swords started to move again.

“Quiet!” Yelled Mikah. “You disrupt my song. Quiet and let me play.”

If they had knives, every person standing there would have willingly cut out their tongues to not disrupt Mikah again.

Mikah regained his focus and began his harmony again, this time making it stronger. The swords again stopped their cutting, and Mikah began to play a new note that made the water well up, to rise, to move to the rhythm that Mikah created.

The enemy’s boats began to sway, to rock, and as the water began to rise, their fear rose with it. Their yells of intimidation had now become yells of “Mercy! Mercy!” and Mikah heard them…but ignored it. These boats and swords had no place in his world of music.

With a new note, the water rose up and smashed the sides of the galleons, puncturing them and sending them to a watery grave down below the surface of the water. The water ripped and tore at the weapons that the enemy had brought, leaving them swimming with nothing but their clothes.

With this, Mikah had mercy. He changed his tune, altered his rhythm to help bring the enemy to the shores. With soft and gentle waves pulling them toward the shore, the enemy arrived at the feet of Mikah and the surrounding citizens. They could not look at Mikah for fear of losing their lives, but Mikah spoke before the king, before anyone else could.

“You have seen the power of my music, you have felt the power of my rhythm. You will stop this invasion at once, or else you will feel a different rhythm dance inside your head. Do you understand?”

They all yelled in unison that they did; Mikah, the king, and the citizens had great mercy on the enemy that night and a feast was had to celebrate Mikah.

However, Mikah could not stay forever, for he felt the ocean calling out to him from inside the palace. After hours of revelry, he made his way out to his home and the ocean, slowly wading out and feeling the water thank him, the wind praise him, and he felt peace.

He let himself drift upon the waves, drift out upon the water, until he felt nothing but water, nothing but peace.

A peace that in a flash was changed into confusion and fear.

Mikah was all of a sudden gasping for air as the water filled his lungs and his limbs thrashed, trying to keep himself afloat in this unfriendly ocean. He regained a bit of control and at the top of a wave, saw land within swimming distance. He made his way to the shore, confused about where he was.

Arriving at the shore, he let his body regain strength and let his mind regain focus…but his focus was nowhere to be found.

Where was he? Who was he? Why was he here?

He looked around, not knowing where he was at all…and not understanding who he was, either. He felt a pull to the forest around him, and had images dance in his mind of things to make…but why? He did not feel fear, but was confused beyond understanding.

A voice made itself known over the sound of the waves.

“Perhaps I can help you, stranger.”

Mikah whipped his head in the direction of the voice, and a kind looking stranger was standing on the beach with him.

“I’m sure that you have a lot of questions. You can call me the Riverman. And your name is?”

“Riverman… I don’t know, but I hope to find out.”

Last updated