Lost Mythology of The Water
Alsa Rayne was a very normal young water nymph. Her hair was a shimmering midnight blue, her face was soft and lovely, and her eyes were so deep they could gaze a million miles into your soul. However despite her beauty, she did not stand out. Almost every water nymph had midnight hair, and smooth gentle skin, and eyes just as deep and beautiful as hers. Some were even more beautiful. She was very average, and she hated it.
She lived with her mother in a cave
in the southern ocean, just outside of the quaint town of Avinrail .
When she wasn't busy gathering the exotic spices which were her mother's
stock and trade, from their back cave garden, Alsa spent a lot of time
working on her appearance. She would sit by the surface of the sea and
sunbathe all day long, trying to make her pale skin darker, although
so did all of the other water nymphs, and somehow they always tanned
just a little more evenly then Alsa. She would also spend hours sitting
in her chamber in their cave, combing her long flowing trying desperately
to make them just a little bit straighter. However Alsa's hair had the
unfortunate habit of frizzing up into a bush after too much brushing,
which just frustrated her all the more.
The Nymphs that were her own age didn't help either, especially the Snowflakes. Self named after the beautiful bits of frozen water which sometimes grazed the surface of the sea, Alsa secretly called them crushed ice. They were the girls with the perfect faces, the perfect smiles and eyes and hair, and they made sure that everybody knew it. They tortured anyone whom they considered less beautiful than themselves with a steady barrage of insults, combined with the nastiest pranks they could think of. Once, while Alsa was sleeping in her chamber, they had snuck up to her window and poured a whole bag of jellyfish into her room. She awoke screaming with hundreds of stinging globs of slime floating around her head. The angry red welts across her body had stung for weeks afterwards.
Alsa couldn't understand how a group
of such mean and nasty girls, somehow managed to remain the most popular
and beloved group in the whole town. Everyone admired them, even the
people they put down. They were the unofficial princesses of Avinrail,
and no matter how much pain and suffering they caused they could do no
One morning Alsa Rayne awoke to the
tingling sensation of the vibrations from a thousand tittering, excited
voices carried on the waves of the ocean. They seamed to be coming from
the direction of town. She waited a moment, judging the feel of the tones.
Not fearful. jubilant, something good.
Alsa panicked and tried to stop herself, twisting her body awkwardly in an attempt to miss the girl, but Bora simply smiled, flicked her tail gently, and moved out of the way. Alsa went flying in an out of control topple, and smashed into an outcrop from the cliff wall.
"Oh little lame Rayne, where is your brain?" The gorgeous nymph laughed, and the symphonic trill of her voice danced across the surrounding sea. "I don't know why your in such a hurry, your just gonna end up being an embarrassment, you might as well just stay in your cave for the next few weeks."
Alsa dusted herself off, and tried to regain as much dignity as she could. "For your information, I don't even know what you're talking about."
Bora smiled, showing her two perfect rows of menacingly sharp teeth, and was about to toss another nasty remark at Alsa when she was suddenly cut off.
"Bora dear I think that will be quite enough. Run along little fish."
It was Alsa's mother, and she was smiling at Bora like a shark at a guppy. Bora had the sense to look taken aback, a little. She straightened herself, tossed her midnight blue locks like a little storm cloud, and swam off.
"Are you alright darling?"
"I'm fine mother, what's going on?" It feels as if every Nymph, Fish, and Merr in town is talking all at once.
"Oh Alsa, they're having it here! The dance, the dance. Oh you will love it Alsa, it is so wonderful, so beautiful." Her mother got a wistful, almost sad look in her eye.
"What? What dance? What are you talking about?"
"The Dance Beneath the Sea! Oh Alsa, everyone is going to be there. Kings, generals, philosophers, wizards, and of course, Chancellor Neptune himself will be presiding!
The Dance Beneath the Sea was the most important event in the aquatic world. Chancellor Neptune, the high king of the Southern Waves, cast a spell over one underwater town in his realm, once every ten years. This enchantment allowed anyone to survive within the limits of its effect, even if they weren't able to breathe water! The novelty of such an event brought all of the most important creatures from above and below the ocean. It was often said that there were ten years between the balls because so much happened at each one, that it took a full decade just to discuss it thoroughly.
Of course, the dance was also the event at which Chancellor Neptune named the maiden who would be the Queen of Beauty and Love for the ten years until the next ball. Chosen for her perfection of form, this was the title her mother had held in her own youth. With the dance being held in her home town this year Alsa was going to have to face a lot of scrutiny. She felt like she might have to spend the next few weeks in her cave, just like Bora had suggested.
Looking up she saw that her mother was staring at her, and suddenly she felt like a head of sea lettuce, being visually weighed by a hungry customer.
"Don't look at me like that. We've been through this. I am just too plain."
Her mother tilted her head slightly, and then after a long moment, she spoke quietly.
"Alsa my darling, I love you, and I
always will, no matter what. I wouldn't care if you looked like a clown
fish with a rash." And with that she hugged her daughter very close.
"You know my darling, when I was a little girl; I had a friend name Lima Nay. She was very, very beautiful, and she got a lot of attention, because her hair was the color of the sun."
"When we were young we were very close. But as we got older, and people started paying more and more attention to her, she changed. She got cold, and mean, and started to treat me like some kind of servant, or a sidekick."
"Then one day she was in the reflecting caves, surrounded by mermen and boy-fish as usual, and I came to tell her that her mother was looking for her."
"Well, she turned to the boys and laughed saying, 'look my little pet has followed me even here. Come along little fishy, maybe you can look at my face in the mirror and pretend it is yours.'"
"I was so hurt. I had never cared about how either of us looked, but she had said it with such nasty force, and in front of everyone. After that, I was so upset. I wouldn't eat, I wouldn't leave the cave, and all I wanted to do was sit alone and not let anyone look at or talk to me"
"That's so terrible mother"
"Yes dear, but you know what, eventually I got over it, and I even became stronger because of it, so strong in fact, that I devised a plan to get back at her."
"You see the only thing she cared about was having people think she was beautiful. That need made her week, and vulnerable. And so I planned to take the one thing away from her that she wanted most."
"Not.The Crown of Beauty and Love? That's how it started?"
"Exactly! What a clever girl. Now Alsa I want you to listen to me very carefully. That crown doesn't really matter. It may feel great, but it isn't a real accomplishment. What is important is who you are. And that is the why, as well as the how, of the strategy that allowed me to beat Lima ."
Alsa didn't understand, but she nodded quietly.
"Now darling I want to give you a choice, and I want you to think seriously about both options. You will be getting a lot of attention since you are my daughter, Chancellor Neptune still remembers me. You can choose to ignore it, and that is a fine decision. Or you can choose to use it, to try to win. If you do choose to do that, I know you can win, and I will teach you how. "
Alsa considered the situation. She had always wanted to please her mother and be beautiful, but she sensed that there was something more important going on here. Her mother had spent years telling her that looks didn't matter. Now suddenly she was trying to help her win what was basically the biggest beauty contest in the seven oceans.
It didn't make any sense. And how could she win something like this with her mind? Maybe she was clever, and learned the histories a little faster then the other girls, but who cared about that? What mattered is what you looked like, not how big your head was.
Still, she saw that her mother was serious. In the past her mother was rarely wrong, and Alsa had always been able to rely on her opinions and advice. She could see that this was important to her, that she was trying to teach her something that really mattered. Alsa simply didn't understand what it was.
She took a deep breath. "Mother.I trust you."
The older woman smiled, bright. Then she put her arms back around her daughter.
"Oh Alsa.we have so much to do!"
Click Here for Part 2 of This Tale
Written By J.L.N. Lewitin, courtesy of AncientThoughts.com
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