My second “April Challenge” story is inspired by Hawaiian mythology. Pele, the volcano goddess, and Kamapua’a, the pig-like demi-god, had a rather meteoric and cataclysmic relationship. But did either of them learn anything from their disaster?
Without further ado, I present you with “Fire and Water”.
I love her. I barely know her, and I love her.
But Fire and Water can never mix. Fire will always return Water to the sky, and Water will always douse Fire’s passion.
Still, I love her.
Using koa flesh, I fashion a boat to find her. She whispers to me from the Big Island in the rumblings of the earth, and I answer in thunderclaps and tidal waves. They rise me to the clouds and push me ever closer to my destination.
“Hear me, beautiful Pele. Hear me and embrace me as lover,” I call out in purple and silver storm.
I find her in the fiery pits of Kilauea, a place I daren’t venture if not for the desire pumping through my heart.
“You are a pig,” she says to me at the threshold of the volcano’s maw. Her words sting and I cannot understand her scorn. I know I have grown grotesque in my mortal years, but she is harsh and hurtful. “You are a swine of a man, playing at being a god. I do not love you. I barely know you, and I do not love you.”
I whip up monsoons, bring down the stars, and rain lightning upon the ocean. Nothing but her undying love will abate my wrath.
She gazes upon the turbulent waters and mocks the rising waves. “Drown me, pig man, and you still won’t win my heart.”
“Burn me with the fires of your rejection,” I say, “and your own barrenness will starve you and your land.”
We circle back and forth like this for some time, I determined and her unyielding. Finally, when the Big Island is on the brink of ruin, she opens her arms to me. In our love making, an action that rocks the world’s foundation and strikes up new islands out of the depths of the ocean, she transforms me back to be the man I used to be.
Then, she leaves me. Even in the full might of my masculine beauty, she leaves me.
Again, I call and call, my desperate pleas reverberating within Kilauea: the place she hides from me. I know what could happen if I do not calm my temper, but I can no longer control myself. Lava spews from the crater, explodes from the sides of great Kilauea, setting ablaze the verdant mountainside in its wake.
I run as from there as my legs will take me, lamenting the end of my love and feeling guilty for what I have done. My tears are so great, so numerous, they pool on the mainland in a maze of lakes and rivers.
Sweet, beautiful Pele does not deserve her fate. She did not deserve the force of my affections, either. If I had left her alone, if I had allowed her the freedom to be the queen she was born to be, I might have won her to my side, in the end. But I’ve killed her, along with her fiery passions that stirred my heart.
Though I am not ready to return to the sky, I shall dive into the far seas and swim far away from Kilauea and Pele’s untimely tomb. I will travel alongside the dolphins to the other side of the world, seeking her forgiveness. She will remain always on my mind, but free to come and go as she pleases.
I love her, but Fire and Water can never mix.