In the light of the morning sun, Elena opened her eyes. Isaiah with his sexy tan Hawaiian skin, long hair and child-like innocence was looking at her with eyes filled with wonder. “I want you to come flying with me.”
His silky surfer voice made Elena’s heart flutter. “Yeah, definitely.” She cuddled close to his chest as she laid naked in Isaiah’s loving embrace. “I would go anywhere with you.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.” The muscle tissue of his back crackled and split as his wings fully emerged. He scooped Elena up in his arms carrying her like a bride. With a wave of his hand, the patio doors opened and he quickly took to the sky.
Elena couldn’t help but look down to see if Kaylinani was still on the patio in her turtle plushie form. Although she didn’t have a fear of heights she was expecting to feel a sense of vertigo, but much to her delight that was not the case. She felt a mystical, serene sense of peace.
“Kay went back to the ocean,” Isaiah said over the roar of the wind. “My sister knows I’m safe now. I have you; my bride, my purpose.” He handed on a sandbar and stroked her cheek.
She could tell by his smile he was up for another round of passionate lovemaking.
“I’ll learn how to exist here, how to keep healthy. We’ll have each other.”
Elena was smiling so much she couldn’t speak. She nodded, reaching out to touch his beautiful face.
“With you by my side, Elena, nothing can harm-” Isaiah’s words were cut off as a series of tentacles emerged from the once calm water. Within seconds he was grabbed and pulled under.
“Isaiah,” Elena screamed. She started to look around. “Kay? I know you did this.”
The reply came int he form of an earth-shaking roar. “my brother belongs to the sea.” The tentacles raised Isaiah’s body from the sea. He appeared to be crucified on spikes made of water. Elena watched in horror as the spikes tore off his wings, leaving behind bloody open wounds. The wings were hurled at Elena as Isaiah’s body was enveloped in a bubble of water.
His body transformed from human, back in to his real form; an innocent little turtle with large gashes where his shell used to be. He looked at Elena with sadness in his eyes.
Elena could have sworn she saw the animal silently mouth, ‘Help me,’ just before a massive wave crashed down, pulling him under.
“Kaylinani?” Elena looked around at the now calm waves. “Please don’t do this, you’re going to kill him!” She cupped her hands over her mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. Isaiah needed the sky just as much as the sea. There was only one thing to do. Elena dove into the water.
She opened her eyes as she came face to face with a un-inflated pufferfish. ‘Hi little guy.’ She had always thought the little fish in their relaxed state looked cute, but in their angry state they looked like an army of spike balloons attempting to force her to the surface.
Elena closed her eyes, trying to think of a plan when suddenly she felt a strike to her side. It didn’t feel like a puffer fish, it felt like a missile made of sandpaper.
“Grab on,” said a disembodied female voice. “He won’t hurt you.”
Elena was more afraid of hurting the shark. But the animal was swimming in slow circles, as if waiting for her. So she reached out her arms to give it a hug. Or let it kill her; at this point it didn’t matter. She would find Isaiah or die in the ocean by his side. As soon as Elena touched the shark they were both pulled into a vortex, moving faster than the East Australian Current.
The water pressure was so intense she had no choice but to close her eyes, focusing her strength on gripping the shark by the dorsal fin. The shark took a sharp corner, hurling Elena in the darkness of the ocean. She felt hands made of water holding her, dressing her in a gown of seaweed, shells and coral.
When Elena’s feet hit solid ground, she opened her eyes. Her head was encased in what felt like a giant air bubble allowing her to breathe and see (somewhat) underwater. Before her stood a woman who appeared to be made of crystal. “Hello?”
“Hello, Elena.” The voice was clear; this was the woman who Elena met on the beach: Isaiah’s mother.
“Hello,” Elena said nervously, her voice distorted by the air bubble helmet. “I’m sorry this happened. You trusted me and I-”
“You blame yourself?”
Elena nodded. “You sent him to me, you trusted me to watch over him.”
“I sent Isaiah to you because it had always been his dream to live on the surface world. He had such a love for art and culture.”
The crystal goddess began to sob. “I should never have allowed Kaylinani to find you. I should have intercepted her. I should have been the one to guide you. I just-”
“You believed in him. You knew he just needed a little time to find his path.” Elena could feel herself starting to cry. “All he needed was to learn to eat the correct foods, and find a job that would allow him to be outside. I’m the reason he got sick.”
“And you shall be his salvation.” The woman started to sparkle, transforming into a harsh beam of light.
Elena took a few steps forward, to take a closer look at what now stood in the woman’s place. A sword? “Are you inside the sword?” Elena asked as she picked up the silver hilt.
“It breaks my heart,” the voice echoed, “to save my son, my daughter must die by my hand.”
Elena held the sword, gazing at the blade made of pure light. “By my hand?”
“Will that be a problem?” Isaiah’s mother’s tone seemed to ask ‘Are you ok with killing another living creature?’
But that was not Elena’s main concern. She was thinking more about how much pain she was going to be in when Kaylinani used her turtle-goddess powers to tear Elena’s weak mortal body limb from limb.
A smile crept across Elena’s face. She had already won; if she died she would be reunited with her husband. It was a little twisted that her mind went to her husband before Isaiah. But saving Isaiah seemed like the less likely outcome. “I have no problem at all.” She held the sword to her chest like a knight. “Show me the way.”
A pod of dolphins appeared. They circled like sharks, then came in closer, nuzzling like horses. “Kay is keeping him in her lair,” said one of the dolphins with an adorable squeak. “My warriors will guide you but even we can only go so far.”
Elena knew what they meant. She strapped the sword to her back and held on to two of the dolphins. They swam for hours, into the middle of the Pacific. The further out they went the rougher the waters became. Eventually, the waves became abnormally violent, crashing down like a series of avalanches.
“We’re here,” the voice of the sword echoed telepathically in Elena’s mind. “Hold let go of the dolphins and let yourself fall. I will be the one to guide you.”
Elena closed her eyes and allowed herself to sink into the abyss. At first, she was afraid that the waves would tear her apart before she could even reach the bottom but with the weight of the sword, she sank like an anchor.
Elena landed in a familiar cave-like room. This was where she met Kaylinani the first time to ask her to save Isaiah from the illness caused by life in the human world. But this time it was filled water and lots of creepy eels.
“Begone,” Kaylinani’s deep, demonic voice echoed through the water.
“Dear daughter,” the sword replied. “You are truly your father’s child.”
“Leave father out of this! He works hard and serves the greater good all while you’re fornicating across the globe.”
Elena remembered her saying that her father was Hephaestus, the disfigured, reclusive, god of the forge. In direct contrast, Isaiah’s father was Hermes, a free spirit who lived above the clouds.
But what was their mother’s name?
Elena looked at the sword. “Are you Gaia?”