How The Ocean Got Its Waves This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   A small boat carrying four passengers left a port in Crete and started for Athens. It moved across the waveless water of the Mediterranean Sea (at one time all bodies of water were motionless). The sun was a giant torch that seemed to get closer as the hours passed. Under this blazing torch the boat's passengers were growing restless.

They soon began to wonder why the gods were being so cruel. "This heat is horrid. What have we ever done to the gods?" said Tiria "I am a peaceful woman who makes a living playing placid and pleasing music on my lyre."

"I know how you feel," said the woman next to her. "I have traveled from India and the sun has followed me on my journey. I have asked myself, Catia, why do you have so many blisters on your body? The only place I seem not to have any is under my turban. I too blame the gods for my pain."

"You women do not know how to live!" said Joppus. "It is always the weak who fail to survive. Look at me I am strong, mighty, and powerful; no god can scare or conquer me!"

The final passenger, Daldio, said, "I agree with you, Joppus. Women are only good for one thing - childbearing."

"You are heartless, Daldio. You must have no emotion," said Tiria.

"Only the frigid and bitter seem to get ahead. This is why the gods are so superior," said Daldio.

"Superior? I could beat any one of them with my eyes closed!" exclaimed Joppus.

"Well I can do anything a man can do," said Tiria.

"And I," said Catia.

"If you women can, I surely can do it better," said Daldio.

As they rowed along the motionless water, omnipotent Neptune, god of the sea, laid below them and listened to their conversation; his anger grew by the minute. Finally when he could take no more he rose from the ocean's bottom as fast as an arrow being shot by Hercules. Neptune spun around and bellowed in his all-powerful voice, "So you mortals think that all gods are cruel and evil. If you say this, you must be brave. Furthermore, all of you said that you could beat a god. Well, I shall give you that chance but if you lose I will decide your punishment."

As soon as Neptune was finished, he twisted his hands and created a vast whirlwind that transported the small boat and its four passengers to a nearby island. The remains of those who had attempted to defeat the gods and lost were lying all around; the island was a vast wasteland of skeletons and bodies.

"Who shall be first?" asked Neptune. No one said a word.

"If no one dares to go, I will choose and I choose Tiria."

She stepped forward, took off her turban, fell to her knees and begged, "Please be merciful, great Neptune."

He threw back his head and laughed at her inane request. As he laughed Catia quickly unwrapped her turban, put it around Neptune's feet and pulled. She caught him by surprise and he lost his footing for a moment. As Neptune started to fall, he snatched the long piece of cloth and threw it back at Catia. Although she tried to escape, she was wrapped in her own plot. Catia laid on the ground surrounded by her cloth like a mummy ready for burial.

"Will someone else volunteer or will I have to choose again?" asked Neptune.

"This time you will not be so lucky," said Joppus stepping forward. "I am confident that I will come out on top."

"So you wish to be on top?" questioned Neptune. Neptune grabbed Joppus, lifted him above his head and threw him into the sky.

"Well, now you are on top!" yelled Neptune as he waited for Joppus to come falling down, but he was nowhere in sight.

Far off in the sky behind Neptune, Joppus was clandestinely hanging from the talons of a giant bird flying toward Neptune's back. Daldio saw what Joppus was doing and knew he must distract Neptune if Joppus' plan was to work.

Stepping forward, Daldio said, "I will go now seeing Joppus is no longer with us."

"You are a frigid and bitter man, aren't you, Daldio? At least I have a heart even though it may be cold. A cold heart is better than no heart, not that you would know seeing you probably do not have one."

Enraged by this statement, Neptune grabbed him and said, "In that case I will take yours!"

He put his hand up in the air and prepared to rip out Daldio's heart. Before Neptune realized what was going on, Joppus had swooped down with the bird, grabbed Neptune's arm, flew over the ocean and dropped him into it. With Neptune gone, Joppus thought that he had triumphed.

The wind started to blow, the sky turned a dark haze of purple, black clouds appeared shooting lightning, and the ocean was calm ... at first. Then the island started to spin; it spun slowly at first but its speed increased each time thunder was heard. Neptune appeared in the sky and just laughed at his feat. He would not be outdone by any mortal.

All four prisoners were terrified, even Joppus. Thunder was booming from all directions. Then Tiria started to play her lyre. The music sounded like a songbird of the gods. It was more beautiful than Venus herself. Neptune heard Tiria's music and was overcome by its splendor and majesty. He slowly stopped the island and calmed the weather. Tears were flowing down his face and he came down to the island.

When Neptune landed, he released Catia from her wrap and said: "I have decided not to kill you but only punish you for two reasons: Tiria's music and to show I am not a malevolent and evil god. Your punishments are all the same. I am going to chain each of you to the bottom of my oceans for the rest of your lives."

"You, Tiria, will be placed at the bottom of what will be known as the Pacific Ocean because you are so calm and peaceful. Catia, you shall be put at the bottom of what will be known as the Indian Ocean. This way you can be near your homeland. Daldio, you will be chained to the bottom of what will be called the Arctic Ocean because you are such a cold and frigid man. Finally Joppus, you shall be placed on the bottom of what will be known as the Atlantic Ocean because you were the most powerful."

Each was chained to the bottom of their waveless ocean. Every day each one of them twisted and shifted hoping to break free: it is these movements that cause the oceans' water to move and create everlasting waves. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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KiraS. said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm
I love it!
 
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