I am a horse.
Thousand years ago, Poseidon, God of the sea, created the first horse in this world. So, he is the father of all horses.
I was born in the sea, no father, no mother, born from froth. Every horse has nearly one thousand years of life, and then, they die and turn back into froth. This is samsara. No one can escape from it or break it.
Compare to a human’s life, our life is really long. Innumerable twists and turns in the mortal life were only an instant to us. So horses are not allowed to marry humans. Humans’ life is so transient. If you unluckily fall in love with a human, after his death, there will be only pain and loneliness left.
I heard of a story about a girl who fell in love with a human five hundred years ago. At that time, there was no law that forbade horses to marry humans. And she was the first one to love a human. She defied to listen to the clansmen's admonish and escaped with that man. At first, they lived happily. But after the man died, the girl fell into hopelessness??only he could make her life meaningful, how could she live alone with her dead heart? Then she left no means untried to resurrect her spouse. She even tried to steal the Gemstone of the Sea which is the heart of our ocean. It helps us control big waves and undercurrent in the sea and protect our homes. If the Gemstone gets lost, our home will be destroyed. I heard about that if you put it into anyone’s (no matter God’s or human’s) heart, it will give the one tremendous force and power. Also it can resurrect anyone. Her behavior was founded by the elders. They punished her by burning her to death??we are all born with fear of fire. Even little embers can wound us seriously. If a horse’s skin is touched by embers, it will be scorched and fall off quickly and the fire will reach his heart without a hitch. By then, no one can stop the horse from dying ?? that’s the fatal weakness of our race. Poseidon heard about this event. From then on, he forbade us to contact with humans. We can only live in the ocean.
History is always surprisingly similar. I had never thought that I would have such a deep connection with a human.
When I first saw him, my heart was shaking??his green hair which was like seaweed, his alluring, golden eyes which were like sunlight, his soft smile which could make any cold heart thaw——his everything had attracted me deeply.
I didn’t believe that someone could fall in love at first sight, until I met him.
Maybe I foresaw our ending as soon as I first saw him, but I couldn’t control myself. Although I knew I was facing the road of death, I still walked this road without hesitating, just as steadfast as the girl in that story.
Holding his hands, the tragedy was waiting for us……
It was a hot summer when my home was assaulted by Cyclops. They were also sons of Poseidon. We had kept contending this ocean for hundred of years.
I was roused by the roar of Cyclops. There was a grisly face with only one eye in the middle in front of me. I drew my Ice Sword and struck at him. In an instance, he turned into dust??he died. I could not remember much about this war. There was only bloodiness and slaughter left in my mind. The only thing I knew was that I killed lots of Cyclops. My face, my arms, and my legs were all covered with their dirty, green blood.
I could imagine that my face which was exuding malevolence and the joy of killing must be really scary. Yes, I was gentle most of the time. But I was thrown into the hell when I was only fifty years old. That’s a lesson that every young horse should experience. In hell, we fought with all kinds of demons, giants, and Titans. Only the strong could come back alive. That is cruel, but only by that way can pick out strong and successful warriors who can protect our homes in the vast and dangerous ocean.
Three days later, I woke up on the beach. I knew I fainted after our victory. Waves brought me onto the beach. I lay in the sunlight. My horse body had already turned into human. The mane became my brown hair, and my white skin became my niveous dress. I did not wear shoes. Waves dabbed my scarred and battered body. I could feel that the brine was giving energy to me continuously. The sunlight licked every inch of my skin.
It was warm.
I drowsily lay and enjoyed the present of nature ??under the shelter of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades and other Gods. They gave us lives and hopes.
No one was on this beach which was far from civilization. It was so tranquil that I could only heard the sound of waves and winds. It was like Father’s whispering from Olympus.
No, no, there was a boy standing in the water far from me. I didn’t notice that.
The water flooded his knees. His clothes were completely wet. He just stood there, with his back towards me. I could only see his pale neck. His green hair shone like beryls in the sun. His slender arms and legs were unusually pallid. He was so thin that I was afraid he would be blown down by the winds.
I would never forget about his glance.
He lived alone, just like me.
Horses were not social animals. I had never gotten the taste of family affection or friendship. I didn’t even really know what love was.
I grew up in bloodiness and brutality.
Every day, I learned about how to kill others and protect myself. For many times, I emotionlessly watched Cyclops or Titans dying. That was true that in our world, there was only the law of the jungle. Who was kind meant he was weak.
Someone told me, any emotion was something dangerous. I laughed out.
Emotions? I don’t know what that is.
But from the moment that I saw his eyes, everything began to change. In his golden, soft eyes, I saw the idea called compassion for the creatures. His eyes, full of ablaze stars, stared at me, like the pure moonlight. I was surprised because I had never seen such beautiful eyes??it was the beauty of mercy, the beauty of love.
I stood up and my dress was fluttering in the wind like a butterfly dancing trippingly. He smiled at me, silently. I doubted that Artemis, God of moon, had given him a beam of moonlight as a gift in his eyes. Backlighting, the shiny sun seemed to be inlaid on his ears.
My heart beat crazily.
Unfortunately, a few months later, when I suddenly realized that the strange feeling was love, it was too late.
I remembered that once he brought me to watch the sunset. We sat on the cliff, over the vast sea. The afterglow reflected on his pale face and plated it with pink.
I have never stared so seriously at someone. I could sensitively percept that there was something indescribable between us. What was that? I could not tell. But I could feel a warm current passing through my heart. That was a kind of warmth that I never experienced in my past 160 years. We pressed so close to each other that my face was by a finger’s breadth cauterized by the heat from his face.
This feeling was so riveting like the poppy——I had already hopelessly been hooked on it!
Was that love? I was not sure. I just couldn’t resist the feeling he gave me. That was all.
“No! Please!” I was struggling with the warning from my innermost being. “I know he is a human. I know what I am doing now. But why, is it predestinate that we can not be together? My lip started to trembled in despair.
I would never forget that in the sunset, he called my name, “ Thalassa?” His voice was soft. We smiled at each other without a word.
Yes, we don’t need to say anything. We had already said everything.
“Poseidon! Please send me to see Poseidon!”
I stood among my cruel clansmen and shouted crazily. My blue eyes were covered with fire of rage. I was surrounded by lots of strong horses with torches in their hands. He was lying at my feet. His beautiful eyebrow was frowned. His hair was scorched. Just now, he stood in front of me and protected me from the torches thrown at me. I was embraced in his arms. It was so warm and safe. If it was possible, I was really willing to indulge in his arms, with satisfaction, no wakeup, and no pain.
Horses around me laughed hideously and said: “You wanted to see Poseidon?! Huh?! Dream on!”
The dazzling flame hurted my eyes. My eyes were covered with scarlet blood. Compared to my bleeding heart, it didn’t even feel painful. My boy was lying at my feet! But I could do nothing to save him! I could even feel that his spirit was flowing away from his body. It felt like someone was gnawing my heart.
Suddenly, I raised something with blue light??the Gemstone of the Sea.
“Send me to see Poseidon! Or I will destroy it.” My voice was shaking.
The august God sitting on his throne was my Father, Poseidon. His whole body was emitting holy light. He was so majestic that the pressure from him made me dare not look at his face directly. His golden truncheon meant he was the second biggest power in the world——rank only second to Zeus. As long as he wanted, he could turn the whole vast ocean upside down.
I prostrated at his feet, feeling a nippy sight line dropped on my back.
“You are supposed to know clearly what you are doing now.” I was almost deafened by his voice.
I tried my best to stop quivering and keep my voice peaceful??it should sound peaceful at least.
“I know.” I replied slowly but decidedly. “I have never had the extravagant hope that I can live to a ripe old age in conjugal bliss with him. I just hope that I can watch him around the clock until his death. I don’t expect we can have a result because I knew that we wouldn’t have any result.” I knew that from the beginning.
Yes, I would stay with him until he dies. I was not afraid to see his death because I knew I would die on the same day. Then we would be together in hell forever. So there was nothing to worry about.
The world would become hell without him, then the hell would become heaven for us. I believed.
Silence. Silence for a long time. It felt like we kept quiet for one century.
“You broke my rule. Do you know that there is no one in the world that dare to break my rules? If there was, the one has already died.” His voice was chilly, without any heat. He spoke to me so peacefully that it was like he was telling something household to me.
I bit my lip tightly but I did not feel hurt.
“I am willing to accept any punishment, as long as I can stay with him.” I lifted my face and looked up in his grey eyes.
He laughed unbridledly. “I have never seen someone in front of me as audacious as you. I will give you what you beg.” Then, a wicked smile appeared on his face. “Let’s transact. One year, I can give you one year to stay with him if you are able to suffer from the punishment. After one year, you will be ashed.”
“One year...huh...that’s enough.”
Poseidon gave me the punishment of suffering from ten beams of lightning.
I was tied up on the Sky Column with iron chains. When I was hit by the first lightning, it felt like a fire lit in my heart and burned me from the inside. I threw up blood at once. The miserable numbness transmitted from my head to my fingers, my back, my stomach and my legs. My white dress was covered with blood stains. it was even too painful that I could not groan.
And then, the second one, the third one……
There was only one weak hope which let me keep a stiff upper lip??I could not die. My boy was waiting for me.
Getting in chaos, some unclear images of scene rose before my eyes. I saw the first time we met. I saw his soft smile. I saw he used his slender hands to help me fix my hair. And I saw the grisly face of Poseidon.
I heard of that the frame of a person’s whole life would reappear when he was dying. That might be true.
“No... I don’t want to die. I want! I want a bright future! I ought to have a bright future...with him!”
I fainted once and once again. My remnant ideology woke me up once and once again. His face was flying everywhere in front of my eyes. I seemed to see Fortuna, God of fortune, snipping the red yarn of destiny in her old, plicated hands.
A happy moment is always transient. I never knew that one year could be so unabiding. Until one day, I suddenly felt a stabbing pain from my heart and then I could not stop spitting blood, I did not realize that the transaction between Poseidon and me had expired.
He knelt beside my bed, kissing my hand over and over again. His expression in his eyes is as gentle as the first time we met. But his eyes were covered with blood streak.
“Thalassa,” his voice was kind of raucous. “Let’s leave together.”
“I have already experienced the most beatific one year in my life. I am satisfied. I am not resentful at Poseidon because that was him who granted this year to me. Even if I die, I will die at ease. Thalassa, don’t be afraid. I will leave with you.” He said.
I stared at him. There was no pain or regrets in his limpid eyes. But his hands were icy, holding my hands tightly. It was so tight that it seemed he would never let go.
He held me in his arms and went to the sea. The great waves were roaring. The sky was covered with dark clouds and sometimes we could hear the clash of thunder.
His calmness was abnormal. “Are you ready?” It was so windy that his voice disappeared in the winds quickly. I reached out and stroked his cheek with my shaking hands. There was a moment that I suddenly felt regret.
I was so unreconciled. Although I told myself one year was enough, it was not! That was so unfair! I ought to stay with him my whole life! But...that was impossible.
We hugged tightly and finally drank the poisoned wine.
“I am with you, Thalassa.” He tried his best to hold my hands.
“We must be crazy…”
“Yes, we are.”
We hugged together when going into the sea in order to not feel afraid. Water surged over our feet, legs, waists, necks, and then, the heads.
The poison had begun to show effect.
Under the water, we kissed for the last time.