The sky above my head darkened. Clouds gathering so quick it was impossible to be called a simple natural phenomenon. Waves started to swallow the rear and the ship wobbled dangerously to its sides. Lightning struck not even a kilometre away. My mouth went dry. So finally we had been discovered. The bolts in the air might as well be called eyes he had used to search for us. I quickly realised this was my moment of retribution. The grief that I’d caused would be returned hundredfold. That meant in no way I ever regretted what I had done.
Saya came out of the hut and our eyes met. At first she looked serene, but her pupils were dilated and bewildered her expression more than she probably would have wanted. Saya had most likely never felt such terror in her entire life. I found it fitting she experienced it now. I swore to myself I would at least get her out of this mess. I knew all of this was my fault and I would give all my strength to make it up to her. Not that it would suffice.
‘Sith… Is it him?’ She asked. I knew she hated the fact her voice was trembling, although I found it reassuring that she realised how grave the situation was. This way she would listen to me without hesitation, knowing every second and move was precious.
‘Yeah… he found us.’ I noticed a bit late I had simply whispered the words instead of screaming them aloud. I doubted she had heard me in the storm that was ravaging around us, still the way my shoulders tensed implicated the obvious. We had been together for twenty years and she knew me in and out. Such a long period of time that we had spent fleeing the inevitable. But now we would face this together and that was all that mattered to the both of us.
I awoke from my slumbering thoughts and faced the waves around me that were climbing higher than I’d ever seen. My father had always been a man for extravagance, unfortunately he also had the power to back it up… God, how I hated the man…
‘Been a while dad. So… how’s it goin?’ I tried to say with as much swagger as I could. The raging wind made sure the fear in my voice went unnoticed, but surely I wouldn’t have fooled the man. I had only tricked him once and that had taken months of planning. My father was old and experienced to no wordly end. People called him the God of the Seven Seas and Guardian of the Neverending Ocean. He had slain occupying entities and beasts that had sprouted from darkness. He had fought his brother for his territory and won. He had loved the Deepsea Queen and given her two daughters. The last one he was probably most proud of. Goodness, the man really was perverted to no end and however you look at things, still male. In all fairness I probably would never have believed all the stories if I hadn’t been there to witness them myself. I had always loathed the man for his cravings for power and might. He had gone unchallenged through life until I had left the place as his right hand man for an ordinary girl. No… Extraordinary. She was the only one able to convince me to finally make a stand against my dad.
The water that got whipped up from the crashing waves met the rain that was pouring from the heavens. In-between the two there formed a face with familiar features. A strong nose and dominant mouth. His eyes were barely distinguishable and formed black holes who were staring at me like I was an ant to be crushed by a boot made solely of water.
‘You did well, son, evading me as long as you have. You clearly learned a lot under my guard, but nobody betrays me and lives to tell the story. So don’t see this as revenge but more like a punishment fitting your mistake.’
Now the waves came up higher and higher until they covered the whole sky. Still they kept on climbing and surrounding the ship, building up momentum to finally come crashing down. In the meantime I tried to remember my godhood. I had lived a human life for so long now. I could barely feel the divinity that resided inside me as if it was an echo to a live I abandoned twenty years ago.
I felt an arm settling around my hip. Saya held me as if the end of the world was finally upon us. As I looked at the waves stacking up above, I guess it did come pretty close. But not everything was lost yet. Again I started tracing that little piece inside me representing my old godhood. Nothing. I pulled Saya closer and settled a kiss on her soft lips. Tender I held her, as if she were to break any second. Tears of disparity formed in the corner of my eyes. When they ran down my cheeks they mixed with the rain falling from the waves that had formed a cocoon around us.
My heart raced from the kiss and heath spread inside my entire body. Blood pulsing hard in my bloodstream. Suddenly I recognised it for what it was. Ichor returned to my veins and with it my long forgotten powers… How?… Why now?…
A thunderous sound erupted from the sky and the invisible hand that had held the water in place had disappeared. Gravity took over once again and tons of water were falling down to crush us in mere seconds.
Father had underestimated me. I wasn’t helpless anymore. If only the fool would’ve killed us when I had still been harmless.
I stretched my hand and connected my will to the blue wall. A few meters away from flattening us to pulp, the waves split and fell to the sides of the ship, safely away from us.
Everything went still. In seconds the ravaging storm was gone. The sky went clear and the sea was a friend yet again. The contrast made me feel unstable as if reality had taken an unnatural turn and my body felt the need to respond.
Even though my ears hurt from the explosive sounds from a moment ago, I could hear Saya sobbing to my right. I had no idea whether it was relief or confusion causing her to cry. I wrapped my arms around her and just held her tight. Slowly I caressed her back while mumbling nonsense in her neck. It seemed to help even though I felt like a fool in my awkward attempt to console her. Maybe my presence simply sufficed… Love really is a strange thing.
I hadn’t noticed a third person standing not far from me on the deck. Sudden terror made me jump. I had only seen my father take a human form three times before. He hated doing it because it made him look ordinary and he was all about the exceptional.
‘You still have ichor in your blood, even after all those years of living as a human. Is she really yours? How is that possible?’
He had a weird look etched on his face. It made him seem old. I guess in many ways he was, I had just never thought of him as an aged man.
I turned to Saya once more. Her eyes were red but the tears had dried out. She looked afraid and interestingly also intrigued. I had never explained my divinity to her, simply because I had never fully understood it myself. It’s not like godhood came with a required instruction manual. Dad had never been a talkative man. I just knew what I knew without paying things a second thought.
Every day had been an experiment, using my will to do variable things while coping with my father being one of the most powerful entities on earth. Ethical technicalities like right and wrong had simply been words I understood without comprehending. How does that work you might ask? Well I could see it daily in the human world. Good clashing against evil. I just never thought of myself being at a side when it were merely worms I was pulling apart. As if the lion would think about the deer’s feelings while obliterating its throat. Morality had been an issue beneath us, something reserved for the inferior human race.
Don’t look at me like that. I had been young, nothing more than a kid really. Overcoming ignorance is part of the learning process, my brother always said. Of course he had been talking about seducing women, but you get what I’m trying to say. It had been the only life I’d known and my prime examples were merciless bastards. A lot of people had died before my eyes were opened to the truth.
It hurt knowing my past had caught up with me embodied by that strong form standing before me, watching me intently. I knew that look. One he had always given me when things didn’t go my way and I fell into a rage of insanity. But that had been a life I now felt so distant from I barely recognised it as my past. Humanity had given me humility and restriction. In some ways that made me wiser than my father. I’m not going to lie, that realisation brought me intense satisfaction.
‘Living as a man didn’t make me weak father. Continue to test me and I’ll show you just how high someone can rise once he’s not burdened by the leash around his neck.’
My words startled him as if I had just hit him square in the chest, but his expression remained unchanged. His eyes were still staring at me with that abnormal ferocity and maybe a hint of… was it sadness?
‘Oh my son… it was never my intention to be your master. I merely wanted to teach you the ways of godhood. You were so tenacious in distinguishing yourself from others, you were blinded from our reality. You kept comparing yourself to humans because you felt superior, you forgot what it meant to be a god.’
I clenched my fists, barely able to contain my anger. Saya looked at me sideways, afraid I might lose my temper. I hadn’t done so in years and I would make sure to deny my father the pleasure of breaking that cycle.
‘Superiority… All those years you assumed it was superiority inciting my fury? After how I left things… After you saw me standing on this boat with a human wife… How can you still think that? I never felt domination over mortality. I never felt a sense of contentment knowing death was something exclusively for lesser men. I was envious of it! How humans flocked together… relied on each other… found comfort and… and love. We.. We just fought for ourselves, laughing at failure and begrudging of success. How pitiful creatures gods really are. If only the priests would know the legitimacy of what they are worshipping.’
Finally my father lost his composure. His eyes glared at me in shock. Saya shivered under that stare. Had I gone too far? Perhaps… No…No I refuse to regret speaking my mind. I am my own man now.
I gripped Saya strongly and pulled her closer. I wouldn’t risk losing her when my father decided to take revenge on me out of cruelness for my truth spoken words. When I glanced at him through the corner of my eye, I saw a sudden movement and instantly began forming will to stop anything he might throw at us. All he did however, was turn around. Slowly he walked to the railing of the ship and stood on its top. His brown hair flowed lively with the wind and reflected the sunlight as if it was golden.
‘Look at you. How strong-willed you are. Your resolution has always been your strong suit, I’d just never imagined it growing against me.’
His head made a slight turn and I swore I saw a shadow of a smile drift on his face.
‘Live your life, my son. Live it happily and without affliction. Don’t make rash decisions and follow your heart rather than mind. Maybe it will show you a path absent of bitterness.’
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was as if I had just received my father’s blessing for living a life of my own choosing. He spread his shoulders, preparing to jump into the endless blue ocean and returning to his headquarters deep down mortal ground. I couldn’t leave this matter unresolved and I shouted quickly.
‘Do you ever doubt your past judgement? Aren’t you afraid of making mistakes?’
A silent laugh, empty of humour, escaped his lips.
‘Of course I am. Of all people you should know we gods are anything but flawless.’
And he was gone, swallowed by the waves. I couldn’t detect a trace of his presence anymore. It was probably the last time I’d ever spoken to him. I barely managed to withhold myself from crying out of relief.
Saya stood still like a statue, staring at the spot where my father had disappeared. There would be time for explanations later. Now I was just happy to stand here, alive and well, with my wife at my side. My head felt light and my heart heavy for it had always been loaded, although now it wasn’t burdened with loss anymore, but filled with a final promise of carefree love.