Wonder and Whisper

3 min

Silvyr is an analytical psychology student with a passion for literature and character motivation. She likes to draw when she isn't homeworking or writing and owns 400 rubber ducks  [+]

Image of Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction

She smiled as the sun warmed her face. Her sleeves. Her Arms.

As the crystalline tinkle of the nearby stream reached her ears.

As a child, just out of sight, laughed in delight.

As her father’s booming chuckle joined.

The mother’s call for supper. The beautiful, innocently guilty silence that followed.

Kaikouri could envision the scene, though it was hidden beyond the rise behind her and the tree she rested against: the father setting down the young girl he’d been twirling around. The mother opening the door wider to let them pass, a wry smile on her radiant face. The basket of fruit and vegetables on the woman’s hip. The door to the cottage closing behind them.

A scene mirrored over the surface of the entire planet. Peace her powers had brought.

Just this once Kaikouri had come to see her handiwork. The world had been close by...all of them were in some way or another. And her babies here had missed her.

The small, pearly seal beside Kaikouri nuzzled into the folds of her dress, breathing gently as she dozed. Three more splashed in the stream, obviously reveling in the sanctuary they had helped develop.

The sun caught the glossy riverbed rocks as it sunk below the horizon. Light glistened over the blades of grass as the orange sky faded to aquas and indigos. Crickets chirruped in their hollows and a line of quail pattered through the field ahead.

“It’s time to go home,” Kaikouri whispered, stoking her small companion’s back with her fingertips. “Our work here is done.” The seal’s wide eyes blinked, and she looked up at Kaikouri. As the princess stood, the seal floated upward, shyly hovering within the dress’ flowing fabric. The others took notice and rose one by one to follow.

“Can we not stay longer?” one asked, lingering just above the bank and tilting his head to the side. “It’s beautiful here.”

“You have done well, here, but we have other planets to rescue,” Kaikouri replied, walking back to the stream and running a finger down his nose. His sisters, save for the youngest hiding in Kaikouri’s skirts, waited by the willow. Reluctantly, the young seal trailed after the princess as she set off into the meadow.

“When we save so many others like this, why can we not save earth?” Kaikouri’s smallest companion piped in from behind a fold of violet. “They need help, too. To save them from their destructive ways.”

Kaikouri smiled sadly, motioning her babies to land as she took another seat. The youngest drifted into her lap and the others nestled in a semi-circle on the grass around her.

“Because my husband is already there,” Kaikouri replied, thinking on his face with fondness. He wouldn’t remember her...not unless he was on the threshold of the next life. “He’s trying to right the wrongs manually.”

“How is he doing that?” one of the elder seals asked.

“By planting gardens, a bit like you do.” She tapped the youngest’s nose, making her giggle. “And by bringing people around to veganism. That one has been hard for him...” she sighed.

“And what else? What else is he doing?” The final, quietest seal inquired.

“Humans change best from the inside out, little ones,” Kaikouri answered, gazing up at the gradient sky. One star glittered in the vastness. “We can do everything and anything to change their surroundings, but unless they want their lives to take a different turn, they won’t be going anywhere...so my husband is trying to inspire them to chase their passions. To perfect their arts. To engage in good and worthy causes. To uplift and love. You see, people anxiously engaged in a righteous endeavor will no longer pursue crime or addiction.”

“Then why can we not help him?”

“Surely he needs us!”

“They’re so far gone...can one man do all this?”

“Hush, dears. Don’t get worked up,” Kaikouri soothed. “You see, the god of that planet didn’t want to cheat the development of his world. This is why no visitors from others have found their way there. And why only my husband can help and we cannot.” She chuckled. “However, this god is fond of me. He evolved his own seals-”

“Like us?”

“Yes. Like you. And he named a waterfall after me, as well. So in a way, we help indirectly.” She glanced into the violet heavens again, nodding at the glimmering moon in the sky. “It’s late. We have much more ahead of us, therefore you must rest.” She rose and the seals hovered after her as she continued her quiet stroll.

“Princess Kaikouri?” the eldest seal began, “has your husband ever been unfaithful?”

Kaikouri paused a moment, allowing a hint of a wry smile to touch her features.

“Almost. Several times. But every time he gets close to chasing a mistress...I tell the god to kill him.”

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