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Life Beyond the Citadel

Slowly, the water crept up to his citadel.

He lost contact to where people were. He heard nothing but the lap of water on his citadel and the mewing of his orange and white cat. His last resort was to board a wide balsa with his cat, his kettle, a rolled-up mattress, his cactus and his jar from which he had not seen his djinni for the past years.

He and the djinni have been friends for a long time. He had felled the giant, the former owner of the citadel and saved the djinni from the giant. He lopped off the giant’s ear because the djinni said it could hear signs of life from far away and that time would come when this would be of much use to him for the rains would come and the waters would rise until what was left would be the citadel where he had taken residence.

Rains poured as though it would never let up. But it did until what remained were birds which circled his balsa and threatened to peck at his rubber boat and sink him along with his cactus and cat.

He managed to fish for food and dry them in a line beneath the sun. He ate tuyo, dried fish for days until his mouth was parched. He kept rubbing the vase but the djinni would not appear. He felt alone with his cat and cactus.

He didn’t know where to go. The silence was deafening and he could only perch the giant’s ear by the side of the balsa so that he could hear signs of life.

Finally, he heard a woman. She was singing and he feared what he heard for this was most frightening than sharks or pelicans pecking on his balsa. It was a siren.

Sirens were beautiful and seductive. They lured fishermen towards the vortex of the sea until they were swept to the bottom of the sea and split their boats in two.

But the siren’s wailing song resounded from the giant’s ear like a recording which filled the ocean and the soared up to the blue sky. He felt resigned to his fate and decided to leap into the sea and drown into the sad song of the siren.

He caught a bird and tethered his cat to it so that the bird would land with the cat somewhere there was land. He then jumped to the sea and felt his balsa going further and further away from him.

The siren appeared, more beautiful than he imagined with green hair and a shimmering tail that glimmered beneath the sun. But the siren was teary eyed with fish eyes which made her look sadder. She caught him beneath his arms and coiled her arms about his flailing body to bring him back to the balsa.

He coughed briny water and after settling back in his balsa, he met the fish eyes of the siren.

“Why did you save me?” He asked between gasps for air.

“Because I have lost my sisters and am all alone myself. I feel lonely. I need you to be alive for me. I will find you fresh fish for me and teach you where to find land where we can live together forever.” She replied which made him shiver all the more as though what she proposed were ludicrous.

True to her words, she brought him to land where they lived together as man and wife. She would find him fresh fish to grill each day and he thought, life wasn’t so bad except that she could not walk on land and they could only meet on the beach.

One day, he thought of rubbing the jar of djinni again. After all, he did save him from servitude to the giant of the citadel.

He blew aside the sands that had accumulated on the jar, rubbed the jar and summoned the djinni. He wondered why it would not work. He peered inside the jar and found that there was something inside. It was a piece of rag he had used to rub the jar once before and had forgotten to remove. He pulled it out and rubbed it again.

The djinni appeared to him again and asked what he wanted of him.

He asked that the djinni grant his siren real legs so that she could walk beside him on land and he need never find others again.

The djinni not only granted his wish for her to have legs but he also married them both.

Soon, the rains stopped pouring and land emerged once again. Man and siren were the only living humans left and so they populated the world again until earth found a way to balance its weather and the world regained a way to flourish again.


Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Fantasy, Fiction