He watched her in the deep, surrendering to the sea. Sitting on the cliff, he wondered if he should rescue her. But, it seemed as if she quite enjoyed it, arms open, waiting for the end….
For centuries, he had seen women like her come, waiting for their lovers and husbands to return from the sea. They were not given to much expressive love, but you could see the loss in their eyes. Moments of life slip away as they waited, once young and then slowly aging. Soon they got used to being alone. Though it seemed that this one did not want wait aging anymore, or perhaps she really wanted feel the the power of life in her veins as she slowly died.
“Love,” he thought, “makes fools out of such clever woman. Suicidal fools.” Her hair spread out on the waves, and soon it would be over. There was no struggle only giving in…
But now this was more than he could take. Sacrifice, what for, a human being who in few years would forget to love? And a love that would most likely become humdrum and perhaps even lose its way. There has to be much more to life…so spreading his dragon wings he went to her, towards the deep sea
The water crashed against his him, as he once more changed form. Her breath was shallow, as she seemed to give in to the water. “Damn! I’m not supposed to save these damsels; the myth does not allow me.” Yet he did, there was something about her. A sense of power…like one of those women who fought the raging wars all alone.
He had been seeing her since she was but a child. A village daughter, she would sit beside her mother cleaning the entrails, and then the boats. Scraping of the thick barnacles that crusted the bottom and sides, hard at work, gossiping, and laughing Each monsoon they struggled with the news of death. Till they again rose up to sing for a wedding or a birth.
One day she too married, and then widowed a year later. The monsoon storms had claimed her man; she was left with a child. Like the other women, who had seen it before, her strength grew from within. But in the evening she would come back to the edge of the sea, sometimes her baby would be there, as she would watch over the horizon. When alone she would wade int the water, swimming through the lagoons where the jelly fishes and mussels crowded together, into the wide open sea. Then the wails of her child beckoned her to return. Today she did not heed it, because something else called her further in.
He, the dragon would have none of that; he wasn’t against killing off a human or two, when it suited him, but sacrifice for a vague emotion…no too disillusioning. He dragged her to the shore, leaving her there enveloped by the darkness.
As he turned, he heard a voice. “I knew that you would save me, have been watching you for a while.” Her voice startled him, snapping his head around, he saw that her eyes knew, “I had to see whether you would come.”
“Is that why you went in?” he asked, wondering what human emotions were made off. She smiled, “No, I have no idea why I went in; perhaps I needed to give in. But, I’ve seen you waiting ever since I was young,” she said her voice barely audible.
“I don’t rescue women, I covet and then have a knight save them from me, or so the myth goes. And definitely not above sacrificing a few for myself.” He grinned, slowly metamorphosing back with his dragon wings.
But he could not take people for long, and his end of that specific time was already stretched. The fisherman’s daughter sensed that and got up, “Death and the sea are as interlinked, as life and the sea.”
“Fisherman’s philosophy,” he thought, as earthy as they come, and it did not appeal to him. He was made of roaring fires and stronger impulses, “No I saved you because loneliness is not a good enough reason to die.”
“What about love?” she asked.
“You never die of love, it is just that feeling of emptiness, being left behind,” he replied. And then he was off, as she walked back to her child.
The sea below called, he too was alone, had been for a while. For a minute he wanted to let go of the loneliness. But, it was not a good enough, just not enough…
Once again, the monsoon clouds gathered above him, and the sea stirred. He wondered how many wails would reach him this year of the women left behind, and how many more would walk to the depths of the sea.