Tiger Shark-Tavita Toa

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: ice2modern
This is a story about Tavita, his uncle & cousin as they encounter a true mystery on the south seas. An origin story of sorts. 8 mins to read.

Submitted: June 12, 2015

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Submitted: June 12, 2015



THE FESTIVAL. ( Part 1 )

Uncle Sole leaned his arm against the railing of their outrigger canoe. He nodded and shouted,

"We've had a good catch today nephew, what do you reckon?"

Uncle Sole was a heavily built man in his forties, balding slightly and developing a potbelly. While adjusting the rigging on the sail of their canoe, he gestured to Tavita, his nephew who was working the sail lines opposite him. Tavita's physique was athletic and well developed for his young age of nineteen. He had a strong jawline and handsome rugged features. His attitude to life was direct and undisguised. This temperament was his constant endearing trait.

"I reckon we've had a good day uncle," Tavita said, then he leaned into his cousin,"Hey Sina, You alright there?" he smiled. 

"All good cuz," Sina chuckled as she continued prepping one of their fishing nets for another cast. " Get out of my face! ha," Sina laughed as she punched Tavita in the arm.

It was a beautiful summers day. Tavita, his uncle Sole and his girl cousin were fishing on the outskirts of thier island. Tavita's cousins name was Sina. She was a beautiful girl also at the age of nineteen with rich flowing jet black hair. Her frame was tough yet graceful. She was a sweet girl slightly rash with a tendency toward independence-contrary to her strict upbringing. This is why we find her on this particular fishing trip. Though hunting and fishing was traditionally mens work she had convinced uncle Sole to bring her along. She would be helpful and quiet, as a mouse she joked.

Their motherland was a rich sun swept island with age-old traditions and a promise for the future. At the longitude of - 171.76 and latitude of - 13.83, there is also over three thousand kilometers of ocean which separates her from New Zealand. In this native island, hunting and fishing is not performed for sport, but in these harshest of lands - it is life itself.

“We’ll go another round then head back home in time for the festival,” uncle Sole said as he wiped the sweat from his brow with a bronzed forearm.

“Hey Tavita,” asked Sina, “Will you be doing your fire dance tonight?”

She quizzed Tavita with a wide humourous grin on her face as the three of them hauled in a net filled with a bounty of fish.

“Oh yeah cuz, but the last time, things didn’t really go as planned eh, …I mean, I practically singed hair off my legs, strained a muscle in my back and almost lost my fire knife in the crowd. Todays fishings better than yesterdays, and on Thursday we caught part of our quota. I'm just glad we got plenty today though, I'll be on tonight for sure."

Tavita’s answer was riddled with anticipation for the upcoming fire dance performance. Indeed it was a good day. Little did they know that it was about to take a turn for the worse.

The faint sound of thunder rumbled through the air, while the ever expanding sky was glazing and shimmering over the waters. The scorching sun beat down with a ferocity well accustomed to by the islands natives. Heatstroke was a common occurrence to those unfamiliar with island life. This life giving sun, could also consume and destroy.

"It was strange to Tavita that he could hear thunder despite the fact that the sky was clear and crisp."

Though Tavita's thinking wasn't important to the task at hand. Uncle Sole's command was.

“Tavita! Come over here boy, we've got an extra catch bro. Grab your spear, be ready"  

Thunder howled through the air once more, but this time sounding substantially louder than before. The whole group stopped fishing and looked at each other with bewilderment and confusion.

“That doesn’t sound too good,” whispered Sina.

Freak storms were a rare double edged sword, destroying everything in its path, and a sort of unwelcome refuge from the scorching power of the sun…Such is Nature’s balance of destruction and re-birth.

Suddenly the burning sun was enveloped by a bellowing mass of black clouds, swirling and bubbling then releasing a deluge of rain. The ocean swelled as sheet lightning blanketed the sky in frantic unpredictable fits. The whole area was a raging roller coaster of the elements. The marauding sky with it’s thick black clouds and the sea, like palms of death, battering their small fishing vessel. In all its random fury and confusion it was also a spellbinding sequence of events, almost hypnotic. Tavita glared over his shoulder and was transfixed by the twisting clouds. Sina and his uncle were holding onto the canoe while praying a prayer for deliverance. Sina opened her eyes and saw Tavita at the front of the canoe.“Tavita!” she shouted “We have to stick together!” The torrential rain was hammering down. Their canoe swayed under the dynamics of the storm. Tavita was grasping onto the canoe with one hand and the other, was aimed with his spear into the stifling sky. Sina screamed again. “Tavita!…what…what are you doing?”

While she shuddered, the canoe continued to rock to-and-fro causing her and their fishing equipment to slide and skate constantly. She was trembling with fear but was determined to brace and seize herself, and her emotions. Tavita was completely mesmerised, he thought he could see something in the centre of the storm.

“What could it be?” Tavita mumbled to himself. “Uncle!…I can see something…it looks like…”

Tavita didn’t manage to finish his sentence for behind him, multitudes of forked lightning were streaking out from the mouth of the sky.

“Behind you!” Sina shrieked in vain. As Tavita veered back around, his eyes focused in on a bolt of lightning. But that was all he had time to do, because in the blink of an eye, lightning had zigzagged across the sky and struck Tavita in the chest, lifting him up two feet into the air and throwing him into the merciless sea. “Tavita!” screamed Sina.

Uncle Sole and Sina sprang to their feet and surveyed the area of water where Tavita had fallen. Recklessly they dived into the waves, searching fervently, though after a few minutes, to no avail, uncle Sole reluctantly asked Sina to abandon her pursuit and climb back into the canoe. Meanwhile, Tavita…in a daze was slipping deeper into the great abyss. Then it happened.


Feeling helpless at the situation, uncle Sole and Sina dropped their heads in grief. Sina sank to her knees, wailing in despair. “Please Lord…help us,” she cried. As uncle Sole tried desperately to console his niece, a humongous tiger shark swam past their canoe.  Frustrated, uncle Sole grabbed his spear and aimed it at the beast, but as he ascended to his feet, the tiger shark dove deep into the ocean.  At that point, Sina saw four other shark fins circling the water, then dive down towards what must have been Tavita’s proximity. Beneath the oceans waters the enormous shark had spotted Tavita and swallowed him whole. For Tavita, it was a surreal sensation being in the belly of the beast. The lightning had done something to him on a molecular level, but not just to him, but to the shark also. Both Tavita and the shark began to glow a fluorescent green. The shark’s body began to fuse and intermingle with Tavita’s. In the next moment Tavita was suddenly jolted into consciousness.

Tavita didn’t know where he was, only that his legs, ribs and arms were on fire and he couldn’t breathe. Instinctively he tightened the grip on his spear (which was still in his grasp) and executed a series of violent outward thrusts. Although his body was feeling crushed, he continued on with all his might. After seven or eight more jabs, Tavita felt the crushing feeling around his body begin to release. He had made a substantial hole in the shark. Unknowingly, Tavita had killed a Tiger Shark. It was drifting lifelessly to the bottom of the sea with Tavita lodged inside. Until finally (and with great effort) Tavita swam out of the dead shark. He was free, the crushing pain was gone and he was breathing easy again if not better. For now Tavita realised that he was infact, breathing under water. Tavita looked on as the dead shark descended to the depths, but his attention was redirected to the other four sharks encircling him. Tavita was covered in blood and the sharks could smell it.

Tavita raised his spear in an offensive stance, then he realised that the sharks were disinterested in him, but were circling the dead shark. Tavita saw his chance and hastily began swimming to the surface, glancing down momentarily to keep an eye on the potential danger. Then Tavita couldn’t believe what he saw. The dead shark glowed a fluorescent green once more, wriggled to life, and swam away. Feverishly Tavita swam back up to the surface, the storm had subsided, mellowing to a light mist and the tides were flat once again. Tavita breathed in the sea air and found that in the first few seconds – it was hard to take in. The skies were bright blue as he attempted to make a bearing for home, after spotting his island far off in the distance Tavita proceeded to swim back, but half an hour later (upon reaching the beach) Tavita found that, even though he still felt physically strong and full of energy- the bewildering thoughts that raced through his mind, caused him to fall to his knees in need of respite. Through the haze of his contemplation he heard a familiar voice... “Tavita!” Sina shouted as she ran down the beach with uncle Sole following close by. “We thought you were...” she paused. “Thank God you’re alive!” Sina cried as new feelings of relief and solace captivated her reality. Tears of joy flowed from uncle Sole and Sina’s eyes as they embraced Tavita. Something in Tavita urged him not to mention what had happened with the shark. That he could now breathe underwater, that he killed a tiger shark and it had simply glowed marvelously and surged back to life, and what about that freak storm? So many questions. Sina wiped the tears from her eyes as uncle Sole (with a concerned look on his face) turned to Tavita.

“What happened out there?” 

“I don’t know uncle, I swam back here from where I fell off the canoe and the...”

Tavita was cut short by Sina’s ghastly tone. 

“Look” she pointed.

“What?” Tavita responded. “What already?” Tavita questioned.

“You’re,” Sina gasped, "you're glowing !"


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