Moon Princess

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Moon was hurled into the sky at the dawn of time. Who keeps it there now?

In a simple tent, hastily pitched atop the ruins of a former religious shrine, a young girl stands before a plain glass vase. The vase contains ashes mingled with flakes that sparkle iridescent blue. She is there to keep the Moon in the sky.

Jiro Takahama was the lone surviver of a submarine that was lost in the final days of World War II. He was just a trainee on his first patrol. He couldn't be held accountable for the sinking, but that didn't matter. In his own mind, he had failed the Emperor. It was his duty to perform seppuku, ritual suicide. He failed at that too.

Jiro was rescued by the Nomokahrins. They inhabited an isolated group of Pacific islands that was too small to be of use to either side in the war. Jiro would remain there the rest of his life. He vowed never to return home. He felt his return would bring shame upon his family. He considered it better if they thought he had died honorably along with his shipmates.

By a twist of fortune, the Nomokahrins needed Jiro as much as he needed them. There was a place of high importance in their society that could only be filled by a stranger born of the sea. It was a role dictated by a kind of messiah myth.

Jiro wasn't the first to be born of the sea. He was preceded by a long lineage of Chinese, Arab, Portuguese and sundry other sailors washed up on the Nomokahrin shore over many centuries. Young as he was, failure that he was, he couldn't avoid his fate.  The Cloak of the Protector was draped around his shoulders during an elaborate ceremony.

Jiro would have been king if the Nomokahrins had such a thing. They didn't. Theirs was a matriarchal society. Women held all power and wealth in the islands. Men were used only for their strength. They were the laborers and warriors. Rather than being a king, Jiro was a regent. A rough translation of his full title would have been: Regent Protector of the Sacred Treasure of Poymakala.

The treasure was located on Lonely Atoll, a spit of sand 900 nautical miles from the main island group. It was the traditional place of the Nomokahrin genesis. It was there that the first people were formed from molten rock when the Moon clashed with his brother the Earth. It was then that Mu, daughter of the Sun and mother of the quarrelsome siblings, hurled the Moon into the sky. 

An ancient shrine was built on the spot. Primarily, it functioned as a seminary. It was the place where chosen girls were sent to learn the rituals to keep the Moon in its place.

The shrine also housed the Treasure of Poymakala. It was kept in a room that was barely more than a closet. For untold ages, only Protectors were allowed to enter therein. In all that time, not a single other person even tried to open the door.

The treasure was reputed to be a marvelous, cobalt blue pearl. It was thought to have been formed in the gut of a giant clam of a species that went extinct with the dinosaurs. It was claimed to be the largest and most perfect natural pearl that had ever existed. All who heard of it coveted it, but only Protectors knew if the story was true.

Jiro shirked his duties almost the entire time he lived among the Nomokahrins. He saw no use in performing silly rituals to appease alien deities. He preferred to spend his time in the company of women. His exalted position gave him first choice. He even took moon priestesses if he deemed them fair enough to suit his tastes.

One day, having heard of the treasure, a band of pirates attacked Lonely Atoll, three shiploads of them.

The atoll's warriors fought valiantly, magnificently, but they were overwhelmed. The shrine's seminarians, mere girls, fought with the ferocity of caged tigers possessed of demons. They too fell in battle. The High Priestess herself slew three of the attackers before she met her doom.

Alone, Jiro Takahama stood his ground. For the first and only time in his life, he did his duty. He smashed the pearl to smithereens with a hammer. In a pluperfect rage, the pirates hacked him to pieces and burned the shrine to the ground.

In a simple tent hastily pitched atop the ruins of the former religious shrine, a young girl stands before a plain glass vase. Ten year old Makia'a, 102nd High Priestess of Mu, bows solemnly toward the ashes of her father, the honorable Takahama-san, Eternal Protector of the Sacred Treasure of Poymakala, as she prepares to keep the Moon in the sky.

Copyright © 2010 - 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.


Submitted: April 21, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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Comments

B Douglas Slack

This was beautifully crafted, Charlie. I had no trouble visualizing everything in it as I read. I'd suggest creating a novel out of this one. This chapter serves as the perfect lead-in to the rest. ~Tom

Tue, April 21st, 2015 2:54pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for the kind comments, Tom, but I'm not a novel writer. My attention span is too short, and I rapidly tire of working on big projects. However, in the imaginary universe that I carry around in my head, I have had many encounters with the Nomokahrins, some good and some bad.

Tue, April 21st, 2015 8:45am

Mr Watson

A well written piece Whiskey, pearls of wisdom indeed, great fantasy.

Tue, April 21st, 2015 8:13pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for the kind words, Mr Watson. I am always happy when a story is a success.

Tue, April 21st, 2015 1:28pm

Vance Currie

I doubt that you are capable of writing an unsuccessful story Charlie. It was easy to imagine this one as actual folklore. Great stuff. ~ Joe

Tue, April 21st, 2015 10:13pm

Author
Reply

Ha. Ha. Thanks for the comment, Joe. You give me too much credit as a writer, but I'll accept the compliment nonetheless. Have a good day, mate.

Tue, April 21st, 2015 3:20pm

Marquesha

Great story. It was an interesting read. Not my style per se but I still enjoyed it all the same! =)

Wed, April 22nd, 2015 6:38pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for the read, Marquesha, and for taking the time to comment.

Wed, April 22nd, 2015 12:03pm

Chris Green

Magical story, Whiskey Charlie. Pitched perfectly and delivered with skill and restraint. I say this because it is not easy to write a fantasy short that holds together ans sustains interest but this one certainly does. I loved it.
Regards
Chris

Thu, April 23rd, 2015 9:23am

Author
Reply

Thank you for the kind words, Chris. It's always a pleasure to please an audience.

Thu, April 23rd, 2015 4:37am

Karen Lynn

This is so good, Whiskey! Thanks for sharing; very well penned! :)

Sat, June 10th, 2017 5:15pm

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