This moment was a dream that transcended into eternity. I never ceased to wonder, this blissful magic, it’s powers, it’s majesties, it’s ever bounding wonders that I never knew. But I felt it deep in my heart. The world was waiting for me, and however I was going to do it, I was going to save my friend dearest to my heart, my sweet Akiak.
Until the very last moment did I see Nakasuk reach forward to lightly touch my harpoon.
“Oh!” I hastily pulled it in, holding it close to my heart, as if my life depended on it.
“A harpoon!” he gasped in astonishment, “Kirima, it’s amazing!” his soft blue eyes sparkled in wonder.
I wondered as he did, why he never had questioned it’s origin. It seemed as if he already knew the answer. He could tell me a legend as if he were there, he could tell me my whole destiny before me-it’s almost as if he could read the past, present and future, with all dimensions of space and time interweaved in his mind. He had a foretelling spirit, a striking wonder of the universe.
“Well,” I giggled, “where do you think I got it from? Some… some mystical being floating in the air?”
I immediately ceased my course of laughter- Nakasuk was not amused. I awkwardly rebound my words to myself in shame.
“Kirima…” Nakasuk said apparently. His eyes then lit up, “Where did you find the harpoon?”
The words came piercing through my being, yearning to embellish the world around them. My heart raced. I could only think of the worlds among the stars, the glistening wonders and dreams beyond the horizon, the breath taking quests that are waiting for me. My heart couldn’t hold back any longer, I was finally there, and I was free.
“It… it was from another world. A dream world. I heard a voice. The voice of a girl. And… she gave this to me because she wanted to protect me.”
I watched my simple, yet unimaginably powerful words transcend beyond me, to Nakasuk, making their way deep into his spirit until at last, he was speechless.
“Who do you think she is?” he showed an expression of curiosity.
“I… I wouldn’t know.”
“Whoever she is, I think she was watching over you. She knew your spirit. She gave it to you so you could protect you. And your friends. You are the protecter. I am the protecter,” he so suddenly explained.
I was astonished, yet surprise in the presence of such words ceased to exist. I knew him well enough.
“The protector,” I muttered to myself.
Nakasuk took his harpoon, and gently, he touched it to mine. At this moment, the icy world shivered under our feet, and the atmosphere howled as if it embodied the piercing cries of a thousand wolves. The air retreated it’s joyous energy, replacing it with one cold and dark. Pale and weak, Nakasuk fell to the snow.
I gasped in horror, leaping toward were he lay, and sat down in the blanket of snow beside him. I let out and breath of warm air onto my mittens, and placed them over his temple.
“Please talk to me!” I cried.
Tears began to pour from my eyes, blurring my discerning vision of what was once a breathtaking sight. Nakasuk lay cold and lifeless, his heart as if in a land beyond our dimension, his beautiful eyes that once glistened as they met mine, now a snowstorm.
“Please, wake up!” I muttered under my tears. He was nowhere to be found. My heart only knew, to what realm of the earth his spirit dwelled, but deep in my soul, I knew he wasn’t here beside me in this dim frozen light.
Softly stroking my mitten over his furs, a thousand stars whirled in my head as I was reminded of something remarkable. The spirit who sung me into my dreams, her words warming my heart. The beautiful harpoon she handed me on the verge of combat. She was watching over me, she was protecting me. She was guiding me, on my quest to save my one and only Akiak. She was there for me, and to the comfort of my panic, she was there for him, as he was there for me. It was now my turn to be there for him.
The though ensuring warmth into my spirit, I let out a sigh of relief that all will be alright, as I brushed my tears, half frozen, clinging to my pale cheeks as they withstood the cold arctic breeze. I reluctantly left Nakasuk’s side, a spark of curiosity igniting in me, as I wonder where Akiak could be. Carefully, I tiptoed through the forest, retracing the footsteps of my marks on the earth, ever so slightly withholding a caution of a mysterious creature, waiting around the next treetop to pierce my heart.
At last I reached the waters, cold and ruthless, throwing itself among the crevices of the rocks. I waited and wondered. Akiak was nowhere to be found. Sighing, I sat myself on the nearest rock, hastily sculpting a ball of snow, hurling it as far into the water as my strength willed. In a moment, something mysterious caught my eye. An abandoned canoe. It had a brunette gradient, a worn finishing, yet how it beautifully entranced the water! It seemed as if it had been among this small sanctuary, bouncing about the waters for thousands of winters, awaiting one to carry to their destiny, to carry to hope. And I knew it was me. It was me, and it was going to bring me to Akiak.
Filled with a longing for my friend, I carefully reached out to take hold of the canoe. As I pulled it forward, my foot suddenly slipped, drenching my leg in piercing cold water. I let out a shriek of pain, lurching my head over my shoulder, afraid I has been heard.
There was only silence. The silences of a thousand whimsical songs that intermingled in beautiful harmony, so soft, yet so strong, so luminous, that forgave to the forces of thunder, subsiding me forward. Something inside my was telling to go, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not resist. Careful not to slip into the cold water, I gently placed one foot, and then the other, into the canoe. My heart pounding, I thrust my hands against the rock, the water forming a glittering trail behind me as I drifted farther and farther from shore.
I waited, and waited. My heart was longing for Akiak, and my mind was wondering of the place where Nakasuk was, and how far it could be. Floes of ice drifted past me, and seals cried out to the disappearing sunlight, it’s light gleaming among the ripples of the ocean, meeting the dazzling sky on the far off horizon. A soft breeze began to whirl around me, filling my spirit with wonders of how beautiful the earth around me was. Suddenly, a whirlpool took it’s course around the canoe, swiftly rocking it back and forth.
“What’s happening?!” I cried.
It grew wider and wider, prolonging it’s steady dance under the emerging starlight. It began to sparkle like a dream, awaiting something amazing to emerge.
And it did. Out from under the crystal waters leaped Akiak, her joyous spirit greeting me once again. My heart skipped a beat as she made her way to my side, brushing her head against the side of the canoe.
“Akiak!” I cried out in joy, “How I’ve missed you!” I carefully reach forward and placed my hand on her.
She gave a sigh of content in return. I sighed in relief, my heart free of the burdens of worry. And like the falling snow, as it gave itself over to my past, something new made it’s way into my spirit. Something that worried me at last, yet brought forth a storm of passion, like the rising tide. Something my whole being yearned to know.
“Akiak?” I hesitated, “Akiak, please, will you allow me to know where Nakasuk might be.”
The breeze ceased it’s course; time stood still. A calming fearfulness surged through my body, mesmerizing me. My eyes fell closed and my heart raced, a peaceful energy overtaking the atmosphere. I began to hear a soft, childlike voice, and this time, it was someone different.
“Follow me,” it echoed.
“Who… who are you?” I wondered.
“Open your eyes.”
Gently, I opened my eyes to a magical world outstretched on the waters. In front of me lingered Akiak, emitting the same pure, calming energy of the voice. My gaze wondered to the gleaming towers of water that touched the stars in front of me. Blue mists dance among the breeze, falling to the earth below. Pastel hues of lavender and pink shined like gems, embellished in flowers and light. Whirls and melodies surrounded the skies, igniting my soul with dreams. I could not do nor speak, but only see.
“Follow me,” repeated the soft voice. Akiak gazed at me, her eyes sparking. It was her; it was really her! She wanted to show me something!
“Show me the way,” I whispered.
And so she led me, and closer and closer to my destiny I followed. Where Nakasuk dwelled was where I was bound to be. So she led me, to the village of starlight; the realm of dreams.