Kinipela fought with her magic, strictly controlling the need to work the weather and waves surrounding her island. The broken heart left behind by Moanna, her ex-wife, made control that much harder.
Then Kinipela’s little brother arrived with news of storm clouds approaching against the wind, pulling Kinipela out of her grief and into a battle against her heart, her magic and everything she thought she was.
Boiling the Ocean Away is a story of magic, loss, life and discovering your true self that is sure to excite.
Boiling the Ocean Away
By Meyari McFarland
Wind flowed around Kinipela, slipping gentle around her cheeks, tangling in her hair like a lover’s fingers drawn slow and gentle to comfort and tease. She could smell pineapple, sharp-sweet, on the wind. Kinipela turned away, shifting in the sand so that she would not have to look up the beach to the other homes, to the one at the far end where Moanna sat.
Moanna was signing, a happy hymn of thanksgiving to the Gods for the bounty of the sea, the fruits of the land. Her long black hair, sleek as the skin of a seal freshly emerged from the ocean, hung at her back. Even at this distance Kinipela could smell the sweat at the nook of Moanna’s neck, feel the silk of her skin, the skin she’d never touch again.
Nets. She needed to fix the nets. The goddess of the sea had been angry with Kinipela the last time she’d gone out fishing. Her nets had half a dozen holes, some tiny, one huge enough for a reef shark to slip right through.
It was her fault. The first thing that Kinipela had learned as a child was that calling the magic of the sea, the wind, while angry was dangerous. Futile. Painful. She’d watched her mother waste away as the magic raged inside of her after Kinipela’s father died.
At least death was final. Kinipela didn’t get that closure. There was no ending for her pain. Moanna had moved out of Kinipela’s home, taking her sarongs and the fine wood comb that Kinipela had carved for her. There were no songs in Kinipela’s home anymore. It was empty, lonely, abandoned by the one that had given it a heart, just as Kinipela had been abandoned, cast aside for a man with a weak jaw and shifty eyes who rarely brought home enough fish for the two of them, much less for the babies that Moanna had always wanted.
Babies. That was the real problem. Kinipela had not been able to give Moanna babies, even though she had been perfectly happy to invite men into their home for that purpose. Moanna hadn’t wanted that. She’d wanted a man of her own, not a woman who fished and fought with the magic inside of her, too stiff and stern to dance and sing with Moanna when joy ran through both their hearts.
“You’ve never had an honest emotion in your life!”
Kinipela winced, barely restraining herself from ripping the net in half. Moanna’s final words still hurt. They would always hurt. She didn’t understand, Moanna didn’t understand that magic demanded control, required strength, punished emotion. No matter how much Kinipela wanted to shout her love and pain and rage to the sky, she couldn’t. It would endanger the whole island, everyone living on it.
Lie, Kinipela whispered in the back of her mind. The mental voice sounded like Grandmother, scolding with her eyes and expecting perfection no matter what Kinipela did, felt, learned. Lie. Kinipela couldn’t possibly be strong enough to threaten them all.
The wind shifted, harsh and hard, carrying now the taste of ocean salt and the dying fish that flopped and struggled in shallow hollows after being swept up and away from their life-giving water, deposited to struggle and die on baking hot volcanic rock, crabs picking at their eyes until they died blind and gasping as salt crystals formed on their quivering bodies, every flop calling more crabs to come and feast.
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