Beneath The Placid Tides

This is the fourth chapter of the historical fantasy entitled "Rhapsody of Nature."

Synopsis: The scenic lagoon displayed ephemeral rays of spectacle...

"I'm so sure it is somewhere here..." Esteban emphasized his certainty but could not believe his eyes.

Sandro, the more empathetic twin, tried to pacify the young man. "Don't worry, Esteban. It might just be hunger." 

The young man had seen plentiful mysteries in this distant isle. The more the days go by, the more they grow stranger.

"It really has been a strange year. Confusing. Perplexing. And I think I'm having a delirium."

"It's indeed hunger, amigo," laughs Barbaro, the more cheerful twin.

The twins were identical in so many ways but they consider the few minutes they were born apart as the cause for their slight differences.

"It might be," agrees Sandro. 

"Where are all the others?" the third twin asked in wonder.

The pair echoed the same answer, "they're hunting wild boars in the deep forest. The crew split into two. While they're somewhere there, we were told to fish. Don Claro wanted to have a big feast of both seafood and red meat because everyone's hungry."

Esteban was weary and tired. He couldn't process their statements except the parts where they said the crew split into two and that they were going to fish.

"You mean, we don't have food yet?"

Sandro assured Esteban that it won't take long. The cooking wares, flints and all were already assembled but the meat were not yet available.

Meanwhile, Barbaro knew exactly what to say to give their friend energy. "Oh... you have to come with us, you will be delighted! You would not believe your eyes!"

As an ever-curious explorer, Esteban immediately turned interested. "Hmmmm... I've seen fascinating things here so that should be something. Can we go now?"

"Of course!" the twins exclaimed and gave each other fist bumps.

Without a thought, the three hurried to the shore where a small canoe was waiting for them. The boat was just few weeks old and were crafted by the twins themselves who were experts in carpentry and ship-building.

As they paddled the canoe, Esteban noticed that the sea was so calm, quiet and placid. He looked around and realized that it was a small, narrow cove surrounded by a crescent-shaped beach with fine, coppery sands.

"Just had to tell you, the natives call this 'Soboc Cove,'" Sandro mentioned.

The paddling of the canoe was so silent, it merely created sighs as sounds. That was how solemn the bay was.

As they went farther from the shore, little by little did the sea showed its hue --- pastel blue.

At this point, Esteban was no longer hungry or tired. Everything around him took all his senses away but his sight and hearing.

A few moments later, a gentle breeze blew through them, reminding him of the falls and the music from Blaise's cello. 

"Everything about this place is soothing that you'd often forget your hunger," quips Esteban.

The twins laughed.

"Esteban, it's about time for you to see what we wanted you to see," Sandro said.

The young man was excited.

"Look down the sea, friend."

He looked over. Like everything else he has seen in such a strange island, he was surprised.

Amidst the pastel blue of the bay were chalk-colored fishes, crustaceans and coral reefs, which contrasted from the copper color of the sands.

"How can this be? They're all white!"

"Wait till you drop a coin," Barbaro uttered.

"Do not tell me yet, I wanted to see without anyone spoiling the surprise for me. I have barillas in my pocket."

After dropping, the coin created small ripples on the bay's surface.

As soon as it reached the reef's surface, the corals gradually changed their color from pale white to bright neon yellow.

But the change only affected the nearest parts. The rest of the coral reef - outside the radius - remained white. Only a small portion turned yellow. 

The change was only momentary though. After few moments, the yellow turned back to its default state.

"Amazing," was all Esteban could say.

He dropped another coin. This time, it hit an unfamiliar crustacean.

Immediately, the medium-sized crustacean turned bright pink in a similar fashion.

Unbeknownst to the young man, the twins had a bucket of small pebbles with them.

"Here, drop all these. You will be fascinated," Sandro handed over the bucket of small pebbles to the now-excited Esteban.

In a suspenseful motion, the young man dropped the pebbles one by one.

As they hit the coral reef, the lobsters, and the crabs, their real colors came out. While the coral reef was yellowish green and the crustaceans were fuchsia, the crabs were fiery orange.

Their vivid colors were a stark contrast to the pastel blue of the bay. However, the changes were similarly ephemeral. They remained as such only for a while until they turned back to all white.

Barbaro took out his fishing spear. Superbly agile, he immediately captured several fishes, which all turned into varying shades of lavender as soon as they were caught.

However, when the fishes were brought out of the placid waters of the bay, they all transitioned to gray until it seemed as though there was nothing extraordinary about them.

"As the locals say, there never will be evidence of their strangeness until you see it by yourself in this small cove," Barbaro quipped.

His twin added, "and nowhere else..."

To be continued...


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