The Iridescent Well

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

Synopsis: The puzzling question was finally answered in a distinctive manner...

Suddenly, the winds started to move in a circular motion, carrying the fallen leaves from the ground in what appears to be a little whirlwind. The pollens of intindi were scattered all over, poking parts of Esteban's body.

"Angiw-Angiw? Where are you?"

The whirlwind moved slightly to the center of the jungle where more trees abound. Esteban thought that this must be Angiw-Angiw trying to lead him somewhere.

He followed the whirlwind as it continued to spread fallen leaves and pollens of intindi everywhere.

Until the whirlwind stopped. Little by little, the leaves and pollens fell. After quite some time, they revealed what appears to be a well.

A deafening sound was heard. "It must be from the well," the young man hypothesized. He was very curious; he slowly moved closer to it until he was already near enough to see the water.

To his surprise, the water showed iridescent appearance. 

The Iridescent Well
By Aureus Ken Pupa

Iridescence is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change color as the angle of illumination changes. The well was iridescent in the sense that it showed luminous colors that change when seen from different angles.

Esteban was quite mystified by the iridescence of the well. It was luminous all throughout and the colors were thick, showing stark contrasts with the others. While surfaces of some waters normally show iridescent state, they are often transparent such that one can see what's underneath.

The well that Esteban was looking at, however, was not transparent. He could not see what was beneath its iridescence...

"Hmmm... this is strange. I would be able to see the bucket in normal instances but, in this case, I couldn't."

The amount of Esteban's curiosity was so overwhelming that he dipped his arm into the water to be able to unearth the missing bucket. As soon as he touched the water's surface, however, he heard a familiar melody.

It was Pepito's lyre. Surprised, Esteban looked around.

"Pepito? Pepito? Are you there?"

Nobody responded. "It must be my head whatsoever..."

He dipped his right arm on the water again. The same sound was heard once more but, this time, he didn't care as he thought it must be his silly mind doing tricks at him again.

But the music continued on. It was so familiar, it reminded him of the very night of his last recollection before getting lost.

"The music is coming from the well, it seems." Esteban drew closer to the well, looked over, and was confounded by what he saw...

It showed exactly everything that was happening during the night he was lost. He was inside the galleon, together with all the members of the crew, trying to get some sleep when the usual back and forth creaking of the ship was turning very frequent and the splashes of waves were turning turbulent.

Despite these, Pepito was happily singing...

It is one pleasant night...

Despite every one terrified

I can hear the many sighs

But soon, we'll all be alright

"Yes, I remember this. I wonder why Pepito remains calm despite what appears to be a storm nearby..."

Now, stands everyone

So they would understand

What might be wrong around

With all those loud, loud sounds

"It's a tempest!" Someone cried out loud. Everybody was distressed.

Nobody could see

But they could all hear

The winds so angry

While they succumbed to fear

Nobody notices Pepito's singing. Everyone was focused on the tempest in the middle of the charcoal night.

"Put all the treasures down the hull!" It was Don Claro shouting.

It's still one fine night

Despite everyone terrified

Of the tempest outside

And nothing's in sight

"Take down the sails!"

"And keep them down the decks!"

The members of the crew were doing everything they can to salvage themselves and the distressed ship.

They're trying their hardest

To save all from distress

Would we all die?

In this fine, pleasant night?

"Barbaro, let's go down the hull!" Sandro called on his equally stout brother. To salvage a ship from tempests, it is imperative to put all weight as much as possible to the hull in order to stabilize it.

'Tis really one fine night

Despite everyone terrified

Of the tempest outside

And nothing's in sight

"Esteban, climb up the mainmast and take down the sail! You're the only one with enough courage to do it! Do it, man!" Don Claro ordered the brave and daring Esteban.

The young conquistador did not waste time, nor did he apprehended.

They're trying their hardest

To save all from distress

Would we all die?

In this fine, pleasant night?

The pouring rains made the climb extra difficult for the young explorer. When he was about to reach the top of the mainmast, about 120 feet high, he slipped.

'Tis really one fine night

Despite everyone terrified

Of the tempest outside

And nothing's in sight

A strong, howling and crying wind suddenly appeared in the middle of the incident. Out of the blue, the young explorer disappeared but the sail he was trying to reach fell down the deck. The sail survived but the young man was gone.

"Esteban, you made it!" Don Claro was extremely joyous. But in a little while, they realized the young man was gone.

'Tis one hard test

To save all from distress

Would we all die?

In this fine, pleasant night?

"Esteban! Esteban! Come down, we still have a lot to do!" Don Claro yelled. But somebody pat him in the back.

"Chief, the storm is over. Everything's calm. Everyone survived." Another man delivered the good news to the captain who still did not know that everything was over.

See, it is one fine night?

Despite everyone terrified

Of the tempest outside

Which is no longer in sight

"But where is Esteban?" Don Claro asked.

"Let's look down the sea, he must have slipped."

They called on him. Over and over again. But that was the last they saw him... in that year of 1597...

'Tis fine, pleasant night

Ends, ends with a sigh

The young, courageous man

Is no longer in sight

Esteban... Esteban...

The young man was still staring at the well whose iridescence was slowly vanishing...

Esteban... Esteban...

He still did not notice that Angiw-Angiw was already calling on him. The wind's high-pitched voice was becoming even more high-pitched.

Esteban... Esteban...

At this juncture, the well's iridescence had already vanished. And so, Esteban finally heard the high-pitched voice of the endearing wind...

That was how you were lost, young man...

"Yes, it seems. But, I wonder... how did I find myself in the middle of a dark forest?"

That storm was Surangak... And the howling, crying wind in the middle of it all was her twin sister, Alungu-ug... She took you away into the dark forest to separate you from your friends... And while you were there in the jungle, Salinggaya put you into deep, deep sleep for seven weeks... If you think it's still January... No, we're actually nearing March...

"Hmmm... why did you do all these? Why did you separate me from my friends?"

As I told you, you are a pure soul who appreciates nature... but your friends are more interested in treasures... The small, scenic falls that will soon be named Hardin Falls keeps so many jewels... Topazes, Sapphires, Diamonds, Rubies, and most abundantly, Amethysts...

But if your friends find that sacred falls and unearth all the jewels, a strong, forceful flood will ruin a large portion of the island, killing many of the different and beautiful plant and animal species...

You are the only one who cares about nature... And so... we separated you...

"I can quite understand that... but my friends still made it to this island. Such happenstance confounds me. If they really were that dangerous, maybe you could have blown our sails in another direction..."

You will understand one day... I won't reveal the reason to you yet... As I believe you are capable of understanding it even by yourself... In the meantime, we would like to entertain you with a beautiful song...

To be continued...


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