Exotic fruits hung in tantalizing clusters just off the shore, begging him to taste their sweet nectar. Lush green grass offered the promise of a bed softer than the silky sides of a newborn Hawaiian Monk Seal. The warmth of the sun could not penetrate below the surface of the water. When Kanaloa heard his brothers and sisters sighing over how delightful it was to feel the sun on their skin and the wind in their hair, he despaired.
Kanaloa chanted the names of all ocean creatures backwards, throwing in bits and pieces of various water plants and animals known to have magic properties. He fixed an image of the creature he wanted in his mind.
Honolulu's birth happened at sunset when the last rays of the sun were just starting to kiss the water. He trotted out of the surf, giving his thick, sand-colored coat a thorough shake. A line of living coral grew the length of his spine, a rainbow of knobby branches that would keep him linked to the ocean and his father no matter how far he wandered onto the land. Through it, Kanaloa could see everything he saw, hear the sounds he heard, and taste every sweet new flavor to pass Honolulu's tongue. A living wave was his tail, a connection to the sea that was his mother. A handful of immortal fish lived in its depths in a miniature ecosystem that amplified Kanaloa's ability to communicate with his son. When Honolulu curled his tail around his nose at night, he could hear the crash of ocean waves lulling him to sleep, a sound very similar to that you will hear if you hold a seashell to your ear.
His pale blue tongue flopped out of his mouth, the better to smell his surroundings with. There were so many scents to sort out, so many vibrant colors he didn't have a name for. He barked in sheer excitement, his voice carrying a hint of waves crashing against a rocky cliffside.
A coconut fell from its parent tree, striking the ground a few feet from where he stood. His butt went in the air and he challenged this intruder with a questioning bark. The coconut offered no reply. He crept closer, giving the strange object a cautious sniff.
A soft voice whispered in his mind. "It is food, my son. Taste it."
His needle-sharp puppy teeth were much sharper than your average pup's. He easily cracked the shell, lapping up the sweet coconut milk with gusto. He took no notice when a few new branches of coral began to grow and take shape along his back.
The natives soon began to take notice of the sandy pup that wandered leisurely from one village to the next, lazing in the shade cast by palm branches during the hottest hours of the day. The cooling strips of skin on his paw pads allowed him to walk on even the hottest sand. He slept in the shade not because he had to, but because if felt nice.
They were not so amused when he sampled the fruits they had worked so hard to grow. They tried to chase him away with sticks but he would only bark and wave his tail, easily running circles around the slow humans. To him this was a grand new game that always ended in his playmates lying in their hammocks and muttering curses under their breath.
Their anger didn't last long. Within a fortnight, every plant he'd snacked on had doubled in size and was producing triple the volume of fruit it had previously put out.
One day near the start of the rainy season, Honolulu found a tiny pink flower that had been left in his favorite sleeping spot. It was a gift from the natives. He could sense that this was something very special. His father whispered that this was NOT food. He found a string lying in the place where the fishing nets were woven and used it to make a necklace. The single blossom looked a little sad hanging there by itself. Honolulu resolved to do more good things for the kind people that had given him his first gift.
He brought water in his mouth when the dry season extended past the usual time, sprinkling life-giving water on tender young plants that were the livelihood of the fruit growers. He stayed up all night to answer the thunder god with his fiercest growls, protecting the green coconuts so they would not be lost in one of the god's many tantrums. He even put his sharp claws to work digging treasures out of the volcanic mud so the people would have something good to offer the overseas merchants on the rare occasions when those far-away traders made it to the peaceful shores of paradise.
From the rewards of his many small good deeds, he built a mighty necklace of flowers that would never wilt or die. The people started to whisper that he had been sent by the gods for their prosperity. Their best smith shaped a silver bowl that was never allowed to run out of water. When he went on one of his daily rambles through the fields, fresh rushes were laid by the village maidens so he would have a sweet-smelling bed to come home to. Children delighted in games of fetch and there was always a blob of bread or a hunk of fresh seal meat set aside for him by the old fishing wives.
He was a hero to the people but it was the action he took when the queen went missing that made him a legend.
Queen Malamalama truly was a guiding light to her people. She solved disputes with such fairness and utter neutrality that even the losing party admired her declaration. She treated all people, no matter their feats or the family they were born to, equally. She walked with such utter poise and care that the smallest blossom creeping on the ground need not fear the pressure of her foot.
Her captor was a disgraced man, the son of pirates that had washed ashore after a particularly violent storm. Though the natives were very kind, building a simple hut for his use and seeing to it he had clothes and food, he repaid their every kindness with snarls and threats. Every day he would peer over the edge of the cliff near his home, watching the queen's procession go by. Jealousy burned in his heart, hotter than the fumes of any volcano. The queen took the time to stop and pat the head of a sandy-haired mutt but never once did she so much as spare him a glance.
His father had taught him the ways of pirates. He sought his prize in the night, storming the palace in a soundless charge that never even woke the maids sleeping around their queen, for none had dared such a brazen course of action and the natives, as a general rule, were sound sleepers.
Honolulu waited at his usual place to greet the young queen that treated him with kindness. His ears and tail drooped when she did not come at the usual hour. He trotted to the palace, finding the members of her court wailing and weeping. It didn't take him long to puzzle out what had happened. He whined and pawed at the door to the queen's chamber. One of her ladies-in-waiting allowed him to go inside.
The queen's guard was close on the trail when Honolulu took off running. He led them right to the desolate hut where their queen had spent a restless night. They arrived just in time to see the villainous outsider casting the bound body of their queen over the edge of his cliff, sacrificing her to the ocean with a horrible laugh.
Honolulu dived with a heartbroken howl, calling to his father for help. Just as Kanaloa could not set foot on land by the decree of the universal forces, so his son was not allowed to swim the waters of the sea.
Honolulu thrashed his way to the queen, breaking the binding ropes with a few expert snaps of his jaw. He could feel the water growing heavier on his thick fur, slowly dragging his head down as he whined and fought to make it to shore. He kept the queen on his back, doing everything in his power to keep the water from reaching her. The tips of his ears were just starting to sink below the surface when a sound rose from beneath the waves that none of the witnesses would ever forget.
The arm of an octopus larger than even the great blue whales shot out of the water, launching the castaways the long distance needed for them to reach shore. The tentacle's tip came to a dead halt as soon as it reached the edge of the water as if a massive invisible wall had risen to slap it back. The queen's loyal subjects gathered around, pulling her and her faithful companion to the safety of dry land.
Kanaloa's tentacle-arm waved once in the traditional island greeting, a sign to his worshippers that he was pleased. The massive octopus vanished as if he had never appeared.
Honolulu was given a place of honor inside the palace, his fur dried with the utmost care. The queen's own physician surrounded him with heated stones and brought all his favorite fruits ground into a pleasant mash that he could easily devour while he worked on regaining his strength.
The natives changed the name of their largest village to Honolulu in his honor, presenting him with his greatest treasure on the day he woke. It was a bright red blossom of the Mao Loa Flower, the Flower of Eternity. The queen placed it above his ear with her own hands as his tail waved gently from side to side.
To this day, the flower is his greatest treasure.
Story by Pureflower.
Overlay by Keshi.
Art by x88b8.
Background image from wallpapersin4k.
Custom cursors from oficinadehtml.