Nøkken : The Water Spirit
A Crying Shame
" This is where my father and husband died,... and this is where I will mourn. If the pond wants me as well,.... so be it !! " she told her son.
Then she often would add adamantly :
" But you Haki, shall stay away from this pond ! "
Every morning, after breakfast, Sefa walked up to the dam and sat crying for hours on end. Haki, half joking, told his mother that if she kept crying at the dam her tears would overflow the structure, and flood the entire valley. But no words, no show of compassion, and no amount of pity could quell her sorrow. Her grief had become too deeply embedded in her soul, and nothing on this earth could take away her pain.
The Nøkken watched from below the surface as each day the human woman came to his watery home and expressed her grief. He always stayed in the lily pads, as far away from her as possible, to lessen the sound of her incessant whimpering. At first he was merely annoyed by her presence, for he was not hungry and did not need or want humans bothering him. Quickly, however, he began to feel the pressure of guilt weighing heavily down upon him. He was the one who had killed her mate, and it was he who had caused her pain and suffering. What bothered the Nøkken most was not the fact that he felt guilty, but that he should not have felt anything at all over what he had done to a human.
Guilt is a strange emotion for humans, and even more so for a Water Spirit who has no context to place it in. It can make someone want to repent and make amends for what they have done wrong, or it can make that being want to erase the guilt by another act as bad, if not worse, than the first transgression. The Nøkken decided to implement the latter.
One cloudy morning the Nøkken was awakened by the incessant crying of the female up above on the dam. The Water Spirit finally had had enough and decided it was time to act despite his hunger lacking. He determined that today he would end her misery along with his discomfort of having to listen to her every day !
With the quiet movements of a predator stalking it's prey, the Nøkken slowly drifted out of the lily pads, and over to the dam. As he looked up at his target he could not help but notice how vulnerable she was sitting there all alone on the narrow boards that controlled the flow of water over the dam. As he lined up his target, and was preparing to strike, something splashed into the water directly above startling him. He hesitated for just a moment tasting the water to see what is was that had entered his domain. And in that moment everything changed !
The Nøkken had never tasted anything quite so wonderful ! The fresh water in which he had lived for centuries had a clear crisp flavor, but this,.... this was different, .... it was salty,... and lively,... and he wanted more ! As the female creature up above wailed louder and louder another drop hit the surface of the pond and rippled out. The Nøkken allowed the flavor and texture of the fluid to swirl around his body. He reveled in it's taste, and as it washed over him it slowly began to contaminate the pure hatred that he had felt in his soul since the beginning of time. As each new sorrowful tear fell into the Water Spirit's domain, his anger was replaced by new emotions. Feelings that he had never experienced before flooded through his very being uncontrollably. The Nøkken no longer wanted to kill the creature that came to the dam every day to moan and cry. He loved the taste of her tears, and in turn began to feel love for her as well.
The Nøkken had always hated the sunshine and enjoyed the veil of gloominess that the clouds of a rainy day provided. In the darkness and the murkiness that the rain provided he could hide and move more easily without being seen. But he soon discovered that the female creature would not come out to the dam when it rained, or sometimes even if it only threatened to be stormy. The Water Spirit began to curse the darkness and praise the light. He missed the female when it rained, and was happy when the sun shone brightly, because then, and only then, could he see her beautiful shimmering face above him.
In time it was not the taste of her salty tears that he so badly needed, but the chance to see her pretty face that drove him to the edge of the dam day after day. And when he was no longer satisfied to simply see her for a short time each morning he did something that few other Nøkken ever do. As night fell over the pond he took on human form, left his watery domain, and journeyed to where she lived to catch a glimpse of her face. What drove him to do this he did not understand. He simply knew that he wanted,... no,.... needed to be near this female, and he was willing to take any risk to see more of her !
- End Chapter 6
- Next : Chapter 7 : The Longing
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.