Three mysterious cousins sparsely dressed in their own intoxicating fog captivated our Waihona. His eyes followed the tender curves of their swaying hips, outlined their luscious lips and counted the golden flecks in their eyes. He drank them in from head to foot while inhaling their sweet scents of fresh poi and strained ‘awa. There wasn’t a detail he’d neglected.
Azolla, on the other hand, failing to see their sexual appeal, stood there with her arms crossed, frowning and tapping her foot.
“Auntie told us to lead you to the stream,” a cousin whispered into Waihona’s ear as she hung on his left shoulder. “But, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun first.” She smiled into his ear.
“Yes.” Another cousin rested her chin on his right shoulder. “We can do that later. Now, we play.” She brushed his hair away from his ear.
“What do you say, Waihona?” His third cousin asked, filling his front view as she caressed his chin. “Care to take a detour?” She leaned in to seal the trap with a kiss.
Fuming, Azolla brandished her umbrella. “We will go on our alien-destroying mission now!” She said, as she gently poked Waihona’s shoulder.
As soon as the tip of the umbrella touched his skin, a green electric charge shot out, reawakening Waihona’s senses.
The spell fell away.
Squeezing his temples, he shook his head. “What happened?”
“They are what happened.” Azolla pointed her umbrella at the three.
“Waihona,” said his third cousin, attempting to put him back under their spell. “Lover . . .”
“Not so fast!” Azolla jumped in front of Waihona and Evan, and popped open her umbrella. A huge concave force shield burst forth and shoved the female cousins backwards, and then crystalized into a tinted green dome in front of them. “Your magical charms won’t work anymore.”
All three placed their hands on their hips. “Well. Who are you?”
“Azolla!” She lifted her chin. “Azolla the magnificent!”
“Well, Azolla. It seems you’ve missed one.” The lead cousin smirked as she swept her eyes towards Evan.
Evan dragged his feet over to them, his arms dangling at his sides. “Beautiful. Girls. Must. Have. Beautiful. Girls.” Drool trickled at the corner of his mouth.
“Uh!” Azolla said. Closing her umbrella, she marched over to Evan, but instead of poking him in the shoulder as she did with Waihona, she whacked him hard on the back. The full force of the blow magnified the electric shock and knocked Evan to the ground. He lay there, twitching. “That’ll take care of that.”
“You think that was necessary?” Waihona gawked.
“Yes. Yes I do.” She smiled and curtsied. “Now, we can start our mission!”
“How are we going to do that? They need to take us there.” Waihona gestured to his cousins.
“Fine. But we don’t need you and drool boy over here getting distracted. We can follow them through the neutralizer I’ve created!” She pointed to the tinted green dome.
“Yes. Me and my handy-dandy umbrella have come to the rescue, yet again.” She opened her arms. “We can follow them through the neutralizer, and they won’t be able to pull you back under their spell.”
“It wasn’t a spell.” His lead cousin folded her arms. “We were simply enticing.”
“You say flower. I say weed. Either way you were distracting us from our mission. I will not be thwarted by a bunch of sexual predators. I am a professional!”
“Yes,” Waihona breathed, slightly irritated. “How could we all forget?”
Evan’s moaning broke through their bickering. Waihona sighed in relief.
“What happened?” Evan sat up. “It feels like I’ve been hit by lightning.”
“You were.” Azolla said. “Not the kind that comes from the sky though.” Smirking, she tapped the tip of her umbrella.
“What?” He rubbed the back of his head.
“She electrocuted you with her umbrella,” Waihona said.
“Umbrella?” He looked up, scanning her umbrella from the wooden nub at the top to the wooden handle that she held. The leaves that formed the canopy were slightly ruffled from all the beating and frying. “Is that why it looks so ragged and ugly? It got electrocuted from the lightning too.”
“No,” she said, hurt. “It was the lightning. It shoots it from the top.”
“Not only are you weird. But you’re crazy too.”
“Shall we have another go then?” Teasing, she held her umbrella out at him.
“No!” Waihona rushed. “He believes you.” He reached out his hand as if to restrain her.
“Do you?” She extended her umbrella further towards Evan.
Evan shook his head.
“Yes. Yes, he does.” Waihona stepped between them, making sure to lean away from that electric nub.
“Okay.” She held up her hands. “Just wanted to make sure.”
“Let’s go already,” said the lead mo‘o, as all three simultaneously crossed their arms. “If you’re not going to play, we will find those who will. But, don’t waste anymore of our time with your squabble. Just follow.”
“I wanna play.” Evan stepped forward, hand up. They ran their eyes up and down his body before giving him a look and turning around. It was then Waihona noticed that although they were identical, their shiny silver marks behind their right shoulders were not. The cousin who spoke for the group had three wavy lines while the other two had, respectively, three raindrops and three sunrays. All the marks were grouped like flower petals around a central point. Waihona rubbed his chin.
“Are all your cousins so mean?” Evan asked, interrupting Waihona’s thoughts.
“Only Auntie Kala’s descendants.”
“I like it,” he said, admiring their plump derrières and bobbing his head.
Waihona lowered his eyes on him.
“What?” Evan opened his arms. “I like the chase.”
“Well, you’ll be chasing for a long time.”
“You are so lucky my friend.” Standing on his toes, he slung his arm around Waihona’s neck. “So. Very. Lucky.” He shook Waihona’s shoulder. “Now, not that I don’t appreciate this.” He gestured to the three mo‘o. “But, why’d you call me here? You obviously have—whatever you’re doing—handled. I mean with you and that crazy, weird umbrella girl over there.”
“I’m right here drool boy.” She snapped. “And, it’s Azolla.”
“Preciously, weird girl.” He turned to face Waihona again. “What’d you call me for?”
“You know why? You can do something none of us can.”
At that, Evan pulled away, his cocky grin disappearing from his face.
“Why would you need me to do that?” He looked down. “How’s it going to help anything?”
“I know you’ve always been ashamed of your ability. But, it’s pretty valuable, Evan.”
Azolla perked up. A superhero ability! She leaned in closer.
“Valuable? Playing with strands of sunlight, weaving energies from vines, plastics and shrimps to create durable lures and fishing lines for my dad? Yeah. That sounds earth saving.”
“But, it is.” Waihona placed his hand on Evan’s shoulder. “Who else can hold and weave energy strands?”
Until Next Time . . .
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© 2013 Brooke Leilani Hutchins.
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