Waihona peered through the thicket of flowering trees and shrubs, watching for his friends while distractedly spinning the colored pendant between his fingers. Soft light rained through the tall trees while the smell of damp earth filled his nostrils. He smiled. If there was one thing Waihona loved more than ‘awa, it was the smell and feel of the forest in the early morning.
Too bad his friends didn’t feel the same. Removing themselves from their soft beds must be extremely challenging.
Sighing, Waihona turned away and glanced down at the pendant. His eyes widened upon seeing that same golden light that showered onto the forest floor ribbon through the pendant’s cavities and wind into a ball at its center. Wanting to get a better view, he stopped spinning it and brought it closer to his face. However, as soon as the pendant stilled, the ball of light inside unraveled and the light ribbons escaped. They were no longer bound within the metal strips. They flitted away and were absorbed back into their larger pools of light.
Awestruck, Waihona gawked at the strange object as questions began to flip through his mind. What just happened? Did it really capture light? How did it capture light? What was this for? And, what else does it capture?
“I didn’t take you for the jewelry wearing type.” A boy with perfectly placed auburn hair said as he stood in his ironed t-shirt and non-faded surf shorts. No matter what the occasion, Evan always managed to look his best.
“Evan!” Waihona yelled. Startled, he nearly dropped the pendant.
Evan jerked his head back. “Why you so jumpy? I thought you could sense when people were coming or were you just lying to me?”
Waihona gave him a look. He then balled up the pendant and placed it into his backpack, making sure to secure the zipper.
“What is that thing?” He motioned with his chin.
“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “Auntie Kala gave it to me.”
“When?” Evan asked, excited. “And, you didn’t invite me over. What’s wrong with you?” He whacked Waihona’s arm, jokingly.
“Don’t worry.” Waihona said in a monotone. “None of her descendants came.”
“Good!” His cocky grin slipped back onto his face. “You know how much I love your cousins.” He adjusted his sunglasses. “Don’t you think it’s kind of weird that your Auntie is always throwing them at you. I mean they are your cousins.”
“Aren’t we all related when you think about it? We all descend from the same people.”
“That’s true.” Evan glanced upwards and placed his hands on his hips, thinking. With that outfit and pose, he looked more like he was modeling for Abercrombie and Finch. “And, they are really hot. I guess I wouldn’t care if they were really hot cousins.”
Waihona shook his head.
“What?” Evan grinned. “I would.”
“Oh, no. I know you would.”
“Your Auntie’s pretty hot too.” He smiled slyly.
“Okay. Okay. So why did you ask me out here so early anyway?” He turned to look around. “In the middle of nowhere. Deep in the forest. With no cell phone reception I might add.”
“I . . .”
“I’m here!” Azolla interrupted. She stood, one hand in the air, holding her open umbrella and the other arm wide to the side. She wore thick, ankle-high hiking boots, dark green safari shorts, a white t-shirt with a bisque vest and to complete her ensemble, a large, wide floppy brimmed hat.
“Whoa! Easy there Crocodile Hunter,” Evan remarked.
“It’s A-z-o-l-l-a. A-z-o-l-l-a,” she said, as though sounding her name out for a kindergartener.
“Like the moss?”
“Of course. What else would it be?” She closed her umbrella and held it in front of her.
“I have no idea.” Evan rubbed his chin, analyzing her from head to foot as though she were a new and unique specimen. “Weird.”
“Thank you. I take that as a compliment.” She lifted her chin, looking smug.
“I’m not surprised.”
“Azolla, this is Evan.” Waihona gestured.
“Now that’s a boring name, isn’t?” She paced toward Evan to stare directly at him. “It’s okay though.” Only meeting his shoulder, she patted his arm. “Not everyone can have such awesome names.”
Evan leaned away from her. “Waihona?”
“Yes.” Waihona smiled. “Not everyone can have names as cool as yours.”
“Thought so.” She turned and walked to Waihona’s side. “So, what are we here for? You found out about the alien species that is taking over the world, manipulating and controlling us all?”
“Ummm . . .” Waihona pressed his lips together. “Not quite. But, I do have a mission for us.”
“Awesome!” She pumped her arm at her side. “What is it?”
“We’re going to find out what’s destroying our islands.”
Azolla’s eyes glittered with fascination and determination. “I’m with you. The aliens must not destroy our planet.”
“If they’re coming, I’m definitely in,” Evan mumbled. Eyes clouded with desire, Evan stumbled between Waihona and Azolla, trying to make his way over to what had obviously consumed his vision. His body moved as though pulled by that same force.
As Waihona lifted his head, he noticed that a fog had risen up all around them. It soaked in the trees and blanketed all of them in a crisp chill. He then followed Evan’s line of sight to see three beautiful women, all with long, honey brown hair draped over their shoulders, standing in front of them. Their bodies were wrapped in a clothing of mist. Waihona’s jaw dropped, which caused them to smirk in delight.
“Cousin.” They all said in unison. Their voices were so melodic. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.” They sauntered up to him, their large grayish-brown eyes enchanting our Waihona and their clothing of mist covering only their most sacred parts. The rest of their lean frames were left for Waihona and Evan’s viewing pleasure.
The trio of power had finally been formed, Waihona, Azolla and Evan. But, it seems as though another trio, the trio of young beautiful mo‘o, may prove more enthralling than their intended mission. It’s just the beginning and already, they’re distracted.
Until Next Time . . .
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© 2013 Brooke Leilani Hutchins.
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