Hi! I know I’ve been M.I.A for a quite a well, but I’m back now…I think.
Years ago, I posted a short story called “The Tale of Adhya and Nooma-The Tale of how the Moon came To Be (it’s a Myth that I made up by the way) (and was month to be a tall tale)”. I decided that I was going to rewrite it, revise it, and post it here. This is the result of my efforts. Please tell me what you think!
…Oh! And here’s the link for the original version, if you want to check it out: https://keelythecynicalrejectblogger.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-tale-of-adhya-and-nooma-the-tale-of-how-the-moon-came-to-be-its-a-myth-that-i-made-up-by-the-wayand-was-meant-to-be-a-tall-tale/
The goddess Adhya can’t believe it. She’s being banished. Well, she’s not being banished, just temporarily displaced. Or at least that’s what her father said. Adhya knows it’s not just a “temporary displacement.” It’s banishment, no debate. Fury roars through her mind & body as her thoughts return to her father & his horrible plan. She can take care of herself. She can handle the troubles, & just fine, too. She turns to face her father again, abandoning her plan of looking out a window to try to distract herself.
“I don’t need to leave. I don’t need to be sent to Earth. I can handle the gods, father,” Adhya growled.
“Adhya, my dear,” started Adhya’s father, Demetrius, the King of the Gods, “This is for the best. If you were to stay, the gods seeking your hand in marriage would harass you to new, much worse heights. If you’re gone for a year, like I’m suggesting-no, requiring-their lust will cool for sure. Just one year, Adhya. It’s nothing to get worked up about,” he finishes, placing a hairy palm on his daughter’s shoulder. Adhya shakes it off immediately. Demetrius acts like he doesn’t notice this & resumes speaking.
“The other gods know you want to remain unwed, & they still harass & pester you. I see your fiery spirit, & I know because of it it’s very hard for you to leave like this. But, as your father, I demand that you follow through with this plan. But, instead of wasting time hoping you will, I’m forcing you to leave & start your temporary displacement right now. Provisions & belongings will be sent to you, of course.”
Adhya’s eyes flash violently as she glares at her father. She wants to act on her rage, but she can’t, as suddenly she can feel the first sensations of godly transportation.
In seconds, she’s standing on Earth, in the middle of a village. She’s sure nothing good will come from this. However, in the morning, she’ll seek out this village’s leader & try to be friendly, to try to distract herself from her rage. Any distraction will do, she thinks to herself. This is her last thought before curling up on the ground & falling into a a deep, heavy sleep.
It was barely 7 A.M when Nooma was awakened. The bullhorn that woke him was probably loud enough to wake even the dead. He rubs his tired eyes & yawns. He only want to sleep three hours ago. He had been busy painting another picture of the glowing white ball lighting up the night. He had never shown anyone his paintings of the glowing white ball. He knew that, if he did everyone would call him insane for imagining such a thing. The night is pitch-black, & everyone else accepts that it will always be so. Nooma’s already dirt poor & an outcast. He doesn’t need to make things worse by sharing his paintings. He blinks the last bit of sleep out of his eyes & listens to the repeat of the bullhorn’s message.
“I REPEAT, ALL VILLAGERS ARE INVITED TO AN ALL-DAY DANCE IN THE HONOR OF OUR VISITOR, THE BEAUTIFUL & CHARMING MS. ADHYA. THIS DANCE IS BEING HELD AT THE VILLAGE COURTYARD.”
Nooma’s mind races as his hut once again recedes into silence. The viallage has NEVER received a visitor, much less a beautiful one. Nooma grimaces as an overwhelming compulsion to go to the dance takes over him. He feels like he needs to go see this awe-inspiring stranger. His curiousity seems to take on a life of its own, urging him to go. Nooma gives in and leaves his hut to start the long walk to the village courtyard, as he can’t afford a carriage.
By the time Nooma arrives, he’s covered in mud & sweat. A carriage had gone by him as he walked, spalasing mud all over him. The sweat was from the blazing sun, which had seemed to be glaring at Nooma, as if it disapproved of him. Nooma doesn’t want the beautiful stranger to see him like this. He picks at a cuticle & ponders leaving, the problem is that he still wants to see her. Nooma decided for that reason to stay, & ducks into a dark, shadowed corner to hide.
Nooma spots the much-fussed-about visitor & gasps. Her beauty was like nothing he’d ever seen. Wide, glittering extra-bright-chartreuse eyes look out of a mesmerizing face, framed by a thick, glossy mane of wavy auburn hair falling to her waist. Then the unthinkable happens, as Nooma admires her: those astounding eyes lock on Nooma & the woman approaches him…and asks him to dance.
The woman-Adhya- flashes Nooma a smile so stuunning that he can’t help but stare, with wonder in his eyes. Nooma manages to put his arms around Adhya & they begin to dance together, with Nooma still staring.
“So, what’s your name?” Adhya asks after awhile.
“Nooma,” Nooma replied, nervously raking his fingers through his hair.
“Well, you already know my name, but I’ll let you in on a secret,” Adhya said conspiratorially, her eyes crinkling at the corners, “My name means ‘creator’, & I long to create something incredible to live up to my name. Do you have any ideas I can steal?” she asks good-naturedly.
Nooma’s brain wrestles with his heart. His brain’s insisting that it’s not a good idea to tell Adhya about his paintings, but his heart is vowing that telling her is absolutely the right way to go. He decides to follow his heart, even if it’s leading him to a disaster.
Nooma clears his throat, “Uh, actually I have an idea. I-I’ve been painting a sphere of light lighting up the night sky for years. I know no one can really create that, but it’s my dream to see this impossibly happen.”
Adhya’s eyes seem to glint with interest, “Can i see these paintings? Maybe right now?”
Nooma frowns pensively, “And leave the dance? I’m all for that, but isn’t this dance for you?”
Adhya rolls her eyes, “I’d much rather leave & see your paintings.”
“Are you sure?”
Yes!” Adhya blasted back impatiently.
When the two of them arrive at Nooma’s hut, Nooma studies his modest, tiny home self-conciously. He watches Adhya for a reaction, but she doesn’t give one. Noona gulps air & leads her inside.
In his one-room hut, Nooma’s paintings are right in front, so they’re the first thing Adhya sees upon entering. She freezes & stares, with wonder clear in her eyes, not unlike Nooma’s reaction to her smile. After a long two minutes, Adhya speaks, to just utter “wow.” Nooma feels his body relax, his tension finally departing.
Nooma expected Adhya to leave right after she saw the paintings & to never come back. He expected wrong. Instead, they talked & laughed for hours. Nooma’s paintings obliterated the ice between them effortlessly. It was only when the sun started to set that Adhya went on her way, off to the guesthouse she was offered. But, before she went, she made one earnest request:
“Can I visit you again, Nooma?”
Of course, Nooma agreed.
Two months later, after dozens of visits & conversations, Nooma & Adhya professed their love for each other. Their resulting relationship was strong & true, & all of the other villagers could only boil in their own hot envy. Both Adhya and Norma had more the joy than they’d ever known in their hearts, but Adhya’s heart was heavy at the same time. Every second that passed put her closer and closer to the end of her stay on Earth. She had loathed the idea of this “temporary displacement” before, but now she wanted to stay more than anything.
After five months passed, Adhya moved in with Nooma. The only problem was that it would be harder for her to hide her tears of despair with them in the same living space.
The remaining 7 months came went so fast that it seemed unnatural. On Adhya’s very last night on Earth, she comes clean.
“Nooma..I have something to tell you. I-I’m a goddess, and I have to return to my domain in the morning. I don’t know how long it’s going to be before I can return to you. But I will. I promise.”
Sorrow shredded Adhya’s insides and tore at her heart like it was made of tissue paper, or maybe something even flimsier. Her despair and grief was even greater than Nooma’s, which should’ve been an impossible feat, but obviously wasn’t one. Tears formed oceans on their grief-stricken faces as they held each other close, sobbing. They held each other like that for a long time, before Nooma shakily removes himself from his beloved’s arms.
“You’ll return to me?”
Adhya and Nooma spend the rest of the night cherishing it’s every last second. When morning comes, they kiss one last time, and then Adhya is gone, a breeze of promise left in her wake.
Nooma spends the rest of the day alternately crying and daydreaming about his immortal lover’s return. At night, he’s surprised that he falls asleep the second that his head hits his pillow.
A few hours later, Nooma jolts awake. He replays in his head the message he got in his dream, in Adhya’s voice: “When you awaken, go look up at the night sky. Trust that this is a message from me, and not just a product of your imagination. Trust this and trust me…”
Like on the day he met Adhya, Nooma blinks the sleep out of his eyes and heads out of his hut.
Nooma’s renedered speechless as he started at the sky, his jaw slack and his body absolutely still. He can hardly believe what he’s seeing. His glowing white ball of light is in the sky. A balmy breeze suddenly materialized, rustling the trees…and bringing something more.
Nooma almost misses Adhya’s unmistakable voice, carried to him by the breeze:” I’ve created your ball of light, as a present and as a reminder of me that I hope will stay with you while I’m gone. I call it ‘a moon’, your name backwards. I love you, Nooma. Don’t forget me.”
Nooma sinks to the ground & stares up at the “moon” for hours, until night gives way to day & the sun rises high in the sky.
Adhya fills Nooma’s mind to the brim every day &. every second of his life. When she returned 25 years later, he thought he was dreaming. Images of Adhya swam nonstop in his unconscious mind, & not a night passed without him dreaming of her. But when she cries tears of joy & wraps her arms around him, he knows her appearance is most definitely real.
“Is it really you?” Nooma breathed, his voice laden with emotion and love.
“Yes! I told you I’d be back someday!” Adhya sang joyfully.
The couple close the gap between them & kiss like nothing else in the world exists, only them, their lips, & their love. Their longing & pent-up emotion flow through their lips, which rejoice along with them. Once again, all was how it was supposed to be, at last.
After the couple separate, they talk & laugh for hours, simply enjoying each other’s company. Then they head outside to watch the coming sunset, cuddled close together. When the sun caresses the horizon, Adhya & Nooma watch in companionable silence. Nooma fiddles with his shirt anxiously and breaks the silence.
“Adhya, will you be able to return to me again?” He dares to ask, terrified to hear the answer, but yearning to know.
Adhya turns to face Nooma & he’s awestruck by the view of her dazzling profile, framed by the setting sun’s spray of colors.
“Yes,” Adhya assured him, affection clear on her face.
“You’ll be leaving in the morning, right?”
“Yes, love. I am.”
….And so, once again, they treasure every last second together and, at the same time, dream of coming tomorrows.
Adhya visits again & again for the next 20 years. On Nooma’s 70th birthday, she returns more elated than ever. Her father gave her permission to make Nooma immortal, so they could be together forever. When she bounds into Nooma’s hut, she expects Nooma to meet her at the door. That’s their routine, after all. Adhya is puzzled. Why didn’t he meet her at the door? Adhya decided to investigate & search the hut for him, even though she has a disturbing feeling that something is very wrong.
Adhya searches the hut frantically, until the only place left to check is their bedroom area. She heads over & sees Nooma fast asleep, facing the wall. Her lips curl into an affectionate smile. He must be conked out after a long night of painting. She rolls him over to face her & to shake him awake. Then she cries out in pain. Nooma’s not asleep. He’s dying. She can feel it in her heart.
“Adhya,“ Nooma manages to choke out, “I’m dying. A poisionous snake bit me. Please-,” he starts to say, before stopping.
“Please what?” Adhya cries out, panicking and in agony.
“Please don’t forget me,” he rasps, echoing Adhya’s words on the night she created the moon.
“I never will,” Adhya promises, tears gushing down her face. She’s too distraught to even think about wiping them away.
“Good,” Nooma chokes out. He lets out a shuddering breath and then goes still, his eyes no longer seeing and his chest no longer rising. He became just a shell, held onto by his soul mate.
Adhya sinks to the floor, sobbing in great, uncontrollable gasps. She had no idea how long she was sitting there, cradling Nooma’s empty body. Eventually, she rises and leaves, vowing to honor him and his memory forever. She’ll start by creating “mini-moon” or, as they come to be called, “stars.”
Today, the moon and stars light up the night sky. People celebrate the night, and all fear and the utter darkness that previously come with the night has been dissolved. True love can work wonders they say, and hearing of the power of Adhya’s and Nooma’s love may just confirm that. The next time you look up at the night sky, think of Adhya and Nooma. Maybe you’ll even see Adhya up there, creating more stars, or perhaps just enjoying the night.