Mahina & Ulysses
Storytelling is a deep passion of mine.
None of my stories are very good, but they’re always plenty of fun to write.
Right now, my stories are, in essence, dry retellings of events, with little of the texture and energy that a more intimate character-driven perspective would evoke.
I “Tell”, rather than “Show” perhaps.
And, my word choice isn’t particularly inspired, either, which doesn’t help.
Soon enough, some of this may change. And, when it does, my work will be considerably richer.
Regardless of that, though, my hope is that you enjoy the story you are about to read and that, in turn, you enjoy your time with Mahina and Ulysses.
Somewhere, But Elsewhere
Somewhere, within the Great Desert Of America, there lies a cabin.
No one lives within this cabin.
And yet, within this cabin, there are several spaces, each one filled with items.
None of these items evoke much, for they are commonplace.
The spaces that serve to contain these items are far more resonant.
For, you see, these spaces are bound to a web.
A web and network.
A web and network of memory and time.
A limitless web and network — each one, intertwined — of memory and time.
To describe this web and network, as well as its relation to the small cabin within the Great Desert Of America, requires that we share another story.
Falling From The Sky
Many ages ago, on an island somewhere within the Asima Samudra Kalpana, a girl named “Mahina” was born into a village known as “El-Al-Osa-Ni”.
For Mahina, life was blessed.
Soon after becoming a teenager, though, life began to change.
For, you see, soon after becoming a teenager, Mahina witnessed “Elohim’s Fall”.
A star fell from the sky and crashed into the ocean.
No one else saw this but Mahina.
Diving into the ocean, Mahina attempted to rescue Elohim.
For, you see, it was Elohim who created the village of “El-Al-Osa-Ni”, who guarded Mahina’s people, who gave Mahina life.
Even though Mahina brought Elohim to life, Elohim passed.
Prior to passing, though, with her last breaths, and the touch of her hand, Elohim granted Mahina a very special ability that few others possess.
A very special ability that enabled Mahina to peer into, and sculpt, the infinite web and network of memory and time that our experiences, and our very selves, are bound to.
For Mahina, such a gift was transformative.
No longer bound to the laws and conventions given to her by her people, or the Al-Haya-Farad her parents bestowed upon her, Mahina began to experiment with her abilities.
The act of doing so brought her to meet a woman named Nishanti.
For many ages, Mahina and Nishanti exchanged knowledge and abilities, wandered across the immeasurable earth, moved through memory and dream; all in ways that went beyond the limitations and conventions of who we assume ourselves to be.
Eventually, Nishanti passed and, for so very long, Mahina wandered the web and network of memory and time, searching for something.
Not, not something.
For, you see, without Nishanti, and the pain and tension created by their relationship, Mahina was so very alone, with no one who understood her or could begin to understand who she was.
Even more than that, Mahina knew of no others who could understand the gift she was given, or those who had manipulated such gifts.
For so very long, fear bound Mahina to wander in solitude.
Eventually, though, Mahina met Ulysses.
The two fell in love.
Even though Mahina was older — and would remain so for so very long, due to her gifts and abilities, granting her a lifespan beyond limits — Ulysses fell in love, just as Mahina did.
The two began to wander the earth together.
The two loved with a love that was more than love.
One day, Ulysses became very sick.
So very sick and, in being so very sick, the couple knew that Ulysses would soon perish.
Mahina loved Ulysses so very much and, in loving Ulysses, chose to rectify this.
To describe what happened, and why, requires that we dive into yet another story.
Grown In Servitude
Somewhere, within the unending depths of the Great Desert Of America, lies an ocean.
A vast ocean that is made of energy and motion.
On this ocean, there lie islands made of steel and glass.
Steel and glass, etched from living light.
Some of these islands contain factories.
Right within these factories, there are machines.
Each one of these machines is controlled by an individual who was not born but, instead, grown.
Grown to serve.
Grown within the depths of the Great Desert Of America.
Grown within the depths of the ocean.
To ensure these beings fulfilled their purpose, and were granted so little freedom to do anything beyond what their makers conceived, these beings were given a lifespan.
A lifespan that, when nearing its end, would bring forth disease.
Disease that, in little time, would force the being to perish.
The cruelty and avarice of these beings extended to the ways in which these beings were treated.
No being could escape the factory. No being could escape the island.
But, Ulysses was able to escape.
Soon after escaping the factory, Ulysses escaped the island.
The journey was perilous.
Soon enough, though, Ulysses evaded his captors and reached a great city, within the unending depths of the Great Desert Of America.
A kind, sagely old woman aided Ulysses in reaching an elevator hidden within the maintenance spaces buried within this great city.
Buried within pipes and hatches and shelves and spaces.
The elevator took Ulysses into the depths of a forgotten palace.
A forgotten palace within a dune.
A dune within the Great Desert Of America.
For several months, Ulysses lived within this palace, spending his time wandering.
Soon after leaving the palace, Ulysses found himself wandering through a village.
A very old village, occupied by those who had lived past lives beyond measure.
Right in this village, living within an apartment above a house of poetry and divination, surrounded by sand in motion and opium smoke on all sides, was Mahina.
The two met and, soon after meeting, chose to live together.
To live together, as partners.
“Partners for life.”
That is what Mahina said.
The two wandered the Great Desert Of America.
The two went on many adventures.
The two shared everything together.
The two loved with a love that was more than love.
Eventually, as it was intended, Ulysses became ill.
Just as it was intended by his makers, Ulysses would soon perish.
Mahina knew this, just as Ulysses knew this.
But, Mahina knew that she could save Ulysses.
And, that is what she did.
A contract was made.
A contract that contained a very particular agreement.
The contract was made to a force greater than that which we can conceive.
But, this force — this great force — was a force that controlled, and gave life to, Mahina, and her magnificent gifts and abilities.
For this reason, Mahina knew that her abilities — her connection — could alter Ulysses’ fate.
And, it did.
Ulysses was healed.
But, not forever.
For, you see, Ulysses was allowed to live for several more decades.
For Ulysses was young and, as such, was granted a normal human lifespan.
Mahina’s lifespan was cut short, to the time of Ulysses’ death.
The two would die together, at the same time.
Mahina, destined to live for far longer, would perish younger than intended.
For a time, Ulysses was both grateful and saddened.
Saddened that Mahina would risk so much, for someone who was worth so little.
Worth so little, in Ulysses’ eyes.
For, to Mahina, Ulysses was worth everything.
Just as, to Ulysses, Mahina was worth everything.
The Inevitability Of Our Passing
For many ages, Mahina and Ulysses lived together.
Partners for life.
The sheer scope and variety of their adventures, and the moments shared, is far more for even the fattest, heaviest books.
For this reason, let’s go to the end of this story.
Right near the end of their lives, Mahina chose to make use of her abilities.
Old abilities that had been used only once prior — to save Ulysses in so many years prior.
For these abilities brought transcendence and divinity, yet condemned the user to paths and purposes leading to decay and loss.
Mahina’s journey with Nishanti served as the purest, most tangible, proof of that.
And, yet, Mahina chose to engage with her abilities, just once, before her and Ulysses passed.
The result of Mahina’s engagement is the cabin you can find in the Great Desert Of America.
A cabin of space and memory.
Spaces infused with memories.
A bedroom contains memories of kind, tender embraces; forgotten words; remnants of dreams that could not be fulfilled; the body of that forgotten dream being caressed as it falls away.
A kitchen contains a cacophony of scents and fragrances, each one culminating in the stews and soups the couple shared with one another.
A watercloset contains the wreckage of two bodies and the strain of aging.
No one will walk into Mahina and Ulysses’ cabin and not experience such sensations.
Just as one cannot walk into Mahina and Ulysses’ cabin and not experience, on some level, the knowing that there were once two people, who loved each other so much, who gave each other so much, who remain within this space.
The results of Mahina’s engagement are beyond all forms of measurement.
But, they exist and, in existing, perhaps, Mahina and Ulysses are still together.
Still together, in a way that only they can understand.
One can only hope, just as, in those last moments, Mahina and Ulysses hoped.
Far & Away
All of what is written above was written so very long ago.
For, you see, Mahina and Ulysses’ cabin is no more.
No more, for it was forgotten and, in being forgotten, so were Mahina and Ulysses.
The cabin returned to the infinite sea of stories we emanate from.
Just as Mahina and Ulysses returned to that same sea of stories.
My hope — my dearest longing — is that the two found each other again, within their stories.
And, perhaps, that is why Mahina did what she did.
Thank you for reading my story!
I hope you enjoyed reading it and I hope that it made you feel something.
Regardless of that, though, please have a lovely day and take care of yourself!