Navida stood at the edge of the Santa Monica pier, looking down. It was her last visit, her very last gift.
The first thing she’d done was make a list of everything she hadn’t had a chance to do in her other six visits—she’d parasailed and climbed a mountain and ridden a Vespa and egged a house. She’d done almost everything she’d wanted to. She’d even fallen in love.
His name was Shane and he was an artist. He’d even painted her picture—number 47 on her list. She’d spent a thrilling four months with him. She’d tried to tell him what she was, how she didn’t have much time to be with him, but he’d never really listened to her. In the end it was a blessing—he’d left her for an exotic dancer near Marseilles, said she was too young for him, too young for this life.
The things he didn’t know.
She leaned far over the metal railing of the pier. There were warning signs all over as to what you could or could not do, but she climbed up a few bars of the fencing. Down below, the ocean roiled with the high tide, and three salt tears fell silently into the Pacific.
She breathed in the familiar smell of brine, and the wind touched her face, carrying with it a whisper of the world she was returning to. She shivered slightly, even as something deep within her core yearned for home.
The sun was still resting its full weight on the horizon, though, and she had until the last ray sank underneath the waves.
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La Pincoya is a water sprite, said to guard the seas surrounding the southern island of Chiloé in Chile. She is a personification of the fertility of the ocean, and is said to perform a ritual dance on the beach—if she performs this dance facing the ocean, the sea (and the fishermen who work it) will have an abundance of fish, but if she dances facing towards land, or away from the ocean, then the fish will be scarce. She is said to be a very generous creature, though.
She is the daughter of Millalobo, king of the Chilotan sea, and along with her sister, La Sirena Chilota (a mermaid tasked with caring for all the fish) and her brother (and husband) El Pincoy, she helped to carry dead sailors onto La Caleuche, a phantom ship where the deceased were able to carry on as if they were still alive. This ship is said to be glimpsed at times, with sounds of a party drifting from it, but it always vanishes from sight.
Leave a comment | tags: chile, chilean myth, chilean mythology, el pincoy, ghost ship, la caleuche, la pincoya, la sirena chilota, mermaid, myths & legends, phantom ship, thursday myths & legends, underwater creatures | posted in Thursday Myths & Legends 101