The Mysterious Venuquin
They said it wouldn't last. In a way, they were right. But the love between Venuquin and Halcyon would be legendary for centuries.
Venuquin, a beautiful Island Peophin, gazed adoringly at her love, a bespectacled Sketch Grarrl sitting on a pier. Calm, bookish and serene, the Grarrl contrasted sharply with Venuquin, a passionate, stormy and quick-tempered creature with a wild mane of curly hair. While Venuquin splashed in the water beneath the pier, Halcyon sat cross-legged on the pier, his lips pursed in thought and his pen scribbling furiously in his notebook.
"I'm going to swim farther out!" Venuquin said coquettishly, tossing her hair. "I want a little adventure this afternoon, and you're not paying me any attention!" She tossed some water at him, and giggled.
"Venuquin, my dear, you know my life belongs to you. Right now, in fact, I'm writing poetry about you to enter into the Neopian Poetry Gallery. It's my 144th poem about my beautiful Venuquin! How I adore you!" He gave her a loving smile, and pushed his glasses up his nose.
"I love you too! You're the only one I've ever loved! But I'm going!" she exclaimed. "Maybe I can find some shells to add to my latest necklace!" She dove underwater and disappeared. Though the Neopets lived in different worlds, Venuquin in the ocean and Halcyon on land, they were still very warm, very close, and very much in love.
Halcyon continued to write in his notebook, deep and buried in thought. After 143 poems about his precious Venuquin, it was hard to come up with new material. He began to write, scribbled it out, then began to write again.
My love is endless, like the seas
Where my beloved swims.
She is the stuff of passion, and
She is the stuff of hymns.
I gaze upon her lovely face,
Suffused with ardour bright.
She lights my life with her sweet songs.
She shines into the night.
I love her more than anything.
She is my first true love.
She's so delightful, bright and sweet.
She is a cut above.
They said our love would never last,
A Peophin and Grarrl.
Our fierce devotion knows no bounds.
She is my shining star!
Suddenly he realized that he hadn't heard from Venuquin in over an hour. Where was she? She was usually so garrulous and eager to catch his attention that her absence was eerie. Suddenly, his ears piqued at the sound of a faint scream.
"Help! Help!" Venuquin was screaming! "Whirlpool! Someone help me!" Overcome by the swirling water, she panted and gasped as she helplessly fought to keep her head above water. Her hooves sliced through the water, ineffectual and weak.
"My love!" screamed Halcyon. He jumped from the pier and dove into the water. "I'm coming to rescue you!" Being a poor swimmer, he floundered for a little while before setting off to rescue Venuquin.
"No!" she screamed, "Don't! Don't come any closer! You can hardly swim!"
She struggled to break free of the whirlpool just as Halcyon was struggling to reach her. "No!" she sobbed, as she finally escaped the whirlpool. "Halcyon, no!" Instead of struggling for her life, she was now struggling for his. His head dunked underwater, as his limbs flailed to break free of the whirlpool.
Finally, Venuquin managed to grasp him. Her tail, so graceful underwater, slid awkwardly through the sand as she dragged her love ashore. She tried to resuscitate him. She screamed and sobbed for him to open his eyes.
But it was too late. Her love, the light of her life, was gone.
She cried…oh, how she cried! She clasped him in her arms, shrieking, rocking back and forth. She kissed his eyes, his cheeks, his forehead. She begged the gods to return life to his limp body. She wanted to die.
No one entirely knew what became of her afterwards. It's said that her heart broke so completely that she became a Ghost Peophin. Others claim to have seen her while sailing the seas, moaning in the dark, howling for her love to return.
They say she hates the ocean, hates herself, but ever wanders the seas in the hope that she can rescue other people from her love's unfortunate demise. Her bitter song can be heard by those with sympathetic hearts.
I scour the seas with tearful eyes.
I'm full of misery.
Oh, please, my unforgiving seas,
Bring Halcyon back to me.
I choke with sobs, I'm wracked with guilt.
I cannot stand to live.
I hate myself for losing him.
I simply can't forgive.
I wish he'd never been my love.
He'd be alive right now.
I'd spurn his love to save his life.
I'd keep him safe somehow.
People who have heard her phantom song become stricken with grief, unable to forget the sorrowful lilt of her voice for the rest of their lives. They close their eyes in pain. They feel the pang of regret that Venuquin suffers, and cannot help but cry.
This could be the end of Venuquin's story, my sorrowful readers, but there's more! Venuquin is not doomed to wander the seas forever, blaming herself with all the agony of her guilty heart.
There is one day, every year, that Venuquin returns to shore, to remember the way she first met her beloved Grarrl... An errant page, accidentally torn from his notebook and returned to him by a young and spirited Venuquin splashing waves at the beach. This day, sailors whisper, is Venuquin's Day, a time when the ghostly Venuquin returns to shore to heal her broken heart. This is the day when her memories are happy instead of sad.
A stone tablet erected near where Halcyon drowned is inscribed:
The lovely, phantom creature swims
In waters dark and perilous.
In legends, Venuquin is known
For saving ships from sea's abyss.
She pushes stranded boats towards shore.
She steers them out of danger's way.
With spectral smile and glowing eyes,
She rescues sailors every day.
With love, a dozen schoolchildren
Have flocked to southern Neopian seas
Where it is rumoured that she swims
In full enjoyment of the breeze.
They toss her flowers, sweets, and cakes.
The items sink beneath the waves.
The children hope that Venuquin
Will know they love her on this day.
They watch and wait -- it's almost dusk,
And tiredly they strain their eyes.
A few of them make eager calls.
A few of them begin to cry.
Then suddenly, the phantom belle
Explodes in full-blown turquoise charm.
She wears a flower in her hair.
She has a cake upon her arm.
The children scream, they clap, they cheer!
They blow her kisses, yell for miles.
Oh, Venuquin is radiant!
She shakes her salty mane and smiles!
She swims for them, she dances too.
She sings a song to please their ears.
She splashes them with impish fun.
Then finally, she disappears!
The children honoured her with love
Because today's her holiday.
Please, read this ode and think of her,
For Venuquin deserves her day!
They said it wouldn't last. They said the love between a Peophin and a Grarrl could never work. But Venuquin's love for Halcyon will never die...not as long as she roams the open seas.
* * *
Often called the mother of all Peophins, legend has it she swam the southern seas of Neopia rescuing sailors and leading ships out of danger.
Thus reads the description on the collectable card "Venuquin." Though the story of Venuquin's tragic love for Halcyon is legendary, people prefer to hope that Venuquin's heart will mend someday. It's too painful to believe that Venuquin is destined to wander the open seas forever, immortal and bereaved. And no one believes she ought to blame herself for Halcyon's devastating death.
Venuquin sometimes sings a haunting melody when the ocean waves are particularly treacherous and wild. Sailors who are struggling to control their ships have heard her sadly wailing.
Denied a husband, child and life
As Halcyon's future bride and wife.
My love, it festers in my mind
For leaving my dear love behind.
Accursed is my every breath.
It reeks of dark decay and death.
I'll never, ever love again.
All people will be safer then.
I'll rescue every errant boat.
Each sailor will be kept afloat.
The ocean is a place of doom.
It will not be a sailor's tomb.
Tears fill everyone's eyes, as they hear Venuquin wail. Yet sailors are also comforted by the fact that Venuquin is near, knowing that no trouble can come to them when she is around.
Thank you for reading this story, my dear Neopians. May you always remember the story of Venuquin and her Halcyon with love and veneration.