2021 Storm Stomp: Ankah Tor & The TikiTiki Troubles
Chapter One: Wild Winds of the WikiWiki Sea
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah.
Summer brought the winds like always. Dry and gusty early in the season, but Ankah Tor knew the relentless, sweaty winds would soon follow and they would drive the deep ocean swells halfway up the lava palms’ scaly trunks and force everyone to scramble to the tops of the stilt halls to seek shelter. And then the wild winds would come and tear at the roofs and fern tops.
Something was off about this wind, though. There was a sharp stench of decay, as if something much dead had washed up out of the depths and lay rotting on the pink sand, so foul even the krebbs scuttled wide around it. An ominous start to the Season of Storm out here on the Edge of the WikiWiki Sea.
“Kondai, Ankah Tor!! Why you look so fish mouth, brother?” Tor’s old friend TeeToh snuck up on him as he sat on the coral seawall and sniffed the wind. TeeToh was mostly retired from any meaningful work and spent much of his days shuttling crippled ladies around the koopalah markets in a double wide wheelbarrow for tips and free beer. He handed Tor an extra cold one and sat on the seawall.
“Ahhh TeeToh, the WikiWiki winds tell me of the coming storms. Soon the great swirling clouds of destruction will gather and i fear for all the Tiki islanders this season. The SikiSiki Flu has lingered too long and everyone is weary and grumpy from wearing their SikiTiki masks and cancelling all the fires and festivals for so long. Who knows what will happen when we must all come together to Shout and Stomp and Dance the Big Mojo this year?!”
“Well you are da Grand Ankah, brother, like your father and his father before him. You’ll figure something out before the storms get here. And let me tell you, these people can’t wait to crawl outta their huts for a big Stomp, even if they’re busting outta their swimsuits from all those SikiTiki snacks and lockdown chowdown time.”
Ankah Tor finished his beer and crushed the can against the coral wall. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe i worry too much. The mighty mojo of the WikiWiki Warriors could be back this season. But this wind has me worried. It carries an ancient evil stench – like the storms have stirred something unspeakable in the deep ocean…and it is headed for our shores.”
TeeToh sniffed the air and winced. “No worries, big Ankah. That’s not ancient evil. That’s just the backup from the Wahini Washrooms. There was a big regatta on the west side last weekend with sailors from all the outer islands and the TIkiTiki Toilets just weren’t ready for that onslaught. De guys will have that fixed up in no time. Maybe we oughta layoff the spicy sausages for the next couple a races, huh? ”
“Thanks, but i still have a bad feeling about this. I must prepare a special offering and pay a visit to that creepy old crone Caecilia, the Seaweed Sorceress, down in her sea cave. She has lots of weird sea magic. Maybe she can peer around the corners of time and ease my troubled thoughts. Thanks for the beer TeeToh, but i need to go see that witchy witchy woman and figure this out.” Ankah Tor left the sea wall to make preparations and TeeToh made a shade with his wheelbarrow and lay down for a well earned nap.
Which was exactly what Caecilia was doing, deep in the back of her sea cave, curled up and dreaming on a bed of clean kelp. Dreaming the dreams of the great leviathans of the deep, from whence she drew her special powers. Her long wet hair braids twitched and writhed about her head as she spirit danced beneath the waves in psychedelic slumber.
And the Great Krakenootka, whose lidless eyes never closed, gently rippled its long strong tentacles around the base of the island, reaching out to pluck a plump and unlucky reef shark from the darkness and feed it into its ravenous maw. Dinner was easy when your giant eyes could see right through time itself and know where your next meal was going to be. Satisfied for the moment, the Krakenootka released a putrid bubble and slipped back into its dreamless torpor.
And up on the surface, where sky and ocean parlay, the WikiWiki Sea surged and rippled and rubbed her cresting waves against the steady winds. Soon. Soon it would be time to tear off her calm and cautious TikiTiki mask and bring her own party of storm and fury to the islands. Maybe they would finally gather again on the beach in their fancy party clothes to greet her properly.”
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!!
Chapter Two: Seeking Caecilia
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
Caecilia kept herself busy in her chilly sea cave, boiling, mixing, steeping and filtering all the special potions she extracted from the long strands of seaweed that dried quickly in the hot tropical sun. The krebblets and winkles that clung to the sea greens as she collected made for tasty sea jerky too, but the stench of all the organic oceanic bounty laid out in the sun was too much for mere mortals to handle.
“Ahhh. I will need to cast a NoseyNosey spell before the great Ankah arrives to distract him from the magic smells” she mused. Oh and she knew that Ankah Tor was on his way, like every Ankah before him over many many decades. Sooner or later, they all braved a visit to the Seaweed Sorceress when the StormTime hit a high cycle or the moons didn’t look just right or, Kraken forbid, they needed a pinch of forget-me-now to cover up an indiscretion with some curvaceous cousin at the last Tiki Boombah Stomp. Tor was probably looking for the Scrolls of ConsTikiTutional Protocols right now to deduce the proper gift that would procure her supernatural assistance. “He is a handsome one, thought not overly bright. Perhaps i will demand the Ritual of BellyBelly from this one. Mmmm. Delicious. But i see he will be here soon.” She turned back to the shelves of slippery shells searching for some peppery shark oil to make her long braids glisten and gleam for Ankah Tor.
“Aaaargh!” Ankah Tor growled as he tripped over class flags and old trophies in the crowded Closet of Scrolls, Leftover Treasure and Disorganized JunkyJunky. “It would be worth a thousand tiki tiki tokens to have someone clean out this mess, but I have no time now and I need to find the Scroll of Sorceress Solicitations to figure out exactly what is required to convince that stinky old crone Caecilia to cure all the TikiTikineers from this SikiSiki Flu and keep them well and strong to face the coming storm. If they are still tired and grumpy when the wild winds cross the WikiWiki Sea, there is no chance they could stomp and dance up enough mojomojo to stop the devastation this Summer Storm will surely bring.”
“Talking to himself. Tsk Tsk. The great Ankah is rummaging through the Scroll Hut and talking to himself. Someone take his temperature and check his mask. This island is doomed, I tell ya, doomed!” Tor wheeled around to confront the crowd of hecklers loitering outside, but with their SikiTiki masks tied on tight and all dressed in sweatpants and pajamas, he couldn’t recognize anyone to threaten or punish.
“Unless you have some great new solution, go back to your WorkyWorky at home and quit your grumbling. Rest up and get well. Soon we must dance and stomp to drive off the storms and i fear that no one will be up to the task! I am off to see the Sorceress and bargain for her help, but I can’t find the Scroll that tells me what to bring.”
They all laughed. “Ankah Tor, don’t you know your bedtime stories? it doesn’t matter what you bring, she will take your gifts and then she will tell you what you must do to earn her help – and it won’t be easy. Oh and her hair will WiggyWiggy a lot. Kinda creepy. At least that’s how the stories go.” Already tired and bored, the crowd of Tikineers shuffled off to drink at the TikiTiki Tavern, since the WikiWiki weekend had already started. Tor filled a basket with random ribbons, engraved glasses and ancient t-shirts and headed out for the Cave by the Sea.
Wrapped around the base of TikiTiki island, the Krakenootka sensed that sweet Caecilia, fellow time treader and dream surrogate, would be merging a FuturePath with the strong Ankah of the Tikineers and soon would seek him out. For so so long, the Krakenootka had stuck to his eternal task and held the island firm against the constant cosmic spin, a solid anchor in the tides of time. And, well, the fishing here had been pretty good too. But now the FuturePaths were murky and disjointed and his time in the deep looked uncertain. Snatching a passing MantaWhale lost in the bottom currents, he chewed it slowly, thoughtfully, and settled back to let the future unfold.
Meanwhile, across the restless waters, tall clouds were spinning and swirling and churning great swells, filled with the raw power of TukiTuki, temptress of the tides, storm singer, wind walker, diva of destruction. Of all the ancient leviathans that battled her at the dawn of creation to rule the oceans, she had yet to settle her grudges with Krakenootka. But now she was finally headed to TikiTiki to confront the haughty beast and settle things once and for all. And her toxic blend of joy and rage was building a storm of monstrous force and mythic proportions. There could only be one survivor – and it was certainly not going to be the pretty little island of TikiTiki.
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
Chapter Three: The BelliBelli Bargain
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
Clutching his basket of trinkets scrounged from the Closet of Scrolls, Leftover Treasure and JunkyJunky, Ankah Tor hurried along the cliff face, searching for the path that would lead him down into the dark cave of Caecilia, the Seaweed Sorceress. The mocking laughter of the Tikineers in the village still buzzed his ears like skeeterskeeters. “How could i have forgotten the old stories? That the wretched crone would take my gifts and then demand some horrible task to secure the help of her sea magic and powerful potions? Did i become the Ankah too young, back when terrible TukiTuki last arose to sweep the TikiTiki islands and drag the royal barges to the bottom of the WikiWiki Sea?” Tor might have slipped further into melancholy memory, but the putrid smell of rotting seaweed and winkle jerky jerked him back to the present – where he noticed his old friend TeeToh sitting on the cliff’s edge with a wheelbarrow full of cold beer.
“Yeah Ankah Tor Buddy, dis is de pathway down to Caecilias creepy kitchen. Thought i might mark the trail and see you one last time, ya know, just in case you don’t make it back outta there with all your parts and pieces.” TeeToh cracked a beer and took a big slug – off the rocks and tossed it into the ocean.
“Thanks TeeToh, Hey why don’t you come with me and help me convince her to look around the corner of time and see how this storm is gonna play out. And maybe talk her into a cure for this never ending SikiSiki Flu?” Tor begged. But TeeToh would not leave his precious wheelbarrow. “No way bruddah. You’re the Ankah – you can convince her or command her or just do whatever you gotta do to fix this. I’ll be right here til you come back. Just follow your nose right down to the cave – can’t miss it.”
Ankah Tor sighed and tightened up his SikiTiki mask and headed down the cliff to wrestle with his destiny and the fate of all TikiTikidom.
The southern winds had began to howl and hurl frothy waves high against the cliff by the time Tor reached the entrance to Caecilia’s cave, clinging tight to his basket and the loose edges of his rational mind. “O wise and wondrous sorceress, it is I, Ankah Tor, chief of all TikiTiki come to seek your guidance and powerful magic!” he shouted into the dark depths. “i bring treasure as it is written in the Sacred Scrolls.”
A gnarly green arm snaked from around the rocks and snatched the basket back into the darkness. “Well you must not have big problems if all you brought were these third in class ribbons and an old Middle Bay Beer mug. Come in, Ankah Tor, and state your business” Caecillia demanded – although she already knew from her DreamTime why he had come.
“My people are laid low and locked down with the SikiSiki Flu. They need a cure fast, for the summer storms are upon us and i fear the return of unforgiving TukiTuki, temptress of tides and diva of destruction. They will not have the strength to stomp the big mojomojo and survive TukiTuki if they are not rid of this plague. You helped my ancestors in times of trouble before. Will you help us now?!” Ankah Tor blurted out bravely.
Caecilia stepped into the fading light of sunset filtering into the cave. She was bent low, with her long braids twitching about and nearly touching the floor. Her skin was wrinkled and crusty and crawling with small crustaceans, like an old piling too long underwater. But her eyes were fierce and sparkly and she fixed Ankah Tor with a mesmerizing glare that drew him into the cave against his weakening will.
“Come and sit” she croaked “I must Dreamwalk with the leviathans, perhaps even the Great Krakenootka. They will guide my answers and set a task before you to reach the Timepathway that might carriy the survival of your precious TikiTiki. You will rub my feet while i trance and do not stop until i revive. Be gentle around the barnacles.” She handed him a cup of fishy tea and laid back against a flat stone, still as death except for her long braids that writhed and floated about her ancient head. Tor fought back his revulsion at touching her big knobby feet – the size of a Manathree flipper – and rubbed them as she fell into her trance.
Deep beneath the storm tossed waves, the Krakenootka paused his endless fishing as he felt a tingle along his mental mantle. Ahhh. Caecilia visits. He enjoyed their occasional spirit dance and news of the surface world.
“Great Krakenootka i bring you dreams and greetings from the space between the firmaments and seek your guidance. The grand Ankah of the islands above requests a future glimpse and assistance to battle with wicked TukiTuki – who returns this summer of storms. What do you think i should charge him for our support and magic counsel, mighty squid?”
“Ah my Caecilia” he chuckled. “Always looking for treasure, even though you already have all the gold and jewels i have gleaned from the bottom of the WikiWiki Sea. You amuse me and bring me sweet dreams, so yes, I will assist. Plus i find TukiTuki quite annoying. What is it you desire from this Ankah and we will set the price.”
Caecillia didn’t hesitate. “I must have the Long Night of the Rite of BelliBelli. It has been too too long and i missed my chances with the last Ankahs who came calling and this one is rather handsome.” Her dream spirit blushed a bit at her own brashness.
“Well, well my dear. An interesting choice for treasure, but I am encouraged by your fervent and truthful desire and so will share some extra ancient magic for your ritual. But you should also demand that the people hold a great feast in my honor on the beach – immediately. This will aggravate TukiTuki and send her into a stormy rage that will cloud her already cloudy mind.”
“Thank you, Great Krakenootka” Cecillia beamed. “I must return from my trance before the nosynosy spell wears off and Tor is overwhelmed by the smells and stops rubbing my feet. I will express the terms of engagement – i am sure he will not refuse. He is a proud Ankah.”
Tor stumbled back up the path, just as the sun set behind the lava palms, looking a little dazed and confused.
“Hey you made it back” TeeToh pulled the last two beers from the icy wheelbarrow and handed him one. “But you look a little lost. Did you make a deal?? Will she help us?”
“Yes i made a bargain, but it didn’t seem so bad. I don’t remember much. She went into a trance and i rubbed her horrible feet and drank some tea and she woke up and said we just had to throw a big party on the beach in honor of Krakenootka. She gave me these potions to cure the SikiSiki Flu and make everyone well and she mumbled something about some Night of BelliBellii and i was just so grateful i said of course but now i think i need to get back to the Closet of Scrolls and look that ritual up. Don’t know what was in that tea, but old Caecillia was starting to look a little younger and pinker when i left and even her feet weren’t so crusty, but hey let’s head up to the TikiTiki Tavern and tell everyone the news.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Ankah. Sounds like we got us some TikiTiki Shots to throw back!” TeeToh put a steady arm around Ankah Tor’s shoulders as they headed back inland and wondered how long before he needed to explain the ancient and awkward Rite of BelliBelli to the Chief. But hey, it could definitely wait until after a few TikiTiki Shots for sure.
On the edge of the WikiWiki Sea the clouds grew taller, the waves dipped deeper and TukiTuki – singer of storms, walker of winds and diva of destruction – gathered her strength and prepared for her violent visit with TikiTiki and the end of that slimy squid, Krakenootka.
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
Chapter Four: TukiTuki’s Seafood Surprise
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
Pressure readings across the WikiWiki Sea were dropping faster than a loose coconut on a rotten palm tree. Malevolent TukiTuki, Whipper of Winds, Temptress of Tides, Singer of Storms and Vacation Homewrecker focused her spiraling hatred on the vengeance she would relish as she crushed that smarmy squid Krakenootka, generating turbulence all the way to the deep sea bottom and stirring up the decayed and tortured souls of all those the sea had swallowed. The stench of their eternal misery blended right into her wicked wind fields. “Ahh hahahha how i love the smell of decay and destruction in the morning!!” she crowed. “ A surgical strike of squall lines should soften up those puny puny SikiSiki Tikineers and clear the way for a final thrashing of TikiTiki Island and their two bit, ten armed protector.” she proclaimed to the churning sea and set course to swing her swirling arms with reckless abandon and wreak devastation on all in her way.
Back on the island, Ankah Tor and TeeToh, drenched by the first of many downpours, hurried up the path to the TikiTiki Tavern, eager to share the cure for the SikiSiki Flu Tor had procured from the Sorceress Caecilia and return his people to full strength in time to prepare for the incoming storm. And there was a feast and celebration to prepare on the beach, one of Krakenootka’s requirements for the powerful leviathan’s continued protection of the island. And somewhere there would be the Ancient Ritual of BelliBelli demanded by Caecilia, which was still a bit unclear to Tor – but there was no time to search the Closet of Scrolls for further enlightenment. Bursting into the hallowed halls of the TikiTiki Tavern, they both shouted “We have the cure!!”.
But the Tikineers paid no attention. Over their SikiTiki masks, all eyes were riveted to the big screen at the end of the hall showing the latest episode of WikiWiki Brawlfish – an island reality show that made contestants circle around a table of boiled crustaceans and vegetables and throw them at each other until a fight broke out. Fortunately for Tor and TeeToh, the featured pair currently wrestling in a pile of corn and potatoes were more interested in not spilling their beers than actually fighting so when TeeToh yelled out “Shots all around! And Ankah Tor is picking up de tab today” everyone turned and rushed the bar. Tor took Caecilia’s magic sea potions and began filling shot glasses, adding a generous floater of spicy rum to each dose and handing them out like stimulus checks. TeeToh explained plans to the Tikineers “Caecilia says we gotta throw a big party down on the beach in honor of the Great Krakenootka, whadda guy, in order to cement his powerful protection against this storm. This will tickyticky off TukiTuki and provoke her to irrational behavior that can be exploited in battle. (Whadda smart squid he is). Anyways, we gotta gather up all the Tikineers with food and drinks and commence this Stomp celebration immediately! So drink up and get well.”
Eager to be rid of the SikiSiki Flu and the SikiTiki masks and ridiculous lockdowns, everyone lined up for their first shots, second shots and the ever popular booster shots and started feeling better immediately.
“This stuff is amazing! The Sea Witch gave us this cure and emergency storm help and all we gotta do is throw a party! Wow Ankah Tor you are an amazing negotiator! Who wants another shot? This is way better than Clorox! You sure this is all we gotta do, Big Tor?”
Ankah Tor looked up from his tray of flu shots, shook his head and said “Well there’s some sort of BelliBelli ritual planned. I think i agreed to be there. But right now we gotta get everybody well enough to stomp this storm.” Everything stopped and all eyes turned to Tor.
“He doesn’t know? With the old crone? Whoo Boy. That’s my Ankah right there buddy!.”
TeeToh quickly raised his booster shot high in the air. “To Tor. Bravest of all the Ankahs!”
“Belli Belli!” they all shouted, tossed back their shots and began laughing uncontrollably (clearly a side effect of the cure) and rushed out the door with renewed energy to board up their huts, tie up the boats and head to the beach to set up the big stomping and Krakenootka Festival.
Perched on a prehistoric coral head at the mouth of her dark sea cave, her long braids waving wildly in the rising winds, Caecilia the Sea Sorceress felt the distress and anguish of the groaning ocean in every scale on her scalp.
Her glimpses into the near future were chaotic and disturbing as TukiTuki approached and she needed counsel from Krakenootka, down at the island’s roots. She slipped into a quick trance and sent her spirit into the deep to find him. As usual, she interrupted a fine meal of fatty Orangefins and Umberjacks that the great hungry squid had anticipated would be sheltering in the lee of the island. “Hello Cecilia” he mind greeted her, wiping his beak with a few tentacles.
“Storm got you on edge?”
“Yes I am worried for TikiTiki and Ankah Tor and I cannot see forward enough to help him.”
“Well, let us Timetread together for a moment and prepare” he graciously offered. He was ancient and powerful, created with the original Spark, but prone to a bit of ennui, as immortal time had consisted mostly of eating and sleeping lately. Caecilia’s small spirit latched on to his presence and they slipped into the flow of the fourth dimension. Future strands whirled wildly about them, showing many paths of flood, fires, devastation and death. Wailing and wreckage and even great shuddering mounds of squiddy flesh. But there were bright paths, victorious outcomes and triumphs but they all emanated from one nexus. The BelliBelli.
“Well, Caecilia, TukiTuki is much stronger and angrier than i anticipated. I am loathe to abandon my primal duty to hold the island fast against the planet’s spin just yet. An armada of my squid minions should suffice for now, to fight her wind and waves and knock her back to subtropical submission. Leave me to gather my army and you, clearly you must focus all your sorcery on finding the right moment for you ritual. The bright futures all spring forth from BelliBelli!”
Exhausted from her deep journey and timetreading, Caecilia returned to her self to rest and prepare for an appearance at the great feast on the TikiTiki beach.
Lightning flashed and the lava palms bent low as the first squall line moved ashore. Tikineers had gathered by the hundreds to sing and stomp and party in honor of the great Krakenootka and, so far, the tables were up and the tent stakes were holding fast. But all could see the squalls lined up on the horizon, a punishing parade of the power of TukiTuki building over the warm waters of the WikiWiki Sea. Water was pushing higher and higher and the steady winds tore at the tablecloths and scattered chips and crackers, but the newly cured throng partied on as commanded, pausing only to take another Tiki shot or two as a postcautionary measure, and to stomp the sand in defiance.
And while they sang away the SikiSiki and danced the NukiNuki, Krakenootka’s armada of red devil squids and wide winged mantas rose up from the sea to encircle the island and prepare to assault the incoming storm. Thousands upon thousands upon hundreds of thousands of man sized tentacled beasts surfed on giant clam and abalone shells or rode in squadrons on the backs of the wide winged mantas and headed into the swirling expanse of TukiTuki, arms spinning like propellers to cut through the wind and waves and break up the storm’s spin or at least redirect her path. A brilliant strategy that the great Krakenootka could mind direct from the safety of the deep. Swift and silent they sped into the storm to great cheers and fanfare from the happy happy crowd on the beach. Clearly victory would soon follow and they would all be spared from harm, well all but maybe Ankah Tor.
He stood near the feasting tables, enjoying the sight of his healthy people stomping away the storms and saving the island, and snatching snackysnackies from the air as they flew by on the gusty breeze. He saw Caecilia approaching across the sand, bent against the winds but looking a bit taller, straighter and more agile than he remembered just from yesterday.
“A thousand thanks for your help, mighty Sorceress. We have honored Krakenootka as you asked and, see, he already responds with an armada of enchanted beasts to wipe out this angry storm. And your magic potions have cured and invigorated all on TikiTiki. We are forever in your debt.”
But she did not smile at his gratitude. “I have seen the future paths this day and too many end badly. Do not proclaim your triumph too quickly – there are still tasks to be fulfilled, and even they do not guarantee that we will survive. There is still great evil to overcome” Her ominous words hung heavy between them, until TeeToh showed up with a tray of tiny glasses.
“Booster Shots, boys and gulls. Time to take yer medicine. Hatches down and down the hatch!” he laughed. “Hey now you are both lookin fish mouthed.” but, before he could ask whassup, the windsong changed from a dull roar to a sharply ascending shriek and howl.
TukiTuki had watched the endless waves of surfing squids circle her eye and felt them disturb her steady counter clockwise pulse. They were legion and were beginning to generate enough force to thwart her plans to reach TikiTiki and the silly old squid and now was the time to shed her fluffy clouds and torque up her true power – the most incredible engine of power ever spawned by the natural or the supernatural – the original great leviathan, a hurricane. Quickly escalating, she flexed her spinning arms, doubled her windspeed and scooped up all of the battle squids and winged mantas into her vortex of death. A wall of wind and water slammed into the little party on TikiTiki, ripping the bandstands from their moorings, snapping tents and trees and scattering the party crowd back to higher ground near the TikiTiki Tavern. All amidst a heavy rain of what was now just calamari salad and manta ray ceviche and the tiny tips of thousands upon thousands of torn tentacles.
A great cry of despair went up from the crowd. Wet and frightened and smelling of squid, they huddled around the Taverns tall pilings, frantically searching for one more shot of magic.
Suddenly Caecilia stood tall in their midst, glistening like a new moon, long braids still writhing about her head in the high winds. “IT IS TIME. TIME FOR BELLIBELLI, TOR. TIME TO CHANGE THE TIDES OF TIME. Or all is lost.” She stood square in front of the now nervous Ankah and looked out to the crowd. Repeat after me: Tiki Tiki. Tuki Tuki. Wiki Wiki. Looky Looky. Siki Siki. TukiTuki. BelliBelli. Nuki Nuki.” And as the crowd chanted through the shrieking storm, Caecilia’s long braids reached out and seized Tor and clasped him tight to her. Belly to Belly.
As their bodies touched, Cecilia whispered to Tor “I will show you your future now. I will show you the world”. A kaleidoscope of images flooded Tor’s brain, his mind, his very essence. Death destruction empty beaches flattened huts platters of steaming calamari, then thrones and crowns and great parades and small children smiling and clinging to his knees with way too many arms and legs so confusing so chaotic. He passed out standing up.
And as the winds tore at the tavern and the tide roared up the beaches and inlets, Caecilia clutched Tor tightly to her breast, spread the rest of her tentacled braids down to the ground and scuttled off in the darkness like a giant ghost crab, carrying him back to her cave by the swelling sea.
The crowd of wet and bedraggled Tikineers watched in astonishment as they disappeared over the edge of the cliff, in the midst of the raging storm. But they quickly assessed their rapidly deteriorating conditions and desperately sought out their own BelliBelli rituals, even while they clung to the TikiTiki Tavern’s creaking pilings, fearing the end of their world was close at hand.
And if TukiTuki had her way, it surely was the end.
Kondai! Kondai! TikiBoombah!
Chapter Five/Finale – Krakenootki!!
Kondai! Kondai! Tiki Boombah!
TukiTuki’s rage notched new marks on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Her wicked winds howled in indignation at the sight of a party spread across the beach to honor Krakenootka.
“The audacity! How dare they throw a party in my face for that lazy leviathan, that fat smelly squid! I will rip every hut, every tree, every loosely tied dog or boat from the face of this island and flush them to the bottom of the ocean forever!” she screamed, and proceeded to unleash the full force of her fury upon TikiTiki Island and the Tikineers still clinging to the pilings of the TikiTiki Tavern. “I dare you to crawl up from the abyss and face me now, Krakenootka!”
Filled with fear, hungover from all their TikiTiki Shots and exhausted from all the desperate end of time BelliBelli activity, the Tikineers frantically searched the horizon for Ankah Tor and Caecilia, hoping they had convinced Krakenootka to rise up from the deep and save them from TukiTuki, They had just finished tying a storm line to TeeToh’s ankle to send him out to the cliffs when the Ankah and the Sorceress reappeared in their midst. Caecilia looked 200 years younger, radiant and glowing like a phosphorescent mermaid and Tor, while looking a little dazed, sported an enormous grin he couldn’t wipe off his handsome face.
“Well, looks like the Long Night of BelliBelli worked out pretty darn good for you two” TeeToh exclaimed. “ So i hope you got a big mojo mojo plan to beat this storm, cause we are running outta real estate and will be sleeping wit da fishes for good pretty soon.”
“We have seen the future” declared Ankah Tor.
“I think we just made the future” Caecilia corrected him, slapping his firm behind with one of her long braids. “Quickly everyone, we must gather all of your SikiTiki masks into a great pile, right her and hold them fast against the winds.”
“Hurry!” urged Tor. “Bring them here and make a great stomping circle around them. We must finish the mojo that will summon Krakenootka!”
All the Tikineers, happy to be rid of them forever, dumped their SikiTiki masks into a huge mound and gathered around.
Caecilia reached out to Tor with her swirling braids and pulled him in close – no resistance and no passing out this time for Tor. “You must stomp now! And chant with me to transform these flimsy masks into something that will really save you!” Repeat after me and stomp: TikiTiki. TukiTuki. Wiki Wiki. Looky Looky. Siki Siki. Tuki Tuki. Belli Belli. Krakenootki!!!
A great light burst forth from the pile and rained a thousand rainbow shelled sand fleas from the sky that skittered off into the rising tide. And there before them, the SikiTiki masks had magically woven into an enormous armored paraglider, big enough to fly a whale. And behind them, rising from the sea like a brand new volcano, was Krakenootka – Leviathan of the Deep, Bearer of Many Arms and Protector of TikiTiki. His enormous black and lidless eyes peered over the edge of the cliffs and five monstrous tentacles snaked forth to lift the paraglider high in the air, struggling against TukiTuki’s relentless winds, and slipped them over his great orange frame.
“Goodbye my Ankah, I must ride with Krakenootka” Caecilia shouted as she ran and leapt thought the tortured air and onto the back of the mighty squid as he rose up into the storm, taking Tor’s very heart and soul with them.
Into the very eye of TukiTuki they flew, battling her lightning and waterspouts and great chunks of piers and docks that the storm threw at them. But the ancient magic of Krakenootka was strong and the collective stomping of the Tikineers drove them on until they reached the calm center of the storm.
“At last old nemesis, after all this time, my vengeance will be complete and i alone will rule the seas!” TukiTuki shrieked.
But Krakenootka just laughed in her face. “You were always just an insufferable windbag. Hold on tight Caecilia. We must end this now before she shreds this fancy parachute.”
Whereupon Krakenootka proceed to shake violently, tentacles writhing, beak clacking, and poured forth a seemingly endless stream of dark and viscous ink straight into TukiTuki’s eye. Ink he had save since time immemorial for just this moment, as he had foreseen forever. This was the moment that had always bound Krakenootka and Cecilia together – their ultimate destiny as protectors of TikiTiki Island. Whether they survived or not.
The mighty mojo ink smothered the eye of the storm, choking off her insane cackling and the once mighty TukiTuki dissolved into a subtropical spritz and faded back into the WikiWiki Sea.
But the glittering magical paraglider finally tore apart from the stress and Cecilia and Krakenootka plunged into the sea and disappeared with barely a ripple.
Back on the island, the tired Tikineers watched the storm dissipate and dissolve and sent out a mighty cheer. Huzzah! And raised Ankah Tor upon their shoulders and began to parade around the tavern looking for the last of the delicious TikiTiki shots. But Tor was crestfallen.
Where was the Sorceress of the Sea? Whose barnacled feet he had rubbed just days ago and who took his spirit to the moon with the magic of BelliBelli. He ran to the edge of the beach and knelt down and began to wail.. “Caecilia. You’re breaking my heart. You’re shaking my confidence daily. Oh Caecilia! I’m down on my knees. I’m begging you please to come home.”
And in answer to his fervent prayer, she rose from the surf like Venus – not on a clamshell, but on the great long tentacle of Krakenootka. She rushed to Tor’s side and wrapped him in her braids as they sensed the mental mantle of the great squid bid them fond farewell and bright futures. And Krakenootka slipped back into the deep to hold the island fast against time and tide and snack on tender tunas.
The Tikineers rebuilt the island and prospered for many years under the guidance of Caecilia and Ankah Tor transforming their newly beautiful black sand beaches into a lucrative tourist destination. And to honor the great victory, the TikiTiki Tavern removed all the calamari from their dinner menus and renamed themselves the BelliBelli Bar.
Kondai! Kondai! BelliBelli! Tiki Boombah!
Harvie Jordan, Buccaneer
Written & Performed May 20-June 12, 2021