Chapter 1

How I envy the ocean bird

That flies beyond the sea.

Tell me stories that you've heard

And wonders you have seen.

Seagulls, sunrise and sea breeze. And as these three elements of the sea played upon each other, the sun dyed the horizon a spectrum of scarlets. Before long, the reds faded, swallowed by the ocean. Clouds once invisible against the endless velvet black of night appeared, contrasting strongly against the impossibly blue sky. Creatures of the dark retreated into their lairs and left the morning a pristine garden. Only the occational Keese caught too far from it's roost would give hint that night ever occured. The world was waking from slumber. And almost as a wake up call, three far-off notes vibrated against the crashing of waves.

Mikau stopped for a moment and listened to the product of his guitar, savoring the effect the echos had on the morning's atmosphere. A small smile played on his lips. He treasured his music almost more than everything in all the world, it's one thing that was with him no matter where he went. And now that he's got his own guitar, his music can be heard by all other people, not just in his head.

A few years ago, Mikau's parents took him to an Indigo-gos concert at the Carnival of Time. He has been entranced by the beauty and harmony of music ever since. It touched his soul and he fancied himself to have a talent for composing and playing. Whenever he got the spare time, he would make musical toys out of shells or conches, and he treasured and studied every piece of music he could find. A few days ago, he had been able to catch one of the Skullfish that inhabited the deeper waters and make his own guitar. Of course, younger Zora are supposed to stay away from marine life that dangerous. But one member of the Indigo-gos had a guitar made of bones just like that. And that Zora was so cool! He's Mikau's role model.

Mikau sat upon a lone seaweed-stained rock jutting out of the water. Painstakingly, he plucked a few bones on the guitar, the notes coming out hesitantly. He winced when he struck a sour note, and adjusted the bone until the sound came out pure, as far as he could tell. Tuning his instrument was so frustrating, especially since no one ever taught Mikau how to play, let alone make a proper guitar. He gritted his teeth and continued to bend the bone, yet the sound would not come out right. He made a tight-lipped grunt of frustration and was prepared to just snap the bone off the spine when...

"Hey, Mikau!" Another young Zora exploded out of the water just in front of the prospective musician.

"Yo, JAPAS!!" Mikau called to his best friend. He strapped the guitar to his back and jumped into the water to join his friend. Both of them spun in place, slapping the tails at the back of heads together in sort of a Zora version of a high-five.

"Hey, that's a nice toy you've got there," Japas exclaimed. He swam behind Mikau to have a better look at the instrument. "Is that a Skullfish? Tsk, you know you're not supposed to go near any of those." He said, shaking a finger at Mikau.

Mikau snapped at the finger with mock ferocity. "What are you, my mother?" He took the guitar and held it out for his friend to examine. "It's not perfect, though. Not properly tuned."

"Hmm." Japas held the guitar and ran his fingers down all the bones. Then he plucked one bone, the one Mikau was having trouble with, and listened to it's sound. "Aha! Here's the problem!" He dug out a piece of flesh still stuck between the bone and the spine and popped it into his mouth. Then he handed the guitar back to Mikau.

Mikau played a few notes, adjusted the bone again, and listened to the result. "Perfect! Thanks, man!"

Instead of answering, Japas dove into the water and zipped towards Zora Cape. Mikau knew a race when he saw one. He secured his guitar and motored after the speeding Zora. When the two children neared the shore, Mikau leaped up and landed neatly on his feet. Japas, however, mistimed his jump and smashed headlong into the rock. Indignantly, he climbed out of the water, enduring the laughs of his friend. As the two Zora came into the cove, some of the adults who looked at them shook their heads in knowing disapproval.

Anyone who saw Mikau and Japas would have thought that they are a strange pair indeed. After all, Mikau had so much going for him. He comes from a respected family, from the bloodline of Zorian heros. Unlike the majority of Zoras, Mikau's arm fins are long and sharp and can be thrown like lethal weapons. He can jump farther and swim faster than most people. He's also intrested in music, which is a very dignified branch of study.

Japas, however, was considered something of a rebel. Most Zora would have the fins on their head trimmed so it would help them swim faster. But Japas grew his fins so long that it fell over his eyes and gave him a rather unkept look. His mother is one of the Gerudo pirates, for the relations between the races of Zora and Gerudo were friendly at one time. Any female born to a Gerudo would almost always be Gerudo herself, while any males born would be from his father's race. Japas loved his mother and two sisters, but as hostility between the races grew, Japas suddenly lost that part of his family. For a while afterwards, Japas was a mess. That is, until he met Mikau, who taught him the joy of music. And now the two of them are inseperable.

Mikau ran into his room with Japas hot on heels. Mikau grabbed a scroll of seaweed off the shelf and Japas slid out a xylophone that he and Mikau made of shells. Together, the two of them passed the afternoon jamming out tunes on the xylophone and Mikau's new fishbone guitar.

Later, the children were taking a walk around the perimeter of the inner cave, nibbling on deep-fried oyster pastries that Mikau's mother had made. "Hey, Japas?" Mikau said.

"Mmmff?" was Japas's muffled reply, his mouth stuffed with oyster.

"Y'know, this cave has really good acoustics. I mean, if you yell from here, even someone from across the cave can hear you."

"Uh huh. Let's try it." And before Mikau could stop him, Japas cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, "MIKAU SMELLS LIKE FISH!!" Japas's voice echoed a few times before fading away.

More than a few heads were turned at the comment. Some of the adolecents that were familiar to Mikau and Japas laughed and called out affirmatives to that statement. Mikau blushed a lovely pruple and dragged a hysterically laughing Japas off to a side corridor.

"You moron! I can't believe you did that!" Mikau punched his friend on the shoulder. Japas couldn't reply at first; he was still chuckling. "As I was saying, before you opened your big mouth, if we were to play a few tunes in the middle of the cave, everyone will be able to hear us."

Japas wiped a tear from his eye. "Why would you want everyone to hear you? Y'know what they're like, they have no appreciation of music. Besides, without my expert guidance, you sound like a Redead."

"I'm sick of being a garage band." Mikau replied, ignoring Japas. "I want the whole world to listen to my music. I mean, there's no point in playing just for ourselves."

Japas rolled his eyes. (Or maybe not. You can't really see them.) "Sure. Then everyone will love you and ask for your autograph and the Indigo-gos will beg you to join them." Japas grabbed his friend by the wrist and pulled him towards Mikau's house.

"Wha...Where are we going?!" Mikau exclaimed, trying to keep up.

"Well, we can't have a concert without instruments!" Japas called without turning around or slowing down.

"What?! we're actually gonna do it?! I wasn't serious, Japas!" They burst into the house and Japas let got of Mikau to grab the xylophone and a few music sheets. Mikau just stood there dumbly.

"Hey, wake up! Grab your guitar already!" Japas shoved the instrument at Mikau and hurried out the door with both hands holding the xylophone and music sheets clamped between his teeth.

Mikau blinked and stumbled after his friend. "Wait up!"

"We should at least rehearse first." Mikau hissed at Japas once he caught up. The two of them had their little concert set up in the middle of the cavern inside Zora Hall. The cavern was immense, and lined with shops and the houses of the rich and famous on the perimeter. At the center of it all, a large pearly shell is positioned as a podium, where the two boys are currently standing. It's like a town square, where people sometimes gather for events and speeches, but is usually open to the public.

"What are you talking about? Haven't we been playing all afternoon?" Japas tucked his hair-like fins behind his ear, which he has a habit of doing when he's annoyed, or excited, or confused, or trying to impress someone. However, they fell right back into their original position.

"No, really. I don't think I'm ready for this!" Mikau moved towards the edge of the shell, but Japas grabbed his arm. Mikau turned around found himself facing Japas, who was smiling slightly, showing off the impressive canines that Zora tended to have.

"Afraid, aren't we, little Guppy?" Japas asked, knowing that Mikau's weakness is his pride. Mikau yanked his arm away and lifted his chin in an almost comical show of defiance. Then he made his way to the center of the shell and took out his guitar. "Yeah! We're in business, Baby!" Japas yelled, and took his place behind the xylophone.

Mikau plucked a few notes. The sound echoed slightly and caught the attention of a few curious Zoras. Mikau tapped his feet so Japas can catch the tempo.

"One and a two..."

The two started with a quick and loud opening, surprising their audience. Then they slowed it down into something more manageable. Japas and Mikau really make a great team; they practice so much together that their timing is always perfect with one another. Curious people began to gather at the edge of the podium, and that crowd only enticed more people to join. Mikau risked a quick glance at his friend on the xlyophone. Japas smiled. Then, at the same time, the two of them started singing.

Shifting aging, ever-changing

Winds are wild and oceans raging

Fierce, daunting, resists all caging

Far offshore a war is waging.

Wind then reduces to a hiss

Seas lower its mightly fist

Laughs and gives the shore a kiss

Returns the weary world to bliss.

Meanwhile seabirds soar and fly

Cross the line of sea and sky

Hails the doubtful truce with cries

And chases after retreating tides.

Their voices died away and soon after, so did the guitar, leaving the xylophone to finish off the song. Even before the last note faded, the audience appauded wildly. A few rupees were even tossed onto the stage. Mikau closed his eyes and released a deep breath he didn't know he was holding. Then he beamed. The boys looked at each other and exchanged nervous, yet hysterically happy expressions. The crowd loved them! They owned the crowd!

Mikau gathered his wits and when the noise died down somewhat, he announced, "Thank you, thank you. That was 'Ocean Blues' written by me, Mikau on the guitar, and my friend Japas, on the xylophone. Stand up, Japas, take a bow!"

The audience erupted in cheers again. Japas jumped up and bowed so rigidly that he looked comical. Then he put out his arm in Mikau's direction. "Mikau!" He said loudly, over the voice of the crowd. Another round of appause occured.

The cheers eventually turned into the murmur of various conversations as people left and headed off to wherever they had to go to. Japas and Mikau quickly gathered up their items and rushed out the back of the podium. Japas dropped a few pages of music and had to pick them up. At the back, a few Zora were waiting for them, laughing, offering their praise and congratulations. "Sorry. Coming through." Mikau said, shouldering his way out of the crowd. Japas couldn't say anything with the music pages clamped between his teeth. The two ran back to Mikau's house, and burst into his room. Mikau placed his guitar on a table and flopped face-down onto his moss bed. Japas slammed the door shut and put his back against it, sliding down until he was in a sitting position.

"AAAUGH! I was so nervous! I can't believe I did that!" Mikau yelled into a wad of moss.

Japas used his tail to wipe his brow. "Goddesses! What a rush! Geeze, I'm still shaking!"

The two of them sat in silence with their own thoughts for a while. Mikau almost fell asleep, but the chime of shells woke him up. He opened an eye in Japas' direction. The other Zora was concentrating on the music sheets spread out in front of him, while one of his hands hovered over the xylophone.

Japas could sense that Mikau was looking at him. He played another few notes. "Hey, if we had changed the key on the third stanza rather than the second, I think that the overall effect of the song could have been improved." Mikau stared increduously at the other Zora. Japas grinned. Mikau smiled. Japas chuckled. Mikau laughed. The exchange grew until both of them were in fits of uncontrollable laughter, releasing all the tension that had built up within them.

Mikau rolled onto the floor. "Y'know, dispite being sooo embarrassed, that was really cool."

Japas tossed his hair/fins back. "YOU were embarrassed?? What about me, I was almost gonna pee myself! Uh, it makes me so dizzy, standing up there in front of so many people."

"Who says that you're more embarrassed than me?! My singing was flat for half the song."

"Oh yeah? I struck the wrong shell once."

"The guitar's not properly oiled!"

"My music sheets were upside down!"

The argument continued until Mikau stood up and crossed his arms. "Fine! You're more embarrassed than me because you're ugly." And at that, Japas got up and lunged at Mikau. The two of them got into a short wrestling match, which ended when they almost rolled onto the xylophone and Japas called a time out.

"Hey," Mikau said when they were resting. "I think the people really like us. We should play again next week or something."

Japas blanched. "You're kidding, right? Augh, I would rather die than go up on stage again!"

"What are you talking about?! It was your idea in the first place!"

"No it wasn't! It was yours!"

"Well, you dragged me up there!"

"It's for your own good, Guppy." And this time, it was Mikau that lunged at Japas.

End of Chapter 1

Thank you for reading this far. This is not my first fanfic, but it's the first one I've posted in a long time. If you've already taken the time to read all this, you might as well leave a review to tell me what you think. After all, a writer's best spur is her reader's praise. Comments, constructive criticism, or even just a "Nice fic." is very welcome. Yeah, I love Zoras almost as much as I love Link.

Oh, if you've read my profile, you would know that I'm more of an artist than a writer. Here's where I prove it. Head over to http://www.geocities.com/eyesfive/OceanEternal.html to see chapter illustrations I've made for my fanfic. Tell me what you think.