148. Ceyx drowns at sea

Once upon a time, King Ceyx of Trachyn, the son of Lucifer the Morning Star, embarked on a sea voyage to consult the oracle at Delphi, and departed from his faithful beloved wife Halcyone, the daughter of Aeolus.

Leaving the harbor of Trachyn, the ship reached the high sea, where during a night, it was caught in a terrible storm. The east winds began to blow violently, the raucous dark sea foamed white, and gigantic waves furiously built upon boisterous waters. The sky resounded with deafening thunder, lightning blazed, and the rain lashed mercilessly. Without respite, the huge waves crashed on the ship and smashed the planks of the floor. The sea rushed in from below the smashed floor, while the pouring rain flooded the remaining floor from above. At one moment, aloft a mighty wave, the tossing ship turned downwards, as if from a mountain crest looking down on Acheron’s depths. At another moment, in a trough of swallowing waves the swaying ship turned upwards, as if from infernal waters looking up at Heaven’s heights. Each wave destroyed the ship with greater power than the one before, and the heavily battered ship sank. The sailors cried, prayed, remembered their loved ones, and suffocated to choking death, while some clung to floating broken lumber of the wreck, desperately trying to escape a watery grave.

With the hand that once majestically held the sceptre, the royal Ceyx held a ruined fragment of the sunk ship. Vainly, he called his father’s name and his father-in-law’s name, for help. Then his lips only pronounced his darling wife’s name, as often as the rushing waves allowed him to open his lips. He longed that may the waves, carry his body into Halcyone’s sight and be finally entombed, by his dear friends. A high black arching wave fell on him, and buried him beneath engulfing waters. As he died, his open eyes pictured only his wife’s loving face, and his lips murmured, for the last time, his darling wife’s name.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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