He had no mercy at all for other sea creatures, not even for his own family, he was only interested in power and himself. Never in his life he gave a second thought about killing another or about showing some feelings and this was the only life he has ever known. All known about him was the countless number of his murders and all were afraid of the day when he was to become a king.
After many years of waiting in line for the throne his dream has finally come true when his father was killed. And so he became king and nobody dared to get close to him, everybody obeyed him in fear.
One night, while chasing a female he liked in the blue shining waters lit by the full moon, the king saw from a distance a skinny creature. It was a human being swimming. It was an old man diving there in the hope to find the shipwreck of a boat that sank long time ago, hiding in the watery tomb the bones of his beloved father.
As the old man was frenetically searching on the bottom of the sea using his special torch, he was concentrating only on the pieces scattered on the bottom of the sea. He was much too absorbed by the search to still be able to observe the huge shadow approaching him.
Nobody could have seen but the old man had the eyes full of tears as he finally found what seemed to be the remains of the long lost boat. And he was crying as he missed his father and he wanted to say goodbye, because only a child knows the longing and emptiness caused by the disappearance of a beloved parent.
Angry that the human dared to pass his way and venture in his kingdom, especially in that special night when he was mating, the manta ray got close to the old man. He was so very close that he could feel the energy of the old man’s beating heart. Understanding that this was the core that was keeping the frail human alive, the manta ray stung him straight in the heart with his 10 inches long barb in a split of a second filled with rage. The sharp dagger has found its path in the heart of the man that didn’t see what hit him from behind.
The seconds that followed were filled with silence. The manta was angry that his world has been disturbed by a filthy human. The old man turned and finally understood what had happened. Knowing that these were his final moments he wished the manta ray to live also without what he loved the most. As the waters turned red around the dying man, he fell on the bottom of the sea, his last glimpse at the found boat, his heart filled with sadness for not being able to embrace his father one last time. His eyes slowly closed on this life as a cloud gloomily covered the full moon.
The very next day, as the king swam serene, a huge fishing net caught him and there was no more escape. He fought his way out but the net was too strong for him to be able to break it. Sharing the same fear like many other sea creatures, the manta ray found himself laying powerless on the dirty deck of an old fishing ship surrounded by a loud crowd of men, all laughing and making bets on what will be sold for a better price. Other mantas were captive too, and of all the king tried the most to kill again, but the hand of a human with a knife as sharp of a sword has cut his barb and left him hopeless.
Many stories ran through his mind. Old stories of humans being afraid of the sea monsters, of their quiet approach, of their majestic presence. Old stories heard from his father and from the father of his father. Old stories telling how stupid humans were, how weak and vulnerable in the depths of the endless sea. Laying on the sand in the dying light of the day, the manta ray king faced the same death like others, butchered into pieces and sold to a leather handler who made the best out of his skin.
Every little piece was wisely prepared just to be sold on the market for luxury materials.
And so the king’s skin was cut into 10 pieces, as many as the years when the old man has been searching for the boat of his father. One piece was sold to a tattoo artist, who used it to cover his tools with a special skin. Other two pieces were sold to a designer who created a belt and a purse for the same cinema star, a gorgeous blonde famous not only for her movies, but also for her love affair with a president.
Two pieces were sold to an Arabian shah who asked his people to make a sheath and cover the handle of his favorite dagger. Three pieces have become three famous wallets given as a present to the three finalists of a Formula 1 contest after sharing with the public a champagne bath. And the last two pieces, the very best, were sold to an exclusive shoe designer who cut them into shape and transformed them into a unique pair of custom made shoes for a modern king, ruling over an empire where the sun never sets. And so, the manta ray king got what he wished for, he was closer to power than ever before. So insanely close, but as it has been wished by the sad dying man, never having the chance to ever embrace it himself again.