Blood Rains

My submission for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers photo prompt.   Thanks as always to Priceless Joy for hosting and for providing the photo as well!

raindrops FFfAW Sept 8

The Zanbo’ar priestess spread the prepared spices for the rain ritual, sprinkling on petals from rare flowers grown with precious sips of well water.

“Is it done?” Her acolyte squinted at the clear white sky.

“Not yet.” The priestess pressed the sacred knife to her wrist. She sliced her skin to the elbow.

The acolyte gasped.

Blinking and taking a deep breath, the priestess repeated the cut on her other arm, less firmly, but with conviction. She lay forward on her knees, stretching her arms onto the ritual circle.

The acolyte watched the blood flow, increasingly anxious. Finally he could wait no longer. “How much? Na’asta, how much?”

Unable to raise her head, the priestess mumbled to the floor. “All of it.”

Caught within the circle, the blood pooled, mixing with the orange spices and yellow petals.

Her body shifted, settling onto the tiles.

The acolyte wiped away his tears and straightened her blue robe with reverential fingertips. He looked up to curse Zanbo’ar, to curse all the gods.

Then the first drop fell.

To learn more about the background of this situation–and why the priestess is willing to take such drastic measures–see my earlier story, Lost Moon City.

Word count: 175

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18 thoughts on “Blood Rains

  1. A powerful piece of writing, Joy. The priestess is a brave woman with strong convictions to be able to offer her own life to bring the rains. I have to wonder whether her acoloyte will continue his own journey into the priesthood in the aftermath of these events… Really well done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I really appreciate it!

      He’d better, because his people (the Azza’at) are still in a lot of trouble with this prolonged drought. If you’d like to read more of the context of what’s happening here, it’s mentioned in the beginning of my story Lost Moon City. Hm, it occurs to me that I should have put a link to that in the original post. I’ll do that now…


  2. After this tidbit, I want to read more. A very powerful short take. Thank you. I will have to come back from time to time to read other excerpts. I only wish there were several of our own leaders who would secrifice their lives to end this drought in the southwest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it! So far I only have one other story up on the blog that deals with this same culture and general time period — the “Lost Moon City” story I link to at the end of the above post. That story hopefully gives more insight into how desperate the situation is. But please do come back and read the other stories too–unfortunately for the people who live in this fictional world, there are plenty of other dramatic and tragic situations in other cultures and times.


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