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!
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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