Photo credit: Mark M
Willow lived to dance. He waved his branches high whether Sambar sent rain or sun or wind, but especially whenever Zheelo was there, singing.
When Zheelo stole the Silver Flute, she begged Willow to protect her.
Willow was torn. He was loyal to Sambar. But he loved Zheelo. He bent down, hiding her in the dome of his leaves.
Sambar’s voice boomed. “You cannot escape, daughter. I see all.” Sambar plucked Zheelo from Willow’s embrace, pulling her to Aranom.
“You, Willow, shall continue bowing, in penance.”
To this day, Willow droops, swaying in the breeze, and dreaming of the dance.
Word count: 100. Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting! See the original photo prompt below, and click here to read the other stories inspired by it.
Theological notes: The fact that the gods are real in Eneanatalae does not mean that every myth that mortals have about the gods are true: far from it. Despite many legends to the contrary, it is not possible for gods to physically manifest on Eneana (except for Kakika, but she is a special case). Sambarans worship Sambar primarily, and consider all other deities to be his wife, his children (some obedient, some wayward, some downright evil), or false gods. For another look at the deity the Sambarans call Zheelo, see these stories about Jhillos, from the perspective of people who worship him directly.
Photo © C.E. Ayr