Water Way


Photo credit: Henri Bergius

The Fentori ship waits in the bay for days.  I marvel that they got this far south, wonder how many refugees flood the ports in-between.

Our council won’t let them dock, won’t let them leave, won’t let anyone row out to them.  But these are my waters.  Nobody keeps me aground.

Praying, I slip under the surface, quiet as a fish.  Closer, I peek at my supposed enemies. Grandmothers holding babies. Men holding wives.  An emaciated child leaning over the edge to vomit.

No time to wait.  I slide onto the deck like a wave.  They recoil from this strange-looking woman.  I make gestures of peace, bow, hope.

Eventually they let me touch the sick child.  He shivers as I cast the healing and tension ripples through the crowd.  Then he smiles, color returning to his cheeks.

I heal others, injured and infected and sick, until my power is spent.  An old woman kisses my fingers, will not release me.  I signal for going and coming back.

My acolytes return with me, swimming silently, pulling oiled bags filled with food and blankets.

Tomorrow I confront the council.  This must end.

For these are our waters.  And our way is kindness.

Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks as always to our stalwart host Alistair Forbes, for his continual inspiration, and to C.E. Ayr for providing the original prompt photo, below.  Click here to read the other stories written about this photo.

And please, be kind out there.

To clarify: the narrator is a human, albeit a different race and culture than the refugees (which is why she looks strange to them).  She is a “true cleric” of a water deity – which religion, I haven’t decided — and that’s where she gets her powers to swim like a fish and to heal.   Here are two other stories of water clerics from other cultures, if you’re interested: Sea Eye and Demanding Dive


Photo ©: C. E. Ayr


20 thoughts on “Water Way

    • Luckily, plenty of such people do exist — although I wish they all had magical healing powers while they were at it. Thanks for the comment, Iain. I see that you went in a very similar direction with your story on the same prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely story! It seems to be an allegory for the times we live in now. Our government may say one thing, but that’s not necessarily the belief of the people. With internet, a nation’s people can act outside the thoughtlessness of government. I love it when folks give of themselves to those in need. I really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to think that most people are decent and will do the humane thing when face-to-face with other humans in need. But they have to see and understand, first. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Eric; I’m glad the story spoke to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Keith. I have plenty of very realistic horrible things going on in Eneana that I could tell “straight” and might be more aligned with real-life issues, but I like to remind the readers that this is a magical world, too.


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