Luring Luck

Flamingos heart.Oman Bariffi flickr

Photo credit: Omar Bariffi



Aafat didn’t need the sight to know the drought wasn’t ending.  He’d been leading the same rituals his grandfather had, with the same lack of results. This pitiful stream, once the grand Tarq, was all his grandsons had ever known.

Aafat’s son Hawat spoke softly. “Can Anandani really save us?”

“If he cannot, we are doomed.”

The others were uniting under this new god.  By next summer, all the clan-cities within warring distance would have renewed their peace bonds and turned eye toward Aafat’s walls.  Aafat was loath to abandon the old gods, but by now, Anandani could hardly do worse.

Hawat nodded, but concern wrinkled his eyes.  “Will the people follow?”

“I have said what I can say.  They need a sign.”

Aafat watched the sun-bleached sky for wings.  Redlegs were considered lucky omens, the spirits of children not yet born.  They hadn’t visited for years. A flicker caught his eye.

Aafat faced the gathering.  “Anandani, bring us blessings!”

Two redlegs spiraled downward and landed, causing ripples of happy murmurs.

Aafat didn’t need the sight to know that seeding the river with shrimp would attract the birds.

Still, he hoped Anandani would bring his own blessings from now on.



Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks to Susan for hosting and for providing the original photo prompt, below!  Click on the link to read the other stories written for this prompt, or to join in — everyone’s welcome!

SPF 6-10-18.Susan Spaulding

Photo © Susan Spaulding



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16 thoughts on “Luring Luck

    • True, although if it was always a desert I’d guess you wouldn’t call it a drought. Although it can come on gradually. Here in California people keep acting like once one drought is announced as being over, everything’s fine, we can go back to wasting as much water as we like. Yeah, until the next one starts, you idiots!

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      • Know what you mean. You mightn’t think of UK as subject to drought, but East Anglia is prone to extreme water shortages; we don’t get the rainfall, have to have water trucked in some summers. But come autumn, all’s well. So, can’t really call it a drought. Yet historically it was a big problem, reported in Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, causing uncounted deaths.

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      • You’re right, I don’t normally think about that, but now that you mention it, I do remember hearing about famines due to drought all through that area. Here near LA we have the added problem of huge over-population for the natural resources that are available. Everyone wants to live in “paradise” but nobody wants to pay the real price.

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    • I’m afraid the climate in this region isn’t going to get better — this whole land is headed for desertification for at least the next thousand years… But at least if he sides with the new Anandani crowd, he won’t be wiped out in the civil war that’s about to happen!

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    • Oh, people will complain no matter what they get — too much or too little, too hot or too cold — it’s just human nature! And too much rain can ruin crops and lead to famine just as well as not enough rain. It is good to be reminded of how overly comfortable we might have gotten in our own little bubbles though, I agree! 😉

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