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!
Photo © Susan Spaulding