Ingenuous Illusion

Free state south africa

Photo copy Google Maps Streetview

On the bridge, Ndori stared through his other eye. The creek was muddy, sluggish. The cursed water flowed slowly, mingled with fresh. To him, it shimmered: greasy gray streaks, soaking into the earth, invisibly poisoning the grasses.

Ahead lay another village, filling their buckets.

How to warn them?  The last two villages had spurned Ndori. Spouting heathen lies, they said. Disputing their priests.

They couldn’t see the curse with their eyes. They wouldn’t accept the truth from his mouth.

He must show them something to believe.

Kneeling as close as he dared, he chanted spells, threw in the prepared dung balls. The streaks flashed purple, faded to black. Inky evil, visible to anyone. Avoidable by anyone.

Someone shouted.

Ndori grabbed his skirts and ran, using his last magic for speed. They’d say he’d cursed the water. If they caught him, they’d kill him.

But at least they wouldn’t drink it.

Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw prompt. Big thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this fun flash fiction challenge! This week Pegman takes us to Free State, South Africa. Click the link to see the images the other writers found, and read the stories those sights inspired them to write. And and always, feel free to join in — everyone is welcome!

FYI: Merriam-Webster provides multiple definitions for the word “ingenuous”, including both “noble, honorable” and “ingenious.”

I’m sorry I missed contributing a story last week. Things were super hectic at work. But we finally made the first of the big deadlines of the year this past week, so now I’m enjoying a relative reprieve.  And facing a monumental to-do list that I was putting off for far too long! It feels good to have at least a few more things checked off that list.


9 thoughts on “Ingenuous Illusion

    • Great comment Iain, thanks! I think he wouldn’t consider what they deserve or not, but what he is morally obligated to try to do for anyone, no matter how ignorant they are. There are innocent children in those villages, after all!

      Liked by 1 person

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