Image: Christophe Vacher
The sheets felt cool and luxurious against her skin as she laid her arm across the empty space beside her. So, he had woken and left her already. Not surprising. She knew he had planned on working this morning at first light, the growing season began today, but still she missed him. Today, she would hold back her clouds, allow the farmers to plant their crops without rain falling on their backs.
She looked down and saw a young woman praying in her temple. Concentrating, she heard the girl’s plea.
“Talai, please. Here is my gift.” She laid down a loaf of fresh bread, the hearty aroma rising to Talai’s suite. “I beg you for help. My husband, Benjamin, went out ten days and he hasn’t returned, please send him back to me. Without him, I will die. Just tell me what I need to do and I will do it. Anything.” Tears streamed down the girl’s face.
Poor child, but there was nothing Talia could do. Yes, the tempest had been hers, but it had been far out to sea. Talia loved the roiling clouds the flashes of lightning, the booming thunder, and couldn’t resist putting on a truly awesome display occasionally. Most of the time she contented herself with small storms or downpours, but her true love was the wildness, unpredictability that only a violent storm held. But she hadn’t claimed the man. His life was forfeit to the sea, and Yammin did not surrender those who found themselves in his embrace easily or often. Talia would not allow the girl to pay his price, no man was worth that.
Why was the girl’s Benjamin so far out to sea anyway? Talai knew from her ages of watching that more than enough fish were close to shore, enough fish to feed the entire island. There was no need for him to venture so far out, to gamble with the dangers all the islanders knew were in the deep waters, to risk leaving his love alone. A small roll of thunder rumbled through the clouds at Talia’s feet, and she smiled, but with conscious effort she turned away from the girl. There would be no answer to her prayer.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.