J.M. Williams

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A Voice in the Water – FFfAW

Apr
15

I haven’t been keeping up with my flash fiction challenges lately, and I wasn’t intending to do so. But this week, Priceless Joy–the person who manages Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers–is suffering from a personal loss. FFfAW is one of my favorite little flash prompt groups, and Priceless Joy is such a kind and generous fellow in this blogosphere, that I wanted to try to write something for this week. Hopefully I can manage something uplifting.

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A VOICE IN THE WATER

The stag bent down to take a drink from the crystal stream. Its massive antlers dipped into the water, causing the gentle current to swirl around the many submerged tips. Hemming took aim with his bow and fired.

The arrow whistled through the air towards its target. But instead of piercing the animal in the neck as he had expected, it broke apart. The stag looked back at Hemming. The beast rose up on its hind legs, then began to glow with brilliant green light. The shape of it changed from beast to man, a glowing man in flowing silken robes.

“Come here my child. Do not be afraid.”

Hemming glance around and seeing no support or possible route of escape, shuffled forward.

“Do you know who I am, child?”

Hemming shook his head.

“I am Darmin.”

God of nature. God of the hunt! Hemming’s face went wide with fear.

“I am not angry. You are just a hunter, doing what you must to survive.”

Hemming nodded, unable to speak to the divine being.

“You work hard to care for your daughter, alone as you are. Yet you have not recovered your spirit from the passing of your wife.”

Hemming nodded and began to weep.

“Look there. What do you see?”

“The creek,” Hemming stuttered. “A flowing stream.”

“Yes. The water starts in the mountains, flowing down with power and grace. When it reaches the end, it is picked up by the clouds and returned to the mountains to flow again. Life is not so much different. Put you hand in the water, child.”

Hemming bent down to the rushing stream. With an audible breath, Hemming reached out and placed his hand in the water; it was cold and sharp, and danced around his wrist. Then he heard a sound that made his eyes flow like the water that embraced him—a soft laugh as familiar as his own voice. The god placed a warm hand on Hemming’s shoulder as the man wept uncontrollably.

He knew now she was not truly gone.

*Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Week of April 11th 2017.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story strongly violates FFfAW’s low word count, but I didn’t feel I could write something meaningful with only 150 words. This is dedicated to Priceless Joy. Thanks for all the kind words over the past months as I have struggled to find my way as an author and blogger. Every word has helped me greatly. I hope you can find a bit of light in the dark time. 

15 Responses to A Voice in the Water – FFfAW

  1. Very moving. I think you hit the mark.

  2. michael1148humphris

    Lovely piece of writing, it felt just right, I guess sometimes one just has to go over the word count.

  3. nice to see you writing and read your mythical like stories, the sadness was deeply felt. the god feeling compassion for human suffering was very poignant.

    • Thank you. Water always seems to end up a life metaphor for me for some reason. I think you read another story of mine that was similar to this one.

      • yes I do remember and it did get published too am I right? Water is a lovely metaphor for life and and life’s journey and it inspires really good writing from you each time.

        • Yes. That other story will be published as an audio short by the Centropic Oracle. Which is pretty cool.

          • it is extremely cool! I need to catch up with you on messenger, if you have some time, about the flash fiction stuff. this week is a little better than my last. Who does the audio? I love that this trend is emerging and taking hold even for short stories. Listening can be as beautiful as reading the story. So happy for you JM!

          • I think the site is managed by a pair and one does the editorial process and the other makes the audio recording. I got another one pending with Antipodean SF which does audio, but they want me to try to read my story myself. Not sure I’m too keen on that 😉

          • and you have dialogue in your stories. how do you work that out? it would be interesting to hear yourself though😊

          • The Antipodean one is extra bad because the site is Austalian and the main speaker in the story has a very generic British accent…touble trouble 😀

          • double trouble certainly. some stories need action in the voice and some drawl 😉

  4. A nice piece of story, beautifully written.

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