Friday, September 13, 2013

Prompt: Holding back the waters of the world

Thanks to MartaDec for permission to use her beautiful image, “Breach”!    

Brianna reached the top of the dunes and looked out across the wind-swept beach to the towering waves beyond the wall. The wind whipped her shoulder-length hair across her face as she pulled her too-light jacket closer around her. Even from this distance, the ocean spray mixed with sand to sting her face, and she ducked her head to climb down the dune.

Her warm boots slid in the loose sand, catching on the sea grass like rooted stairsteps. She ignored the waves crashing against the wall as she made her way down. It helped nothing if she tumbled and broke her neck. The spray clung to her jeans and soaked them through as it did her hair. She was grateful for the jacket now. Reuben had insisted she take it, even though it had seemed too lightweight. She was dry under it, at least.

Reaching the beach, she loosened her arms from around her waist. She wished she could tie back her hair, but it wouldn’t do any good. She eyed the wall, and the waves beyond. The wall was layered stone, perhaps 20 feet tall. Noone remembered how or when it had been built. The why was clear enough. Most teens dared each other to climb over and brave the waters at least once. Most survived.

Only Brianna’s fem would come out in storm. She remembered coming out with her grandmother when she was a toddler, clinging fast to her grandmother’s hand, then her skirt when she needed her hands free. Later, Brianna came with her mother and learned what it meant to be a Fem of the Wall, the long line of women who handed down a sacred gift and burden. Their duty, their power, was to hold back the water, to keep it from flooding the land, to keep their world safe.

Brianna shrugged and stood tall, shaking her hands and arms to loosen her body and her mind. She smiled at the spray’s assault. Let it do what it must. She walked with easy grace to the water’s edge, planting her feet firmly in the hard-packed sand. She looked up at the waves crashing against the wall, and the ones beyond rolling in taller and taller. She felt her broad smile. Despite the danger, she loved the storms.

“Come on then,” she said aloud, her words whipped away in the wind. “But it won’t be today.”

Dogs in house
Pop mix
Time writing:
20 minutes
September word count:

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