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Fantasy Inspirational Fiction

I stand on the peak of a mountain. Thunderous clouds bubble above me, cracking with rage. Humidity coats my lungs, it is going to rain. I do not breathe. I do not falter. My patience is greeting with benevolence, the clouds recognize their new guardian. I am the watchful eye of the storm. 

“You have arrived, you are younger than I anticipated”

A voice from the clouds, rumbling and vast. A leopard forms in the sky, spots glowing with stars, whiskers tipped with light. Its huge body curls around the mountain, we are face to face. He looks pleased, tail twitching with hopefulness. 

“I am Vaata, winds of the land. You are Ganymede, my replacement, water bearer. Do you accept the divine duty to herd the storm and bring rain to the people of the valley?” 

“I-”

“You are not ready”

“Wait, no please, I accept. I am ready” I stand tall. I do not breathe. The leopard does not look satisfied. The clouds begin to subside, gently drifting around us. 

“What are you concerned with, child?

I pause. I close my eyes. The grass, bright and thin, moves silently in the wind. It does not have a purpose. Envious, I shiver. 

“Change.” I say at once, my voice the song of birds. 

“Change.” Vaata repeats.

“I do not know what will become of me. I am more than this.” 

“What more are you, if not a servant to the rain?”

I pause once more. I do not know. Tears flood my eyes, heartache grips my chest. 

“I feel I am a prisoner. I have no choice but to be ready. I am only delaying the inevitable. I do not want to do this, Vaata. What will become of you? What will you amount to after everything?”

“I will die and take my place in the stars. You will follow someday, but not soon.”

“You will be nothing.”

Guilt stung the tip of my tongue, I wanted to turn my face away in shame but I looked upon the leopard with false indignation. Vaata did not respond, at first. It started to rain. 

“You are asking questions I do not have the answer to, child.”

“I’m sorry, I did not mean it. The people will die if they do not receive water. You have saved lives, countless lives. The gods will bless you.”

“That is not the reason I guide the winds. It is not people. Not children. Not animals. It is for the clouds. They will have nowhere to go without me.”

“You do not care about the prosperity you brought?” 

“The lives of others do not concern me.”

“What if one day, there will be no more clouds? Will it all have been for?”

“That is a useless question, for there will always be clouds if there is rain. And there will always be rain if there are clouds. Time means nothing to the cycle.”

“What if I stop guiding the winds? What if I stop the cycle?”

The leopard purred with affection and smiled revealing two long fangs. “You will not stop the cycle, child, why do you think I chose you?”

“How are you so certain? You don’t know me. You don’t know my thoughts. I can refuse.”

“You said that you are a prisoner, no? Has that changed?” I didn’t respond, “You will join the cycle and bring water to your people. They will pray to you and sing to you. This will go on for many eons, then you will join me in the sky. Do not be afraid. Do not be resentful.”

“I still do not understand why we are doing this. Let the earth shrivel with drought. Let us burn up and crumble to dust, shut out by the very universe itself. Who could blame us?” 

“You wouldn’t blame yourself?”

“No I wouldn’t. I did not choose this path. I will cry for the people I have starved, but my tears will not supplement the rain. They will become a sea and the waves will beat my heart once more, uneven and broken. But at least I will have a heart.”

“Your guilt will spread like an infection, limbs rotted and eyes glossy. You will become a shell of the man you once were, cracked and shriveled. You will watch the extinction of the earth in all its wrathful glory and the people rip each other apart in desperation. The universe will go cold and you will be condemned to an eternity of a loveless vacuum. Do not fool yourself.”

My stomach lurched, he was right. 

“So that’s why we bring water? To avoid the disease? To avoid pain?” 

“You are not just yourself. You are everything. The leaves are your tissue, their roots, your lungs. Every grain of sand and every single star are your birthmarks, it is the universe’s way of claiming you for itself. Don’t you feel it? Don’t you feel the rising shame, the anger? The sadness? The passion? That is not only you. That is the universe itself, humming with consciousness and thoughts on its own being. We bring water to the people so the universe won’t feel the void pushing in on it. Instead the universe will feel love. Love for itself. Do you understand?”

I remained silent. Darkness has now fallen on us, the leopard glows under the moonlight washing his fur. 

“Are you leaving now?” My voice breaks, it is all too overwhelming.

“Yes. I will see you in another life Ganymede, divine water bearer. Perform your duties well.”

It was as if a strong wind had blown Vaata away and a deep feeling of unsatisfied longing clung to me like sticky sap. I wanted him to come back. All that remained were stars, I reached out to feel their warmth. I drew in a breath, a breath of life and purpose. I turn my eyes to the moon and softly called out to the universe,

“I love you.”

The moon gives me a blank stare. The universe does not respond. 

“I’ll always love you.”

My tears drip onto the cold mountain below me.

“Forever.”

August 20, 2022 16:24

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3 comments

Bad Cat Z
15:17 Sep 01, 2022

The dialogue really flows and carried me away, this was a highly imaginative story. I hope you finish your series and find a good publisher with an good art department.

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Isa C
16:10 Sep 01, 2022

Thank you so much! I love philosophy and to be able to turn it into a narrative would be really cool :,)

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Isa C
23:55 Aug 27, 2022

Author notes! This is part of a series I hope to one day publish about reimagining the zodiac constellations and their stories.

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