Desert Water

Submitted into Contest #83 in response to: Write a fantasy story about water gods or spirits.... view prompt

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Adventure

From the outside, it looks dire, nasty, and depressing. Soft wooden planks and wooden pillars make up most of the building's outer structure.

It's impossible to see through the high windows, but the lethargy from within can be felt outside.


As you enter the tavern through the heavy, wooden door, you're welcomed by whispers and dirt and dust from all places.

The bartender is trying to catch a spider and makes no effort to acknowledge your presence.


It's as dreary inside as it is on the outside. Tree logs support the upper floor and the broken lights attached to them. The walls are covered in cobwebs and any decoration that does hang there is now unrecognizable.


The tavern itself is almost completely abandoned. The few people inside appear to not be there at all. None of them are making any noise, and all sit there staring at you.


A long time ago, the tavern was famous, but for the life of you, you can't remember what for. Though judging by the dirt and unhygienic circumstances, it's probably food poisoning.


You perch in a chair, your eyes on the door. You stay there for a while before glancing at your watch and deeming it too late. No one has bothered you, and no one bothers you as you rise and leave the tavern. You have a reputation, and they do not want to be caught up in a fight. Not with you at least.


You know he will come soon. He likes to keep you waiting.


So for now, back to The Farm.


***


The Farm is made up of two parts. The buildings and the fields. It stands in the middle of the town, which in turn, stands in the middle of a small desert.


 The fields are brown and the tiny sprouts that shoot up are almost covered wholly by coarse brown dirt that looks like it has never seen water. There are several fields, each with a different crop. The eighth is a pasture.


The buildings of The Farm are almost a separate town. There are twenty-three buildings, some with more than one group. You live in number two, next to Uncle Rudoph who runs The Farm.


Number two is a simple house with a peeling coat of paint and a creaky porch. The rocking chair that came with the house rocks eerily in the wind. The house is small and has only a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and an attic. The house is covered in a layer of dust, both inside and out.


You go inside and grab a granola bar from the one cabinet that the vermin cannot get into.


You have two jobs today. You have already completed one, and the second you are doing now.


Checking the well.


***


There are two wells. One belongs to the town and only the people that do not live in The Farm use it. The Farm has its own well, and The Farm uses it. But the well has been empty lately and the lack of water has people scared. Uncle Randolph says that without water we would die quickly.


You know a shortcut to the well and You take it. It cuts through the patch of sharp bramble called Cercic, which is native to the desert. Its barbs are poisonous but You know how to avoid them. You finally reach the well. You see a small shack leaning against a tree. A haggard man crouches in front of it, staring at you intently.


He wears what was once a t-shirt is now a nasty mess of holes, muck and dirty stains, hanging from one of his shoulders like a discarded old towel.

Part of the bottom has been torns of and the sleeves are worn away, leaving much of him exposed to the elements.


He's wearing a worn out vest over his t-shirt. It's a nasty mess of stains and dirt, and It will only keep him from the sand and wind for a little bit before it would rip through the vest.


His pants are in terrible shape as well. Wear and tear has turned what were once small tears into big gaping holes. Beggy leggings are under his worn out pants, showing throughthe holes. He has shoe-which is suprsising. Although they're ragged, only just the right size and there are holes in the right side of the left shoe. He also wears socks, the color it was before unknown.


He wears a bandana around his neck and has it wrapped around his face to just below the eyes. It's torn and worn, but otherwise in a decent shape.


He smiles, his sunken eyes squinting a little.


“The water’s not coming, eh?”


He grins, showing off a row a yellow rotten teeth and gapping holes.


“It’s never gonna come. Cause he’s mad.”


The man’s face darkens.


“Real mad. And when he’s mad the very earth trembles. He can take all your water until he’s forgotten. And he’s never forgotten. At camp Rachel’s gotten a prophecy. Said no one in camp gonna get him back happy. Not even Percy. And Percy’s his son! But she sent us looking for you. You smell. Now you know, they still won’t get ya. Their aint any in this desert. Some power stopping abilities. I almost couldn’t get in. But it keeps them out. So good luck. Save the world. Blah blah blah.”


Then he gets up and stumbles away with a funny limp.


“Why couldn’t it have been Percy,” You can hear him mutter as he limps away. “Percy stopped Kronos and Gaea. . .”


His voice fades out as he walks until he’s out of sight.



You look into the well. All there is is a slim coating of water on the bottom. Not enough to fill the bucket. Suddenly the water ripples. You still. If there’s anything in the water that can contaminate it, we can’t drink it.


But nothing comes out. Instead, the water shapes into a face.


***


The face blinks. Then its eyes goes to you. It pales.


“You.”


“Yeah me. Dad.


He sighs. “Look, I’m sorry for not being there and stuff.”


“Dad. Who are you? I mean-I know you can control water and stuff, but there’s a drought! And you can control water! And this guy showed up said the drought was on purpose!”


The face shifts uncomfterably.


“They should’ve sent Grover. Flint hates his job. But Grover’s too busy.”


“Excuse me?”


“Flint Birchwood. That’s the Sa-guy that was here. But yeah. Never mind. I’ll fix it.”


He’s about to go when you say someting that stops him.


“Dad, what’s your name?”


He licks his lips. “Poseidon.”


Then he’s gone.

March 01, 2021 00:26

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