Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Cloud in the Sky

Every Wednesday, the remarkable Paula Wyant posts a prompt at

On July 19, 2017, she offered up a wizard, a cloud, and a hole in the ground.

This is what I came up with in response.

Everyone learned to hide in holes in the ground whenever the cloud approached. It was a sign that their deity was angry.

The wizards had created Her to oversee their world, pouring their life energies into what they hoped would be a benevolent goddess.

Generally, She was. She breathed a gentle breeze which cooled everyone working in the fields, bestowing a soft rain which coaxed the ripest fruits and vegetables from the ground. 

Only once in a while would She grow irritable. The cloud always manifested when she was. 

The wizards learned to retreat below the earth. They shivered in the darkness there, listening to the wind tear up the trees, sweeping across the fields. 

“Why does She get angry?” One apprentice dared to ask her master this question while the two of them hid below the ground, listening to angry howl of the elements. 

Her elements. 

“Who knows?” The master bit her lip. “The Goddess moves in mysterious ways. To question her is to question ourselves.” She huddled against the wall, keeping a cool distance between herself and her protege. “If we did, the magic which created Her might unravel.”

The apprentice pondered her mentor’s words. Perhaps it was dangerous to probe too deeply into the goddess’s motives. 

This didn’t change the fact that their Goddess was upset. The guardian upon whom everyone on this world depended. 

Was it really all right not to question why?

The apprentice decided to find out. 

The next time the cloud appeared in the sky, she didn’t follow her master and the other wizards down into the holes. 

She lifted her head to look at the puffy mass of gray. 

“What’s wrong?” She studied the darkest part of the cloud, thick with unreleased storm. “Why do you rage?”

The girl wasn’t sure if she’d get an answer. 

The wind sighed, sending her hair flying, allowing tendrils to escape from her braids. 

“No one listens to me.” The air murmured the words into her ear with a breathless girlishness. “People talk at me, they pray, but they simply don’t hear my voice.”

The apprentice started at the voice. The goddess sounded so young, younger than herself. 

Young and lonely. 

“I’ll listen.” She wasn’t sure what prompted this offer. “I’d be happy to listen if you want to talk.”

The cloud dispersed, allowing a beam of light to shine down upon the girl’s face. 

For the first time the goddess spoke. 

Only the apprentice heard her words. Perhaps she learned secrets no other wizard had uncovered. 

Perhaps she simply heard the outpouring of a lonely being who’d never had company before. Not company which didn’t desire something. 

Perhaps the apprentice learned a little of both. 

She got to hear her goddess talk for the first time ever. 

All the while, the wizards huddled in the ground, hiding in their holes. 

1 comment:

  1. You can view this story also on K.S. Trenten's Facebook Author Page.