A Desperate Letter, A Call For Help
“I will return when the sun has split the skies once again.”
Those were the last words you spoke to me before you left. Years later, I still wait.
The storms started when I was young. Sporadic at first, like a brief summer rain, barely lasting for more than five minutes at a time. It was normal, they said. The season called for it. It was only after the summer passed, when fall had come and gone…only then did people worry. Winter was supposed to be cold, barren, miserable. It was still warm and lush, the trees never losing their foliage and the air humid with storm. The rivers were flooding over with rainwater, the lakes swelling up until our homes were taken by them.
My village built their new homes on stilts, hoping and praying the water didn’t rise any further. Three more times, three more houses, until finally we were safe from the flood. The mountains had thin air and many died while building their new shelters. I couldn’t watch. I instead helped my mother as she protected the children, the elderly, and the weak from the storms as they only grew worse.
Soon she was gone as well. Swept away trying to save everyone. She was a saint to us. I couldn’t cry. There was no time to show my own weakness, as I was the new Protector of the village. Caring for my people came easy, thanks to my mother’s teachings. Ignoring your voice in my head, telling me you’d come back was a different story.
You thought it was your destiny to save us from the flood. Even the Chief thought you were insane. “I don’t know why he’s run off to die,” he said to my mother one night, the embers burning low as the night settled in. I listened from the other side of the wall, peering through the crack as my mother listened to our Chief’s worries. “There’s no such thing as the Great Earth Fish. I don’t know what the hell he’s up to out there, but he’s not destined to save anyone.”
The Great Earth Fish was drowning in the skies. That was the legend, anyway. We all heard the stories of the great hero who would save it from the sky and bring it back to Earth. It was such an old legend that most people considered it a fairytale.
Not you. No, you were enraptured with the story, just as I was when we were young. It was a different time, where we played pretend and saved the Great Earth Fish (or, my favorite stuffed animal) from the sky (or, the top shelf) and bring it back to Earth (in my arms). You wielded the Sacred Arrow as I personified the Fish, calling your name to bring him down. Make believe…
Now, I wait for you to return. The clouds are as heavy and dark as they have been since you left, maybe even heavier and darker. The elderly have been reaching their time, and the children are old enough now to help me with the new generation. I’m no longer a child, no longer the teenager that was thrust into responsibility before your departure.
Yet I long for those simple times, before the rain, before the storms grew heavy, before the loss and the stress and the hardship.
The Chief is growing old. You must return soon, before his time comes. I do not know who will lead this village, if not you. You are his son, after all. I do not dare to leave in search of you, knowing I will become one with the flood if I do.
I know where you are, of course. This letter will find you easily, as the legend lays out the path for anyone to follow if they so choose. The highest mountain in the world holds the staircase to the Heavens, up into the stars and into the Realm of the Gods. Our people do not live too far from it now, but to travel there would ensure death would follow. There are creatures on the tall mountains, creatures that will kill anyone who dares to challenge them. What can I do? I only know how to care for my people, not kill for them.
I don’t know why I’m bothering writing this letter to you now. You know everything, so why tell you all of this? Why give you the history you have already lived? Quite simply, you do not know our struggles here in the village. You do not know what it has been like to wait for you to return. Only now do I have the support I need to help our people. With you and my mother gone, and with our Chief growing into his old age, I cannot sit here and wait for you any longer.
The skies will never part, the sun will never shine down on us as it did before. Will you ever return to us? To me?
Come back to the village. Forget the Great Earth Fish. The rains will not wait for you to be a hero, and we need someone strong who can lead us into the next chapter of our lives before we are all lost to the flood.
Hello everyone! After watching the new Breath of the Wild 2 trailer, listening to some 90s era Madonna, and falling asleep to rain sounds every night for a while, I had a handful of strange dreams about this tiny village that had been flooded over by cursed rain. After mulling over the dreams and tying them together, I came up with this little short story.
I’m kind of thinking it could become something bigger and better, but I don’t want to commit to a brand new novel. Not while I’m already deep into the story I’m writing now! Getting the idea out onto digital paper, however, is exactly what I needed. Hopefully you guys like the idea of a Great Earth Fish needing to be saved by some village kid!
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Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next week for the monthly roundup!