Let Flow What Is Left

What am I supposed to do with this?

They say, ‘To create you need to begin with mud.’ I can’t even make that anymore. The droughts have taken all water: the streams and wells, my spit, and, finally, my urine.

Will the gods accept an offering of dry sticks and shards of rock tied with bits of dusty, frayed rope? No. There is only one way to call the gods and save this land. My blood will have to bind the dirt to the idol. It’s the only fluid I have left.

It must be done. We need the rain.

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58 thoughts on “Let Flow What Is Left

  1. Wow, very descriptive of the dryness – even the urine gone, now that is really dry, well done. I had to get a glass of water after reading this – not kidding!

    • Thanks so much, Susie. The prompt was so “dry” I felt the only way to bring it “life” was with blood. It was just a strange thing. I was outside fretting about what to write when it came to me.

    • Well, medically, once one is unable to urinate, that’s just about the end of the line. If this person had had access to a hospital–IV fluids and electrolytes would have been administered.

  2. I like the desperation in this piece (though perhaps “like” is the wrong word) and there’s something bittersweet in the celebration of human nature that this person is willing to sacrifice his/her own blood for the good of others.

  3. I loved this one. At first i thought the line “rock tied with bits of dusty, frayed rope?” actually said “rock tied with bits of dusty, frayed hope?” I thin I thought this because this was the protagonists last hope. Obiously he/she without fluids is at the end of their rope. Awsome.

  4. I think “it must be done is” more determined. The narrator is taking themselves out of the situation.

    This sentence “They say that to create you need to start with mud” seems to go on forever to me, though.

    trivial criticism aside aside, very strong piece, emotion/desperation comes through very well.

    • I was thinking about that like earlier, after I’d published it. I am thinking about omitting “that” because it is a dead word.

      And I do appreciate the criticism. There are always things to think about and ways to make a work stronger.

    • Hee, Siobhan. I tend to hit the creepy nerve at least once a month. If I don’t, I have to take my temperature and make sure I’m not running a fever.

      I’ll make it to your drabble very soon.

  5. I’m parched just reading this, I’m gonna have to get a drink! You really convey just how desperate the situation has become, and the knowledge as a reader that this final drastic act is very likely futile makes it all the more tragic.

    • My drabble does not take place in modern America. It may not even take place in our history. But, this person is attempting, in a last desperate act, to call upon the gods to bring rain back to the lands. In this mythology, an idol is needed. Pieces of the earth, a binding agent (which would have to be rope if he wouldn’t come up with a liquid) that is preferably a natural mixture of liquid and clay, earth, pulp, etc.

      I hope that helps to explain everything.

  6. Powerful. I also stopped for a glass of water. Love the “start with mud” line. Didn’t get the “rope” line. Had to read it several times. I imagine it’s to convey he/she is at the end of the “rope” and in desperation, the last result is to offer his/her blood Sad.

    Here’s mine: http://www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

    • I’m not sure if that line with “rope” is clear enough. I may have to go back and rework it. The idol offering, without mud to hold it together (much like grout), would only be bound together with old rope, which is still a “dry” medium. To get water, one needs to give water.

  7. Dear Rinn,

    Once again I find myself apologizing for arriving late to your stellar work. I should find yours right away every Friday morning because they are invariably good. Your piece was ineffably sad and had the ring of the eternal human condition. Man struggling to control the uncontrollable by appealing to the invisible.

    Keep them coming, Rinn.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Don’t worry about it at all, Doug! I have to make it through the end of the list this morning, as well. There are so many people who’ve joined the Fictioneers! It is wonderful.

      Thank you so much for your compliments. No matter the culture or time, there has always been someone willing to give everything for the hope that a superior being may favor them or their loved ones.

      Have a wonderful day,
      Rinn

  8. Quill this was very well written, showed a self-less person giving the only thing they had left to a god that seemed fairly unresponsive to all other shows of faith. I sensed futility in his effort but admired his conscious act of giving to the very end. I had no crit to offer, loved it just like it is.

    • Thank you very much, Madison. I’d already made a few changes based on crits by the time you’d read it. So I owe the flow of the piece to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. And as usual, thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful weekly series!

  9. A great tale.
    Your words did a great job of capturing and conveying the dryness of the drought and the plight of the people. Summed up at the end with the need to shed blood as it is the only fluid he has left.
    Lots here in just 100 words.

    • Thank you, Mike. I haven’ made it to your blog yet, but I just took a break from writing, so I’m going to finish up the list on Madison’ blog right now. I look forward to reading yours!

  10. “It must be done” — yikes!

    Quill, I think this is one of your best yet (which is saying something given how well you always write). It’s so intense and so creative, yet the line is clear and haunting. Thank you for sharing.

  11. This is deeply affecting writing in a number of ways; not only do you convey a strong sense of desperation (tinged with either bitterness or wry humour, I can’t quite decide), you give us one of those moments where someone truly comes to know themselves. You’re taking a look at how far an individual is willing to go here. How much of that is influenced by the convincing belief system you portray, I don’t know. Maybe this person is both determined and altruistic.
    I’m sorry I’m late to this. It seems you’ve reworked the piece a little but it seems like the heart of it (your story) hasn’t changed. And that’s what is so impressive here. Very well done.
    And, like everyone else, I am now damn thirsty. ;-)

    • Don’t worry about how long it takes to get here; that you made it at all is rewarding enough. And your comments are a blessing.

      I remember that I changed a four word sentence and I think? one word somewhere else? The suggestions this week were on point and helped make this a very strong piece.

      I should sell this tiny tale to a bottled water company for them to print on the label. LOL.

  12. Quill,
    I apologize for not getting to your story sooner, but it was well worth the wait. I’m looking forward to reading what you make of this week’s prompt.

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