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Jonath had never seen a proper ocean. Neither had I, for that matter. My mother, looking out across the rusty dunes of Loess, spoke of water that stretched from horizon to horizon, and I thought, “How lonely.”

I had lived most of my life in Oas, the smallest of the green cities, where the mighty drills bored deep under the crust to find hidden pockets of water. These ancient cisterns are immense, but finite, their bounty shared in measured drops. No child of Loess has tasted dew.

Yet even here, on the driest of worlds, our language is water-laden, dripping with half-remembered longings. We sail over dusty seas. We measure our worth in pearls of salt. We anchor our airships beside rivers of stone that cascade down from craggy buttes like fabled waterfalls.

Jonath had never seen an ocean, never felt rain, never tasted dew. All at once I fathomed how impossible it was to escape water’s intangible, inexorable pull on the human soul.

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This post is part of the Jade Dragon series. Though I try to make these installments enjoyable as individual pieces, I highly recommend that you read the series from the beginning to really get what’s going on.

This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge weekly prompt:

You should write a creative response using the third definition of the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:

1: affected by or as if by rust; especially : stiff with or as if with rust
2: inept and slow through lack of practice or old age
3a : of the color rust
b : dulled in color or appearance by age and use <rusty old boots>

It was also partly inspired by this week’s Write at the Merge prompt from Write on Edge, in particular, the below picture – not so much the lighthouse, but the waves. It’s been a while since I’ve posted both places, and I’m hoping to link up to WoE more often.

Photo from Write on Edge

15 thoughts on “Water-Laden

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Lance!! I’m not completely satisfied – it feels like I’m wrestling a snake, trying to get it to fit the shape I want. But there are bits I’m really pleased with.


      • Lance says:

        I know what you mean. I get asked a lot about releasing stories and I’m like, :”dude, i’m working on them”

        I liked this a lot


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