THE RAINMAKER’S DAUGHTER

in The Ink Well2 years ago (edited)

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Khatam Tadayon

Today is the day they kill my father. I stand at the water’s edge, watching time go by as my wrapper flaps in the wind.

My father is the rainmaker. And any second now, they’ll throw him into the sea.

I watch this vast body of water as it slumbers, ebbing languorously, seductively. I know it’s ways. It’s no respecter of man. It’s ruthless. It’ll take Papa. My body trembles as the realisation hits me, and a sob escapes my throat.

I never knew my mother. She died while birthing me. Papa is all I have; all I’ve ever known. It was he who taught me how to watch the sky, the sea, the earth, the air. Moved by raw pain, I let out an anguished cry till my lungs give out. Spent, I fall to the ground, panting as the wind carries the sound.

The fortunes. I’ll try one last time and see what it has for Papa.

I turn away from the water, grab the ends of my wrapper, and flee the beach.

Papa has been the village rainmaker since the last rainmaker passed. That was a lot of years before I was born. Even before he married my mother. And the elements favoured us all through those years. Papa was perfect at his job until he awakened one morning to discover that he couldn’t call forth the rain anymore.

The village accused him of having done something to anger the elements. Papa, try as he could, he could do nothing. The elements had abandoned him and he had no clue as to why. As is the tradition, the village has to sacrifice him to the water. How can they do this to their own?

The village is a beehive of activities as they prepare for the ceremony. My heart skips a beat when I remember that, that ceremony is to kill my father. I pick up my pace. My eighteen-year-old self can’t fail him.

Eyes turn as I walk past in an almost-run. I can feel them on me. I curse under my breath. Finally, I’m at Danko’s place. I rap at the wooden door aggressively. There’s no time to lose. Soon, the drumming would start, and they’d take him.

Danko finally opens up. “Lara?” he says with a tinge of surprise in his voice. Then, he moves aside to let me in.

Danko is a young man. He hasn’t seen as many seasons as my father. He hasn’t even taken a wife. Yet, he holds the answer to everyone’s questions. He’s the village’s diviner.

“Why are you here?” Danko asks once my bottom touches the hide covering the seat. His voice brims with sympathy. There’s sadness in his eyes.

“I want to check my fortune.”

“Lara, we’ve done this before.”

“And I want to try again,” I say adamantly, desperation evident in my voice. He doesn’t want me to get hurt by what I see. Doesn’t he know I’m already broken?

“It hasn’t changed, Lara. There’s nothing for your father.”

My shoulders tremble, but tears don’t spill. “So the sea will swallow him then?” I say softly. The words are like bile in my mouth.

Danko doesn’t answer, but his eyes say everything he doesn’t.

“Curse the skies!” I spit.

“Lara!” Danko cautions. I shoot him a fiery glare.

“Curse the sea!” I say with my eyes still looking right into his.

“Lara!” He fears for me. He’s always loved me.

What worse can they do? They’ve abandoned him. A sob catches in my throat, escaping in a strangled cry. “Curse the rain!” Pain rips through my body, and the tears spill uncontrollably.

“Lara.”

Something’s building up inside me. I know just what to do.

I rise slowly with my wet face. Danko sees the fire in my eyes, and fear grips him.

“Lara, don’t do something stupid. Don’t do something you’ll regret.”

I know I won’t regret it. “I curse you lot,” is the last thing I say to him before I storm out of his hut. He runs after me.

My father’s friends, my mother’s friends, relatives, Danko; they say they wish this wasn’t happenening. They’re all cowards. They say they wish they could do something. Well, I can.

I’m Lara, and the wind answers to me. If the people won’t listen, the wind will.

Once outside, my ears catch the tum tum of the drums of death. The sound is coming from a distance away. They should be close to the beach. I run with my tear-stained face. Others are hurrying in the same direction. Danko is still running after me.

“Lara!”

As I get nearer, the drumming gets louder. Finally, I’m there. I haven’t the heart to look at Papa. I ignore the guards, Danko, and everyone calling my name. They say he’s weak. Well, I’m not.

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Anandu Vinod

I stand at the water’s edge, lift my hands to the sky with an upturned face, and call forth the elements with my very being. The clear blue of the skies turn dark in an instant.

“A storm is brewing!” I hear.

They are mistaken; it’s more than a storm. Let’s see what the wind can do. Then I unleash everything in me.

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Quite a picture you painted here. The flapping of the wrapper, the curses under wet eyes, the run towards the tum rum, and eventually, the calling out of the elements. Really well crafted.

Thank you so much! Your comment is encouraging.

Woah this is really awesome! I don't know what everyone else thinks but this story is really good. The descriptions are just wonderful. It's brave of Lara that she found the strength to help her father. I hope she succeeds.

Thank you so much @theawesomenonso for your lovely comment. It’s so nice to have someone say this. Thanks again.

I just finsihed reading it for the third time, and it gives me equal satisfaction as it did the last 2 times. Well written Enob, the story flows well and creates a visual in mind while reading top to bottom.

🥺☺️Thanks for your encouraging feedback. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it enough to read it three times. Thanks again!

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wow! That's an amazing concept!
What happened next?

The wind wreaked havoc on the village. It was a lot. And they didn’t get to throw her father into the sea anymore.

Can't you elaborate the story a bit? Would be nice.

I actually feel it’s a nice ending.

Very lovely you are a good story teller, I almost thought you were referring to your father. Lol nice one dear

Thank you!

You are welcome

Wow I wish the story was longer. The plot, the storyline and the dialogue were all on point.

Really great story

😊Thank you so much!

You're welcome

This is a very interesting story, @philomenob. We feel Lara's feelings and how helplessness drives her to concentrate all her strength and evidence her heritage to save her father. Good story, well written.
Thanks for posting it on Theinkwell and thanks for maintaining interactions with other members of the community. Your comments on at least two of the stories posted may make you eligible for the featured authors of the week.

Thank you!

Your story is very imaginative...I can even imagine the scenes. Great job.

Thank you!

Great story. I could imagine the story so clearly.

Thank you!

what an imaginative story, some parts are poetic and there is so much emotion involved in this story, the way Lara reacted by calling the elements, only a heroine would do it.
great job ❤️👌

Oh, thank you so much! Yeah, Lara was very brave. That was her only resort.