Still Water #writephoto

I have looked out of this window every day of my life. I have seen every mood of the ocean and shade of the sky conceivable. The tide has washed many trinkets and curios upon the stony strand, but never before a man.

I watch him wade the shallows, the surf rolling and dragging at his sodden cloak, foaming like playful kittens around his knees. His stride is strong and purposeful, and I know he has come for me. My heart beats faster, louder than the flurry of my footsteps on the tower’s stone stairs, as I rush to meet him.

He has tugged his boat well above the water line. He is not fooled by the benign fawning of the waves upon the shore.

 “My father will kill you,” I say.

His eyes are blue as the gentian which flourishes on the cliffs, and as wide as a summer sky. “It is worth the risk. I came to see if the stories are true.” His bright gaze travels from my hair to my lips to the curves beneath my gown. “And I see that they are.”

The thick gold light of evening paints him with the glamour of the Otherworld, and when he pulls me to him, I have no will to resist. The taste of salt is sweet on his tongue. Water drips from his flaxen braids, and the dampness of his cloak is cold on my skin, but I am heedless.

Tomorrow, he will be gone, and I will go back to my long lonely life. Must I die an old woman who has never known a man’s love? No; I will take all he has to offer.

In the morning, my window reveals a world transformed with fury, as the sea lashes against the cliffs, filling the air with stinging spray and the sound of thunder. The tiny coracle lies beached on the pebbles, well beyond the ocean’s briny grasp.

“Your life is forfeit today, if you think that frail craft will carry you safely home.”

He just laughs. “The old man of the sea will bear me through the storm, have no fear.”

He speaks with bravado, full of the conviction of youth and his own power. He pulls a gold ring from his finger and presses it into my hand. He seals my protests with a kiss.

“If you ever escape, come to me.”

I let him go. I could have stopped him, for I have power of my own. I slip his ring onto my finger and rest my hand against my belly. He left me with something far greater than gold and a promise.

I wrote this story for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto writing challenge. If you want to take part, here’s how;

Use the image to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… by Wednesday 1st June and link back to Sue’s post with a pingback. Please make sure that the pingback works and if not, copy and paste your link into the comments section of Sue’s post. Don’t forget to use the new and shiny #writephoto hashtag in your title:)

45 Comments on “Still Water #writephoto

  1. `Tomorrow, he will be gone, and I will go back to my long lonely life´… and `Your life is forfeit today´… Two sentences that truly resonated with me… Your writing is so evocative and metaphorically rich, Ali… congratulations… sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 😊


  2. Love this story and how you wove it all together. Beautiful to read the joy brought out of the sadness too. Great take on the prompt. KL ❤


  3. Pingback: Photo prompt round up– Still waters… #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

    • Well, bringing Irish myths to people in a way they can understand and hopefully enjoy is what I want to do. Its my own interpretation of how she may have experienced it, but I still feel a little guilty about taking credit for it. But that’s just me; I always find something to feel guilty about, lol! Thanks, Judith!


  4. Pingback: Still Water by Ali Isaac #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  5. You give us everything, Ali. From ‘She was washing limbs and decapitated heads in Lough Rask until the lake turned red with ‘blood, brains and floating hair’ in your Burren story to ‘He left me with something far greater than gold and a promise’ after a night of passion in the photo challenge. i think you’re a star ★

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I wanted to put something like that into the story to try and explain how easily he left her there, but nothing I tried worked. In the end I just stuck to the myth as it is. I think that’s what I was meant to do.


  6. I know this is similar to the myth regarding….hmm, dang… can’t think of the woman who saves and restores a guy who has been sent to return her to his king but falls in love with him instead… Then, Grainne O’Mally rescues a man from the sea and takes him for her lover. Someone from another clan kills him, and she slaughters the whole clan.
    Beautifully written. Great short story! Fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robin. It was very loosely based on the story of Balor imprisoning his daughter in a tower so that she would never fulfill the prophecy of meeting a man and bearing a son (Lugh) who would grow up to kill him. I think you are thinking of one of my all time favourite myths, the story of Tristan and Iseult. I wrote about it in my 6 most tragic love stories. 😊


    • Lol! Yes, dramatic stuff. My date nights aren’t quite so exciting. Mind you, I’m not locked up in a tower either. Maybe they would seem exciting then. Lol! It’s based on an old myth story.

      Liked by 2 people

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