I was tending Her altar after Evening Services in the Chapel of the Moonways Temple, when I happened to glance down into the water-filled silver basin. It struck me; blasting the breath from my body; the shimmering surface sucked me in and pulled me under. It shook me as a terrier shakes a rat; an agonizing pain pierced my being. I stiffened in response and heard a metallic chiming as the basin fell from my numbed grasp, crashing to the granite floor. Distantly I felt the splash of water on my sandal clad feet. Wrenched from the peace and serenity of the Temple by the powerful force of it; my astral self-whirled up and away. My senses spun from the blurring speed of my outward-bound travel. Something snagged my spirit, reeling me in like an angler with a fish. I slowed, and then halted. My overwhelmed mind cleared, perspective returned. I beheld the sea raging below my immaterial position. Dimly I recognized the Norton Ocean; I focused on a ship a sail, tiny in comparison to the vast heaving mass surrounding it. It tossed violently as a wicked storm raged around it. Massive waves threw it up and down, wood and sails creaked and groaned in protest. Rain poured down in torrents. Lightning flashed and the thunder was a continuous rumble. My attention focused tightly on the deck. A figure I recognized stood poised near the helm. Sailors worked frantically to steer her. They scrambled to lash every scrap of canvas down tightly. With a sulfuric boom, lightning struck the tallest mast. It cracked at its base and toppled over the side. The far end dug into the seething water; acting as a sea anchor it jolted the orientation of the ship. Instead of facing the smashing waves head on, suddenly she turned sideways to them. The darkest section of the grey sky belled joyously. My eyes discerned a Water-Elemental, a huge glowing blue figure with long flowing hair and beard, flourishing a trident. It wore a crown of pearls and coral, bright fire flashed from its eyes. A wave more massive than the rest raced towards the ship. Axes and knives chopped at wood and lines furiously. The wave broached the ship. The ship tipped over on its side further and further. She paused for a moment and started to roll upright. A second more massive wave engulfed the ship. It turned keel up, and dove deep into the water. I could hear the faint, despairing screams of the crew and passengers as she sank, and the ocean drank them down into the depths. I heard the booming laugh of the Elemental echoing across the ocean. I screamed and then merciful oblivion grasped me.
“Maeve, Maeve, what happened to you, girl?” The crisp voice of Cheruse Mercia, the High Priestess was insistent. I could feel the light slaps of her hands on the cheeks of my face as my presence returned to the Temple.
“They’re dead! They are all dead! The Duke of Varyle has no heir!” I screamed at her.
“Calm yourself.” She commanded. “Who is dead?”
“My cousin Wyllyam, his wife, his children, the other passengers, and the entire crew.” I was sobbing now.
“What passengers and crew? How do you know that they died?”
“A storm. A terrible storm on the Norton Ocean, caused by a Water-Elemental. The passengers and crew of the vessel Storm Petrol out of Eastshore Bay, Aertathia. Lightning sundered the mast and the waves pulled her under. I was there, I Saw it all.” I moaned in dismay.
“Let Sister Urtring examine you, Maeve.”
Sister Urtrings’ blocky form grasped me gently. I could feel her Looking at me. I shivered and cried in her arms. The warmth of her presence comforted me.
“It was a True Seeing, High-Priestess. Storm Petrol and all aboard her are gone. “
“Was it really Poseidon?” She questioned worriedly.
“He wore a crown of coral and pearls and carried a trident, who else could it be? Maeve is going into shock now. She needs to rest and get warm.”
“So, matters deepen.” Mercia mused dispassionately. “See to her Sister Urtring. Sister Farice send word to Varyle Keep and to the Capitol Chapterhouse. The King and Duke Varyle must know what has happened.”
“At once High Priestess.”
I was bundled into my bed, the sheets warmed with hot bricks.
“Drink this Child, it will help.” Sister Urtring held a cup fragrant with herbs to my lips.
Obediently I swallowed the draught and let blessed sleep take me.
High Priestess Mercia faced her clerics, sword straight and solid. “I have summoned you here to consider some tragic news; one of us has had a vision. A Major Elemental, Poseidon himself, has slain all of the heirs to the Dukedom of Varyle. There is something seriously wrong with the Balance.” Mercia stated bleakly. “This matter requires investigation. See to it immediately, Sisters!” She snapped resolutely.
I’ve been looking for the opening scene for this story for some time, today’s prompt provided me the inspiration I needed.
Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge March 12, 2019: Write any kind of piece dealing with the topic of water.