Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. mayhem
2. levee
3. blessing
4. archbishop
5. frank
6. blunt

we also have this phrase: "the stars are cold tonight, there is no warmth in their diamond light."

Here is my story:

Last month's visit by Archbishop Frank Blunt had caused a lot of unrest amongst the elders. 
They feared with the  blessing of the newly built schoolhouse the young people of the tribe were turning ever further away from the old teachings, the old ways. 

The elderly shaman in particular was angry and scared. 
Too many of the younger women now were taking themselves and their children to the next village where a medical clinic had been set up by the missionaries, to help them with sicknesses and minor injuries.  
Things that he would have once treated them for, and been well paid in chickens and grains, new mats and a new hut every year. It didn't matter to him that more children were now surviving infancy, he feared for his livelihood, knowing that already he carried only a tenth of the power a shaman had just a couple of generations ago.

He waited patiently however, he knew an opportunity would soon come, the rumbling gods high in the mountain had spoken to him. Now more storm clouds were gathering and much rain had been falling for more than a week. The river was rising....

The Shaman called for a meeting and warned the gods were getting angry because the old ways were no longer being followed. Children were attending the schoolhouse instead of helping their mothers with the animals and the cooking fires. 
Look at the water growing wider and higher, he raved. The gods will sweep away your crops...he shook his fist at the heavens and as if on cue a lightning bolt shot to the ground.

Overnight a minor earthquake shook the ground, cracking the hard packed riverbank, a veritable deluge fell from the skies and in the morning there was mayhem in the tiny village as the levee crumbled under the onslaught and floodwaters rushed through the lower field washing away the chickens and the goat pens, before encroaching upon the huts of the people.

The village people ran around in fear, gathering their children and belongings, rushing to higher ground as the shaman danced around cackling with glee. This would prove to them the gods were angry enough, surely now they would listen to him...


  1. And sadly they probably will. He sounds like a very selfish man, with his priority his well being.

  2. Elephant's Child; he is a very old shaman, deeply set in the old ways and very mistrusting of anything new. Way back then it was the witchdoctors more than the chiefs who ruled over the people with their Gods and their "magic".

  3. Another really great story, River. I laughed at the way you used three of the words as the name for the archbishop. Very clever!

    How sad that he can't see beyond his own needs and acknowledge that some of the changes (like decreased infant mortality rate) are a good thing. And typically he'll use this natural catastrophe to bolster his position, possibly to the detriment of the tribe. The old ways aren't always the best ways.

  4. I got so caught up in the story I forgot to take note of how you used the individual words. Great job.

  5. Good story fear always stops you advancing but we need a bit just to stop us doing dangerous thing but the leaders of our world often use this fear to keep us in their control.

  6. Marie; the old shaman doesn't get his way, he is too old and there are too many younger tribe members who see the advantages of education and better medical care than waving some old chicken feet over a coughing child.

    Delores; thank you, glad you liked it.

    Merlesworld; thank you. The leaders of this world use fear to distract the people from what they're really doing behind the scenes too.

  7. I believe old witch doctors and the like hated losing their authority over others so one can imagine the sharman's wrath when the archbishop lured the tribe away. Will the village recover from the flood I wonder?
    You see your stories are so good you have people believing them to be real.

  8. Mimsie; the village recovers, but slowly as at first the old shaman sabotages new crops until the elders banish him.