Thursday, October 17, 2013

River God in The Colored Lens Autumn 2013 Issue

The Colored Lens Autumn 2013 Issue #9
Edited by Dawn Lloyd and Daniel Scott
Contributors: Rhonda Eikamp, Nyki Blatchley, Rachel Hayes, Lauren Fawcett, Sean Monaghan, Holly Jennings, Jamie Lackey, Sara Puls, Matthew Hentrich, Jennifer Stakes and David Gallay.

My story in this issue is River God, an ecological fantasy story.  This had, if I remember correctly, more than a touch of influence from John Boorman's haunting film The Emerald Forest (as, I strongly suspect, James Cameron's film Avatar also did) but I've looked at the situation from a completely different angle.  If we should choose, for our own convenience, to dam a river in an unspoilt paradise, it certainly impacts on the indigenous people who rely on it.  But what about the god who lives in the river and has kept it flowing for millions of years.  He's not going to be happy, I imagine.

This story tells of how the god and his people fight back against the more questionable aspects of progress.

The river-god turned over in his sleep.  He’d worked hard for countless millions of years, guiding his river down to the sea, and he needed rest.  Voices came and went, but this was more insistent and beat on the gates of his slumber.

“Awake, O great god.”  The voice slipped into a dream that wasn’t quite a dream.  “Your people call on you in their need.”

His bed was less comfortable than usual: hard, jagged stones, instead of gentle water to rock him.  The dream from within slowly merged with the world outside, and the voice was saying, “You shall have whatever offering you wish, great god.  We beg you to awake.”

The river-god sat up, rubbing his eyes, and looked about.  So that was why his bed felt so uncomfortable.  The course down which his water should pour was empty, exposing its stony bottom.

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