Dancing on a Carpet of Water

They say I took my first steps at 9 months but my first swim right from the womb.

Screams echoed in the darkness, the mid-winter air frosty despite numerous wool carpets lining walls. The midwife fanned my mother’s face with the bodbezan fan, while she drew her own cloak further around a hunched frame.

Blood gushed from between my mother’s legs. Splashed brocade cushions. They say they watched the rivers of blood turn to water before their eyes. Such magic could only be caused by the djinn.

My mother wailed. Ill omens. She named me Uparmiya, paying homage to my djinn-touched state, and she knew I was destined, like my father before me, to head out to sea.

I soon joined my cousin Youtab on her adventures around the Farakhkard waters. Girl sailors run in the family.

A criminal at one port screamed through his torture. The djinn kissed my mind, sending me into the shifting Djinnestan lands. My watery nature became ethereal, all-encompassing.

I lapped against his protruding feet, tried to comfort him from the sun. I felt his pain, strapped to those hollowed logs, covered with honey and burrowing insects, and drowning in his own feces. I washed his face with my tears, offering brief respite from his impending scaphism death. What had he done? He stole a pomegranate to feed his children.

I slammed back into my body and renewed my senses with a splash of the sea. I am the water, and the water is me.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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