Typhoon Maid Thursday. CC photo by Shuji Moriwaki (via Flash! Friday)
Shi stands, black clad, before the water’s chill. Bronze has crossed the coin-eyed’s palm to dive their depths already – servitude now due. It is hers to perform; the nine time circle into pain’s swamp, past drowsy oblivion; beyond fire and wailing. Hers to see that he drinks of the infernal rivers; brackish and brine filled, pre return; cup filled to the brim. He will choke at their taste; a spilled splutter. It will be enough, even so. Pitch unremitting at the epicentre, repetition will suffice to see them to the surface, though the journey is longer in the making now, each time. He will not remember the struggle; scarce still Shi’s name when waking, coughing, atop solid rock. He will not know the cost for his return; the price paid to swim within the realms. He will not recall the salt sodden tears shed into his glass. He will never know she exchanged a portion of her life for his.
A second piece for this week's Flash! Friday, given I had another idea after writing the first story and couldn't resist writing the second one down. Think there's a longer story in this one too...