Holy Water

Jill shuddered at the sound of the footsteps.

“Wake up, Jill”, a hushed sound came through the window. Is this the way a father calls her daughter?

Noris, a Christian tribe that Jill belonged to, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, were not a very smart lot. The way they build their house, make food and pray to god were awkward at best, mostly coarse. Yet the most boorish Norsi father wouldn’t come to the daughter’s bed at the end of the night and speak in the tone of charming conspiracy. Jack was different. “Wake up, darling!” he almost crooned. Jill, silently praying, shuddered again.

She knew the drill. They would take a wooden bucket and climb uphill to bathe in a mountain spring.  The padre said the water was holy. A baby born from that water would be strong and tall. On his support, he was paranoid. It had almost been two decades that a Norsi mother hadn’t had a strong baby. Jill was one of the lasts. Now it was her responsibility to produce one, and Jack’s, who already proved his worth by producing her.

“But it was wrong Jill, it was wrong!” said Morris of the townsfolk. He stayed at the village after getting lost in the woods in a botched mountain expedition. How should Jill know? The tribe approved it, the padre blessed the union and Jack was sweet. Moreover, the Norsis needed children, didn’t they?  “I would come to save you, Jill!” thus said Morris yesterday night in the dark. To be fair to him, there he was coming, climbing up swiftly through the jagged path. To right the wrong.

“Will you bring me a flower, Papa?” Jill pointed towards a violet orchid thoughtfully.

A heaving Jack moved to enquire himself at the end of the cliff and discovered a little late he had been pushed forward. His wooden hat smashed against the boulder, so did his head and they broke into a thousand pieces.

“Promise me, Morris, promise me, our child will be strong and tall!” Jill cried hopelessly when Morris reached her. He was not even panting. But before he could reply, Jill sighed, “Alright then. Let’s go and fetch the holy water for the church.”

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The piece was written for a writing meet up ( http://www.meetup.com/Write-here-Write-now-Pune-Writers-Group/ ), to shock, surprise and show off. Characters and places resembling to real persons, and real places is purely coincidental.

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