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The Prayer

Fortune, Shell, Sea

By Gal MuxPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Created with NightCafe AI

The Shaman felt the mild raindrops falling on his skin. 

"Finally!" he said to himself in jubilation. 

He knelt, lowered his neck and kissed the ground. He then looked up to the darkening clouds above him and the lands below. Palm leaves were swaying in the wind. The dry ones on the ground rustled. It was clear that rain, big rain was finally going to fall. This would mean good fortune, as the island had been reduced to a shell of its former self. The sea would be full again.

He felt content and yet anticipant. 

This had been his third attempt. 

For weeks at a time, he had been isolating himself in the crazurza caves venerating the spirits of the ancestors and pleading with them to intercede on the matter of rain on the island. 

Twice he had failed. The people had sinned too much he had concluded. They had let go of their ways embracing those of the foreigners that came to their island. This had angered the ancestors and they had in turn withheld their blessings. 

For seven seasons crops had failed. Fishermen often returned home with their nets empty as many fish had died and others had swam to deeper waters. Aid was being brought from outside. Few tourists were arriving on the island. And the few that did only came to experience the beaches that had been advertised as 'a marine wonder' since the shores had receded. Many had been warned not to attempt the journey. There weren't enough resources on the island to guarantee them a safe and enjoyable trip. Only a few scientists came to study this phenomenon. Hopefully, the answers they could come up with would be useful in the future. Things seem to worsen with each passing day. In the last week, a dozen volunteer aid workers had arrived with the Red Cross. 

The elders feared that a continuation of the devastating drought would lead to changes that would gravely alter the fabric of the island and as the representatives of the people, approached the reclusive Shaman with requests that he perform rituals to bring back rain on the island. 

The request had to come from the people. It had to be their will. Even though reluctant at first, the Shaman had agreed. For over two decades, he had not been consulted on island matters, and that had made him feel as though he had no place in the modern world of the island. He had certain demands before he would begin the rituals. One, that sacrifices be made by all Islanders in the Vuavua dance, and that moving forward, the elders would include him in decision-making. 

This time around, it seemed his prayers had finally been heard. Now it was only to wait and receive. 

The Shaman stood up and began to walk home to his hut. He anticipated that by the time he got there he would be soaking wet, a thing he welcomed as he wanted the first showers to cleanse him of all the pain and agony of the previous seasons. It would be an honour. A blessing. 

Suddenly as he walked, he felt some sharp sun rays on his skin. He looked up and the dark clouds that had begun to form were dispersing. On the horizon, he could see a faint rainbow beginning to form. 

By Lucie Dawson on Unsplash

Worry filled him. What had happened? He had already received the first signs that his prayers had been heard. What was this now? What had he missed? Had the ancestors changed their minds at the last minute?

The Shaman stood still for a moment. From up in the path he could see the needy lands below. He wondered whether he should go back to the cave and continue the rituals. He did not want to give up, especially now that he had received the first signs. 

He could feel the blow of the winds. Maybe they carried an answer. He closed his eyes and listened intently hoping to hear what the ancestors had to say.

He heard a voice. It seemed to come from down below. It was a song. 

Rain rain go away

Come again another day

Little Johnny wants to play football! 

It went again.

He listened.

Rain rain go away

Come again another day

Little Johnny wants to play football! 

A frown formed on his face. He could not comprehend the message. What were the ancestors saying? He listened harder and the song came again. He could hear that it came in the voice of a child. 

Rain rain go away

Come again another day

Little Johnny wants to play football!

The Shaman opened his eyes and looked around. He then looked down below. From where he stood he could see what seemed like a figure of a little boy on the beach. The Shaman laughed. He understood what was going on. The irony of the ancestors. They could listen to the childish needs of a little boy yet seem to ignore the pleas of thousands of needy Islanders!

He walked quickly in the direction of the beach. From a distance, he could see that the boy was holding a ball and looking up at the sky in anticipation. He ran to him and gestured that the boy who looked just about seven years old to throw the ball to him. 

The little man was startled by the Shaman's appearance. His sweaty skin had begun to drain off the red ochre on his skin and the huge flamboyant skull decorated with feathers that lay on his head was a sight based on his reaction, the boy had never encountered before. 

The little boy reluctantly threw the ball to the Shaman who kicked it back to the boy. 

After a few throws, the boy had eased up and was laughing with joy. The two also began to chatter away as they played with the boy curious about the Shaman's appearance. He said he came from France. He had accompanied his parents who had arrived at the resort to film on the island, share the story and rally for support. He said they had a YouTube channel. They were busy in their room editing a video and the boy had taken the chance to go out and play. 

"I am a Shaman, " he told the boy. "I have been praying for rain on the island and your prayer drew me down to the beach." 

"You heard me?" the boy asked laughing. "I shouldn't have sung the song…," he added looking down at his feet. 

He seemed embarrassed. He understood the dire situation on the island. 

The Shaman smiled at him. He understood his childlike innocence and wished that he still had it in him. 

"Prayers are answered when they come from the heart. As long as you don't mean to hurt others, you can always pray," he told Johnny. " The ancestors will listen and they will decide to grant your wish or not. Never be afraid to ask." 

Johnny nodded, " Next time I should think about who needs something more before I pray." 

The Shaman smiled again. 

The two threw a few kicks at each other before the sky started to darken again. 

" It's time to go home Johnny, as the skies will open and the rains will soon begin to fall," the Shaman warned.  

" Ok," the jolly boy said as he kicked the ball to the Shaman before picking it up, waving and running home when the raindrops began to fall again. 

The Shaman watched as little Johnny disappeared on the path leading to the village resort. He then sat down and soaked as bigger raindrops fell. 

Revival was coming. His work had been done!

Short Story

About the Creator

Gal Mux

Lover of all things reading & writing, 🥭 &

🍍salsas, 🍓 & vanilla ice cream, MJ & Beyoncé.

Nothing you learn is ever wasted - Berry Gordy

So learn everything you can.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a year ago

    I literally Lol-ed when I saw Rain, rain, go away! That was an awesome twist and I lived the message at the end!

  • A lovely spin on shamanism and the contemporary meeting the ancient and sharing meaning.

  • Nobodyabout a year ago

    Good one

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