So . . . it’s mine. All mine. No stealing, no copying, all mine. That said, here’s a sneak peak into how the story’s going so far.
The fountain was new, and the water within was not the sacred water that belong to the sacred well that was paved over, but the spot . . the spot was the same. He crossed to the side of the fountain and placed his hand upon the stone encasing it, holding all that water in. The well was still there; he could feel it, meters below the surface. They thought to trap it and its spirit when they filled the well in, long before this city had been built. When they’d come with their torches and their tales of witchcraft – he wrinkled his nose. They feared this place with its reputation for healing. They drove away its attendants with talk of their god and his infernal punishment, and they heaped stone upon stone down to the waters, hoping to trap the well’s spirit.
He smirked at the memory. Better to smirk than to let that old anger take him. Solid rock was nothing but an illusion, and there was nothing that water’s flowing kiss could not break down after a while. She was not trapped, the daughter of that well, and now, standing over her home, he could feel her waters coursing under them all. Alive, persistent, and content to be out of sight, to be away from those who would neglect her anyway.
A woman watched him from one of the benches nearest the fountain, her feet folded up on the bench beside her, a notebook in hand. One ear held a bright green earbud and he could hear the music issuing forth – the delicate notes of a flute, the humming vibration of strings, and — his favorite music of all — the sound of waves crashing along a coast. Her other ear was listening to the streets around her, to the water bubbling in the fountain. She held her pen over the page in her notebook and her eyes were on him.
He glanced around casually, wondering if he was mistaken. People walked all around them, going about their day. Some youths loitered not far from where he stood, but flicking an eye her way again he conceded that no, she was indeed looking at him.
He turned his attention back to the fountain. He rested his hands upon the stone that contained the water, pressing his palms to the rough mortaring job that held the stones together. At least it was real stone, despite the seal that kept the inside water-tight. He breathed, pondering what he would do. Would she speak to him, this woman with one ear turned to the sea? Women were bold in this day and age. Would she turn back to her writing and forget whatever caught her attention?
He was nothing special to look at currently, he’d made sure of that before he came out to mingle with the humans. He wore his hair dark and curly, secured at the nape of his neck, not any longer or shorter than many of the males walking around. His clothing was conservative, showing off very little of the skin he wore. A trimmed beard and mustache framed the contours for his face. He was neither old nor young looking – slight lines gathered at the corners of his eyes. He was neither overly tall nor overly short, neither slight nor large. He was, he thought, average compared to those around him.
No one else paid him any more mind than they did the others moving about their business. Some greeted him, others did not. Some moved out of his way as he walked, others made him step around them. What did she see in him that the others did not see? Why was she staring at him as though she recognized him?
Because, she was still looking. He could feel her eyes on his body as though her fingers brushed along his arm. She hadn’t moved from her perch, but he thought she might, given enough time. He thought of leaving. He thought of disappearing into the crowd. He’d come here to be alone with his thoughts, to come back to this place and remember the past, to honor the memory of all those who gave so much so that he might live. He did not want company.
He had not wanted company, he corrected. Now? Now he wanted very
much to speak. He wanted very much to be heard. He wanted very much to sit beside her and know her name, this mortal who saw him when she ought not have noticed him.
“May I sit?” He was by the bench before he realized he’d made the decision. Impulsive, that’s what they called him ages ago, in other tongues. In many tongues. Maybe there was some truth to that.
I am a sucker for first contact.