Niamah stands very still at the edge of the turbulent gray water. Just the tips of her bare toes are submerged. She can feel the chill, like icy tendrils, crawling up her legs and spreading throughout her body. The cold wraps her like a vice as a gust of wind irritably pulls her golden hair from its braid. A fine mist settles on her cheeks like a tender kiss and there’s a sort of comfort in its caress. The thin bed clothes are no protection from the demanding elements, but rather than fight them she willingly, almost happily, gives herself over to them.
As she observes the river she begins to notice little details under its surface. The stones are an impossibly smooth ivory. She resists the urge to bend and scoop one into her palm. Her eyes are drawn to a black moss growing around the stones. It glistens like sultry black hair. As if in a trance, Niamah Raises her arms and massive white wings to the sky as she begins to wade into the water. All she can hear is its furious roar, yet she remains unafraid.
Suddenly, the river takes her into its powerful grip. She spins and twirls, her release of control is a joy within itself. As she begins to laugh, water fills her mouth and lungs, but the water is life to her. She begins to hear a melody under the rush of the current. It’s the sweetest lullaby she has ever heard and yet there is an edge of sorrow entwined with the joy. The cold becomes a welcoming warmth as she releases the last of her resistance. It is then that she hears her name, “Niamah, my daughter, come to me.”
Heart pounding, Niamah springs from her pillow. It was the dream again. This dream has come to her, occasionally, for as long as she can remember. Closing her eyes she focuses on slowing her breathing. The dream itself does not frighten her, it’s the overwhelming feeling of loss that she’s left with, as if she’s missing something she’s never known. The river always calls her “daughter.” The voice is beautiful, soft and full of love. Niamah can’t help but imagine that it is indeed her mother calling to her. This is impossible of course, her mother died giving birth to her.
Tears spring to her eyes for the mother she never knew. All of a sudden, there’s a tap at the door and her Nan enters without invitation. Nan knows exactly what ails her girl and without a word she pulls her little darling into her arms. Humming, She caresses her long hair. With her head on her ample bosom, Niamah immediately relaxes. She lets the familiar scent, vanilla and sage, comfort her as she is lulled back to sleep. The dream does not return this night.
Author’s note: this excerpt is directly related to the poem (Diantha of the River) https://lmjones01.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/diantha-of-the-river-2/
Niamah is Diantha ‘ s daughter.
Book one of “The Watchers” is about Diantha.
Book two will be about her daughter Niamah.