“Are you ready?” One says.
You didn’t realize how much you needed water until there was none to be had.
This land is strange. When the wind blows pieces of it coat your travelling clothes and sting your eyes. Your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth.
Suddenly she’s sitting on an old red rock.
“You look thirsty, friend.” Even her water tastes like the land, hot and gritty.
“We need to talk about the water people,” One says.
“What’s there to say about ignorance?” she huffs. “They swim with the dead, they pee where they drink. They have no respect for the water, the land or the rest of us.”
“They don’t actually know that land exists,” you say. “Or at least not in the way you think of it. Everything is different degrees of water to us.”
“Well, where do they think all of those tributaries come from?” she asks. “Without them the seas would dry up.”
“We think it’s endless,” you say.
“But it’s not.”
“You should go tell them! There’s far more land than water out there.” You wonder if that is true, if the seas you grew up in are an aberration.
“They don’t listen.”
“Well, how did you learn how to listen?”
“A storm washed me to shore. I was too curious about the hard waters to swim back home.”
“See! If you can change so can they.”
“It’s not always that simple.”
Days pass. The others of her pod vary in opinion:
“I’d always thought a valley full of water was a myth…”
“How could anyone be so wasteful? Water shouldn’t be used for anything but cooking or drinking. If you need to pee, find a rock.”
“Why would someone born in paradise want to leave it?”
“Imagine never running out of water!”
Your walk back to the foothills is quiet.
“Why doesn’t anyone understand?” you ask One.
“Well, why do you understand?”