Cold water snaked tendrils down his chest, dripping from his face as he cupped his hands beneath the faucet once more, hoping to drown the remnants of a dream and find peace in the running water. Staring at his reflection in the smeared glass above he let a bitter laugh breathe from his lips, even in the tangled mess he recognised himself, a wry smile escaping as if there was an unspoken agreement in his own eyes that he would never be able to give up the fight.
Shouts from locals shook him from his reverie, glancing out the window down to the canal he spied two boatmen battling with their poles for the right to pass. This city was chaos, multi levelled shanties dancing upon each other in a maze of salvaged wrecks and tight canals. Every year the waters rose people merely built higher until its depths were in a constant shadow under daylight.
Stooping to fish a shirt from the floor a far-off rumbling made him pause; sturdy engineering was not the forte of this place and whole blocks had been known to collapse, the only saviour usually being the close packed nature of the city. An uneasy silence lent him to return to the window. The boats were abandoned, bobbing violently in the murky canal while their captains clambered frantically up the fragmented foundations. An unwanted thought raced through his mind; striding into the bedroom he grabbed the note from the bed.
Gone to markets.
Closing his eyes a faded nightmare flashed through his mind, robes swirling in ancient waters, voices chanting darkness.
Had they finally caught up with them?
The horror of the idea rendered him speechless. Surely it couldn't be possible, but already he sensed it; droplets clung to his hair, his veins electric with anticipation. Looking out at the sea of shanties he watched the canal wane like the noon tide, air rushing through the passage leaving unearthly stillness behind it.
Holding the note tight, Arroyo took a deep breath, you could not outrun the Bruinen. Praying from the painful depths of his heart that she would be safe, he waited as the distant roar intensified, echoing down the corridor as a wall of water taller than sun bore down upon the city. Screams rang out from every quarter as millions scrambled to escape the cleansing.
Word Count: 393
watching the ships roll in,