The water mirror – by Jane Dougherty

Flash Fiction Challenge – 200 words or less on ‘The Well


She dipped a silver basin in the well and waited till the ripples settled. A face looked back at her, eyes blue as the sky and hair like sunshine. The rattle of hooves on the path startled her. The face dissolved in ripples.
“And did you see your true love in the water mirror?” The mocking voice made her bristle. She turned, angry. The High King, cold-eyed and dark slid from his grey horse and took her chin in his hand. “This is the face of your husband, true love or no. For I will have you for my wife.”

Marry her he did, for he was the High King and none dared say him no. She hid her unhappiness, but the face of her true love haunted her. She took her silver basin to the well again and looked into the mirror. The golden face smiled and spoke a word from the still water. In a flurry of white wings, a swan flew from the well and circled overhead. She raised her arms with a cry, and they became broad wings that bore her high to join her love, carrying her to his land of dreams.

© 2013 Jane Dougherty


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