Drabble 122 – Mångata

Mangata
John Weiss / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I grew up on an island, which sounds much more romantic than it is. I didn’t lead some kind of idyllic life there, I just happened to be closer to water than a lot of people, and have fond memories of my mom taking me to the beach at low tide so I could peer at starfish and anemones.

But the Puget Sound is a sound, not the ocean, so I still remember the first time I went to the coast and saw the ocean stretch out ahead of me, long and flat, with no mountains or islands to be seen. The world had always felt small to me, but seeing out across the Pacific, with nothing visible on the other side, I finally got a sense of how big it was.

I wasn’t afraid of it, but it stuck with me. How could anything be that large? I knew the sun orbited the earth, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but imagine the sizzle of a giant ball of fire as it sank into something so cold.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

MÅNGATA

(a.) from Swedish måne for moon and gata for road

The roadlike reflection of the moon in water.

Tarja isn’t supposed to be out at night. She’s been warned that there are dangers in the dark; she might slip and fall on ice, or a näkki might lead her astray with his fel violin. But still, she slips through the door and out to the dock, where she dips her fingers into the icy water, stirring the moon’s reflection into ripples. She brings her fingers to her hair, deftly unweaving her braid and streaking it with water as if she can braid the captured moonlight into it. A musical note plays from somewhere, and Tarja is not afraid.

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