Look at her. Here she comes, again. I swear, everyday she gets just a little bit slower, and slower. Bucket gets a little heavier. All that water, just for me. The other day she almost dropped it, almost had it tumbling down those steps. God, how much of a disaster would that have been? All that tasty, tasty water…But she managed to catch it. Despite her age, she can still be agile. Gotta give her that. But what about today? Would she be able to catch that bucket again if it fell from her?
I would be fine. I’ve been at the top of my tower longer than she’s been alive. But, if she fails in her duty to water me, she’s gonna freak. I’ve seen it happen. Not with her, but with previous Guardians. But me without water? Think I can tolerate it. Either I will get my water eventually, or they would simply replace her. But she wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. She would flip out. Call herself a failure. But I wouldn’t think of her as a failure. Of course, she would never know.
Yep…still coming up. You know, once she’s gone, she will be quickly replaced as if she never happened. In a way, I’m kind of looking forward to it. A nice young lass, but I’ll miss my current Guardian as well. She used to tell me things (not that I had much of a choice.) I remember when she was young and pretty-looking many years ago, she spoke about her family and how they lived. Guardians had spoken to me about their lives. I’ve never seen the world below, but from their secret words I’ve been able to piece the below world together. So when she first told me about how her family lived in a small cottage I thought of some dismal little shack with dozens of dirty children running about. But when she spoke about her home, she made it seem like a cozy piece of heaven. One that she was thankful for despite her hardships.
She also told me about her husband who had been gone for a few years in a distant land. I don’t remember his name, but I still hear the mix of pain and pride in her voice whenever she said it. I sometimes think about how he died, tried to piece together a scene. She never said how, specifically, it happened, only that he died fighting for their land. And for years she would recount memories they had together, but soon those memories fell into silence. As she’s gotten older, her voice trembles and barely speaks. It makes me sad.
I never had a lot of choice in my life, but it’s interesting how humans never really move, either. I mean, what was stopping her from abandoning her duty and going off to find her husband? That’s what I’ve never been able to understand. The only information I have are the whispers of poor, prideful souls that will continue to haunt the steps of my tower. Which, I guess, is more their tower than mine. Those Guardians. Marching up those steps, bucket in hand and tales in their throats. Falling into the same, replaceable march. They’re all part of me now, but I still don’t know what it means.
I can hear her. She’s getting close…storm’s coming. Funny, she probably didn’t even need to be up here today with the bringing rains. But it’s nice to hear her steps, knowing those are her’s, and pretending that they aren’t the same as the others’.
A response to What Do You See? MAY 14/2019 writing prompt.