art by Seth Alan Bareiss
The Wyrd for Water is Water
by Marie Croke
The wyrd for water is water, but my guards give me nothing but tea and wine though they know I hate the taste. I've tried to use my spit, but the Si'aer were much too specific in their language to listen to such disturbing beggary with their wyrds.
So I pretend to doodle upon the cell floor, writing and rewriting the wyrd for water. Over and over. But nothing happens.
I tried the wyrd for fire once, using my finger as a quill and the metal bars of my cell as my paper. But I'd only seen it briefly before and my strokes were wrong. The stench of burned flesh seared my nostrils and made my guards laugh, the spark I created fizzling the moment it came into being.
The wyrd for metal is steel. Is iron. Is copper. Is silver. Is a great many things. I would have to be specific and I do not have the learning to be. So I bash my head against the bars and curl in the corner with my head on the stone.
The wyrd for stone is stone. And rock. And quartz. And slate. And marble. And too many others to know what it is I'm leaning my head against. Too many to have memorized just yet. But then, that is why they keep me here. Me, out of all my more skilled brethren. Because I am no danger to them.
I know the wyrd for water best. Water alone. And that is the one thing they deprive me of. My sweat comes when I run about the cell and when I use the wyrd for water upon it, I can almost hear the Si'aer laughing at me, their essence far from my grasp because I use the wrong wyrd.
Maybe if I knew the wyrds for salt and pores and sweat and flesh I might be able to do something. But I don't. And my wyrd for water is so fat and indistinguishable at times, I do not blame the Si'aer for ignoring my calls to their essence.