Monday, April 17, 2017

Story 212: And Ye Shall Receive

"Next!" a priest bellowed, and a ragged young man with a fishing pole in his hand stepped forward.
"Hmm.  Hmm, Dan.  Your, hmm, holiness.  Dan Fisher.  Hmm.  I was here, hmm, yesterday?"
High priest Ozwick remembered, because the boy's vocal tic drove him insane.  He considered asking the Goddess to fix it, but decided it would be too frivolous, and not really in her wheelhouse anyway.
"Yes, yes.  You had earned a favor by saving a holy relic that thieves threw into the ocean." That had been embarrassing.  It wasn't even truly thieves, not professional ones.  It was just some drunken locals that thought the finger bone of a long-dead high priest would be a funny thing to take with them on a night on the town.  Frankly, the Goddess had probably helped them out in the bar fight they caused after leaving the temple.
"Hmm.  Yes.  Hmm.  Yes your holiness.  I, hmm, hmm, asked for a hmm, favor to help with my, hmm, fishing."
"And you've come to thank the Goddess again?"

The boy looked nervous.  He made that infuriating noise several more times, and then finally spoke, quietly.  "No.  Hmm.  I'd like to give you the fishing rod, hmm, because I don't - hmm - want it anymore but it's hmm blessed by the Goddess hmm, hmm.  So throwing it hmm out seemed... hmm... disrespectful."
Ozwick nodded.  He was really only nodding to agree that throwing the thing out would have been insulting, but the boy took it as total agreement and handed the rod to the closest priest before bolting for the door - leaving a trail of faint 'hmm' noises in his wake.
"Next!" the priest by the door bellowed.

Hierophant Stephanidis looked down at the fishing rod he had been handed.  He managed to nonverbally signal to the high priest that he was taking it somewhere, and walked out.  It had been ages since he had tried fishing, and the pole caused a warm feeling of nostalgia to well up in him.  As he walked into the courtyard, however, he frowned.  The fisher boy couldn't have a lot of money. Giving up a fishing rod - especially a blessed one - would be a large sacrifice.  What had he asked for?  Something about never failing to catch fish.  A logical wish.  On a whim, Hierophant Stephanidis loosened the hook and flung the string forward into the ornamental pond.  There were no fish kept in the pond this time of year, and yet he immediately felt something pull on the end of the line.  The potential this blessed object held bloomed in his mind.  The church had a facility on the East side of the city meant to feed the homeless... they just needed to put a tub of water out back and they could get all the fish they needed for free!

He pulled the line sharply, and a very angry tiger emerged from the small ornamental pond.  Well, nobody had ever said his job would be a boring one.  Taking careful steps towards the closest doorway, Hierophant Stephanidis thought back to the day before.  Had the boy specifically said 'fish'?
"Haha, no.  Good one," he said as he backed away, "Praise Eris."