short story, story promptGoddess Zia’s angel of faith has gone to the mortal planes to bring back the people’s belief in the goddess. Faith is sure she can complete the task given to her, but when she sees the extent of what is to be accomplished, doubts begin to creep in…


Faith opened her eyes and retched as the fetid stench of rotting seafood hit her nose. Eyes watering, she gazed around at her surroundings. A wooden pier creaked beneath her delicate white sandals and the glitter of water in the afternoon sunshine made her eyes tear up even more. Several tatty fishing nets were heaped in piles on the pier, along with baskets filled with fish. Some baskets appeared to hold only bits of fish – bones, heads and, disgustingly, guts, which seemed to be the likely source of the awful smell.

Several burly, unshaven men stared at her, mouths agape. Fishing rods dangled in limp hands and wriggling fish slipped from the grasp of several men, escaping back into the cold depths of the sea. Faith took a quick breath, regretting it instantly, and smiled dazzlingly at the fishermen. Where in the name of the Goddess am I?

“Greetings from the Goddess Zia,” she said smoothly, imbuing her words with some of her angelic power. The sound of her voice would now calm any frightened mortals and make them friendlier towards her. “Would you good men be so kind as to tell me where I am?”

No one responded, awe-struck gazes still focused on her, although she had a feeling a couple of them were now staring because of the curves of her body, rather than the fact she had appeared out of nowhere.

She asked the question again, putting more force into her angelic voice.

“This be the port town of Lysenia,” one of the men replied gruffly. “Ain’t a good place for the likes of you, lady.”

“Thank you for your advice, but I have work to do here.” She lifted the hem of her white gown and carefully stepped over the tangled nets and spilled fish guts, trying not to vomit. Why had she left the Heavenly Realms again?


She could feel the leery eyes of the men following her progress and did her best to ignore the uncomfortable feeling. She wasn’t in Heaven anymore. She’d been given an important task to complete by the Great Goddess Zia. There was no question of her failing. The entire world would fall into chaos and darkness if she didn’t succeed. The first step in her quest was adjusting to this … unique town.

Passing the last of the fishermen, she continued down the long pier. It appeared to be the longest of the wooden structures jutting out from the shore, with several boats tied up at irregular intervals along it. The town ahead seemed to rise out of the water – there was no shoreline that she could see and the buildings at the forefront of the town appeared to float on the surface.

As she drew closer, she realised they were floating on the surface of the sea and gazed at them in wonder. How had the mortals managed to create something so incredible as a whole section of a floating city? She hadn’t noticed them become so resourceful.

Continuing along the pier which cut through the middle of the floating part of the city, she finally reached stable ground. Rough stone-cobbled streets led off in different directions. Not sure which way to turn, Faith picked the road that seemed to have the most foot traffic. Surely it would lead her somewhere more prominent in this town. She really didn’t know how she was going to get started on her mission, but finding a building or person of some importance might help.

It wasn’t long before the road widened out into a large cobbled square, packed with mortals who milled around market stalls. A rugged chunk of stone rising high above the heads of the townsfolk caught her eye. It sat in the very middle of the square, and Faith’s eyes widened with shock and despair as she realised what it was supposed to be.

“Goddess Zia!” she whispered. The broken, vandalised statue was an image of her beloved Goddess. Once a revered symbol and much-loved statue, the figure was cracked and even missing its head.

How am I supposed to bring faith back to a city whose people so clearly have no respect or belief in their Goddess? How can I get through to them? The size of her task was becoming apparent to her. It was going to take a lot of effort to restore the people’s faith in Zia.

Faith gritted her teeth. She would not fail.

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