Water Lilies and Sadness


Agneta och Sjökungen (Agneta and Sjökungen), by John Bauer
Illustration for Agneta and Sjökungen by Helena Nyblom (1911)

Water Lilies and Sadness

Why this vision, this dream that comes to me night after night? I ask myself that question, but no answer comes to me. I can think of no event for which this disturbing vision could be a forewarning.

It is an odd scene. A man, perfectly fit, stands underwater, circled by a school of fish. He is naked, with the current swirling his long black hair about him. His head bowed, he is reaching forward to place a wreath of flowers, water lilies, on the head of a beautiful woman standing before him.

She, too, has her head bowed. Her blond hair, laced with white beads that extend across her brow, is undisturbed by the water. Dressed in an Elizabethan gown, she holds a kerchief in her hand. She appears to be with child, yet there is a distinct air of sadness about her face.

What could be the significance of this dream? Do I know someone who is with child, yet saddened by the loss of someone dear? It could not be about the loss of her coming child, for, why the wreath?

All is well with my life, but dreams as ominous as this have been an invitation for misfortune to visit me in the past. I do not welcome tragedy, but I must have an answer, even should this vision leave me.

This my response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #19: Under the Sea, with the painting
Agneta and Sjökungen, by John Bauer. The word count is 201.  As always, Jane’s critique is welcome.

Jane has asked for some sign of hope – or at least a clue to resolution – but this tale is meant to be haunting and unanswered.  However,  I have added the first sentence in the last paragraph (in italics) as a further indication of the likelihood of a hopeful ending.  The new word count is 225.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons


17 thoughts on “Water Lilies and Sadness

  1. Pingback: Microfiction challenge Under the sea: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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