The south wind was gone, and so was the moon. A warm, velvet blackness enclosed the empty plain, as dark and still as the depths of the tunnel that Jill had crawled to get out of the well. She got to her feet and stumbled a few steps, knowing she had to make her way back to where the creature of water had stayed behind, to let her go on ahead, but she could not be sure of the way.
She let herself fall back into the sand, and lay there, exhausted, but too shaken to sleep.
A faint sound rose up over the desert, not a wind, but a light rattle, like leaves in the wind. A spray of cool raindrops rushed over Jill’s raw skin, soothing the pain from being blasted by the south wind’s sandstorm. The rain grew heavier and heavier, soaking her, and then pounding her. A pool of water began to swirl around her in the dark, and she sat up, still unable to see anything.
A distant roar made Jill turn her head toward the sound. Out on the horizon a faint light gleamed, perhaps the beginning of a cloudy dawn. The roar grew louder, and the light brighter until it looked like a blue-white star rushing toward Jill on the crest of a wall of water. The one star became two, with a long tail streaming behind them. Jill got to her feet just as the flood crashed over her. She grasped desperately at the water creature’s tentacles as it rolled around her in the tumbling water. As soon as she had a firm hold, the creature lifted her from the water and rushed along, dripping, over the surface, following the flood as it tore through the desert.
The rain poured down and the flood ran on until it met the sea. Now a true gray dawn had begun to break, and the sea churned a frothy dark steel gray beneath unbroken clouds. Jill shivered on the creature’s back as the wind rushed over her wet and tattered clothing.
Mountains rose up in the distance, and then Jill and the creatur were flying over the course of a wide river that eventually became a stream that churned and rushed madly through a rainy wood. And then Jill thought perhaps she knew this wood, and then she knew that she knew it, and that this was the stream where she and her mother went to draw their water.. Only it had risen high above the bank where they usually stood.
The creature slowed and let Jill climb onto the wet ground above the rushing, muddy stream.
“The drought is broken,” the creature said. “Thank you,” and it slid beneath the water and was gone.