Between the tall windows of the refectory hung panels showing robed figures fishing from reed-boats. Yasmin spooned up pea-and-bean stew (“your third serving!” Jehen had said, “just how are you going to dance?”). The panel opposite their table showed an androgynous figure in many layers of sea-green and sky-blue and violet-white mist, as if she were clothed in sea and atmosphere. She stood in the reed-boat, one foot on either side of the plank seat, with the oars hanging loose in their locks; she smiled slightly, her palms upturned and thumb meeting forefinger; from each hand stretched a silver thread as thin as a weaving-spider’s guy-wire; at the other end, in the water, fish swarmed about it.
“‘She fishes neither with pole nor hook, and catches wisdom,’” quoted Genubi.
Yasmin frowned, focusing on the absurd image but not losing her attention to the delicious food. So that was the Goddess of the Ancient Sea. She had imagined the whirling dance of ocean, polar ice, and forest, not this rather absurd aristocrat standing in a boat in a way, what’s more, calculated to tip the vessel.
POV Yasmin, age 17. From novel-in-progress, Ship’s Heart.
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