Lit Mag Short Fiction

Fishing in Gods’ Blood

I was thinking yesterday eighth period that aequor (Latin word for sea or water, depending on who’s drowning) sounds a lot like ichor (Greek for what the gods bleed) and imagined how funny it would’ve been for a Roman fisherman and a Greek fisherman to be stranded together on a hunk of driftwood in the Mediterranean, trying to make sense of one another before Neptune or Poseidon (depending on which fisherman lives) destroys them both in the heart of another storm. The Roman sighs “aequor immane est” (the sea is vast) and the confused Greek points at the water and echoes “ichor?” (the blood of the gods?) and the Roman says “ita, aequor” (yeah, the sea) and the Greek nods and looks down at the water lapping at his knees, red and blistered from sun and salt, and wonders if all Romans think like this one—that oceans flow with the blood of the gods, that when they are slain seawater gushes from their veins and trickles down like tears from the heavens. He wonders if Roman fish know that the chill passing through their gills is the remnant of a god, that they breathe a god’s last breath as they’re torn from the deep by a mortal hook. Oh to be a fish, the Greek probably thinks, swimming far from this hunk of driftwood rotting like flesh, whirling in a pale blue pocket of gods’ blood. Stray streaks of sunlight break through the surface and flash upon his scales, a silver child of Poseidon, and he didn’t think ichor would ever be this blue but it sure est immane

Write A Comment