The faithful lined the banks of the river all year, churning the water to a thick brown soup of mud and prayer leaves.
The winters were the busiest now, as if God was more likely to grant relief from pain and suffering if the pilgrim had to crunch barefoot through frosted grass and stiff fringes of reed.
Prime didn’t want to believe in a god like that, but then he knew the secret. He knew the discarded crutches, the lives reborn, renewed, weren’t due to God at all.
Sometimes the knowledge made him flinch under the grateful tears, the blessings of the cured as he helped them, sodden, from the water.
He would lie awake wondering – did it matter? Was a cure any less a cure, however it happened?
Still, he crept to the water under cover of night to feed Them, to hear Their true voices.
Written for What Pegman Saw, the grand writing prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week we’re in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. See here to join in, to share, read and comment.