물귀신 (Friday Fictioneers 02.15.13; 100-word limit)

© David Stewart

My father disappeared three years ago.

A Christian missionary, he was visiting South Korea to spread the Word. I begged him not to go. Shamanism was popular again; it would be too difficult. It would make the people angry. He insisted.

A young girl died in the Nakdong River—a baptism gone horribly awry. My father described the water rising up to swallow her. He could feel her being pulled away. His mission was ruined. He disappeared shortly after.

They said Mool-Gwishin took him. A drowned spirit. The little girl. Took him as payment for her soul.

I wonder who will pay for his.

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45 thoughts on “물귀신 (Friday Fictioneers 02.15.13; 100-word limit)

  1. That’s a very sad story. I like the little touches, like the hangeul in the title. Do you speak any Korean? I’ve been across the Nakdong river a few times and it’s pretty big. I would imagine the current would be pretty strong, and of course if there was a water spirit in it…

  2. “Nakdong river” river should be capitalized. that last line shows the hypocrisy of religion and superstition. well done. also, you could consider just calling him “Father” instead of “my father” and save yourself a few words for some good, dramatic adjectives, but it’s certainly great as it is.

  3. I loved your story. It’s a story that might be told at a fireside. Well done on your research. I couldn’t find out where the photo had been taken. The pagoda was the only clue for me that the photo was probably situated in the Far East, somewhere. Ann

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