Furthering (500Words, Week 2, Day 5, 12/29/17)
The crackling of the fire was the only sound in the room while she sat, waiting. She watched the flames dancing and passed the time by trying to guess where they’d go next. That was better than letting herself think about the events of the day or worrying about what might come next. Right now, in this room, it was just her and the fire. If she’d had the ability to pause time she would have. She thought about conjuring up Sp’tan and asking him to do it for her. That she would be asked to explain why kept her silently staring at the fire alone as time continued to pass.
He stood in the center of the clearing, feeling the cold air on his face and watching his breath leave him in puffs. The trees knew he was there and held their branches still despite the wind. He was thankful for their attention and efforts. He needed their shelter tonight, more than he’d ever needed it before. There was no time to waste – his work needed to be done here and now before the moon changed position. He knew she was counting on him, even if she didn’t realize it, and he wasn’t going to let her down. Not without a fight, anyway. With the help of the trees his chances were good. The hardest part was over – now he needed to wait and focus.
The flames shuddered and she held her breath. It only lasted a moment before it found a physical form. She released her breath slowly as the amazing creature approached her, slowly unfurling its wings as it moved forward. She stood to greet it, taking up the stance of welcoming with arms and legs open wide, head bowed, and eyes closed.
His hum at the end of the incantation reverberated through the trees and filled the night air. As the last of the sound left his body he dropped to his knees, empty. She would know soon that he’d had his hand in the conjuring – she knew his marks. His hands gripped the earth, soaking up energy to replace what he’d given to the task. She would know and, if she wanted to, would call him to her before the sun rose. And he would go – of course he would go – and receive her praise or wrath. It was up to her now. Everything was up to her.
It enveloped her, taking her essence into itself, reading her past and future. It saw her why, and understood. For a time, they were one and it experienced her everything – the totality of her. In its way, it loved her and all her people. In its way, it saw what she was capable of, both alone and with help. It saw everything and decided she was worthy. The morphing was fluid and painless and necessary for her to survive. It began.
The wind broke through and surrounded him, swirling in anger and confusion. He accepted the lashes knowing that she was safe. He had succeeded.
* All 500Words are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *