It’s true, I’m trying not to do serials for BlogBattle, but I’m having fun writing this odd little tale, so it continues. I hope you’re enjoying it, too! It would make Don’obahu happy if you’d give him a grin back. Just sayin’ 😉
Fallow No More
“Fallow laid the lands only waiting your arrival. Fallow were the peoples, alive but in a death of nothingness, as though forgotten in eternity past. Fallow though we were, as with any time of rest, it was temporary. You are come and we stand revived.”
Erin laid on her back atop a stack of furs staring at the grayness of material above while she contemplated the strange words of Don’obahu when first they’d sat at the table on the other side of the tent.
She wasn’t tired, but the little elder had insisted she rest for a time. She didn’t argue, but she did fear if sleep overtook her senses she’d wake from her dream, and for some reason Erin didn’t want to leave this place. Yet she couldn’t seem to understand the riddles he and the other elders spoke.
It made no sense. Who was the overlord they’d repeatedly referred to during the hasty talk? What have I to do with him? What beast? The thought sent shivers down her spine but left her oddly energized.
Sleep would not come, even if she did want to wake from the dream, even knowing there was every chance it could morph into a nightmare.
“If I am dreaming.”
Erin slapped her palms down on top of the warm furs and pressed upward into a sitting position. Curiosity had been her downfall once before, but it had also been her awakening. If not for the need to know what secretive, regular appointment her ex-boyfriend kept she’d never have discovered his duplicity. If not for her insatiable need to keep order she’d have likely never noticed the siphoning off of her nest egg account by said ex and his cohorts. It had been too late, but at least he’d not gotten away with it.
“Dreaming or not, I can’t go home. If I wake up on that beach I’ll just whack myself over the head and come back. At least they seem to like me here. At least I’m not being lied to or manipulated or stolen from . . . I think.”
With a heavy sigh Erin flopped back against the makeshift bedding but quickly rolled to the side and rose to her feet. There was no way she’d waste another minute lolling about.
A small table stood a few feet away and beckoned her with its tiny, sparkly trinkets. She hesitated only a second before running her fingers over the jeweled rings and bracelets with the lightest touch. Erin stopped her hand over the top of one ring in particular as it seemed to sing her name into the stillness of the tent and yet no sound could be heard.
“Pick one, Pathfinder.”
Her hand raced to her chest, a useless way to stifle the elevated rhythm of her heart.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that, Bahu. I almost had a heart attack.”
“A thousand most sincere apologies.”
Don’obahu didn’t seem to mean it, not with that grin still plastered to his face.
“What do you mean, pick one?”
Bahu stepped up next to her and shined his smile right into her soul. She found while it was disconcerting it also tickled at her own lips and tempted her to do something she’d not done in ages. She squeezed her jaw tight and pulled her brows low in an effort to combat the growing need to smile, too.
Bahu came close to showing a smidge of disappointment, but the inkling of it was gone before Erin could be sure.
“Not so much you pick, but it pick you. Look again. What calls you?”
Erin couldn’t resist looking back at the ring she’d been drawn to only a minute before. Tilting her head to one side and then the other shifted the way light refracted through the cut gem–an amethyst?
“Go on, Pathfinder. Pick it up.”
“Are you certain? I mean, I don’t have anything to give you in return.”
“These are not from me. These are the stones of the overlord, but the overlord planned to give you a gift of sorts. Take it. It is yours.”
With a ginger touch she picked it up and slipped the gold band over her right-hand ring finger and gasped at the warmth that traveled up her arm. She reached to remove it, but Bahu placed his hand on her wrist.
“No, no, Pathfinder. You and the ring are one. It is yours, and you belong to the ring. You cannot remove it, or you will curse us all eternally.”
That grin. How could he grin and say such a thing?
“What is this language you speak, Pathfinder? But never mind. Come. We feast then our journey begins.”
His fingers wrapped around three of hers as he pulled her from the tent. The sight which met her eyes was even more spectacular than when she’d entered a few short hours before.
The double suns had risen in the sky over their little valley and shown in complimenting blue and yellow light. The valley floor, once bare and brown was peppered in a carpet of new sprouts, lush green life reminding Erin of the elder’s words earlier, “Fallow laid the lands only waiting your arrival . . . .”
Her vision was drawn to the thousands of smiling eyes and bright white teeth of those who parted upon the path for her to pass. Why did their eyes seem to tell her to have courage? Why did they think she would save them? She was a nobody and there wasn’t a person on Earth who cared one way or the other what happened to her. Why did they seem to care?
“I’m dreaming and that’s all there is to it.”
“Life, no matter the path you thought to choose, has been headed here. You dream not, for you have found your path.”