Welcome to another Saveet Saturday. How have two months elapsed since my last one? Maybe because I haven’t done as much yardwork, and that’s when Saveet loves to visit.
Today we’re picking up where the last Saveet freewriting left off.
Freewriting, since I haven’t mentioned it, is a writer’s technique where there are no “takebacks” or “let’s pause and fix this” moments (though I will fix a typo as soon as my fingers make it and my eyes see it). It’s raw writing, meant to get you writing or get ideas out. In Saveet’s case, it’s an exercise in my learning what makes her tick and how big her story is. I admit, I did move one sentence before I’d gone too far, when I realized I wanted to take more time with a set of details.
When last we left Saveet, she stood her ground as an unfamiliar creature, nearly invisible even to her keen eyesight, approached. Saveet wavers in ringing an alarm bell when the creature pleads with her, a psychic “Wait.” Let’s see what happens next.
My heart hammers louder, the “lub” and “dub” in the same rhythm of the approaching creature. Her heartbeat, though I don’t know why. Perhaps because we know weakness is not a weakness. It is the greatest strength, to show another vulnerability. And this creature has done as much.
“What do you need?” I ask her.
Her “lub” and “dub” beat double-time.
The air disturbs before me, a rising storm of threat and terror and….
Rain but not rain splashes the ground before me, droplets as big as my hand.
“If you crush me,” I say, “I cannot help you, and I will wait until my next rebirth to understand you.” If I’m not a ganoraad, the tiniest bug I’m destined to become if I cannot redeem my past failure in this life. Has the Goddess given me my chance, here, now, before the apocalypse hits?
The next drop pounds the top of my head, flattening my hair tight to my back. The liquid stings. I dive to the ground, roll, scraping myself against the rocks in my haste to let the ground suck this torment from me.
I crash into a rock that is not there, and the “dub” thunders through my body. Stone softens to leather, except the foot I cannot see steps on my face.
“Wait.” This time, it’s my wail, but the creature’s weight presses the sound back into me. No breath, no sound, no body part that answers my frantic thrashing. A ganoraad I shall be, then….
Peace floods into me.
No, I have not earned peace. Pain, that’s what I have earned, but there’s none of that, either. The creature’s foot slides back and forth over me, a tickle, and the healing warmth of each “lub” and “dub.”
“I am Norneepashaforena,” the creature purrs through me. “I am mother to the race of shooriistas, the true shooriistas, beautiful and prideful and graceful. The ones you never see. They do not hunt you, as you think.”
Um…. “Then who does?”
“The harbingers who ghost them.”
“I do not understand,” I say.
Norneepashaforena’s sigh washes over me, and the weight lifts from my chest, my face, my legs. Sadness takes its place. Cold. Loneliness. My “lub” falters. My “dub follows suit.
Hers pounds in my ears, until my own heart responds. The vision slips in, Norneepashaforena’s will, or perhaps the Goddesses.
The first harbinger clawed from a crack in the world, after the storm destroyed all gods save our goddess. Norneepashaforena’s firstborn, done playing in the wild winds, landed beside the crack. The harbinger yowled, guttural anger, and slipped into the firstborn. It pushed the firstborn’s spirit into the corner. The shooriista craved meat. Our meat.
Another harbinger clawed free, and another. A wave of them invaded the firstborn, and she flew back to her siblings. They stood no match to the harbingers, one shooriista after another falling prey to the will of the harbingers.
Norneepashaforena’s grief washed through Neeshnaet, and the Goddess came. The devastation of the harbingers feeding bones scarring her land.
The Goddess followed the bones back to the crack. Spell after spell she hurled, until her voice failed her. At the last, she stretched her body over the crack, her feet on one side, her arms on the other, and stared down the void. “My world is not yours, dark brother,” she yelled into it. “Where strength fails me, weakness rescues.” She cried, from day unto night unto day. A year, she grieved for the wounds done to her favorite creatures, filling the crack until it could not bear her tears. The rift sealed.
And the River Anyaevermae fed our land.
Hmm, Saveet may not have a short story in her, but instead a novel!
If this is your first time reading about Saveet, and you want to back up to read from the start, hit my “Saveet” category.