Saveet Waits

Welcome to Saveet Saturdays. My plan is to make sure I visit Saveet a few days each month, and share the freewriting on Saturdays. Maybe I’ll continue from a previous freewrite. Maybe I’ll jump into a new scene. It’ll be whatever part of Saveet’s story she wishes to share. Sure, she is She Who Failed, but the fire to do better in this life burns in her soul with a power no abuse, no fear, no creature, will silence.

Saveet’s more shy about visiting me, now that winter has given me only two days of shoveling, but she did comment how strange the white stuff was. She told me I made too much noise, huffing and puffing. And to be so silly as to take my jacket off, and hang it out in the open for anyone to swipe. When I hugged the trash bag to my chest, she thought about how she’d save the last roll of grass from the flood unleased by the upper dam when the logs gave way from two days of torrents, raining boulders down the mountain. Now I have a bit more of her story, but that’s not what I’ll share since I haven’t freewritten it.

Instead, here’s the continuation from the previous piece.

The thrum of the creature’s “lub” and “dub” pound through me, an ever-rising disturbance. Odd, though, that the ground itself does not carry this beat, yet the air carries no sound of wingbeats. I concentrate on making my eyes see only the swath of night ahead of me, with dawn reluctant to arrive now that the threat of the next storm looms—ice, sand, or sideways rain, they all sting the same. Except they sting me less, my scars toughening my hide so I’m more like the boar than my people. I claim them, even if they won’t claim me. Our goddess cut us free from the same womb, and would not abandon me despite my failure. The acolytes may have hidden the scrolls from me, but I’ve found them time over time. That smacks of Neeshnaet’s will. Our goddess blazed the way when her siblings abandoned her, huddled behind the boulders at the Storms of Time bore down on them. Her shout, the scythe carving Time around her and the sapling Nabigoroon. Had they stood with her, they would not now be lost. Now, that Nabigoroon tree shades half the village when the suns pound us before evening’s cooling winds arrive.

When my eyes finally focus on the stretch before me, to the exclusion of all else, I work to quiet my thoughts that my eyes may focus. Still, this puzzle nibbles at me. Perhaps I’ve read something, one of the times I’ve huddled with the scrolls by the river before returning them to the changing hidey-holes the acolytes use.

Please, thoughts? Think no more of past, future. Instead, trust the goddess to choose the sense I need to find this creature before it attacks.

In the silence of the night, the “lub” and “dub” speed up, with a consistency of the rhythm between the two. The night’s darkness shifts, half a league out, near the Nabigoroon tree. The darkness moves up and down, in and out, such a near match to the night I’d have missed it if I’d split my attention to the land all around.

A quarter league out, the mismatch of night takes shape, cloaked so well in illusion. And this creature rises huge. By the time it reaches me, it will be three times my height, wide as five bulls pulling the plow, and that’ s not counting on either side, I can’t be sure, but wings? They don’t flap, so the creature doesn’t fly, yet its feet make no sound if they contact the ground. They’re nubby compared to the creature, maybe one bull wide each, but that makes it seven bulls wide. No creature in our realm reaches that size, not without magic. And magic brings evil the goddess never intended us to survive.

I reach for the alarm bell. Their eyes won’t see anything, but I must warn them.

“Wait.” The voice slips into me, without my permission. Not said as a command, but more a plea. I used that tone, before I understood that made the whip land harder across my shoulders.

I know of no creature that speaks our tongue. I am She Who Failed, and I will fail again if I don’t ring the bell, goddess knows. Or does she know something different? If this creature knows our tongue, might it not be sent by the goddess in our need? The acolytes think they’ve hidden the apocalypse, but I’ve read even those scrolls. And I understand. But this? I do not.

I leave my cover and walk towards the creature. My heart gives a “lub.” A “dub.” My beat, sounding in my chest, tiny. But it feels the same as the noise I could not place. Its lifebeat. Oh, goddess, what path have you set me upon?

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