Woman from the Sand.
Yara woke with a long, slow raspy inhale, her lips slightly
parted and her upper body arced into a smooth semicircle. Then her spine
straightened and she snapped upright; body sitting taunt and quivering. She
remained like that for a few seconds then she rose to her feet. Her eyes were
covered with a thin strip of cloth yet she moved fluidly out of the room, her
bare feel making no noise as she made her way down the corridors of the
orphanage. She stopped at a flap, pausing again for a few seconds and then slipped
inside. A young, dark skinned girl lay on her stomach, with a hand full of sand
and the other under the flat pillow. Yara reached out and touched the girl on
her shoulder. It was like pulling a trigger. The girl flung the sand out and
there was a flash of silver and the cold blade of a small dagger was pressed
against Yara’s neck.
“Magala,” Yara said, “I am hearing voices again. I need to go out.” Magala nodded, pulled away her dagger and gestured to the fallen grains of sand. The sand flowed up and formed a bracelet around her hand.
“How far do you need to go?” Magala asked.
“Far out,” Yara said spreading her hands wide, “I need much space.” Magala took a hold of her hand and led the way out of the Orphanage Tent.
It was cold outside but Yara did not notice it. Her mind was filled with the soft, insistent voices of Those Who Spoke From Beyond. Magala was leading them across the sand to another tent. She stopped not far from it and flicked her wrist. The sand changed shape to a small beetle and it leapt from her wrist and scuttled under the tent flap. In a few minutes a thin boy slipped out with the beetle resting on his shoulder. Magala nodded to him and the beetle streamed away from his shoulder and into her wrist again.
“She’s hearing voices again,” Magala explained, “She needs much space.” The boy knelt down to the sand and took a handful. He placed his other hand over it and closed his eyes.
“There is a place that will be safe soon,” he said letting the sand fall away from his hand, “We should get Horim and then make our way there.” The three made their way to another tent that was larger than all the rest expect the Head Tent and the Orphanage Tent. Magala sent her sand beetle again and Horim took a shorter time to come out. He took one look at the group and then nodded.
“I have all that we should need,” he said and Girah took the lead while they followed his footprints into the dark desert.
They walked until the sky began to change colour from dark blue in a light blue and faint pink. Yara suddenly stopped.
“Here,” she said, “I can hear them now.” She paused. “I can hear her now.” Yara began turning slowly, her head cocked as if she was following the sound of something. She held out her arms, still turning, taking a few steps in one direction then in another. “She is coming now,” Yara said, “She is crying. She is calling out names. She is calling us.” Yara dropped her arms and stood facing empty air. The other three share confused looks.
“She is calling our names?” Magala asked. Yara said nothing. Magala moved to place a hand on Yara’s shoulder. “Yara?”
“Yara! Magala! Horim! Girah!” Yara suddenly screamed. Magala flinched back instinctively. “Oh Great Farilahdanma! Lead me to them! Lead me to them! So much death. Oh Great…. I cannot keep going! Where are they? I am almost done. If I cannot find them all is lost! Yara! Magala! Horim! Girah!” Magala moved again to take hold of Yara’s shoulder when Yara pointed her hand to the ground. The other three followed her arm.
There was nothing. And then the sand began shift, spiraling round and round. Then with a soft sigh the sand bust upward into a funnel; only that the top was a peak and the bottom was the wide base. The sand began to spiral faster and faster and then it burst apart. Kneeling on the sand before was a woman. She coughed twice, blood splattering on the sand in front of her. Then she looked up at them. And she smiled.
“Thank Farilah….” She began then collapsed.