Ibex

United States

Christian
as in Presbyterian Church in America
Female
Writer
Novelist
Poet!
Reader
Ambivert or something
Band nerd + Drum Major
Planet Earth nerd
etc, etc
Joined September 10, 2019

Message to Readers

I actually finished this project, but it's just been taking me a long time to get it up. Check the footnotes for the other three parts.

Awakening--Part 4

June 24, 2020

FREE WRITING

1
Chapter 6
He leads her through the dark halls, out of the prison Adder built for her. They come to the exit, the only thing separating her from freedom. The world outside resonates with opportunity and hope. But she stops suddenly in her tracks.

"I can't leave," she says to him. "Adder will come for me. He'll bring me back and make me his slave again, and the chains will be stronger then. I can't escape him."

"Don't be afraid of Adder," he tells her. "He doesn't hold power over you anymore. You don't have to listen to him when he comes to you again."

"Will you help me fight him?" she asks. There is a fear in her voice, a fear that shakes every word and leaves her fighting for breath in her lungs. She does not dream of ever returning to this place, but she knows Adder will drive her to her knees before he lets her go free. "I can't resist him on my own."

He takes her hand and leads her out of the cave, into the open. The sun's rays strike her face, and suddenly they seem brighter than ever before. The trees are greener, the flowers are fuller, and the sky is bluer. Birds flit across the sky, singing merrily as they go. She’s never sang before, but suddenly her lungs cry at her to just give in and rejoice. The world reveals itself to her in a way it never has. He turns and looks down at her. Seeing her joy expressed so plainly on her face, he smiles at her, "I'll always be there for you."

Chapter 7
The field seems everlasting. She has walked for maybe an hour without stopping, for fear of the hyenas who walk alongside her, but now she turns to look back. She sees nothing but wilderness in every direction, no trace of the city, grass rising as high as her hips and swaying in the afternoon wind. She savors the breeze, the fact she can hear the earth whispering out here. She enjoys being alone like this.

One of the hyenas nips at her ankle, spurring her onward. They will not let her rest until she simply cannot go any further, she realizes. They have not deemed this far enough; she must keep going.

She wades through the ocean of grass, looking down at the hyenas from time to time to make sure she's still on the right path. Even though she knows the way, it is comforting to know that the hyenas are there to keep her going the right direction, even if they are a little scary. It would be easy to lose all sense of direction in this sea of green.

She thinks back to her rescuer. She wonders what he would say to her if he saw her now, serving Adder again. Would he still call himself her friend? Would he still say he’d always be there for her?

She shakes her head and removes the thoughts from her head. He isn’t here, she reminds herself. He is somewhere back in the city, thinking about his daily life and not yours. Stop saying you matter at all to him, she tells herself. You haven’t seen him since he rescued you from Adder. Still, she glances longingly in the direction she came, wondering if maybe, if she turned back, he would would welcome her home again, like he did the first time.

The hyenas produce a rumbling sound deep within their throats, and she thinks to herself that maybe she should move a little faster, cover a few more miles before sundown.

She counts wildflowers, names the few trees she comes across, and tries to imagine what shapes the clouds might resemble. But still, she cannot keep her rescuer’s face out of her mind. It’s as if he is with her only to haunt her, to remind her that she infringing upon her own freedom and to shame her for it.

She tells the face that he doesn’t know her, doesn’t understand her struggles. And how could he? He only knows her from what he saw in Adder’s lair, nothing more. She needs money for the rent; she can’t accept living on the streets. This is the only way to secure her future, even if it is working for Adder.

The hyenas watch her like a vulture watches carion. They do not bite her, but the desire burns bright in their beady eyes. They growl, and hiss, and yip, and snort, but they do not bite her, and for that much, she is grateful.

The sun dances across the open sky as the clouds whirl overhead. The world nears dusk, and yet the hyenas prod her forward with low growls. Just a little farther, they seem to be telling her, just a little farther.

Her stomach rumbles. There has not been a source of food or water for miles, only the tall grass waving lazily in the breeze. She remembers now how her rescuer brought her to a city bakery and bought bread for her, telling her to eat and satisfy herself. After years of scrounging for scraps and going to sleep hungry, she finally learned what it felt like to be full. There is no bread for her here, and Adder does not provide for his servants.

Once again, she looks back. She knows she cannot return, but the city calls her name. She wishes for her rescuer again, to chase away the hyenas and convince her to come home, but she knows he will never come for her.

The hyenas glance at her suspiciously, as if they can see into the depths of her soul and read her thoughts. She feels Adder’s presence in them, reminding her that she is alone, and that her rescuer will not find her again.

Adder is right, she tells herself. She’s foolish for thinking that her rescuer will always be there for her, and she must pay her rent somehow. As the setting sun lights the horizon with deep red and orange, dousing it in flame, she searches for a place to lay her head for the night. She’ll enter the valley tomorrow, and she needs her rest.

She comes to a flat area between two hills, where a small stream meanders its way through the grass. It isn’t much, but it is enough to water her parched tongue. Along the bank, shrubs grow thick with wild berries, red and bright in the evening light. She eats a few berries, drinks from the stream, and settles down in the grass to sleep. The hyenas yawn and curl up beside her in a hairy mass of beasts, their warm breath fogging in the dark of the night. The stars glow bright and brilliant overhead.

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  • June 24, 2020 - 8:17am (Now Viewing)

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