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The Desert, Part VIII

The Desert, Part VIII

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part VIII
part VIII

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Published by: Devin Thunderbird Michelson on Mar 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I don’t know. You gotta know. You gotta know r’else youTold ya, don’t know.

Can’t say I know much bout the shaman or what he wanted all I know is he told me go to Sweetwater. What for? Said nothin bout why. But ya know he was tellin truth yeah? You know he was right in tellin you go ta Sweetwater? I guess so. The woman smiled and got to her feet. She brushed off some dust from her worn garments and cocked her neck back and forth making a cracking sound that unsettled the traveler. Like her head would all of a sudden detach and tumble to the ground from all the wear and tear she must have done to herself over the years. She was with out a doubt the oldest person he’d seen. Not many old ones passed the mountain. Not many young ones either but he could handle young ones because they at at least had bodies that did not creak. The old were different rugged and careworn all of them. She speaks. Come come with me dear. What? Somethin I wanna show ya. Yeah, what? T’find out y’gotta come with me. She took him by the hand like a small child and led him outside. He was in a real town for the first time since he could remember. The last had been closer to home on the mountain back when he was barely the height of a man. That one had been a haphazard thing with ramshackle dwellings made of unwilling earthen ingredients. The inhabitants were as thrown together as their homes. All manner of drifter called that place home with most being men in search of resource and succor. Rumors persist of metal in the hills. Metal metal oh how the men would dream and sing of metal. Harder than wood harder than stone it could cut through flesh and mangle bone. The glitter in the ground brought promise and with

that came disappointment. Pa had told him that they were fools to try. Metal fled with the rain he said. First time he could remember Pa being right. This town though was different. Planned would be the word. The ones who built it wanted to be here. They walked by several houses like that of the old woman all made in the same masterful way out of dried mud. People walked between and some looked content. Most though looked tired. These were the gatherers he had no doubt and after endless days in the waste in search of food that did not want to die he knew how a man could have his spirit shattered. They carried spears. One spear had dried red blood and a tuft of fur still one it but the man carried with him no carcass and the traveler marked this as strange. He thought he might keep the bit of remains as testament to what might have been and maybe he looked at it to remind himself that something was out there even when he thought not. A wandering wind over a space that does not want to be disturbed. She takes him to the well. Here it is she says. It was a nice well as she had said. The traveler looked down the deepness and felt a pang of greed and grabbed the bucket like a lightning bolt without asking anyone. He pulled furiously and then grabbed the full bucket and sipped and sipped until he felt his stomach would burst and then he sipped again and savored and almost wept. A sorry man he thought to be brought to his knees by nothing more than water and yet going without was that worst thing he had ever felt. His body for too long felt like he would implode and leave nothing but void upon the earth. Not even a shadow would remain had he not taken his fill right there. There there drink m’dear drink. Feel better? Yeah. Yeah I think I do. I should think so. Y’damn near drank us dry! You said um you said you had to give me somthin? That the shamanYes! Here I brought it. Remember now dear you gotta keep this hidden less yer really in need. She handed him a clothwrapped thing. The cloth was so old it looked like a strong enough breath would break it up and the remaining dust would scatter in the wind. When he unwrapped his air left him. A reflection bright and painful shone into his eyes but he dared not recoil before such a sight as this. He saw himself. An image shone back at him and he picked it up and saw it was metal. A metal knife about an inch longer than his bone.

He holds it like you hold a newborn He held it soft like he was afraid. He is afraid. He was amazed.

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