Saturday, March 2, 2013

Foreign Deed

Todd began rereading the four dangers he put Toa through but it was hard to concentrate: The Octopus kept getting in the way, or slapping the screen with symbols and sign language too quick for Todd to read, and possibly even from Toa's language.

Distracted, with three sucked welts on his forehead, Todd closed his eyes and tried to recall the four dangers.

The third was a lonely squid, trapped under a sea of ash, bathed in it, suffocating, like a zombie of The Octopus.

Yes, of course. Before that was the searing heat of the recently charred land itself, but the Satyr's sadness followed Toa, a manifestation of his interrupted, unrequited love and the tears from the sky nourished her.

But that wasn't right. It was all out of order.

There was the searing heat, but Toa found a pool of water, a deep pool in the night and that slaked her thirst and bathed her of the suffocating ash, but woke the squid, who lied, pretending to be The Octopus, coated in ash was Toa, and *then* the Satyr's unrequited love broke cloudburst and laid bare the Toa and the squid's true colors.

Before all that, there had been an argument with her grandparents --they swore the way was left, but Toa knew it to be straight. Angry, her grandparents had kept her asleep for a straight day, in the sun, near to the smoldering edge of the fire, but as she tossed and turned a vine had wrapped around her neck, and as her grandparent's insistence and dreams tussled Toa more and more the rope wrapped and rubbed and tightened around her neck until it broke her skin, waking her and pulling Toa from her loving, misguided dreams.

There. Four dangers, indeed. Satisfied that he could recreate them if necessary, Todd swallowed the last crumbs of samosa and passed out, upright.