Sunday, March 3, 2013

of the Second Seven

Inside the ashen forest, before she gets to the crater, but after the squid and the satyr storm, Toa had another oceanic debacle: after hydrating deeply and escaping the squid, Toa, in a stacked forest of what could have been exploded, sand blown, whale ribs, staggered, suffering from decompression sickness. Her joints ached, her body ground upon itself with every movement until it gave up, refused to move any more.

And as she lay, face down, feeble and twitching, a pack of exploratory hyenas found her scent among the searing dryness. Alone, facedown and paralyzed, Toa knew not that she was about to be eaten. As she was being chewed, the excruciating inability to move as her body was chewed on; her vines were gnawed away first, shredded and tossed hastily away, left to leak out in the new white sands. And this was what saved her, this time: the water from the leaking vines called out, through the sand, all the way down to a nest of micro-termites, sweltering, and they swarmed up and over and into and through the pack of hyenas. Hyenas being scavengers entered the ashen forest only rarely so were far more hydrated than poor, immobile, Toa, and the micro-termites took their fill, carrioneers cannibalizing carrioneers on the husk of a young woman.

They rested, briefly, termite senses working, and decided to come back for Toa's flesh later.