"Nothing?" he asked, suppressing the tears from welling in his eyes.

"Not a moment of it." Her voice was hollow and quiet. "I remember the horde coming toward me. The sand kicked up by the horses; their screams as they charged across the flat. I knew I stood no chance. I held up the rune; I invoked the sacred song.... That's it."

He shook his head in disbelief. "Those who saw it, they have told us.... you became one with the desert. It lifted and surrounded you, grew around you. Your fists became the winds and the sands. You towered over the horde, crushed them. And they were swallowed up by the sands. Gone, but for a handful."

She glanced down at her hands. For a moment a sensation flashed across her memory, of another spirit sharing this body, of a vast and discorporate presence-- and then it was gone, like a forgotten dream.

The few who survived from the horde would carry the tale back to their masters; and it would spread across the lands. The village would be safe from attack for a generation, for as long as the story was remembered as what had happened, and not scoffed upon as an idle myth. Not that it mattered. The rune was gone, dissipated into the desert along with her memories of it.


Sometimes she walks out of the village and into the desert. She is unafraid. She lays down on the sand, and thinks she can hear the faint echo of the beating of a great heart; far, far beneath the sand.


265 words for BrevityQuest12