Sometimes distractions serve the purpose of calling our attention back to details we overlooked the first time.
Such was the case for Shay. She sensed the dark creeping all around she and Ethaniel. Slithering through the shadowed crevices on the rim of the town, silently watching the couple’s purposeful steps, haunting their every move while they made their way down the center road.
What distracted her was a color. One she had not known before this moment. Bright and distinct, a sharp and hopeful contrast against the grey terrain of the sleeping city. It was thin and long, shooting straight up from a random pile of dirt along the roadside. Its lean form reaching upward toward the heavens, as if calling down the warriors of the sky to free this town from the dredge it had allowed itself to become buried beneath.
“Grass,” Ethan’s voice spoke over her shoulder while she stooped down to stare intently at the vibrant thing. Sensing her next question before it was spoken out loud, he answered her thoughts with his own. It use to grow wild from the ground – everywhere – especially in the warm seasons, until the ancestors poisoned the roots of everything.
Her first instinct was to pluck it from its hold. To feel it between her fingers, roll its smooth and moist-looking skin across the surface of her own. To try to understand its nature the only way she had been taught – destroy the thing, to understand it and tame it for her own pleasure and use.
Her second instinct was the true one, the one that gave meaning and purpose to the moment, and her spirit seemed to know this. Watch and wait, then act.
Her eyes followed the movement of the grass, as the slightest breeze pushed it toward the left then back toward the right. Its slim form bent slightly then fully, folding nearly in half, as though it were pointing toward something. In an instant, she understood.
Turning on a pivot, left palm open and ready, she caught the snake mid-leap, before its fangs could sink into Ethan’s bare ankle. Locking her fingers around its head, she squeezed her palm tightly, crushing the sneaky beast’s head in her hand.
Dangers were many, but it seemed as though the earth itself had chosen to save them. At least, this time.
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