Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Flight

by Travis Perry -

“It is the wrath of Lallah. We must flee it!” exclaimed Shoo. Back in the nomad camp, all the men had formed a circle around a small fire of lavabrush and bug bristle. Ross had been included this time without question…and now Shoo had just pushed her way into the circle.

“Grandmother,” said the young man standing just to her left, eyes lowered in embarrassment. “Please, this is the council of men…” his voice trailed off into a gurgle.

Shoo looked around with bright eyes, “Yes, I suppose that would be why there are none but men here!”

“Grandmother, please,” said the young man on her right—this one really was her grandson.

“This is a simple thing, dear men. Hear me out and I shall quickly leave you in peace.” The sweet old hag grinned toothlessly.

Markas looked across to the oldest man in the council, meeting his eyes…who happened to be Shoo’s husband. The grizzled elder simply shook his head with a cough that nearly formed a laugh.

An expression crossed Markas’ face that might have been a wave of annoyance, but it soon disappeared as he faced her, his eyes blazing. “You may speak, woman, but then you will return to your place.”

“Good you hear me, young man. Good you hear. For it is recorded in the tales of the old women that if the mountain will not come to the prophet, the prophet must go to the mountain. And in times of trouble, ‘Flee, flee, always to higher ground.’”

“So we are to run then? That is your advice?” Markas spoke the last word with a sneer.

“What will you do instead? Fight? The righteous shall be saved from the wrath of the Holy One, but only if they heed the word of Lallah, given to the community of the righteous, to both the men and yes, the women!”

“The old women’s stories,” replied Markas in faux-deference.

“Stories I was teaching when you were still sucking at your mother’s milk,” answered Shoo in firm determination, her hands on her hips.

“Very well, old woman,” said one of the elders. “We hear you. Please leave now.” Soon others echoed this plea. Moments later, the chorus of voices rising, Shoo stepped out of the circle of men as abruptly as she’d entered it.

Ross found it interesting to note that after hours of deliberation, even though none of the men repeated anything Shoo had said—not in the way she’d said it, anyway—the council agreed the tribe needed to flee…up into the mountains of the volcanoes of the Five Rims…until such time as the wrath of God had passed them by.

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