HumpDay Quickie #42

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , , ,

Child Of Stone

by Karl A. Russell

They came with the dawn, storming the campsite, tearing canvas and crushing bone. Molly was up before I could stop her, jabbing at her phone. I tried to drag her back, but she was torn away. As an afterthought, the raider swung his sword, rending the flimsy material and exposing me to the full horror of their assault.

The dead lay everywhere. The living were shellshocked and weeping. The raiders circled the camp, herding us into the shadow of the stones. I stumbled along, looking for Molly, spotting her with the other children, bound and caged. I called out, but a raider stepped between us, snarling into my face. I saw the crimson birthmark spreading its tentacles across his cheek, and it broke me, seeing that familiar stain on his ancient skin. I realized then that they all bore the mark, and I wondered if Molly had seen it too.

On the hillside, the great sleeping stones began to writhe and moan, raising their hooded heads to the sky.

“Tharanak gof’nn ya stell’bsna. K’yarnak ygrah’n! Ygrah’n!”

I caught Molly’s eye, and I knew that she understood.

“Bring forth the children. Bring forth my lost one. My lava.”

“Gnaiih!”

I had fought this moment for so long, told lie after lie about her mother, but when Molly asked for a camping holiday for her thirteenth birthday and chose this very spot, I knew that it was coming. But that word, from her, still hit like a blow.

Father.

The Old Ones turned to her, bade the raiders release her, and she ran to them. I rose but was floored by another brute. He raised his sword and I prayed that it would be quick, but Molly appeared between us, hands out. He stepped back, handed her his sword and waited. She slew him in silence, and in silence he died.

The stones began to cry once more, too fast for my understanding, but Molly laughed and ran to rejoin them. Only once, standing against the rising sun, did she look back.

She raised a hand, hail and farewell, then turned and lead her people down the hillside and on into legend.

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