Rearrange Me ‘Til I’m Sane

Inspiration Monday XX. One more X, and I would have had to have added much more detail. :O

“would have had to have”? Jeez. Is there a better way to say that? It’s painful.

* * * * *

The shade of night offers no relief from the heat. I swelter against him, boil in his arms, melt into the bed of dusty earth and dead grass. Any more of this, and he’ll have to reform my body in the morning. Rearrange me ’til I’m sane.

His mouth is dry and so is mine. We’ve sweated all our moisture out. We both know there’s no water for miles, but in this moment, we could both dehydrate and die and it would all be worth it. Our bodies would return to the earth together, fertilizing the soil, this union creating life in a different way.

He pushes up on straight, stiff arms to look at me. His chest heaves. The air floods between us, pushing him an ocean away from me. A vibration tickles the back of my head, and I turn my ear to the ground. It’s just a hint. It could be anything. He puts his ear against the ground beside me. His eyes are mirrors of mine. The vibration builds into something we both recognize and we sit up simultaneously. Orange twinkles through the forest toward us.

He takes my hand and we run. We’re too dehydrated. We’re too far from water. Sound laps at the backs of my legs, stealing my death in bliss and handing out a death in fear.

“No!” I stop so abruptly I fall to my knees. He stops a few yards ahead and turns. I sit back on my heels. “No.”

He puts his hands on his knees, bows his head. Breathes. When he looks up, all I see is a wicked smile. “We face it,” he says.

“Yes.”

“No one’s ever faced it.”

I stand. “We face it.”

He comes to my side. We watch it coming toward us. Our breath slows. Our hearts calm. And we welcome our death in freedom.

Outstretched Fingers

Inspiration Monday XVI

* * * * *

The warrior shoots another glance at me. This time, he doesn’t look away. If his aim with a weapon is as pointed, as determined, he will return undefeated. This ceremony is his, but as the night slips along, with each glance, he seems to make it more about me.

His skin is the darkest of my generation, several shades darker than babies born this season. Our sun dissolves into the indigo sky more each day. Sky of periwinkle when I was a child. Now indigo, soon to black. What color will our babies’ skin be when our sun has abandoned us? Will we lighten into nothingness?

He coasts through the crowd without breaking our gaze. He stops in front of me. The celebration around us muffles, like a giant has clamped a shell over the two of us.

He touches my shoulder. “Ing-nikg-ah.” His name, a name my tongue could never pronounce.

I touch his shoulder. “Shee-ylan-bsh.” My name, as foreign to his tongue as his name is to mine. Sounds only heard among women. Unknown to men as his language is unknown to me.

Bodies silhouetted against flame dance in his dark eyes. His skin shows through the symbol of protection carved into the fuzz on his cheeks, the hair on his newly shaved head. The symbol inked on his arms and down his back hours ago. Inked on my belly the day I became a woman.

He trails his fingers across my collarbone, then along my shoulders as he walks around me. His touch on my skin is hotter than the embers from the fire, tracing an invisible rope. A snare. He wants me on his last night here.

When he returns to his position facing me, he lowers his hand. He smiles. He waits. I wish I could say his name, vocalize a response his ears would understand. The only language between man and woman is that of the body.

My outstretched fingers give him my answer.