Sabit doubted that many tears had ever watered the foul sativa, but she hoped hers were bitter enough to wither it to dust.
Allamu waited on the clearing’s edge in silence. The shadows had grown long. The western sky was painted with blood.
“This was Ishum,” Sabit said. “He was prince of Ghabar. Barely a score of years of life in him. I never saw him without a smile on his face, from the time he was a boy. And now his ghastly smile will never change.”
“You knew him well?” Allamu asked.
“I was a guard of Prioress Irkalla of Ghabar. Ishum was her firstborn and favorite son,” Sabit replied. “As manhood approached, he took a strong liking to me. Too strong for his mother’s indulgence. She sent me away, and bade me break his heart before I go. My final words to the boy were cruel. They must have curdled the memory of every moment we spent together.”
Allamu looked at the last standing stalk of sativa, listing to the side as it rose from the roots Sabit had just cleared. All the white trumpets of this stalk had long since been plucked, but the central flower still bore a handful of bright, red petals.
“You could find out for yourself,” Allamu said, indicating the shabby remaining flower.
Sabit rose and cradled the blossom in her hand. The petals caught the last rays of sunset, a last moment of beauty before the darkness.
“No,” Sabit said. She plucked the flower and cradled it. “These memories belong to his mother.”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Blossom of Ruin is copyright (c) 2016 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller