Exhausted from their desperate battle to escape the waterfall, Allamu and Qaansoole slouched in the little boat. Its squat shape had been pushed into the crevice behind the boulder, crowding the bandit raft to one side.
Sabit and Qays studied the collection of lashed-together logs covered with pitch that served as the bandit’s raft. The rough-cut logs turned up slightly at either end, giving the craft a broad, flat bottom. All the spaces between the logs were filled with thick pitch, leaving no opening that might conceal Sabit’s necklace. The only other feature was the two hand-carved paddles. Each had been sanded smooth and bore a carved image on the blade. Although each carving showed a unique artist’s talent, they both displayed a scorpion, tail raised to strike, displaying three jagged claws.
Sabit scowled seeing the carving. “What’s wrong with the picture?” Qays asked her as he held the other paddle in his two small hands.
“I have seen it before,” Sabit said, “and it has always brought me trouble.”
“I guess your luck holds true,” came a man’s gravelly voice from darkness within the deeper part of the crevice.
Two men emerged from the shadows. Their bodies wore the gauntness of poverty, covered by simple clothing threadbare and patched. Their pock-marked faces held eyes as cold as flint.
Sabit paid little heed to the men’s faces or raiment. She only watched the loaded crossbows they held, one trained on her, and one on Qays.
Wayfarings of Sabit: Pursuit is copyright (c) 2017 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 or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/