A shaft of morning sunlight bathed Sabit’s closed eyelids in a scarlet glow, like the fire of a demon’s heart. Her head ached like a walnut about to crack. Every muscle throbbed as though she had pulled an elephant up a mountain. Her tongue was fused to the roof of her mouth, as dry as the salted meat she had seen in the marketplace.
The salted meat she had not secured. The promise to her friends she had tossed aside. The duty she had failed.
Forcing her eyes open, the sunlight assaulted her senses like a dagger in her head. Sabit found herself in an unfamiliar room, sparsely furnished. There was no sign of Kehnan. She dressed quickly, every motion wracked with stiffness and regret. Every movement brought a sharp pain in her wrist where a dark, faded scar Sabit had never seen before marred her brown skin. How could she have failed so badly?
Steeling herself for the pain, as before a battle, Sabit went out into the bright, sunlit street. She had no idea where Qaansoole and Allamu might be. They were all supposed to meet at the east gate at dusk—Allamu with news of transportation to Urom, Qaansoole with accommodations for their stay in Bahteel, Sabit with provisions for the trip. In her revelry with Kehnan, she had paid no mind to the setting sun. How long had they waited before giving up? How long until they knew her for the failure she was?
Sabit pushed through the crush of merchants and mendicants at east gate. She scanned the crowd despite the throbbing pain in her skull, and her heart. Curled into himself at the base of the wall, huddled into the last patch of morning shade, lay a dark-skinned man garbed in a tunic striped crimson and white.
“Allamu?” Sabit said.
Wayfarings of Sabit: Bazaar of Death 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/