Road of Woe: Seven

Phantoms of Sabit’s past loomed large in the darkness that took her. Old enemies, long gone, stalked her once more with hateful sneer  and curved blade held high. Old rivals bested Sabit again and again, relishing her humiliation. Old lovers screamed in fury, belittling her most intimate secrets.

In the darkness, all this pain fused into a single ball of white-hot anguish, shining down upon Sabit like the unrelenting gaze of a vengeful sun. Scorching her skin with its harsh glare, the sun of suffering drew a dank, musky smell from the dark green leaves that covered Sabit’s body.

Sabit forced her eyelids open, welcoming the dazzling light within, to sear her brain like fire. Fire was cleansing. Pain gave Sabit focus.

Sabit lay upon the ground, but not where she had fallen. In front of her was the broad, white sky with the murderous sun at its center. There were high slopes on three sides of her, covered in the same broad, dark green leaves that enveloped her body below the neck. Sinuous vines twisted around her arms and encased her torso. Slender roots sank beneath the skin of her shoulders and chest. They pulsed in time with her heartbeat, a bright crimson shining through the pale exterior of every tiny rootling. Only Sabit’s darkest imagination could conjure the condition of her legs, as she could not feel them at all.

With a mighty heave, Sabit exerted the force of her every muscle to pull herself free. Her head lifted from the ground, tendons in her neck straining with the effort. Her arms lay motionless beside her, like dead stumps trailing from her shoulders. Her chest kept rising and falling, each breath more labored than the one before.

Sabit let out a cry of fury and frustration, but even the sound of her sorrow issued thin and weak from her throat.

Then, above her loomed the shape of a man. Every inch of skin was covered with waxy, green leaves. Covetous white flowers stared out from where his eyes ought to be, their bright green stamens boring into Sabit. On his leafy brow sat a circlet of silver and jade. The leaves covering his lips parted and in a voice like the wind in the branches said, “It is good to see you again, my love.”



Wayfarings of Sabit: Road of Woe is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters are posted on Monday and Thursday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: or