The boar rushed toward Allamu, its tusks bearing razor-sharp death on their tips. The branches across their only other route resisted Wensa’s best effort to cut the fibrous knots. Solid stone loomed to the left and right.
There was no escape.
From above, a shadow fell, its long spear striking the boar’s back, driving through its chest, and pinning its torso to the ground. The wild death throes that seized its body brought the beast’s tusks within a hand’s breath of Allamu’s flesh. Flecks of foam and drops of blood spattered Allamu’s skin. With a final gurgle, the boar died.
Looking from the beast to their savior, Allamu noted the mud smeared on unshod feet, the bits of bark and foliage tied to sturdy legs, and the worn, dirty tunic covering a woman’s torso. But it was the grime-streaked face that greeted him was like a blessing made flesh.
It was Sabit.
“Allamu!” she gasped. “How did you survive?”
“A miracle! I would ask you the same,” he replied. “but I should know by now that a mere deadly storm and sunken ship are not deadly enough to overcome Sabit the Wayfarer.”
Wensa stared at the spear woman, who stood taller than any member of her village—man or woman. “Allamu, this seems to you to be the ‘Sabit’ that you spoke of, the one who drowned. But the evil of the Wicked Rocks takes many shapes. She could be a demon wearing your friend’s face!”
Allamu saw the barely-controlled terror in Wensa’s eyes. The nearness of death in this accursed place had deeply disturbed the girl. He took her hands and gazed into her face. “I know Sabit when I see her. I trust her. She saved us both from the boar. Now that she is with me, we can make our way together. You have done your duty by the ocean. I am safe. You can return to your life and your people.”
The young fisher looked from Allamu’s reassuring face, to Sabit, who had pulled her spear from the dead boar and was cleaning its broad metal head with broad, green leaves.
“No,” said Wensa. “I will stay near you.” Allamu may have been fooled, but Wensa knew a demon when she saw one.
Wayfarings of Sabit: Isle of the Wicked 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