Another day without her. Another day without the intoxicating scent of honeysuckle and patchouli lingering on the breeze, filling up my senses.
The sun begins its loathsome descent behind the western peak as I settle in to sleep. But I cannot sleep. The last day I saw her permeates my every thought.
The light has almost faded from the sky now and I feel that I cannot bear another night agonizing over this. I must put it out of my mind!
Finally, my thoughts take me back to the day I first saw her.
I was tending to a small patch of green hubbard squash when she appeared through a clearing in the mighty Douglas firs. Like a child, she was. Eyes wide with wonder. Stopping at every specimen the forest holds to inspect it. Sights that my tired eyes have gazed upon for nearly a century and a half. What was she doing? My curiosity matched hers. That and her tender beauty got the best of me, I’m afraid, and compelled me to do something I hadn’t done in many moons.
I moved closer. The weight of my body snapped a twig underfoot and she whirled around in my direction but I was able to hide behind a large slab of limestone and shale which blended perfectly with the gray tone of my skin. She didn’t see me. But I wanted her to. I had spent too many lonely years amongst the trees and I longed for companionship. Not since the Assiniboine fled these lands during the Tall War of the Atsinas, have I known a friend.
She called out, “Who’s there?” I remained still. “Hello?” After moments of silence, she began to flee so I spoke, though I remained hidden. “Please… d-don’t be afraid.”
She stopped. “Who are you?” she said. “Come out so I can see you!” Although she was clearly frightened, she resolved to appear brave. I slowly stepped out from my place of concealment.
“I am Mere.” I persisted to reassure her that I meant her no harm. She was taken aback at my appearance, I could tell, but I approached her nonetheless. My people are larger in stature but our structure is like that of any man with the exception of our faces, which have a slightly elongated muzzle. Our skin is gray like the slate rock and although man is accustomed to the hair of their old becoming white, ours is like the purest snow from the womb.
It was terror that paralyzed her and forced her not to run at the first, but by and by she began to feel safe and stayed by choice. Her curiosity of me, no doubt, drove her to do so.
Renata. She told me her name was Renata.
Over the following weeks she visited me three and four times a week. We talked endlessly about my people, the Loamites, who migrated here from the far North and how I was the last of my kind. She was especially interested in my ability to grow anything from any part of organic material. The Assiniboine called us 'Those with the God Hand'. She told me of her studies of the environment, as she called it, and her passion of nature. She so wanted me to show her our ways just as my people had shown the people that dwelled here long ago and I was delighted to do so. Alas, I wasn’t alone anymore.
I couldn’t imagine that Renata would put an end to our time together but that fateful day did come. Her eyes were full of sadness and helplessness. As she explained why she could never return, I couldn’t comprehend the words as they left her mouth. My vision blurred. The only sound that pervaded my ears was that of my pounding heart. As I attempted to gather my senses, I managed to hear that the reason she couldn’t come to me ever again was because the man she was betrothed to did not approve of the time she spent unaccounted for. I knew she hadn’t dared to speak of me to him.
Thoughts raced through my brain like lightning. How could she do this? Didn’t she know how much she meant to me? Where was she going?
She turned to go. I panicked!
Just like that, her heart was in my hand. The very source of her life, hence the very source of mine, was now in my grasp. As her body went limp, I struggled to pull out my arm, still clutching her warm heart. With a final tug, I pulled my arm through her splintered rib cage and out through her back. Her lifeless body collapsed face down in the earth. My sweet Renata!
It’s been almost three weeks now. Being without Renata is torture. How could I have done such a thing? It is strictly forbidden among my people. But, I am the last of my kind. The soil is fertile and the growing season is imminent. Her heart is strong and has already began producing nicely along with the pole beans. In nearly forty days, we will be together again.
"The God Hand"
Copyright: © 2009 Daveigh Waits
Copyright: © 2009 Daveigh Waits