The Moment

The Moment

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Hebtes watched her from behind thick foliage. She wasn’t even that far away, and yet she didn’t notice him. A basket on her hip, long, dark brown hair cascading down her back in silky waves, she was gathering herbs. A bundle of wild Rossa, the leaves from a large Goup bush, and a couple handfuls of colourful turnips sat in the woven reed basket. Hebtes could smell them, clear as if he was sitting next to her. Just as clear, he could smell the sweat of working hard and the soaps she used. Both were pretty, smelling slightly floral.

Her name was Slates Streka. From a large family of Streka’s, she was one of the older children from her parents. Barely a young adult esa, she was his target.

“Do not kill her,” said Trazid when he had told Hebtes about her, about how important she was to their plans. “She only needs to be turned.”

He had nodded, happy to do whatever his partner wanted. Being useful always felt so good!

But that also meant that he had to hurt someone. He hated hurting people, but if it was for the greater good–or their own good–then it was okay. It would have to be. If he did this right, it wouldn’t hurt her too much anyway. He only needed to drink her to the brink of ils, then let her feast on his zilist.

Staying close to the ground, he crept closer. The wind shifted slightly, bringing to him the smell of snake soup. Perhaps someone nearby was cooking? If she screamed, they may hear… In any case, he would be finished before they found him. Vexset was watching his back, after all.

“I promise,” had said Vexset, “You won’t have to worry about a thing.” He didn’t have any reason not to trust his other partner. Things would be handled and he wouldn’t be interrupted.

A branch snapped underfoot, and he froze in his advance. Slates glanced up, staring into the bushes just left of the hulking mass waiting to pounce. When her gaze slipped away, back to the task at hand, Hebtes smiled. This would be easy.

She turned away.

He attacked.

Glossary of Terms

Esa – girl/woman/female gender
Ils – Death
Zilist – Blood/life force