The Hhest, my ancestors, called this soft twilight Ssayat Tlichat – the Awakening Hour, holy to harvesters and hunters and travelers and priests. Holy to the hundred thousand ghosts of the deep desert’s heart, whose numbers I will soon join if no one answers the bell I rang at the shrine. I did ring it, somehow, with a dagger in my chest. It’s still there; I fear to remove it.
Oh, Khassa. I want to close my eyes to stop seeing his face, but they have dried open. I can only lie still, bleeding out drop by drop into the cooling sand, and pray silently as the sun gurgles wine red on the teeth of the dunes.
I listen, until the vibration becomes a song under my skin, to the droning chorus of waking predators, and the answering frenzy of their prey, snatching up the last fruits of the day…
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