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Dachande663 t1_j55pwz2 wrote

Tala lay upon the cool moss in the shade of a great oak. Her face, caught in the dying rays of the blood-orange sun, was lit in a cruel light. Eyal ran a hand against her cheek, and she grimaced with a wistful smile.

"Tala, be strong." His voice shook. Too much running, not enough time for care.

"It's the way of things," she said quietly.

"No. I won't let it."

"The rain does not care for the mountain."

"Chew," Eyal said in place of an answer. He held the birchwood in his hand, bark stripped from one of the trees that grew near their village. Tala took it between teeth, moving her head between throbbing pain and sweet relief as the sap leached out.

"The old women make this look so easy," he muttered between gritted teeth, digging through his satchel.

"You are not an old woman."

"But you shall be. One day."

"Careful," Tala said, a momentary smile flashing across her face. Or was it just the dying sun.


"For cooking."


"I'm not pregnant."


"Only a little."

Eyal broke a small branch from the bundle, the elongated buds smelling dark and bitter. He cupped it close to Tala's mouth.

"The wound," she said instead, releasing the pressure from her abdomen. "Press it in." A momentary hiss. "That's better."

"There's too much blood." Eyal rocked back and forth, his motion a contrast to that of his companions. "Too much."

"Fetch a rock."


"Fetch one. Now."

He scrambled away. Hands clawing at dirt, bushes, anything. Already twilight was growing. The dark greens giving way to black. He rushed onwards, finding a scraggly rock on the banks of a slow moving stream. It was wet in his hands. Water and tears.

"Tala, Tala please tell me," he begged, kneeling beside her.

She lifted a hand slowly and guided his own to her wound. The blade had pierced deeply. The rock sat on her belly, it's wetness running off into her tattered cloak.


"Think of me," she said.

"I am."

"Think of us."

"I will."

"Think of the child."

His voice broke. "I do."

Eyal could feel the slick rock beneath his hands. The shuddering breath of his wife. His grip faltered, too wet, too long they had waited before stopping. But they had to run.

"Think, and the world will be."


He could feel the coolness of the rock. The wetness. Looking down he saw the cracks in the dark earth. He saw the blood run, red as dawn. He could feel it pulse, each verberation pooling and trickling into the nave of his wife's belly.

She lifted one red streaked hand and cupped his cheek.

"Like getting blood from a stone," she said quietly.

"You always were hard-headed," he said, with a smile.


SciencesnObjects40 OP t1_j55rfiv wrote

This was amazing. I always admire the way writers on this sub can describe worlds in such an engaging way. 10/10, would read it again.