It was a moonless night and an ominous low rumble filled the steppes. Thick clouds loomed heavy overhead warning of an impending storm.
We had only just concluded the days trek and pitched a tent to weather the coming rainfall. It was my job to set a suitable fire while my mentor prepared our nights rations. With flint and steel, and a little determination, I made quick work of setting a small fire. I triumphantly congratulated my work and looked up to my mentor with a grin splayed across my face, in hopes of catching her approving eye; however, she seemed preoccupied, her aged eyes fixed on the sky.
Her lips parted – half hushed, “put that out.”
Curious, I mirrored her skyward gaze. “But I just – ”
“Now, Ealora.” She practically hissed just as the underbelly of a massive vessel pushed aside the nebulous sky and an array of searching lights bathed the steppes in streams of revealing white.
In urgency, I did what I was told. I haphazardly kicked arid dirt over the kindling flame and rushed to scrounged what salvagable wood remained.
Over my own haste and the pounding of my heart, I did not hear my mentors words until she grabbed me by the arm.
“Listen.” She commanded and pointed into the night at a distant outcropping amongst the flatlands. “Go. Wait for me there.”
She freed me and I offered little more than a nod before taking up my survival stick and slingpack. I could hear her working feverishly to dismantle our campsite in the wake of my fleeing stride.
I skid and slid through the dirt and low bushes in a barely controlled scamper down the small hill of our abandoned campsite. The low rumble from before had crescendoed and the massive vessel loomed ever closer, its flood lights methodically hunting. It was nearly overhead.
I cast a wary eye over my shoulder in search of my mentor but my sight was obsured by the glaring white of a search light looming ever closer, following the hazy cloud of coarse sediment left floating in my wake. I barely turned my head forward in time to recognize the thin crevasse cutting through the drylands, still, I toppled over its brim.
Down I tumbled against the loose sand and eroded rock until I finally came to a stop at water’s edge. My dust covered boots quickly became encrusted in mud from the slow flowing stream and as I looked up and caught the prowling eye of my titanic pursuer beaming down on me, a figure vaulted across the crevasse an drew the attention of it seeking flare. A thin mist of dust showered over me and the light shifted away from me.
Her voice came to me from the edge of the crevasse. My mentor seemed to bleed into existence where she had not been before. She beckoned to me.
Hand over hand, with the aid of my stick, I clambered up the wall of the crevasse and she pulled me up and onto my feet.
“Stay close,” she said just as the world around us turned bleek.
Her calous brown locks turned ashen and her eyes emptied to a sightless black. I felt life leave me – the thundering of my heart ceased.
Daily Prompt: Conveyor
Word of the Day: fenestrated