Photo credit: Abel Pardo López
As the guards set up the makeshift camp, Misqa groaned, begging them to loosen his bonds, then winced in truth. After a week on the donkey cart, Misqa felt almost as old and fragile as he’d been pretending.
They watched him constantly and kept him drugged all night, so he couldn’t pray. Today was his last chance to escape.
The moon crept toward her target, began swallowing him. It was time for Saliente the Moon Mother to chastise her brother, as his people’s stories told.
Misqa feigned sleep. When the sun’s light dimmed, he prayed for the one spell he needed most.
The guards’ exclamations told him they were stupid enough to gaze upon the burgeoning eclipse. He’d warned them Saliente would destroy their god. Now they were panicking.
Misqa wriggled from his shackles and undid his leg straps, barely moving. The guards remained distracted, between staring upward and arguing amongst themselves.
As the world went dark, the forest sounds dampened.
Prayer answered, Misqa cast himself into shadow and merged, slipping far from reach before the guards realized they’d blinded themselves.
His laughter echoed the owls’ calls. Saliente didn’t need to destroy her brother. Only remind him that she could.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks to Al Forbes for hosting and for providing the original photo prompt, below. I had to veer a little farther from the original prompt than usual this week, given that Eneana doesn’t have anything resembling space ships in it! But it does have eclipses, and that’s a huge topic this week, so I couldn’t help myself. Click on the link above to see the rules, read the other stories, and write your own if you’re so inclined!
The story that Misqa refers to — the legend of the rivalry between Saliente and her brother the sun — is one of my favorites. Please take a minute to read it if you can: No Light Burden.
And to anyone in the path of the eclipse tomorrow, do NOT look at it even for a second unless you are wearing authentic eclipse glasses. You really can be blinded, and it takes less time than you might think.
Photo © Al Forbes at Mixed Bag