Photo © Tim Scharks via Google Photosphere
High on Eztazato’s slope, Taqr sat beside the altar fire, joints still aching from the hike. He mumbled prayers as the offerings burned. This would be his last journey here, he expected. Next year, the Mountainfolk would have a new chief, one way or another.
Taqr was too old to lead the warriors this time. Everyone assumed—feared—he’d send his nephew Bitla, his last male name-kin. But Bitla was selfishly cruel, short-sightedly vain: a bitter legacy to leave.
It was too late for Taqr to pray for more sons. Even Estazato’s gifts were limited.
Young Hilti could win this war, save the Mountainfolk. If Taqr endorsed him. If Taqr relinquished his name right.
The decision, made, stuck like gristle in his throat. Swallowing, he turned from the altar.
Eztazato’s shadow spread across the land, dominating even the clouds. Taqr’s own shadow was lost within it.
But the mountain endured.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting this great writing prompt, and taking us to exciting places all over the world every week! This week, Pegman climbs up Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. What gorgeous sights! Click on the link above to see the images other participants found, and read the stories they inspired. And as always, feel free to join in yourself: everyone’s welcome!