Zanna slowed as she neared the crowd. She could hear the flutist playing nearby, and farther off, a group of drummers. The storyteller was elsewhere. An immense woman with grayish, leathery skin and curling locks of white hair draped over her body stood inches from her, and she inched closer until she brushed the woman’s arm. Tilting her head toward her, Zanna caught her attention.
“Oh, my girl, you must be chilled in your thin dress,” the woman wrapped her arm around Zanna. “Let me give you a shawl,” the woman said as she pulled a bright blue knitted blanket from under her tresses. She smiled as she wrapped it around Zanna. “I don’t know you, girl,” she said kindly.
“I am new here,” Zanna answered. “My name is Zanna.”
“Lovely name, girl,” the woman answered. Her eyes glowed with golden light. “Are you joining us here, then?”
“I think so,” Zanna answered. “It’s so beautiful here,” she said, noticing the leggy boys ahead of her with their bony, iridescent wings. Might she get to see them take flight, she wondered.
“It is,” the old woman agreed, nodding toward the twin snowcapped mountains towering in the distance. “I will miss this place if today is my day,” she said. “This is a good place.”
Zanna noticed how warm she felt wrapped in the bright blue blanket, the woman’s wide arms still holding her. She could feel her resolve slipping away. Still a novice, she thought. Still susceptible to experience. She felt the early twinges of disappointment rising in her chest.
The old woman sensed her feelings. “It’s okay, girl. Let’s make a promise. If today is our day, they will remember us in their prayers every Question Day, forever. If it is not, we will remain right here,” she smiled and patted Zanna’s arm.
Zanna nodded at the old woman as she caught a glimpse of the storyteller’s black cloak ahead of them. Her heart lurched.
My Trifecta submission for the week, including the word remember: to keep in mind for attention or consideration.
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