Monday, April 6, 2015

beyond surviving

The field was a riot of Spring exultance. Pale purple flowers, bold gold petals, and bright dots of blue blooms dipped and bent in the fierce westerly wind. Verdant, open grass spread like lapping waves all around them.

Ar-tuk, last of his tribe, squinted blearily in the dizzying midday sun. His two brave children giggled merrily at their mother’s breast. His brow was knit in consternation. His lips were firmly curled, tight within a smile. His hard, piggish eyes darted from bush to bush to happy child to shadowed stream.

The field was far too open. Beauty was danger. The shadows spelled safety, choking, frightened, lifeless safety. They would not live as the dogmen still did! They would not flee from all things and count simple survival as victory.

Ar-tuk had been staring daggers at a shaded grove until his son’s piping voice and his daughter’s fierce destruction of dandelions tore laughter from his chest. He chased them through wild flowers and wilder laughter with ever a wary eye.

He would not live as his fearful ancestors. They would not merely survive. He would give them reason for joy. He would give his children bright life. And if he fell to the hateful gods, while fighting fist and tusk, he knew his family would live. Sel-tuk was as strong as he and twice as fast and thrice as fierce. She would lead the children to other flowered fields if he could not.

No matter the unnatural daylight and constant danger, no matter the cost, their children would live. His tusk would be the children’s spear; his hide would be their shield. No matter the cost to them, the children of Ar and Sel Tuk would live beyond fear.

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