Falling Flames: a 50/50 story (Part 3)
Before we begin, may I apologise for not publishing a post yesterday – if I’m honest, I was just too lazy! Anyway, what a predicament Jasmine is in! Her mother seems to be dead and her two choices are going to the temple or continuing on. But which will she choose? Ready? Here we go!
Jasmine was exhausted, and carrying her mother on her back did not help. But she could not go up to the temple; it was too far. The climb looked horrendous and overhanging thorns and weeds determined her decision even more. She would continue on.
The sun was scorching both earth and flesh. At least, that’s what it felt like. The sun was at its highest in the sky, and still Jasmine had found no sign of people; no house or cottage was in sight. Her lips had cracked and split over an hour ago, but all she could do was wipe off the blood; there was no water to wash her mouth with. And then she saw it.
A thatched roof rising above the hill.
She thought it was a vision. A mirage, even. But it was there, almost eager to welcome weary travellers.
Or dying travellers.
Jasmine suddenly had a burst of strength and speed, and she limped quickly towards the thatched roof, her mother bouncing limply on her back. She reached it in a matter of minutes, and she nearly cried when she saw what the thatched roof was.
It was a small cottage, complete with a vegetable patch and wary cat. Bits of broken carrot and lettuce scattered the cramped yard, and trees shaded the entire area.
‘Help!’ she sputtered, cracking her lip again from the effort of even moving her lips. ‘Somebody help us! My mother is…’ Jasmine glanced backwards, looking at her mother. Deathly still. ‘My…my mother is unwell!’ She hung her head.Scratches could be heard from inside, followed by a creaking of the front door. It swung open.
An old man appeared in the doorway. He was average height, but with a very short, scraggly white beard. Several teeth were missing from his welcoming smile, and a silver dagger was held in a brown belt at his hip.
Jasmine’s body realised what it had accomplished and she collapsed onto the fine-dusted ground. She could feel the weight of her mother on top of her, as useless as a corpse. Jasmine swallowed, wincing from the pain it caused. Maybe she was a corpse.
Gradually, everything faded to black.
The next thing Jasmine knew, she was lying in an ancient wooden bed wrapped in several blankets. She checked her lip. It was painful, but no blood caught on her fingers and they seemed moist.
She looked up.
The old man was sitting in a chair next to her, quietly rocking back and forth. He smiled. ‘Well it’s nice to have you back, child.’
‘What’s happened? Where’s mother?’
‘Stay calm, child, or you’ll tire yourself out.’
‘Where is she?’ Jasmine repeated.
The man’s face suddenly contorted. ‘Stay calm or I’ll leave you for the crows!’ He sat back again. ‘Now to answer your question, your mother is fine…in a way.’
Jasmine’s eyes widened. ‘In a way?’
‘Yes. I noticed she’s been in a fire, and it’s done some damage.’
‘And what exactly is damaged?’
50/50 question: will Jasmine’s mother be disabled in some way, or will it be more supernatural? Heads it’ll be disabled, tails supernatural!
*Bad voiceover impression* What is wrong with Jasmine’s mother? What exactly were those falling flames in the sky? Join us next time for another episode of Faaaallling Flaaaaammmesss!!!! 🙂