[Story] Story a Week 39

[[ Prompt: A story with only one character

I wasn’t sure if it meant no other characters could be mentioned? I don’t know, a story got written anyway and that was the point! ]]

Kamara, huntress of the Shoulder Scar clan, slept fitfully in the cool stillness of her den, as the sun seared the earth above. The Huntress’s eye had opened and closed since Tamazi had disappeared, but still the scouts had no word of her. Not a scent, not a track, nor a bone or carcass. It was if she had flown away. Her shame was not Kamara’s, as she was not her child by blood, but the harsh words stung all the same. At first there were stories and rumors, but now Tamazi wasn’t mentioned at all, and that was worse. It was as if she’d never existed at all.

If she was alive, surely she would find a way to reach Kamara. She believed that with all her being. Even if she was afraid, or ashamed, Kamara had always been there for her. Unlike the others, she would never judge Tamazi harshly, no matter what might have happened. The not knowing was what made it intolerable. Every night at hunt, Kamara checked the wind for any hint of Tamazi’s scent. She was afraid that she might forget it entirely, just as the others had done.

Strange dreams had begun to haunt her rest, as well. Sometimes they were ordinary; Kamara running across the endless plains, searching for Tamazi. Others were more like memories — practicing hunting when Tamazi had been small, pointing out the different prey as they walked. But others were more frightening, filled with strange and fantastical monsters, so large that they blocked out the sun. An enormous monster, its wings outstretched, its roar so powerful that it shook the earth beneath her feet. Another monster, its coat so black that it seemed to drip darkness, its eyes alit like the dying coals of a fire. Often, in the dreams, she could see Tamazi far in the distance, fleeing from the great monsters. But no matter how hard she ran, Kamara could never catch up. She thought to bring her dreams to the seer. If anyone could tell what they might mean, surely she could. But truthfully, Kamara was afraid of what she might say, what these dark and frightening dreams might signify for Tamazi — and for herself.

Today, she dreamt that she walked through a dark, tangled woodland. The trees grew so close together that she had to squeeze her way between them. So vivid was the dream that she could feel the cold mud oozing between her toes, hear the buzzing of the insects in her ears, smell the decaying plants and stagnant water. Ahead, she could see Tamazi, her pale coat seemingly aglow in the dim light. For a brief moment, Kamara believed her to be the Huntress herself.Kamara called out to her, but it did not seem that Tamazi heard her. Or if she did, she did not recognize her voice, for she broke into a run, darting in and around the dense trees. Kamara called to her again — It is me, Tamazi! Come back! — as she tried to follow, but she was unfamiliar with the land and it seemed to conspire to slow her. Roots tangled the path, tripping her, and the brambles scratched at her sides. Still, Kamara pressed on, determined to find her. She saw the young huntress go into a clearing, and rushed to follow. But when she arrived, it was empty. Though she searched, she found no scent or track of her. Around her, the monsters slithered from the trees, closing in.

Kamara awoke with a start, breathing heavily. It took her a moment to realize that she was in her den, not truly in a strange forest. But Tamazi was still missing. Perhaps it was time to find the seer after all.

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