In life and death // 4 (2)
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She anxiously pulled my hand. „We have to get inside now.“ I opened my mouth for further questions but Grandma gave me a grim frown and pressed a finger on her lips. „Shhh,“ she whispered. She opened the door with a crackling noise that made her growl of anger, „That damn door...“ I slipped inside and gave out a sigh of relief.
„What was all t h a t about?“
„Sit down, honey, we need to talk.“
She rushed into the kitchen and put the kettle to boil. I just sat there in ignorance. They say ignorance is bliss but I do not agree. It´s nagging and disturbing and...it´s the worst part of it. Not knowing.
„You want milk?“ I heard Grandma screaming from the kitchen.
„No, I´m okay, although peppermint would be nice.“
„Yes, I know how you like your tea, all minty and black,“ she said sarcastically. I laughed. I had her back, it was my good old Grams.
„I´m almost done.“ She entered the living room leaping and making rather nasty noises.
„Grandma, what happe—“ She didn´t let me finish. She always liked to do things her way. Walking by with the kettle she patted my shoulder telling me to wait just a little bit.
I even didn´t have to ask again for answers, she just nodded and gestured towards my teacup indicating I should take a sip.
„It was high tide at the sea. The waves were brutally washing away the shore. It bit the houses with it´s foamy crests sneaking around. We had to stop it. Otherwise the whole northern side of the village would´ve been gone forever. So, we gathered on the seventh platform and put up our shields. You knew that we a r e allowed to put down tides, didn´t you?“ I nodded in silence. „Yes, but how did—“ she raised her hand.
„As I said, we were holding the protection up when we saw the herd coming. Bloodthirsty. Hungry.“
„But it´s not Siege Day yet? It´s not possible.“ Her eyes went blank and she totally ignored my last question.
„There was a leader. It was bigger than the others. More powerful. It´s yellow eyes saw straight through me. The clan came over where the river is near the sea. The only place, you know. On the meadows. They waded the river at the ford. And the next moment it was standing right in front of me. It´s cold eyes full of hatred. It´s knife-sharp claws and the smell of rotting. I knew it was about to tore the flesh from my bones—“
„Stop it Grandma, this is not a horror story.“
„And I´m not joking.“
„Why are you doing this? Telling me these horrible things?“
„Didn´t you ask?“
„But what? You need to know how it´s like to be out there. You only know the water. This is not much help. And I used up all my power to use the air. You are helpless without the elements.“
I shut up and gestured her to continue.
„Thank you!“ she smiled at me, „The coyote come right at me but I was able to point the tide-shield at it so it would slow the beast down a little. I ran away as fast as I could. It only scratched me. I am okay.“
„You did all this to protect me?“
„Why do you think that?“ she even seemed a little disturbed.
„Grandma, I know you. You trust our people to put down tides and you would´ve never gone to the sea on your own if you weren´t to protect me.“
She gave me a slight smile. I just wanted to hug her. And never let go again. Never let go again ever.
I then realized how selfish I´d been. I had almost jumped. I had almost left her alone. I had wanted to end it all for good. I didn´t think of anyone else besides myself. How incredibly stupid.
And she, in the meantime, put her life at risk to defend me from the misery of world.
It had started. The secrets were piling up against us. The wood had been made into a pile and the tinder had been gathered. It was about to burn. Burn all down. Our world.
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