Acrylic on panel, Not For Sale
Land groaned, the sound of a peevish old man waking from his sleep. Before, Briit would have muttered an affirmation to the God who lived in the solid areas of the world. And then, she would have run to find shelter in her village. But now, she was outcast.
The Traveler loomed above her in the night sky. Her eyes flicked up to him, pleading. *a little help here?* But although The Traveler’s blessings were limitless, she didn’t think he’d smile on a murderer. The Land rumbled beneath her feet. Briit froze, casting out her senses for the source of the danger. A palpable feeling of dread feathered down her spine, like being stalked by something in the dark. *there* Off in the distance, toward the spirelands.
Was that an orange glow on the bottom of the clouds? The spirelands was two days walking behind her. Probably okay, if it was a little fissure.The rumble grew to a thunder. Before her brain processed it, her body was moving. Briit sprinted. Her long legs tore over the snowy flat, knees lifting high, toes slamming the ground. She ran towards the water, away from the split that was opening in the Land. She could feel Land begin to shift and rise behind her. Glancing back would upset her balance. She didn’t dare look. Legs pumping. Lungs burning. Her breaths weren’t taking in enough air. Briit fell as Land shook her like an evil-tempered parent shaking a child.
She scrambled back to her feet, lurching forward with hands extended to catch herself. Her vision swam, black fading in and out. Rock roared and cracked like thunder as it twisted against itself. Briit fell again, gasping. The Sea was a meter away. She could make it. The shaking was too violent to stand. Briit scrambled to her elbows and lunged forward, pushing with her legs. It felt clumsy and slow, but any progress towards the water was better than none. She felt wet spray on her face. Briit crawled. Icy clothes clung to her skin. Waves roiled around her, slapping her face, pushing her down and back towards the land. Briit kept crawling. She felt the water press against her. She began to float. Waves continued to beat her back towards the shore.
Water crashed over her, slamming her under, filling her mouth. She felt for the trough between swells, arced up, and caught one lungful of unsatisfying air.Briit dove. Her vision was still dark, but she was an expert at navigating Sea’s pushes and pulls. *there* A rip current tugged on her outstretched hands, and she swam into it. Relaxed her body, despite the shivers that were trying to tense her up. Sea was a frigid, turbulent Goddess. She wasn’t kind, but she was constant. And the one thing that Sea wanted was to claim anything that fell into her waters. Briit would let the rip current pull her further out from Land. And then decide what to do.