Flash: Haeata

Image by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

One last kick sends the sea creature back to memory as sun rose above the horizon with dawn’s promise. Dropping to her knees in the wet sand, Anahera says a small “Yay.” between pants. Only six more days before the veil finishes regrowing.

She wishes the “heroes” who dragged the battle to their shore remained to help fix the damage, staying to protect the village during the repairs. Three of their oldest sacrificed their lives, sealing the rift shortly after the braggards swaggered away “victorious”. Since then all those of fighting age spent every twilight battling the smaller creatures able to sneak between the healing spaces stitched together by the grandmothers and grandfathers.

Taika grins at Waimarie as she slathers lotion across his chest where one of the kaurehe creased four claws. Many a woman will dance for him when this is over, but the healer brave enough to wait beside the combatants during battles seemed to have already won his heart.

Anahera wonders how many men will dance for her.

Tipene and Wiremu lean against each other.

They won’t dance for her. Two warriors in the same bed is exciting but not restful, and while they had played together well during this crisis, Anahera needed someone steadier than the brothers.

No ones injuries look serious in the growing light. With only four left in fighting shape, that is good. Anahera hoped Tama is able to return with them at sunset. Older, he has a cunning and ruthlessness the younger warriors were only learning now.

Pushing herself up, Anahera orders, “Naps, then training tent.” The others groan but rise in the soft sand. Taika plays up his injury, leaning on Waimarie, as they walk back to the nearby huts and houses.

(words 291; first published 11/22/2023 – Haeata means “dawn” in Maori; Kaurehe means “monster”)