The droning beat of the deep, tribal drums reverberated in the canyon. Uwa, chained to a huge boulder near the rim of the canyon, looked frantically all around her, feeling the urgency of desperation closing in on her.
There has to be a way out of this.
There was a circle of dry brush around Uwa and the boulder and from somewhere behind her a fire had been lit. The flames started their slow lap around her as the breeze picked up momentarily like a last kiss blown by a lover. At first, Uwa did not think there was enough brush to create a fire large enough to burn her, but this was an unusual fire, its flames were small but it created an awful lot of smoke. Her view of the canyon started to disappear behind the smoke as if the curtain was closing on the last possible escape. Frantic, Uwa pulled wildly on her chains but nothing happened. All she could hear was the faint crackling murmur of the fire and the beat of the tribal drums.
Shut up! Shut up those freaking drums!
Uwa, giving up on her chains, paused a moment. The hot, desert sun was beating down on her and the boulder. Sweat was collecting rapidly on her forehead and she tried wiping it on her shoulder, when it dawned on her.
The fire is not hot. Why the hell is the fire not hot!?
Of all the things that were going on in her current situation, the fact that the fire was creating absolutely no heat whatsoever freaked Uwa out the most. It was unnatural. It was unexplainable. It was unreal. She could barely deal with the reality of her predicament, but this, this, how was she to deal with this? And so she didn’t deal with it. Instead, Uwa leaned back against the hot boulder and rested, her head facing up towards the sky, surrendered. Uwa then remembered something a teacher once told her.
Relax your eyes, don’t always rest in your mind. Sometimes you have to rest somewhere else, like your heart.
Uwa remembered walking through a dry grassland once, far from anyone or anything else. As her eyes swept across the faintly blowing grasses she spotted a larger than normal dandelion that was beginning to glow. It was, of course, a Dreaming Dandelion.
She had heard the story once, over a campfire, about the native girl. The girl, her name was lost in time, had been unable to sleep for many, many days. She feared that perhaps when she had been day dreaming a little too long, part of her soul had blown away in the wind. Miserable and unable to rest, she decided to go find it. She left her people and headed out across the grasslands alone. She searched for a very long time but never even got a clue. Then, one day, from somewhere out of her sight, an arrow came flying through the air and pierced her in the heart. She stumbled to her knees and there, in front of her, was a dandelion whose petals had turned to fluffy seeds ready to take flight. There, she gave all that was left of her life to a final wish. The dandelion began to glow. Like a farewell kiss, she blew her last breath upon the dandelion and its seeds spread across the breeze to find the girls missing piece of her soul. The girl was finally able to rest. So, it is said that when this particular kind of dandelion glows, it is daydreaming about the last wish of a dying girl, before it goes out into the world to attempt to fulfill her wish.
Its really rare to see the dandelion glow, in part because its glow is so short lived and also because this particular type of dandelion is so uncommon. Its so rare, in fact, that many people believe it to be myth. When Uwa saw the dandelion glow, she dropped to her knees in awe, struck by her luck.
How lucky am I? Of all the times I could have been walking, I happened to look down at just the right moment.
Uwa plucked the dandelion as the glow began to fade and held it before her mouth. She took a deep breath and as she exhaled she blew the fluffy dandelion seeds across the wind and made a wish.
May my luck never run out.
To be continued…