Dreams are a beauty to behold,
When old men sung of those stories of old,
Twas a delight to see,
Even if the fires of war were to consume me.
There were sounds. Familiar sounds.
A seabird calling to the ocean, the waves responding in kind, and the creaking of a palm tree against coastal winds. These were all sounds that reminded her of home. But those sounds were replaced with the blasting guns and the crackling of fire. Her hands, of which were idle and bloodless, were now bloodstained; a blade of some sort of steel gripped tightly in one hand. Her feet were firmly planted in what remained of her home. It was now war-torn, bodies of her beloved people strewn about. Men, garbed in foreign clothing, walk over their corpses laying down fire from their staffs and wands. But before the fire could reach her, her eyes fluttered open. The sunlight from the morning sun had shined rays down upon her and her bed. This was enough to disturb her slumber, and a firm knock at her door assured her that dreaming was no longer an option.
"Idmah." There was another series of knocks. "It's me, Illum-sha!"
"Illum..? What are you doing here so early??" Idmah's tired eyes scanned the door, a slowly developing confusion formed on her face. She wasn't expecting her younger brother to be here so soon.
"Father sent for me to collect you," he paused for a moment, "He said it was important that you come right away!" There was a bit of distress in his voice, something concerned him greatly.
This, of course, didn't sit well with Idmah as something like this doesn't always happen. In fact, the last time she can recall her father asking for her was when the evil spirits first appeared on the island. It was...chaotic to say the least, and many of her people who were victims never recovered from their possessions. So, she wondered what compelled her father to seek her assistance now.
Thus, she clambered out of bed and donned on her shamanic garbs. As she whipped open the door and stepped past her younger brother, and seeing that he was in armor, she came to the quick realization that this day was going to be unlike all others.
And so stepping out into her hometown of Umshalah, the lively atmosphere breathed life into her person. She felt at one with the symbiosis of nature and community. Birds that sung from trees that grew from the foundations of homes were one of the many sights of Umshalah. But its most beautiful, was the community's central building. It was a squat, high-roof, dome that had the canopy poking just outside of it. Inside was a meeting taking place around a bonfire at the foot of the giant tree.
Three other men stood around the fire, speaking amongst themselves. They quiet as Idmah enters the conversation with her younger brother in tow.
The father, chieftain among them, stood up from his seating position and greeted his daughter with a sense of authority. Idmah responded in kind, an official tone overlayed her posture. Illum-sha stood at attention, and observed quietly. The scent of urgency was thick in the air.
"Apologies Ensi, your assistance was most needed, and it could not wait." Her father took a breath as if releasing some much despised stress, and said, "Before we begin, Illum-sha. This information does not concern you at this moment. Stand outside."
Illum-sha, knowing not to argue, nodded. "Yes, chieftain. At once." He spun on his heels and exited in that same moment.
Now alone, her father spoke freely saying, "We've received a premonition from Ama-sin. It had shown our demise at the hands of alien men.." There was a sort of tripedation in his voice, and Idmah noticed this.
"Chieftain," Idmah clasped her father's hands. "What do you wish of me..? What must we do to save our people from this future??" She had given her father pleading eyes.
Meskalam-dug Bebe-mak stood there quietly, pondering her questions. He then said, "We will lie in wait for our enemies.. We have not seen battle, nor have known of such a thing since before my father's father. The most we can do is evacuate the people further into the island. Those few who are ablebodied will defend this community's shores. I do not expect us to win, but I do not want to lay down our hands before someone who wishes to do us harm."
"Then I'll stay and fight," Idmah said firmly and without pause.
"Absolutely not," her father reproved, "You are to remain with the family and see to it that the rest of them make it out."
"But father there's only a handful capable of fighting, and I"m one of them!" She protested, but was swiftly shutdown.
"Idmah," Meskalam exclaimed, grasping his daughter's shoulders, "Understand this very well. You are the spiritual heart of this community, of this family we have built. If you die, so to does this tribe's soul. I need you alive so that the flame of Ama-sin's retribution may continue to burn. Please, my dearest daughter. Find sense in this act."
She remained quiet for a moment, only staring at him. "Yes...father..." She forced those two words through her zipped lips, and kept still while watching her father return to the two other men. He spoke to them of what they're plan was going to be, and it was seemed to be a foolproof one outside of being potentially outnumbered and outgunned.
Idmah didn't know what to think of this, and merely proceeded to leave the grown men to their plotting. Since it did not concern her, she left. Although, this was to the dismay of her father who watched her leave without much resistance. The young shaman paced through her community, taking in the sightts, before arriving at the beach.
She found an isolated part of the beach where she could be to her lonesome, and proceeded to perch herself up in a palm tree to relax. Her eyes fell to the watery horizon, the stretch of the expanse filled her with a calming sensation. One that she was all too familiar with, and thus drifted off into a light slumber.
The seabirds sung, and the waves responded in kind. Truly a calm before the storm.