Fossils of the Missing Ones – I: Emma’s Story

Fossils of the Missing Ones – I: Emma’s Story

I was ready to pack up –
to call off the dig –
when I spotted her,
such a delicate creature,
not too far away
from where we started our search
for the Missing Ones.

We named her Emma
(‘Emm’ for Missing and
the ‘a’ for being the first).

This is her story:

Being a mother
(for the first time, I might add)
has taught me a lot.
One of these teachings
is the ability to stay awake for hours,
a boring detail, a lazy man might argue,
but to me, crucial,
especially when
the boy’s father goes hunting
in Bat Wing Mountain.

The boy is restless.

I yawn –

undo the tent flap.

The half-eaten moon
looks different tonight;
there’s a mocking quality
to its usual, bright casualness.

‘A premonition,’ I think,
‘of bad things to come?’

I sit up and look over my shoulder like a man afraid of ghosts;
I am dead certain I’ve just heard footsteps,

a rustle,

snort-sneers of muzzles sniffing ’round the back
in desperate search for food,
and then I saw them;
their shadows dancing,
barbarians from the North
clad in matted pelts,
howling and barking as if afraid of their own elongated shapes.

I hold the boy tight.

Their greedy daggers cut deep.

Sleep does not arrive.

My name is Emma.
I was the first to wake up to the Wild Wolf Tribe
who kidnapped my child,
and destroyed our whole village
in the dead of night.

They named me Emma.
The first of the Missing Ones.

I put up my hand for them to see me,
to say that, as a mother,

I have never slept.


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