“Hello?” The voice on the other end of the line is raspy, hesitant. He doesn’t sound like this when he goes walking through my sand. But during those times, he is usually singing or whistling along with his MP3 player.
Still, I make note of the first word he speaks directly to me and all the blended emotion therein. I have waited for this word for a long time.
, it’s time. I am lonely. You must come out to me.” Logan
I expect him to protest, the way his father and his grandfather did before him. The sound is already building in his silence. He is stalling for time.
“Who are you?” He says, giving my expectations ground.
“My darling, you have known me since you were a child. My winds have carried you gifts after every storm. My sands give you food—prickly pears and mesquite. You visit me everyday.”
“I don’t know your name.” He is still stalling, but I feel recognition on his end of the line, so I am patient.
“Your father called me Estdre, an anagram for—”
“Desert, I know.” I smile at his abruptness. When they are young like this, they are so eager to prove themselves. “What does my father have to do with this? He died before I was born.”
,” I begin. This is the hard part. It would be so much easier if we were face to face, if he could see me. “The men in your family belong to me.” Logan
He does not hang up. I take it as a good sign and continue.
“A long time ago a disaster killed nearly all of the men and many of the women and children in town. Your great-great grandfather made a deal with me. Save his family, and all of his male decedents would belong to me.”
He doesn’t scream or cry or curse—a very good sign. The slight breathing on the other end of the line is slow and steady. But it’s too much to get my hopes up. This has never been something that the Sons of Everett have wanted.
“I belong to you? Like a servant or something?”
“Not quite. Come down to me and you will see.” I listen as he throws his worldly possessions into a backpack. It has never been this easy before. Maybe someday, I will ask him why.
“You’re—you’re not my mother, right?” His question makes sense. He is a foundling, after all, left for his grandmother to raise.
“No. Come down to me.” The phone goes silent now, but I see the light in his bedroom shut off. I hear his shoes on the stairs. I hear him unlock the front door.
He is a different man when he walks out to meet me. Somewhere is the glint of the boy with the shaggy sun-bleached hair and the freckled nose. But his walk is different—he doesn’t shuffle anymore, eyes trained on the ground. For the first time, he looks at my land, and I think that he likes what he sees.
“I know who you really are.”
“I am the witch of these sands.”
“No,” he says. “You’re the ocean.”
The Sand Witch is a four-part story I'm writing for The Rule of Three Blogfest. You can find the first part in this series here. If you like what you've read, please check back next Wednesday or Thursday for the third part in this series.
The prompt I chose this week was "A relationship becomes complicated." This entry is 594 words.