Response: Azure: Part Three
Selim looked up as darkness descended in the well shaft. She squinted. Clouds had overtaken the sky - dark thunderheads that threatened rain hung heavy above her.
She saw a bird fly over. Selim squinted harder and then laughed at herself. She had thought it was the same bird she had seen earlier in the day, though that was unlikely.
Selim wondered where her family had gone. She did not hear any voices, even distantly, and it seemed to her that more than enough time had passed for one or both of her brothers to join her.
"Namen?" She called. "Mortimer?"
Selim jumped as she heard a bird call.
Listening hard, she thought she could hear the wind - perhaps voices raised in anger.
"Just the wind." Selim muttered. Her heart pounded in her throat. It was not the first time she had been left down a well shaft for a period of time - she was the only one who could be counted on to continue working if left alone. It did not matter what the chore was, Selim was periodically left to the work while her family members attended to other things.
The aloneness had never made Selim so frightened before. Her skin prickled and the crawling thoughts of bodies and water began to seep over her. She shook herself quickly. It was stupid to be nervous, she knew. They would be back soon enough and she would feel foolish for being scared.
A bird call echoed down the shaft again and Selim swallowed a startled yelp, sinking down against a wall. She could feel the cold mud trickling into her hair and down the neckline of her dress. She almost felt guilty for not working but the heavy stillness in her chest made it impossible to go back to the monotony of her task. She rationalized that she had no need to - Namen was probably still taking a break, and her parents and elder brother were certainly doing just that.
The mud seemed to make its own noise as it seeped down the walls. It spoke as the trees used to, but its voice was sad and dangerous. It frightened Selim with its dark poetry.
Selim was certain that if she sat still long enough, it would consume her.