But don't be discouraged! The desert elf story I mentioned a few weeks ago is being written as well and I am hoping to post some of it soon!
At that moment, another reddish rock fell next to the first. Annalee jumped up and moved against a wall, looking up at the darkening sky. Dozens of crows circled above her, each clutching chunks of red stone. They began dropping them like bombs, and each landing close to the others. For a few minutes, it seemed the day’s sky showered down in her sanctuary. After a few minutes, the crows aborted their strike, flapping away in a furry of feathers and fuss. Annalee ventured out into the haze of dust created by their assault.
They had created a short hedge of stone around her pack and the eye-shaped crevice that held her Wonderstone. Perched on that hedge sat the crow who had abandoned her yesterday. He cocked his head at her, and then fluttered down to her pack and began rooting in it.
“Stop it!” Annalee hollered, stepping over the enclosure.
The crow withdrew his head, a chunk of sage in his beak. He hopped toward her and dropped the sage inches from her.
“Oh!” Annalee exclaimed, recalling Numkumi’s instructions.
Annalee pulled the rest of the bundle out of the sack. She sniffed it, and sputtered at its strong, earthy scent. Untying the twine, she tossed handfuls of the herb like a flower girl might sprinkle rose petals down the aisle at a wedding. Once sage littered the entire area, it looked like a nest.
“This must be where the spirits want me,” she stated to the crow, which dramatically bobbed up and down in response. “I guess I ought to pray then.”
Annalee closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She thought about her journey on World above the sky: the narrow escapes, the dear friends she had made, the handsome Kaqtukaq she felt strongly for, and meeting her grandmother for the first time. These thoughts churned and churned inside her, and before long, the churning became thanksgiving. So much joy had stemmed from the search for her father, and now the joy of knowing she might be able save him flowed freely as thanks to the Creator, whether he was the God she knew on earth or the one the Gamooch praised. Maybe they were the same one.
“Please,” she whispered, “show me the way. Show me how to save my dad and my grandfather so I can meet him. Tell me what to do.”
A sudden tug at her heart made her focus on the blue ball of power at her center. Something hesitantly tapped at it, a white hot wire of strength asking for permission to speak. Annalee relaxed, and welcomed the magic into her own.