weirdmagic's entry into the Summer Prose Competition 2010.
"Mehzil. Mehzil. Can't you hear me? Mehzil..."
As a woman's high-pitched shrieks faded into the dipping sunset, a girl, with hair as red as the glowing embers in the sky, looked at the high rising peaks in the distance with sad, melancholy eyes. She wished she could scale the Tazlans like she and her brother had in the early days, she prayed for a miracle.
Standing some miles from the girl, one hand on his heart and the other clutching the wet, warm sands of the Pandatric Beach, a boy prayed for the girl's prayers to be fulfilled. It had been five and forty decades since he had last laid eyes on her, but it seemed as if not a second had passed since she had rushed past him. Her flowery scent, her red flame-like hair, the blue gleam of her eyes, and most of all, her wide, dazzling smile, were still fresh in his mind's eye. "Oh! Mehzil, I wish there was some way I could reach you. Some way I could steal another glance at you. Just one more glance."
The ache in the boy's heart was as black as the thunder growing in the evening skies. The glowing sun was now getting devoured by diabolical, deafening clouds that seemed to entirely fill up the skyline. The girl looked up at the defeated sun and sighed quietly, as if afraid that someone might hear it. She longingly looked out towards the craggy peaks and touched the glass wall in front of her, as if to reach out and caress the landscape. But her fingers met with cold glass and her heart, with utmost disappointment. She pressed both her hands against it and then collapsed at its base.
"Shehzaad. Where are you? Where are you?", she whispered, almost to herself, as she wept for the first time since she had been separated from her betrothed. "I have been waiting, and waiting for you to come looking for me. But each day passes by without any hope, without any sign from you. I am growing weary now, Shehzaad. I am losing to this pain. Where are you?"
Her tears weakened her resolve to fight another day, and her heart gave way to fears of the future, a future that appeared as bleak as the sky above her head. She lifelessly pounded her forehead against her unflinching adversary, as if hoping for it to crumble just the slightest bit, only to show her a ray of hope. Hope that one day Shehzaad would find her and rescue her from the hell that she was suffering everyday.
The black sky rumbled as fat raindrops began falling over the barren landscape, littered here and there with dried strands of grass and shriveled trunks of trees. The cursed land bore no fruit, gave life to none, and despite the endless bouts of rainfall, cherished no living thing. Such was the curse on the land that even the bountiful ocean had folded into itself and left it starving and lonely. The cracks and fissures in the surface sucked in the moisture greedily, as if afraid to leave even the tiniest amount for a sapling to grow, or a blade of grass to feel the flicker of life within itself.
The parched crater, where the ocean had once been, was filling up quickly with the water, only for it to simmer for a while and then dissipate back into the sky. The girl felt like the last person alive. But it was not so. Her entire clan was trapped in this lifeless place, cursed to live the life of a creature lower than a reptile. Forced to live only on dry berries and whatever little they could preserve of the taunting water, the Zehmra clan were cursed to live in the arid plains of Dahroob until their lineage perished.
"Mehzil. Mehzil. Your uncle is looking for you. Where are you?"
The rhythmic noise of the rain flaying the soil was disturbed by a woman's screams, which sounded nearer and nearer. The girl looked away from her beloved peaks and looked into the darkness looming before her. A morose woman, short of stature, was hobbling in her direction and she did not seem pleased.
"Where have you been Mehzil? Your uncle has driven the castle upside down searching for you, you ungrateful child. You should be at home. With your family. But here you are, again dreaming of impossible miracles. Get home now you wretched girl. Come with me."
The tirade did not affect the girl at all, and she continued to gaze meaninglessly towards the woman. She could not fathom what the woman was yelling at her. Suddenly she felt herself being pulled by her arm and dragged away from her vantage point. In an instant her eyes seemed to come to life, and she frantically turned her head towards the Tazlans, her only hope of getting out of this hell. She struggled and scratched at the woman, but was slapped and kicked instead. All her efforts to attain freedom went in vain, as once again she collapsed to the ground, boneless and drained of spirit, dragged away from her hopes, her Tazlans, her Shehzaad.