No Turning Back

by SJHundak/S.J.Willing
originally published at 09:44PM on Wednesday, April 11, 2007

“She’s a good kid.”

The woman’s voice, as toneless and cold as a snow drift, caught me unaware. If it surprised father he didn’t let it show.

The woman stepped out into the shadow of the trees, face hidden behind a cleverly wrapped shawl.

“Yes,” father agreed.

The woman laughed. The kind of laugh that made me shiver. “Thirty three children dead, another forty five in medical care. Twelve adults dead or injured. Not bad for a first try.”

Counting stock and supply, that’s all she was doing. Oddly. I found myself doing the same. How did I miss so many? My attack was a failure.

“The wind was unpredictable today. You know that, Mictecacihuatl. The child did very well.”

“Mictecacihuatl,” the woman seemed to savor the name. “Goddess of the underworld. You’re becoming educated lately.”

“Enough chat,” father cut her short. “She passed the test, now what?”

“This time,” the woman stepped forward. Grasping my chin she forced me to look into her icy green eyes. “This time she might die.”