The taste of nothing

The ship seemed to bounce under Maly’s feet. The scent in the air was far removed from the desert and the taste of the air had too much salt. She wasn’t sure she liked it, but she hadn’t been told to stop yet.

She wanted to turn toward her father, determine his reaction, ask him if he thought this was enough. Despite those feelings, she didn’t. He would tell her when enough was enough. Maly also knew she couldn’t read his face, so looking at him would tell her nothing. It would only make her more antsy during a time where she needed to stay calm and focused.

Her chant remained lyrical, tones bouncing from her tongue and creating the illusion around them. The words she had been taught to understand, the music she was drilled to instill into each syllable, it all flowed from her lips and spilled to the deck. She could feel it, though she saw nothing. When it began to burn into her throat she blinked her eyes fiercely, trying to forget the discomfort. Trying to stay focused.

For a moment, it wavered. Then she refused it.


Maly stopped, not certain when she had closed her eyes. She still felt the waves, smelt the sea. And when she opened her eyes, the illusion still held around her.

“Good,” her father said.

Maly smiled.


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