Gazelle woke slowly, delightfully warm and dry and comfortable. She kicked at the blanket, but the whole bed shook and whined. It sounded like a pup.
Her eyes flew open. The sky overhead was a bright, cloudless blue. She sat up and froze. She lay not in her bed or even a patch of grass, but on a gigantic web stretching across the branches of dozens of trees.
A dust devil lay curled up across her legs. No, in her legs. No –
“It’s part of you now,” someone said.
She looked up to see the dust rider who had come to take her. “Part of me?”
“It will you let you go eventually.” His lips curved into an amused smile. “Like a boy’s balls dropping.”
“Like what?” What was wrong with this man?
“Until than you are joined at the tail. So to speak.”
He laughed. “Don’t kick your devil when he’s asleep. It bites.”
Joined at the tail? She eyed the baby devil and tried to move her legs. The wound-up dust devil uncurled a little and shifted; she moved forward on the web. And though she couldn’t see her legs, still the web felt rough and sticky under her.
The baby devil lifted its sleek, pointy head and yowled. It had a mouthful of sharp, white fangs.
“He’s probably hungry,” the dust rider said and pointed at the far edge of the web. “Take him over there.”
“How?” demanded Gazelle.
But the dust rider only smiled.
Gazelle took a deep breath and pretended her legs weren’t encased inside the dust devil. The baby devil responded, it’s head and body undulating under her. She grabbed on with both hands as it crawled forward to the other end of the web.
Large stripes of raw, bloody meat hung from thinner branches above them. The baby dust devil swallowed the carcass of a piglet whole. It turned than to look at her out of dark, unfathomable eyes and rubbed itself against her chest.
Gazelle gulped and touched its head. Only then did she realize her chest seemed to have gone flat. She frowned down at it. She even wore a flight suit, like the dust rider worn. But who -?
“It’s your skin now,” said the dust rider.
He had followed her across the web and now stood watching a few feet away.
“I – what?” Lord, but couldn’t she say anything else to him?
“Your skin,” he repeated. “We are not human anymore. Your breasts will come back when you give birth.”
She gaped. Not human.
“The stories are true. We really are gods. You are a very lucky girl, Gazelle, to be chosen.”
There might be people who want more. I know there could be more, that I could turn this into a much longer work. But, honestly, I am done. I want to get back to normal Friday flash fiction.
(Unless I turn this into a Tuesday serial. Still thinking about that.)