This is one of my entries this week for therealljidol. I invite you to read and vote for the many fine entries. We writing on several topics this week. This entry is in response to the topic "Patchwork."
This piece can stand on its own but is meant to be paired with my entry for "Explode." It works best if you read that one first.
In a red muslin jumpsuit, she surveys the wreckage. Broken buildings fallen on twisted limbs decorate the landscape, from where She stands at the water's edge all the way to the far horizon. Rivers of mud have swallowed the roads, and uprooted trees block the waterways. Barefoot, She moves slowly through the devastation, listening for heartbeats.
When She spots one, beneath a rubbish pile, She lifts a concrete slab with a wave of her hand. The humans are too consumed with grief to notice. Underneath, a little girl, too young to speak, regards Her with awe. She leans forward and, in lieu of a kiss, shows the girl Her snake fangs. The girl shrieks and cries loud enough for the rescuers to hear her. Within minutes, they have rescued the girl and bandaged her wounds.
But She has already moved on. Ahead, She hears a chorus of hearts, pounding frenetically inside a collapsed supermarket. Even She must marvel at the destruction: so flatly compressed is this building that few could imagine survivors within. Inside, she hears them tapping, attempting to make their presence known. After studying the building from all angles, She pounds Her fist through an exterior wall. The new chamber amplifies the tapping, and an aide worker runs towards the sound. She does not stay to assist; there are far more trapped humans to help.
For hours, or days, or eons, She searches for survivors. Where possible, She facilitates their rescue. Where it is not, She speeds up their passing. Impervious to pain or hunger, She glides from building to building, from rubble pile to rubble pile, ahead of the rescuers. Few people notice Her, and those who see Her do not recognize Her. They do not realize a goddess walks amongst them.
Covered with blood and earth, Her long dark hair flowing like ropes of silk, She is a beautiful yet fearsome figure. If they did notice, the humans would not believe the things She does that day. When a Red Cross worker stumbles across her giving the kiss of life to a pregnant woman, he compliments Her superior CPR skills. He tries to get Her name, but She only shakes Her head and ambles away.
Calling Her name, She knows, can result as much in loss as in recovery. A goddess of destruction and creation, She keeps the Earth in balance. What must be, must be.
Thanks for the editing suggestions from my beta reader, roina_arwen.