Herb Tulliver: Seeking the Grass Hut
Herb rolled to a stop at the edge of the world. The dry land gave way to wetland grasses and muck. As far as he could see, what appeared to be solid islands of grass were really just growths in a sea of brackish water.
Somewhere further east, along this divide of solid land and mush, a grass hut hid. No one knew how far or how long you had to hike to find it. It didn’t even show up on a satellite view of the area. He had to rely on instinct alone.
All day he trudged. More than once, he had to cut a wide berth around a crocodile. As the sun set, he thought he spied a thin wisp of smoke, like steam from a bubbling cauldron. Giddy, he had to force himself to step more cautiously.
“Hello, Madame Esmerelda?’ he announced his presence with his hands raised in surrender. “I bring you a sacrifice and ask for your assistance.”
Listening hard for rustles, scanning the hut and brush for shadows, Herb paused. He was beginning to think she was out.
“Leave, or be cursed!” squawked someone behind him.