Calling

Neli picks up her bow, giving the instrument an affectionate squeeze with the grip of her good arm. Two months have passed since her injury.

Her face tenses, pulling the string tight with her opposing arm. The hand trembles as she rotates to firing position, unable to bring the weapon upright. 

Dropping the weapon the floor, she lets out a frustrated growl.

“Be glad ya’s na dead,” Maj’atal says, “still be a fine mate ta some’mon soon.”

She tastes the sting of her father's words, “I will na just be some’mon’s mate,” she points at her father, “ya’s stop cause’a this?!”

Neli holds out the poorly healed arm, pointing to the elbow, “Cut it!”

Maj’atal grasps her outstretched forearm, using his fingers to feel the radius and ulna, “Fused together…” he mutters.

“Cut it.” Neli repeats more calmly.

“Come.” Maj’atal says, leading the two out of the family hut. 

“Maj?” Jal’antu asks, watching her mate grab an axe on his way.

“Gonna need ya, too.” Maj’atal replies, beckoning the shaman to follow.

The hunter sits Neli down on the dirt, arm outstretched on a blacksmithing table. 

Jal’antu blinks, “Wait.”

Maj’atal cleans the edge of the axe, impatiently watching his mate return into the hut, “Vol’jin calls, Zandalari uprising na gonna stop itself!”

Jal’antu returns, handing Neli a cup of black liquid, “Ya’s gonna feel real funny...”

Chugging the concoction, Neli’s world becomes a smear of color while her ears fill with a roaring buzz. She feels the sensation of water running over the arm on the table, world becoming bright as the sun.

 

With warm blankets enveloping Neli’s form, Jal’antu runs a hand along her daughter's arm.

Neli stirs, whispering in a sedated voice, “Can’t feel ma hand.” 

“There’s no hand.” replies Jal’antu softly.

“Mmphf.” Neli concludes, drifting asleep.

Sitting waist deep in the pond behind her home, Neli eyes her bare reflection. A week has passed since her arm, and Maj’atal, left her presence. 

She runs her hand through the fur atop her feet, removing Stranglethorn’s dried mud. Moving onto her shins, she frees the dirt from all fur her one hand can reach.

Exploring the stumped forearm at her elbow, she runs a finger along the buds of digits becoming her new hand.

“So you are blue!” says the eight-year-old Sefi, grinning at her less muddy sister.

Neli cups her hand, bringing water to the caked blood above the amputation, “Needed to, was getting itchy.”

“Mami needs ya's help draggin' stuffs ta the beach.” Sefi says.

“Why?” asks Neli.

“Fixing the isles, now that the Zalazane’s gone.” her sister replies.

“Lemme finish.” Neli says, leaning forward to submerge her mane.