Loss is something you can’t escape on the plains.
They don’t have time to stop and tend the wounded, or fix wagons, or comfort the dying. All they can do is shed their losses –like rain, like tears– and promise to mourn them later. Because behind them the horizon is still a wall of dust; the Haroivan are coming.
She stays, even though she knows she shouldn’t, because Tiy is the last of her children and Fer fell long ago. She holds tight to those memories as she sits in the withered grasses watching the dust. There’s nothing to keep her with the People anymore, and she has no regrets, waiting with her dying son for death to swallow them both.
But death passes her by, with the shuffle of thousands of massive legs and the slobbering grind of a thousand teeth. She watches them part around her and then rejoin, a massive wave of grey and brown. Tiy slipped into the darkness two days before, and there is nothing for her to hold to.
So she follows the herd.