September 16, 2013
- in Uncategorized by Tara Maya
16. After the Farmers Left
|“behind blue ice” by julia-julia|
…take my leave now, however, as I must also visit Full Basket clandhold before the sun sets.”
Is there anything else I could do to convince Abiono not to invite me to become a Tavaedi? Dindi despaired while the rest of the clan fussed over Abiono’s departure. My life is a colossal joke that’s funny to everyone but me. Uncle Lobo was still chortling.
Once the guest was gone, taking the excitement with him, a general exodus out of the kitchen followed. One by one the others finished, burped and left, until only Dindi and her mother remained. The kitchen was very hollow and empty without three dozen bodies filling it with life. The smell of farmers’ sweat lingered, mixed with spicy food aromas and smoke from the burning dung.
“Lady of Mercy,” said Mama under her breath. Muttering to her- self, she went to the oven, where she placed a dollop of bean mash from a storage pot onto a piece of flat bread. She laid cheese on top, and folded over the three corners of the bread. She placed it on the pottery bread shovel and pushed it into the oven, which was kept stoked all day. When she decided that the pisha was crisped to her satisfaction, she pressed it into Dindi’s hands. “Eat, eat.”
Dindi pushed it away. She hid her blue face against her drawn up knees.
“You behave a like a child,” Mama said. She lifted Dindi’s chin. “But you’re twice seven years, now, sweetling, and past your moon-blood. If you lay with a man, he could make you a mother.”
“I know I’m a burden to everyone around me. I try to do what’s right, but everything I weave gets tangled.”
“There is still a chance you will be chosen.” “Great Aunt Sullana obviously doesn’t think so.” “What does she know?” “Maybe something I don’t,” said Dindi. She lifted her head just enough to peer at her mother through tear dewed eyelashes. “You weren’t chosen.”
Mama stilled. “No. I wasn’t.”
“But you could have been the best dancer of your generation. Everyone thought so. Then, one day, instead of choosing you to dance magic, they told you could never dance, ever.”
“It…wasn’t as bad as all that,” Mama said. “By then, I had your father. Soon I was trying hard to have a child. Sometimes you have to let a dream die.”
“I just want to dance.”
“Oh, Dindi.” Mama put down the pisha. “If you won’t eat, at least let me clean you up.”
She went to the shelves in the corner. There she fiddled with various jars, until she returned with noxious, sharp smelling goo on a rabbit skin cloth.
“Come here, my little blueberry face,” she said, taking Dindi by the chin. Mama wiped the ick on Dindi’s cheeks and scrubbed. Hard.
“Are you washing me or flaying me?”
“If you prefer, we can just rub blue soap over the rest of…
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TO BE CONTINUED
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