Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

Called Home

 

IMG_9467.jpgI am on my ancestral land. I recognized it in my bones and in my soul yesterday, as the taxi careened over a pot-holed road that brought me to my long-dead grandfather’s village. Relatives I didn’t know existed invited me into their home — and I KNEW them. Our shared genes vibrated in recognition. Our hearts rejoiced in reunion. An undercurrent of joy reverberated through the valley as we exchanged comfortable awkward words and began to know one another on this, here and now, plane.

When I woke today, my hosts were up and about their chores. I stepped out quietly and walked to the cemetery. Misha (my fourth-cousin-hostess’s husband) had taken me there yesterday (while she pulled together a feast, pretending it was no trouble at all), but I wanted to visit alone. I yearned to BE there.

IMG_9485Half the tombstones in the yard are marked with familiar names, for they appear in the nine-generation family tree my uncle prepared. Many of the dates are recent-ish, but I sought the older graves and found my great-grandmother’s marker. Perhaps the remains of earlier ancestors lie deeper, or nearby. I want to hear them. I want to feel them. I want to know their stories.

Leaning against the base of my great-grandmother’s monument, I gazed into the distance, wondering if my lifelong fancy for hills, mountains, and streams originates in my DNA, if some genetic code, passed from mothers to sons to daughters, dwells in me.

Movement disrupted my contemplation. A woman walked toward the church. I saw a flame burning in her chest, blinked, decided the sun must have been reflecting from a medallion, and turned, to avoid staring.

Most of the villagers gave me wide berth, though I knew they were curious about me, a rare visitor from the States. This woman walked directly to me. She nodded and, as I greeted her, lowered herself to sit beside me, so that our shoulders touched.

“Finally, you have answered the call,” she said.

I don’t like to be touched by strangers and tried to move away, but I was stuck, as if bolted to her. Normally, such a sensation would have led to panic, but I felt strangely calm.

“Your mother pulled our thread to the new land, as was required, but she believes the ties have been severed. They cannot be!”

The woman turned toward me. She placed two fingers at the base of my skull, two between me eyes. The world tilted. I felt myself falling and spinning. I was filled with light, then with darkness. The voices of multitudes reverberated in my head. “Щедротами,” they chanted, over and over.

Then, stillness. Silence. Me, collapsed in the old woman’s arms.

“The ancestors bless you with bounties.” She lay me on the ground in heap, and rose.

“Babusiu! Tell me one last thing,” I said. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Anastasia, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”


 

FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #13

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece. (REQUIRED)

I welcome comments and feedback.

I love these words that Professor Dumbledore says to Harry Potter at the end of The Deathly Hallows. I changed the names to make it work in my story above.

“Professor! Tell me one last thing. Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Video Clip

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Always Searching for Something

brahmaputra-river-photography-sunset-assam-india-travel-tourism-3

Photo from Global Safari. Click to read about the image.

In the middle of the night, I am walking. My heart thuds and my limbs are lead-filled, hanging and dragging, as if detached from me. When I snap my head in the direction of errant noises, I see only trees shrouded in green mist.

I stumble through the maze of trunks. Branches snag my kirtle. I pull a long-bladed knife from my belt, and use it like a machete, slashing twigs and vines. Strands of cobwebs cling to my face despite my efforts to clear a path. An owl hoots and swoops over my head, swatting me with its wing. Forest rodents scamper over my feet. A lone lightning bug flashes its light, and the glimmer saves my dissipating sanity.

Urgency to identify my prize pushes me. I increase my pace. Almost running, I am suddenly slashing at nothing. The trees are behind me, and I see an expanse of water. The river is too wide to cross, and I know: what I search for is on the other side.


Written in response to FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #11

  • Use the first line of one of your favorite song and begin your story with that line. (REQUIRED)
  • Word count of no more than 300.

Inspired by Billy Joel’s River of Dreams.

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Remembering the Ancient Past

old_clock_by_ami46.jpgI love Lizzy, but I hate when she speaks cool-girl vernacular. Yesterday, I risked looking foolish and relayed my swan goddess dream for her. She did not laugh at my grandiose idea of being a sacrifice. She nodded along, riveted, as I spoke, then said, “Ticks and tocks of eternal time, sink the spirits lower than wine.”

I’ve never understood idioms, colloquialisms, or clever phrases. My vocabulary base is sufficient, but wittiness baffles me. Worse, the confusion embarrasses and torments me. I can’t get her cryptic comment out of my head, especially since the bizzare dreams are intensifying in frequency of occurrence and sensations of realness. I recognize the authenticity of the events in my aching bones and racing heart. I can no longer deny what I’ve long suspected, but have been afraid to voice, even here, in the pages of my super-secret diary. The dreams are memories. (I shudder as I write the words.) They replay my evil deeds, force me to acknowledge the weaknesses that dwell within me, that are me.

Tick, tock. The hands of life’s clock move forward in daylight. In the night, they reverse, pulling me into my shameful, pathetic past. I am helpless to correct their direction.

I like to think that I am strong, but my past behavior reveals the truth: I am a coward. I act compassionate and kind, but I know that when tested, I will put my standing before the well-being of others. I want to believe that my actions and efforts drive my life, but I am on a run-away train piloted by destiny.


in response to FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #9

The voice of Anastasia Sophia, writing in her Super-Secret Diary. Excerpt from Spinning Stardust.

 

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Stairway to Heaven

img_5954“I dare you.”

I ignored Amanda’s hot breath in my ear, swung around the corner, and stumbled down crumbling steps.

She grabbed my arm. “Don’t! I was kidding.”

I shook her off as old, stone walls yielded secrets. I rested body and cheek against the damp, rough wall, turned my face toward it, and licked. A cool wave of moss, soil, and wet rock enveloped me.

Amanda lunged, but was prevented from proceeding by the same magic that drew me. I remembered: a crevice in a dense forest, entrance to my cave; love lost; a lifetime; dying and resurrecting.


99 words toward Spinning Stardust, inspired by the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers.

 

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