March 13, 2013
Magda ate her grubs. She liked them better with a little wiggle but Momma insisted on making them “thoroughly cooked”. This part of land was especially rich in grubs and other larvae. Much better than after they became adults.
Godata stared at them for awhile and pushed them away. “I heard that some places eat plants,” he said.
“Who says that?” Magda asked.
“Tokono and the boy’s”
“Don’t go listen’ to what those boys tell you, they’re just like their fathers, full of lies and stories.” said their Mother
Godata was about to refute this but knew there was no arguing the truth. “We went to the end of the world today.”
“Did you now?
“Nicci said she went with them.” Magda piped in
“When did you talk to Nicci, before or after you collected, grubs?” Momma asked.
A large smile grew on Momma’s face “It was a quick trip then.”
“It’s not that far.” Godata said squishing a fat grub between his fingers.
“Oh, I’m sure it isn’t.”
“Bo’ula!” Only one person could say Momma’s name like that. Tokono’s momma. Magda didn’t even turn. She knew that there was going to be hell to pay. Still hungry, she grabbed Godata’s bowl and hid in the tent.
“Yes what can I do for you?” she said, then added, “Goshum go in with your sister.” Godata rushed to catch his sister.
“Your son took Nicci past the guard wall.”
Magda looked at her brother, eyes wide. “I told you I did.” he wispered. Trying to keep the pretence of the tent being a sound barrier.
“I heard that your son was there too.”
“it was your rotten little spawn that had them do it.”
Godata shook his head furiously.
“Excuse me Tokono, Who’s Idea was it to go past the gaurd wall?”
“I’ll talk to my children.”
“Tokono is in his tenth spring, almost a man, he can learn to speak for himself.”
“It’s that arrogance your disregaurd for youth’s stupidity that leads events like this. They could have been caught They could have been turned.”
Magda began to look closer at her brothers arm, the second bowl forgotten.
“I didn’t get turned, there are no lights on me.” Magda kept looking just to be sure. Even the tags were cause for banishment. “Stop it.” He pulled his arm away.
“Were you seen?
“Well...” he drifted off.
“I will talk to your son directly.” to Tokono she said, “So who thought it would be a good idea to go past the wall?”
He looked down at his feet and mumbled something barely perceptable.
“Don’t say such things.” His mother shook him.
“Who?” Magda asked
“What!” Magda slapped her hand to her mouth.
Godata! get out here”
He stepped out and slowly made his way to the two women.
“Who told you, you should go past the wall?”
“See he doesn’t want to admit it.”
“No, it’s not that, Um… Well… See, we were playing Mechs and Men and we got to the wall.”
“And you just had to go past.”
“No, we didn’t want to go. Nicci told us it would be okay. She said it was all lies. She took us to the end of the world.”
“What nonsense is that?”
“go see for yourself.”
“You’d like that you little pig”
“Don’t get mad at me, Nicci’s the spy.”
“Tokono’s Momma slapped him hard, “You rotten pig, How dare you.
Magda’s Momma grabbed her hand and said, “Never touch my Le’shum”
“Le’shum Ha. They are scum just like their father, I bet that little pig traitor wants to join him.”
“Go, now, I have no reason not to end you where you stand.”
She turned and left dragging Tokono by the arm.
“Yes Momma” she said poking her head out of the tent.
“Are you sure about Nicci?”
“Yes Momma, she showed me the wires. And the lights.”
“Fine, I am sorry for not believing you. Godata, let me give you this.” She went to a small box of food powder and pulled out a bundle. This my son, my Go’shum, is called a gun.” He reached for it. “careful, let me show you.” and she did.
“Your father is not a traitor, he is a brave man. He gave himself for the girl Nicci. She had wandered beyond the wall and we found her in the chasim. She was being carried away, he gave himself in trade for the girl. I see now it was in vain. I’m sorry. She’s already leading children away.”
“I’ll do it momma. I don’t want to hurt Tokono’s Momma, it will be sad.”
She stared at her son and cried. He was so much like his father. She saw the truth in his eyes. Magda saw it too. She didn’t have to be told. She set a new cloth blocking the front door and dividing the tent in two, set up the men’s ceremonial kit, and opened the back for her and her mother to use.
The three went to bed, Godata on his side Magda and her Momma on their’s. She comforted her momma as she cried. Magda still had a brother, but Momma lost a son.