Murcan Sun – 3/3

Part 1/3

Part 2/3

Renneyeh’s first daughter is a ways out in the empty acres of scrub and dried grass that lie between house and road and school downriver, but Nulba’s eagle eye can spot her. Tight on the ground, red marks on the body. There are no brackens in her fist.

Pualan, he been irregular of a thirdday for this reason.

It’s a minute while Nulba says nothing but feels the pounding in her veins, and first daughter stares at the ground, face hid but insides showing.

“Back an’ we go.”

“He told me here, hard-like. So I sent the sisters away by road.”

Frightened but not entirely. Already thinking the sisters too young for what she is, thinking maybe it’s a badge of some fine kind; in the first daughter there is that pride-shame to make Nulba rage. Nearing the house, the girl slips inside rather than be pulled out into the field, but Renneyeh sees and comes to Nulba.

“You gone, what for? She out of the school?”

“She out to stay.” Nulba pulls her hoe out of the earth, metal hot and strong. “That girl never a child anymore. Nothing more of noting or figuring or games in her head.”

Renneyeh doesn’t hear. “Now you comfort in the sun! Maybe she sick or idling, but she go on back. There been –”

“You-on try an’ have Pualan send her back, an’ maybe then she go, but she won’t get nothing of noting or figuring.” Nulba spits. “Ill thing for girl-uns to be lost of their school, an’ not even twelve.”

Renneyeh shakes her head, still pleasant. “You have haze troubles?”

“Girl never a child anymore, an’ hardly twelve. You go in an’ see.”

“Now, still daylight an’ I got plenty left at my end of the field. Let the daughter be,” Renneyeh says, and she’s smiling but she’s looking at nothing but earth, not the sun nor the sky nor Nulba. Continue reading “Murcan Sun – 3/3”

Murcan Sun – 2/3

Part 1/3

Nulba goes out into the field and the sweat makes runnels between the cords in her arms and her back. She sees the tall figure that is Pualan coming, sees it only out of the corner of her eye. She pulls the weeds in vigorous motions and does no listening for hours until Pualan recedes and Renneyah comes out of the house – she’s not solid like Nulba but she still has a full round look.

Nulba shifts so that Renneyeh can get at the same clump of weeds.

“You showin’ all your face.” Nulba’s mouth is over-full; she spits to the side and it is soaked up almost instantly.

“Maybe, maybe-so.”

He come to eat and lay here an’ there, an’ never lift a finger. Thick roots make the ground split as Nulba tugs.

By evening Renneyeh’s daughters return to the house, and the first daughter is laughing over-easy so that Nulba watches her closely. But there’s nothing that night and Nulba takes her sleep alongside Renneyeh’s warm, comfort flesh just as always, that comfort like a gentler sun. Continue reading “Murcan Sun – 2/3”

Murcan Sun – 1/3

“Gone. Gone ‘cross the middle sea on their cobble boats.”

“All for that life they seen in pictures.”

They sit comfortably, reiterating to each other what they live every day. At the sun’s highest, hottest, and driest, they sit on the porch. At the sound of their voices Renneyeh’s first daughter comes up from the dust, rounding the corner of their three-room house. She has wilted brackens in her fist – for a game of some sort.

“They say at school they was never so many here in Murca. Always been more girl-uns than boy-uns here.”

Renneyeh smiles. Her daughter’s eyes are odd-green like hers.

“Them as took the boats, they were an’ they went.”

“Maybe, maybe-so,” Nulbah rejoins, but diffidently. “Could be long legend. That once there was boats, not like us-uns who go dead to the wolves an’ the mites an’ such. But here we are.”

“No one ever seen boats. No one gone ‘cross the middle sea,” Renneyah’s daughter bursts out. Yet Renneyeh is placid. Continue reading “Murcan Sun – 1/3”