Archive for May, 2014

Raincloud sits on the hill, arms folded and legs crossed watching over the other children, his sisters. Raincloud was born with eyes as grey as the clouds during the storms, he was born with a knowledgeable frown, he was born a protector. The children play and laugh while Raincloud sits and watches wearing nothing but his longhi and a single blue shoe .
Raincloud does not speak for he has no use for the language of man, he understands the wind, the smell of disturbed earth and the need to sit and watch. He remembers the anguished smile of his parents as the men in black took them over the pink hill, so called because of the forest of jacaranda trees that once embraced the pillowy folds on the horizon. The pink hill had not been pink for a long time, shortly after his parents were taken the trees glowed red until all that was left were their charred black skeletons.
He is the youngest in years but the girls are innocent, he knows this, he has the memories of his ancestors burned into his subconscious, the knowledge that he is special, that he can do what needs to be done. He remembers the three kingdoms before the fall of the one they called Whitebeard, whose death shook the very foundation of the land hundreds of years before Raincloud even existed.
“If you wont eat with us, then I will bring your food to you!” Pinpin, the oldest of his sisters runs towards him arms outstretched with a handful of juicy berries, she smiles and strokes his hair as he eats the fruit slowly, eyes fixed on the horizon. She sings in a whisper and her words carry across the breeze, he sees the trees flinch as her melody reaches them.
When the girls are inside their makeshift house Raincloud practises with the sword, his father had hidden it under the structure wrapped in burlap. Passed down through the generation from his grandfathers grandfather, the sword was Rainclouds rite of passage, his destiny.  At first the sword was heavy, hard for Raincloud to hold, but the touch was familiar to the blood that ran through him and so he persevered. Every day he would pick it up and swing until  he was a smooth and accomplished swordsman, against the bushes at least.
Today is Tipi’s birthday,  the middle sister. They know this from the markings on the trees, Three birthdays have passed since her parents were here, Three years since Raincloud beheld his mothers tender gaze. Pinpin and Navi dance in circles laughing around her, they call to Raincloud but he shakes his head, he must watch the road. Tipi’s eyes implore him and he gives in, with his one shoe he walks down to the girls, one eye on the horizon, watching the road for intruders, for the men in black robes.
Navi catches Rainclouds gaze  and winks before deliberately tripping Tipi over, its their secret. Tipi sees the hint of a smirk on Rainclouds face and realises the rouse.
“My leg! I think its broken!” she cried the children stopped and rushed to Tipi’s aid before she erupted into fits of laughter.
“Tipi how could you!” Navi exclaimed
“Yes Tipi, how could you?” A womans voice exclaimed
The children turned in shock at the sound of their mothers voice,  she opened her arms and the girls flew inside the safety of her embrace.
“Its over, the war is over” Their father smiled at Raincloud who stood alone, a single tear flowing from his eye. “You looked after the girls well son, I am proud of you” Raincloud ran into his fathers arms the only thing left in the spot where they played was Rainclouds small blue shoe.
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           The sun had not yet risen but the night was fast disappearing. The horizon underlined with a bright white line indicative of the glory that was to come. The black waves lapped against the sides of the boat and rocked it gently as though to prolong the slumber of the crew. There was no crew though, not anymore, not unless you counted Dulcie. She was wide awake at the helm, staring into the ebbing darkness. She wondered if she would ever see land again. She wondered if she would be doomed to spend her final days aboard this vessel. She wondered if she was already dead and this was, in fact, hell. Even with the bodies stored well below decks she could smell the putrefaction. So she chose to sleep here, under the stars, like holes on a sheet of blotting paper.
                It wasn’t her fault; they had pushed her and pushed her until she could see no other way. She had stowed away to find a better life, away from the desperate poverty and disease that was disseminating her town. Her family was already dead. She saw the ship, respectable, stoic and noble at the docks and in that moment made the decision as the cries of the orphaned children muddled her every thought.
                It was a military vessel and so she was sure that should she be discovered she would just be forced to alight at the nearest port and nothing more would be done. But she had underestimated the loneliness of the sailors as when they discovered her she was to become the ships entertainment. Forced to service the gentry and humiliated at every opportunity.
                Dulcie waited for her moment and took the Hemlock her father had given her from her purse. She tossed it in the broth that she was forced to feed them as they pawed at her through yet another meal. First the sickness came, followed by the dysentery then the howling, bleeding followed by respiratory failure and death. For weeks she had sailed with these rotting corpses and yet she had no remorse.
                In the distance she saw a single golden light on the horizon. A lighthouse, so close but she had no idea how to reach it. At present the boat was taking her in the right direction but if the wind changed she would be done for. She could not be on the boat when it finally arrived at a destination, they would see what she had done, she would be hanged and this would all be for nothing.