Chapter 2 sci-fi novel set in the future when men and women live apart. Feedback welcome.
|It was six in the morning when she awoke, not that she knew what time it was. It was always the pale rays of the feeble rising sun that woke her up. That particular morning she felt lonely, without a purpose. She lifted her petite yet muscular body off the plastic bench and rubbing her face, gave a stifled yawn, like anybody would regardless of when they lived. Leaning on her lean arms sluggishly, she didn’t bother looking around. Considering the circumstances, she had adapted well to solitude however she was still a human, she still needed some contact.
But she didn’t remember, clearly, what that felt like. She had often thought about going back but even if they didn’t chase her out and tell her to never come back; she had doubts as to whether she could forgive them. That worked both ways. The anger inside her had been filed slowly, like a ragged fingernail till it was smooth and didn’t latch on to day to day thoughts. Anger is a result of hurt, and hurt doesn’t subside; just gets locked away in a deep maze and some days it finds its way out. This was one of those days.
She had a certain reoccurring dream where she heard screams and felt death with the shock of grief. But she hadn’t dreamt of her dying last night. She saw a small girl with the printed leather dress holding her hand. She saw them laughing. Akia was platting her hair gently, like a mother would. And she looked proud, her gentle smile as she told her to hold still. That night she had smelt her smell and felt her presence. A safe and soothing presence. The presence of a mother. As the dream came flowing back with the details, Narla felt her eyes confirming her sorrow.
They had told her she was diseased, they told her she was a betrayer. They told her what she had done was unacceptable. She was killed for being a traitor. All this for a man. That was what angered her; Akia had not bothered to think of the consequences, she had taken the risk and all that involved regarding Narla. And there was no time for her to explain her selfishness. Time had run out for her.
Narla didn’t vocalise her thoughts. In fact it had been a while since she had last spoken. She lived in silence and hunted in silence. Only on some distant nights had she started singing in front of her fire; songs that were perfect strangers to her ears. Starting quietly she ended up almost screaming them out. Then she felt stupid.
A small nightingale distracted her thoughts. It was about a metre away from her. Its head was tilted to one side, as if it could her something she couldn’t. Narla smiled, she was sure she had seen this same bird yesterday! She wanted to pick it up, stroke its lovely soft brown feathers and bring it up to her chest. Hug it. Love it. Secretly she hoped this magnificent little creature would come to her again. And with that it took flight. Narla’s eyes followed it as far as she could. The sun was getting higher now. With slightly uplifted feelings she stood up, and decided she might as well walk towards a direction. She thought that it was a good day for gathering edible plants.