Another Day, Another Blog

July 31, 2007

The Cave in the Rock

Filed under: ficlet — iamza @ 4:38 pm

 The second child came just as the sun began to rise above the flat top of the mountain. Grandmother Witch sucked in her breath as the child began to wail. “This is not good. Two children born at the same time — this is an evil omen.”

Thandi lay silent, her face streaked with sweat and tears, eyes fixed on the highest part of the thatched roof where the branches curved so that they lay horizontally above the circular mud floor.

Grandmother Witch sighed and began to wrap the children in a brightly woven blanket Thandi had been working on for months. “There will be other children,” Grandmother Witch said, “but these two belong to the mountain.” 

She stood, and gathered the twins to her breast. “There will be other children,” Grandmother Witch repeated softly, hoping repetition would make the words truth.

Thandi remained still, and would not return Grandmother Witch’s gaze.  

***

The spring leapt merrily from the mountainside, darting between trees and over rocks as it skipped towards the grasslands beyond. Not far from the village, no more than half a day’s walk, the spring was split in two by an enormous rock. 

Grandmother Witch eyed the rock warily. When she was a child, her father had spoken of strange happenings around the rock — lightning that sparked near the rock on cloudless days, and the sound of muffled drums coming from within. Her mother had cuffed him about the ear, and blamed the stories on too much Amarula. Still, whenever she was around the rock, Grandmother Witch could feel her skin prickling, and she was reluctant to stay nearby for too long.

So she picked her way carefully but quickly through the stream, and laid the babies on the black surface of the rock. No sooner had she done so than a muffled drumbeat began to sound in time with her heart.

The Mountain Dwellers!

Grandmother Witch cried out and stumbled quickly away from the rock. With one last frightened look at the ominous black rock, she hastened back to the village, and safety. 

***

To be continued…   

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