Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Short fiction: the last city

The last city
Malia had been volunteered. That most of all angered her. Taken from her Village in northern Kenya, she was now a citizen of the American protectorate of afghanistan. A year ago she didnt even know where afghanistan was and now she lived in a house of metal and glass powered by the sun, not quite sure how it worked, despite the explanation of the others who lived in near identical houses of glass and steel. Malia understood that the numbers painted on the outside of her home were unique: four six eight seven nine five. Each house in the surrounding sprawl had their own. Each occupant an unmarried girl who had been taken from villages and town across africa and sent away. There were no other girls from her Village. She was here because her uncle was chief of her Village. He had told her not to talk about why but he had explained that if Ebola continued to spread across africa it would kill everyone. God would not protect them from the great sickness. The villagers were being told it was for schooling but some knew that it was because the sickness would spread across africa. Malia dug in the dirt with every intention of planting seeds from her Village. She had returned from the public well with her meagre water ration leaving little to irrigate with but she lived in a precarious future. The idea that they would be sent to this land to hide while their villages, their cities and towns died weighed heavily on Malia.
"what seeds are they?" Malia looked up from the dirt at the shadow that had fallen across her. Bunli was from Kenya as well but she lived in the capital. She had never farmed. For her the fine home of metal and glass was nothing more than a cargo container with windows. The faded animal head on Malia's house was a totem of a company that provided boxes of metal that towns would fill with bags of rice and send to other towns all across the world.
"olives. My grandfather bought them from a man in the village of tokolo near the northern border". Bunli didnt know the village.
"can I have some?" Malia considered the small precious handful of seeds and having picked through her prize collection gave her neighbour two seeds and watched as Bunli pocketed them. Malia finished the hole she was excavating and having placed a seed shuffled forward squatting over the hole and began to pee. Bunli looked elsewhere putting the collar of her shirt over her nose at the smell. They were supposed to use the toilets in their homes but she had seen many of the girls from poor villages do the same although not all of them were urinating on seeds. Malia covered the seed hole with excavated dirt and looked up at Bunli.
"you should do the same". Bunli wrinkled her nose at the idea of squatting in the dirt to pee. Then it happened. Bunli collapsed, sobbing at the prospect she would not get to see her family. Malia hugged her and rocked Bunli as though she were a child. Malia shared in her companion's horror and grief.
The despair subsided and Malia smiled at her sister of this shared destiny.
"olives weigh my branches down," Bunli stared at Malia as she began to sing.
"filled with fruit to the ground,"
"olives weigh my branches down," Bunli followed with the repeat.
"filled with fruit to the ground,"
"beneath which my daughter rolls around,"
"as naked as the day."
"olives weigh my branches down,"
"filled with fruit to the ground,"
"beneath which my daughter rolls around,"
"as naked as the day". The sisters smiled at a moment of happiness.

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