Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Bonfire page 3


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The night felt thick as the water, as she stepped into the river. She could hear whispers, ebbs of conversations, and she could see them around her, walking through her, downstream. With the current People and words, thoughts maybe, or lights, flowing and sometimes being carried away by the breeze.

It started to rain, and she stood waist deep in the river, trying to see where the people were going. She could not focus on any of them for long, they seemed to drift in and out of sight, their beings like strands of colour and light, and sound, easily unwoven away and down the river. The rain falling on the surface of the water added to the hum of the music that was all around her now. Perhaps if she went with them, downstream, she would be able to see them more clearly. She took a step, and lurched. She felt nauseous and her stomach fell inside her. But it felt as if it was happening to someone else. She took another step. The heavy rain fell on her shoulders and her face, and the music was soft.

‘No, little princess, don't go that way.’ The man grabbed her by the elbow and gently pulled her back. She felt the smoke swirl around her, the dim colours of the people in the river mixing briefly with the cooler, sharper night. For a moment, she felt she wasn't attached to anything, but slowly the world seemed to solidify around her. The night was once more edgy, the stars glinting and the leaves in the trees crisply tapping under the rain.

She turned to see the music man, he was saying something to her, and his big, open smile was gone, but she still felt dizzy and confused, and she didn't understand what he said. She let him guide her back, up the slope, and past the bonfire, and didn't quite realise when he left her side, but she arrived at the senzala drenched under the rain and with the humming sound still playing in her ears.


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