Me and Hanna tried a creative writing exercise today: give each other the first sentence and come up with ~one page long story.
My sentence for her was: I have always absolutely hated going to the village up the river and meeting the people from Hasturi tribe.
Her sentence for me was: Sit straight, I said”, the women with the strict lines around her eyes screamed at the child.
And this is what we came up with in ~15 minutes
“Sit straight, I said”, the women with the strict lines around her eyes screamed at the child. I took a deep breath to contain myself. “Exactly,” I thought. Plus the smell. The people barely ever washed. The little girl was shivering and almost crying, while the Tarmata was tattooing destiny words on her face. The customs of Hasturi were strange to our ways.
“May I ask what her words mean?” I asked in our language, for most here know it, and my Hasturi is too poor to hold a decent conversation
The elder who was in charge of tattooing the young spat the words like stale food: “Bravery, Theft, Storm.”
These words would be portrayed on the girl’s face from this day til she dies, symbolizing the elements of what destiny has in store for her. While waiting line for food supplies I had the chance to glance at the village life and sense once again how unfortunate it would be for our people to mix. The beliefs of Hasturi kept them from washing themselves more often than when the suns crossed their paths. It was believed that the subtle bodies around their skin accumulate the energy required to fulfill their destiny, and until it’s fulfilled, rebirth on other planets will not be carried out by the Sun Elders.
Bravery, Theft, Storm, I wondered as I looked into the girl’s orange eyes. What’s in store for her? She didn’t like the process one bit, but later she’ll understand that the Tarmata was doing it for her own good, for the sooner her destiny’s carried out, the sooner she’ll be admitted up the karmic ladder.
I wondered a little off and saw an old man with symbols signifying Clairvoyance, Defy, and… I hadn’t seen the third one before in my Hasturian studies. I knelt in front of the man and tapped my shoulders with opposite arms, a Hasturi gesture signifying friendly attitude and working for a common cause, my arms are your arms. The man smiled in acknowledgement.
“May I ask what the third symbol means”, I politely requested?
“Destruction,” he said. “The last one to pass. I know why you’ve come.”
That came as no surprise, seeing the first symbol on his face.
“The supplies down the river are dwindling, resisting the Council Rejects are taking their toll.”
“You are doing the right thing. Here, take this,” he lowered his voice and extended his fist facing downwards. I put my hand under and felt a little stone drop into it. When I looked at it, it seemed to shine with an energy of its own, bright white.
“Bring it to the girl, when she’s done. It will be needed.”
I wanted to ask more, but saw that the person before me disappeared in he food tent, which signaled it was time to get back in line. After 3 minutes or so he came out again with a wooden box in his cat-like paws. They were people from Tasska, friendly and agile. He smiled his feline smile at me and was gone, while a pitch black hand motioned me into the tent. Inside it were the Hasturi Food Committee, to whom I handed my tribe’s request that they scanned with the technology not accessible to us and promptly handed the supplies requested, along with greetings and salutations to our leaders.
When I walked out into daylight, both suns shining on my face, I didn’t see and almost tripped on the same girl being tattooed moments ago. She was kneeling with her face in her hands, apparently sobbing. I recalled the bright stone in my pocket. Kneeling next to her I took out a Zirgla fruit and placed in front of her on the ground. She opened her swollen eyes to look at it, then at me, I smiled, but she hid her face hurryingly, still ashamed and confused at what has been done to her face.
“Eat”, I tried to speak in broken Hasturi. “Tarmata want good. Must. Understand soon.”
The girl grabbed the fruit and bit into it. “More must give,” I struggled to continue, while shoving my hand in my pocket and presenting the shining stone to her. When she saw it, her eyes and body tensed, a reaction she herself did not yet understand. The soul-bodies of Hasturi know their destinies before their minds do, that’s why their destiny words can be read from their eyes, fingers and hair. The reactions assured that the clairvoyant man knew this girl’s destiny was connected with the stone.
I have always absolutely hated going to the village up the river and meeting the people from Hasturi tribe. I mean, sure, they taught us about accepting the other cultures the way they are, about how it important it is for the Hasturi to not hide anymore to overcome the severe pain they went through during the oppression. “The dark age”, how they just state it in History Books. And since the government´s new Inclusion law things are improving I guess. I mean, I cannot recall seeing any employed Hasturi before the law was introduced – sometimes you saw them lingering on the street, fingering themselves, licking the dirt off each other´s bodies or rubbing against some brick stones, branches, whatever they could find. But nowadays you see them everywhere.
It sometimes even seems as if they were the only ones leaving their houses. Wherever you go now, you see them, naked as a jaybird, spitting their chewing tobacco in a high bow towards the sun. Nothing special to the town anymore.
Oh first, yeah, first it was a shock. When they came, I remember how they forbade the young ones to go out. There were several cases in TV that some even fainted from the sight of two Hasturi greeting each other. But this is how it always was for them, they see each other and do it orally, we see each other and shake hands. Sometimes we hug, but that´s only for the really deep relationships. So I guess the government understood that it isn´t simply done with opening the market for the new ones. There also has to be some education about them for the old ones. It just happened in the last year before my graduation, back then.
Suddenly there was this one young Hasturi dude coming to our class once a week to explain us how it all works for them. He showed us the different positions they use for showing affections, sadness, anger… We saw the old illustrations of their gods, united through intercourse in totally absurd angles, had to listen to their songs and eventually started with language courses. After all this time, and all the years I studied Hasturi now, I still have to admit that it has a very strange sound to me. Their sentences always ending in high pinched sounds and shrieking noises. Very peculiar, indeed. I tried to like it, and it´s not that I don´t accept them, really. Ok, it´s true, I was raised a Catholic, so at first, yeah… at first I didn´t approve all of it. But none of us want to be called a racist, right? So I approached some of them, made some friends, good guys. I started reading their literature and got more used to their language. Last year for my birthday one of my Hasturi friends even gave me a voucher for the National Hasturi Opera, so I went, and I kind of liked it, yeah…
Well… looking back to the starting point it was hard for all of us. It wasn´t like we wanted to have them here. But I am happy that we all tried. We see that the diversity in our little town brought us so much improvement. At the West End there is us living, and right opposite the Hasturi. They call their district “The Village”. But it´s not like we can´t go there or they can´t come in here. No, it´s more like, you know, just like Chinatown in New York, or Little India in London. We get along with each other, we really do.
And yet… ok, don´t get me wrong now. But if I´m being very honest, as I said, if I can, I don´t go to the village. Don´t feel good doing it. In fact, I absolutely hate it. Once in a while I can´t help but to go, getting some cheaper food, having some meeting… And they all welcome me so warmly. I enter their house, they give me a blow job, they dress me off and start touching me happily. They really treat me like their family members, and it´s something we should learn from, definitely. And then I return, and they all seem so bloody happy…and so am I. The world suddenly seems so fucking full of colours. And on my way back, grabbing my bike and just rushing down the lanes, it feels as if I would have grown wings.
And once I am home, I sit down on my couch, turn the TV on, make myself comfortable. Not thinking of much, I try to remember how to feel good at home again. I try remembering how that worked, not being able to forget the screams of lust inside me. The pulsing memories and the shining bright eyes. And on top of the TV there is the painting of Jesus. I swear yesterday he still had a smile on his face. But tonight, his eyes are right there burning with anger.