Continued from this post which was a continuation of this post which all began with this post. And here's a post on why I'm doing this (though that really shouldn't matter) with a mini-rant and other crap.
Did more writing so, I'm posting. From this point on you can leave your 5 word sentence starter with every completed section posted. It's coming pretty fast and frurious so there may be more sections as the weekend rolls along. (So, I'm altering the rules... but, hey... it's my process.)Contributers to this section...
"here at the right time but wrong place or right place but the wrong time" – kfarmer
"tripping over her own ego" – jade ed girl
"Osmun hurried to the
By 4 in the afternoon she had pretty much given up on ‘him-who-has-no-name’ actually turning up. This was the little joke moniker she had privately bestowed on him as she was walking back from the village earlier in the day. She chuckled a little while thinking to herself that he probably ran on typical village time. The only events that ran on time in the village were births and funerals. Everything else was sort of an interpretive dance of life. After all he did say “in the afternoon” and didn’t specify which. She also reasoned to herself that everyone the village knew everyone else and each others’ business. Chances are he was helping out with arrangements for the recently deceased fisherman during which he ran into Mr. Osman who probably told him that the materials were only being delivered the next day.
Feeling a little spent from all that sorting and packing she decided to slip into her sarong and take a nap. As she lay on her side she spotted her grandmother’s workbag that she had placed beside the bed the night before. It was an old fashioned leather doctor’s case that stood upright and opened from the top. She remembered that there was a certain mystical prestige that was attached to it. On any ordinary day her grandmother was Mak Cik (aunty) to everyone in the village. One those days that she carried the bag she was always addressed as Puan (lady). It was a phenomenon she first took notice of at the age of 9 when she first followed and witnessed her grandmother delivering a baby. She remembered also the sense of awe and pride she felt knowing that her Nenek helped to coax life into this world.
She lay on her front, positioned herself on the edge of the bed, opened the bag and looked inside. She took delight and marveled at the simplicity of the instruments… also noting how little they had really changed over time. She decided almost immediately that this would be one of the few items she would keep and take with her when she left for
When she awoke she first noticed the colors of dusk beginning to envelop the sky outside. She lolled in bed for a while enjoying the low buzz of being half awake as thoughts floated in and out of her still dreamy state. Some of them involved the new life she was embarking on in
She walked through the small orchard outside with a basket in one hand and a kerosene lamp in another as the dusk began to give way to the night. She picked a couple of bananas and a starfruit then made her way along the stone pathway to bathhouse which was situated a respectable distance away from the house and closer to the jungle stream that bordered the 3 acre property. This was a half roofless structure measuring ten by ten feet built on top of a flattened granite rock. 4 wooden 8 foot walls provided the bather’s privacy. On the roofless end stood 2 large clay jars, 4 feet high with an equal radius. One was fed by a bamboo spout that siphoned water from the stream and was in a constant state of overflow that drained down the slight gradient of the granite floor toward a hole in the corner out back toward the stream. The other jar was used to catch rainwater. The covered half was the dry area where one hung up towels and changed in and out of clothes.
Mina hung up her lamp, pulled out her bottle of shampoo from her basket, and made her way to the jar that caught rainwater. Once her hair was shampooed and rinsed she reached for the bar of soap from the basket. The fresh cold stream water felt great against her skin as she stood bathing in the moonlight. The moonbeams lit everything with an ethereal blue glow. As she poured the last bucket to rinse off she felt a presence outside. She turned to look at the door she had left opened and saw him standing outside watching her.
How long had he been there she wondered. Without drying herself she quickly slipped back into her sarong, picked up her basket and walked out. Once outside they stood there for several moments looking at each other not more than 10 feet apart. She was not afraid but there was a propriety that had been breeched and yet there seemed to be no courtesy of any apology forthcoming. The whimsy in his eyes from the morning had now been replaced with intensity. She realized that he probably saw the same in hers and decided to make her way past him back to the house as quickly as she could. As she drew nearer she suddenly became aware that the intensity in his eyes possessed a vulnerability that she had only ever known in the eyes of a new born facing the first moments of life.
As she walked past him she felt his hand on her bare shoulder. It was a firm yet gentle touch of a man that transformed the slight annoyance she first felt inside into a stirring desire. It was the kind of touch she had forgotten a man was capable of… the kind of touch that belonged to a more innocent and pure age. She stopped, turned and looked at him, her mind reeling. From the quagmire of this situation she wasn’t sure if here was the right time but wrong place or right place but the wrong time. Should she brush him off or respond to the warmth mounting within her? She turned to look at his hand on her shoulder… then back into his eyes. He withdrew his hand. She turned to walk away before her own eyes betrayed her further. She knew full well if she looked back the primal within would win.
The walk back to the house seemed like an eternity as half thoughts added to the confusion caused by the desire of her body clashing up against the rationale of her mind. They were from different worlds yet from the same beginnings of the village. He was decidedly uneducated yet possessed a quick an uncanny intelligence that was innate and could never be schooled. Her future lay elsewhere yet why should she deprive herself of the moment. Both relief and regret hit her simultaneously as she reached the door of the back verandah. As she closed the door to lock out the night she saw him still standing in the moonlight where she left him.
She headed for the safety of her room and slipped out of her now wet sarong. She dried herself off, found a replacement sarong and slipped into it. As she secured the knot to secure it she felt the gentle touch of his hand caress the softness of her belly. She swung around and their lips met as the last cogent thought slipped fleetingly out of her mind. This is safe as she would be leaving for another life in a few days.
The fresh green smell of the jungle clung lightly in the cool night air as she looked out. The moon was at half but provided enough to illuminate the bamboo grove that grew about 50 yards behind the wooden stilted house. Beyond that the jungle still waited as it did when she was a girl. In her early youth it also marked the line she was strictly forbidden to venture past by her doting grandparents.
"Mina... " her grandmother would gently instruct, "... you can play anywhere but don't go past the bamboo. Understand?" It usually happened whenever her grandmother caught her looking in that particular direction. It usually happened when she was helping to free the seeds from the pungent petai pod that was magically transformed into a tasty sambal for the evening's dinner. It usually happened in the open kitchen at the back of the house, below the back verandah, where she spent many an afternoon learning the family recipes.
In the dark she quietly made her way through the house onto the verandah at the back. She stood looking out at the bamboo grove enjoying the light breeze cool her body. Her eyes trailed along the 20 foot covered walkway that led to the open kitchen where that promise was made to her grandmother so many years ago. She had crossed many lines in her 30 years on this earth but never this one. Her promise was still intact.
The sides of her full lips curled at the thought of some of the lines she did cross. Some of them happened when she s a teenager growing up in the city. Most were crossed when she left for college halfway across the world in
Just then, the bamboo grove disappeared into the blackness of night as a dark cloud passed blocking the light of the moon. She closed her eyes, tilted her head back slightly and drew in a deep breath. "Rain..." she thought to herself as she caught the smell of heady dampness in the air.
She turned to go back in but then she heard it again. Ever so softly she thought she heard the sound of that mysterious flute. She had always heard it when she still had sleep in her eyes. Never when she was fully awake like she was now. She strained her ears to listen but was rudely interrupted by a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. Big fat drops of rain began to fall obliterating any chance of determining the direction of the sound.
A series of flashes lit up the night sky followed by rolling thunder. In this sudden burst she thought she saw what she had never seen before... a foot path leading into the bamboo grove. She waited for more flashes to confirm that she actually did see what she thought she saw moments ago. Another flash... but it was no longer there. She rationalized that it was probably her imagination and returned indoors as the rain began to come down heavy outside.
This is a new creative project I'm attempting. One in which you can contribute to as well. Here is how it will work.
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