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RAMNA: Excerpt, ZOMO

RAMNA: Excerpt, ZOMO

I am so into this story that has become a wild horse in need of a heavy saddle. ZOMO. I can’t wait to finish writing it. Here is an excerpt/flash-fictiony-bit from chapter 2,010,822. No, it’s not a trilogy. I just need to stop blithering and start editing.

RAMNA

She scoured the sunbaked earth on bloody hands and knees, looking for something, anything, suitable for a gift. Ramna used the last of herself to heave her body up the four steps, thinking wryly that her mother would be happy that she did not ‘show up empty handed’.

Footsteps told her somebody heard. Curled in a ball with arms reaching beyond bowed head, she waited with hope faded to the color of the branches and leaves in her upturned palms.

There was no hushed hesitation. Instead, she was lifted and ushered inside in one movement, where an earthen room blazed with rustic magnificence. Busyness surrounded her as platters were carried, and wine poured. Ramna, only child, was dazzled by the well-worn sense of celebration.

And then, she was entirely at home at a festive dinner table, as if this was an event she attended weekly.

Ramna ate, gratefully; she drank gold-flecked water; listened and laughed along with the spirited conversation, flowing like the wine.

She was walking gingerly to the restroom, staying close to the high backs of the chairs to obscure her shredded clothes; admiring the table setting, when she spotted the exquisitely arranged centerpiece. This display was classy in its simplicity; a perfect counterpoint to the ornate candleholders, the chandelier. This: was a display of sticks and dead leaves. My gifts, she marveled, humbled; awed. My meager, pathetic gifts, gathered in the dirt, gathered in desperation; displayed as the pièce de résistance.

A tear drew a line through the dirt on her left cheek as Ramna looked more closely at the faces of her hosts. In the same moment she studied them, she forgot their features. All she knew was that they were her brothers. She didn’t wonder why there were no women in that room until she awoke, curled in the spoon formed by the roots of the Master Zomo Tree, arms reaching beyond bowed head.

She knew in that moment, that she had to take the journey. She was the one after all.

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