Friday, March 22, 2013

In a Distant Land


"We are far from our Home, far from our Father's house."

Ruth bowed her head as she listened to the words, words that echoed through the long years they'd lived here.

"We are home," she thought. "This is my father's house."

Her lips twitched slightly thinking what the others would say if they could hear her thoughts.

She looked up and caught her mother, Anna, watching her across the table. She schooled her face back into solemnity under her mother's gaze. Her obedience was rewarded by a slight nod.

"The sun that warmed our ancient land is a star that shines yet in our nights, the candle in the darkness calling to mind the light of the One who chose us."

Heads nodded around the table and a quiet murmur of assent arose here and there from the group.

The life within her moved and Ruth placed her hand on her belly. She smiled softly and caught her mother's matching smile. Ruth searched her mother's face. The fear that news of her pregnancy had awoken there had receded, subdued by the initial findings.

It was hard-won knowledge. The early histories told of heartache, of horror. Not enough had been known of the air here, the water here, the food they grew here. Enough to sustain life, yes.

But for new life to birth here, so far from where humans had first seen the light, much more needed to be learned.

That learning brought pain, brought death, brought an evil from within their hearts that burned away many of their number before it burned itself out.

They came together, held to who they were, learned what they needed to do to survive. Thus it had always been through the long years of their people.

Ruth looked again at her mother. The fear wasn't completely gone. That would not happen until the birth, until her child was examined and pronounced hale and whole.

Ruth smiled to herself as the celebration of life continued around her. Her mother would find other things to worry her then.

She, herself, was not afraid. Feeling the life move beneath her hand, Ruth knew her child would be found hale and whole.

This was their home now. Their long journey had led them here. Where they had come from was a distant place, only known in story, no longer in the memory of even the oldest of them.

Here was their home. Her child would be hale and whole, and human.

Human enough.

8 comments:

  1. Lovely flash! Is this a part of your Ruth series?

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    1. Hi Laura, glad you liked it.

      Yes, this is one of my Goldberg Variations - Ruth and Anna are still talking to me. :)

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  2. This is the first I can remember seeing of this series. Looks very promising. (And it's good to know I'm not the only one who has chatty voices in his head. :-)

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    1. Hi Larry, this isn't a "normal" series (I mean, consider the source!)

      They're variations on a theme, which is relationship (I think.) So the series has the same characters, in different and differing combinations. And they're not linear. (Again, consider the source.) :)

      Clicking on the GoldbergVariations tag above should filter the blog entries to just those - of which there are 14, though I have another one written and two more sketched out.

      Thanks for the "very promising" - I expanded one variation out to a complete novel. This one has possibilities in it also.

      As to voices...I'm glad there's the outlet for them - otherwise...

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  3. Human enough indeed. Having just gone down the rabbit hole on serials, I could also see you unpacking this if you wanted to, but I don't mind its remains residing in the imagination. This works on its own.

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    1. Thanks, John, for you comment. I'm glad the piece stands on its own two(?) feet. It strikes me, on the nth reading, that this might need an additional word or two to fit within the framework that's developing for the variations.

      'Tis never done till it's...left to fend for itself.

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  4. There's a hint of menace in that last line that makes me wonder how much of their previous evil they've actually forgotten...

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    1. Yes, some menace is there.

      I've actually wondered what it was they "...learned what they needed to do to survive". There seems to be a certain menace there.

      Neither Anna nor Ruth is forthcoming on that point - as yet.

      Thanks for the comment, Icy.

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