Betrayal of Eralavict
By DhNAi Divine
Copyright 2017 DhNAi Divine.
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
Who ready for some fun?! Ooh, ooh, I am! Me, me! After about a week away from home, I finally went back. I only stayed with Drei for a couple days, until I had to slide on up out a there.
I’m feelin’ him an’ all, but no need for either of us to get comfortable in domestic, okay? When I left him, I ain’t have the proper mind to go back home just yet. When I finally got there though—I was in for a world of surprise. First thing on delivery was a flaming hot package, deep from the fiery bowels of the underworld. My folks went in on me!
Lecturing me to sleep, then back awoke again. I think I saw my dad morph into like 5 demons over the course of said lecture. That wasn’t the surprise…the lecture was usually the opening act to the main event. The surprise; when it was all said and done that was it! No punishment, no hands laid, no extra lecture.
Nothing. Zip. Zero. Goodnight. That’s all.
I swear I sat in the living room for a good hour (at least that’s what it felt like) with my mouth dropped, face twisted to the 9th dimension. Like, huh? You know, I had to take advantage of this rare celestial opportunity. My parents musta felt bad about that dinner or somethin’. I don’t know and at this point I surely don’t care.
All I know fa sho, it’s time to plot. ‘Cause see, me and FaiCita got some plans in the works. And if I, Kheznaria, want clearance from the parents to go, I must butter them up. Butter them, before I bake them. Yes.
My hands rub together. No silly, of course I’m not asking them if I can leave for mischief with the girls. There’s always a proper and even honest cover darling. Neimala’s folks invited us on the Wave, the Spiritual Wave. It’s a gathering for those who wanna get close to the essence and it’s movement the flow.
That sounds cool, but it can always get better. And it did once the book from Patrice’s shop was consulted. There’s a nice spot ‘round where the gathering is happening. It goes down in two months time. So, I got 8 weeks to butter, season, sweeten, then fry my parents up.
First on the list shall be father. He was working on the fence in the backyard, some bad snots broke the fence door, so me being the thoughtful daughter that I am opt to fix his favorite drink. I saunter in the kitchen, placing the cold pitcher of water on the counter, searching the cabinets for the container with that blue powder, once that was found I went back to the fridge. I snatch the bowl of diced blue watermelon instead of red right out. I whip that shit like bam.
Gave it a love blessing, then left for the backyard. I spot my dad trying to cool down under one of the fruit trees in the backyard. Yes, a chuckle is released under my breath. He was failing horribly at the task. My drink is right on time.
I smile lovingly upon dear father, greeting, “Hey dad.” My dad’s eyes open, looking up at me from the grass, side eye apparent. I respond to it, “What? I’m just tryna be nice. I don’t want you to pass out in this sun,” I gesture to the hot thing in the sky. “Or melt—you know Yays have been known to melt.”
He gives me a look. “In what history?”
I shrug. “I don’t know. I’m just reporting the rumors. Just in cast it’s true—I did somethin’ to prevent it.”
He gets the drink from me, taking a sip. I wait with the pressure of heavy winds on my heart for his reaction. When he closes his eyes and tip his head toward the sky, I knew my job was complete for the moment.
“It’s righteous,” Dad said, holding up the blue melon concoction. “Since you in such a good mood—you wanna come out to Bohltu Fields? Help out like you use to.”
I squeal. “I’ll be ready in 2.5 seconds pops!”
My eyes close, wings open catching warm breeze, head to the sky, arms wrapped around myself. Glorious. A flattened field, trees pushed out around the field, workers running about was my surroundings. Units of men carrying trunks and heads of trees near the tents I standing by. I was taking a moment in the peace of the field.
When I was younger my dad would bring me to the flat fields to help. I’d keep the food makers entertained with stories of adventures I would have someday, while they prepared food and drink. Then it was my duty alone to pass the food around to all the units, I ran tasks around the land or towns nearby. On break time my dad would actually let me roam the woods, just so I could find some special rock, or whatever really, to take home. Countless memories of the guys taking me on flights on their big wings, so I could see the aerial view of the land.
That’s what always had me hyped for the chance to fly on my own. Trust…I would try, but my baby wings couldn’t even gimme a steady hover off the ground. Chillin’ wit’ dad was a lot funner than I would ever admit to him. Me helping in the flat fields was always our thing. ‘Tika would always stay in the tents, running from all the loud sounds around the field.
Me on the other hand, I ran for them, curious eyes wanting a peak. Later that night—after helpin’ Dad in the fields, I make a strange and sudden decision. I decide to get up for school in the morning. Figure it would look good on me achievement list, when I turned it in for recommendations to enter the Wave. Lessons are seasonal—the older one gets, the more you got to go, but for more specialized lessons.
Rather than the general ones we gotta share. My school is Bluwe Dhome. When we get there, WE, you’ll understand the name. I decide against Avuh, just shined up that mornin’. My parents was still trapped in the snores, takin’ it all in ‘cause ‘Tika was out for a few days this season.
Me? I always take the school Curveyn double—one a the reasons I can’t stand going for lessons. Once I was ready, I left the house, strolling towards the Rhythm. It was busy this early light, I’m pushing through tall people, swole people, stick people, and people who too grown to be so damn small. Dang, what’s goin’ on this mornin’?
I keep pushing on, till I saw the double come into view. I was early as far as my clock is concerned, but late according to theirs. Kids was already on the double, hyper and cheery as if lessons was something to celebrate about. Thankfully Ms. Leo always wait for the draggin’ they ass kids. I happen to be amongst said crew, but hey!
I got a lot of ass. I walk up on the floating double, reaching out to caress its smooth design, taking my time, meeting the eyes of some kids on the Curveyn. I climb the drop steps, then saunter on the big Curveyn, smiling and thanking Ms. Leo with my eyes. Then I take my seat, which was always up front. Most kids like to be cute and attempt cool, by sitting way back, not me.
Personally, I ain’t tryna get no deeper in this dookie bowl, besides its some hoes on this double I can’t stand. And they can’t stand me. Shit, as we speak they was in the back of the double giving me the stank eye. They must be thanking the gods that I need to be on good behavior to go on this trip, or else for old time sake I’d whup both they ass. I flop down.
Just as I take a breath of relief, HE sidles up next to me. He, him, who? Ugh. The boy with the funkiest breath in our level. I smelled him before he even made his move.
He shined up and far too often. Gold boy is in desperate need of some Kanatha. Some floss in his ass. His gold skin was rusting, white residue on him. Dirty funk breath dude may get cussed out today.
I know he go try me.
Funky boy, “Kheznaria, its been too long.” The heat seeking missile that is the fire from his break sought me.
Ew! Not long enough. See this why I hate taking the double!
My eyes peel open in need as the flat field with a many landed Curveyn doubles on it, comes into view. I start rocking, my palm itching like crazy. The only thing that could satisfy it, is spreading my palm and laying it across someone face with speed and force. That someone?! Funk boy!
His hot breath done made a bubble of funk in this seat and I am ready to pop it with my fist. But I can’t. Ms. Leo is cool, but to my memory she tolerates no fighting. That’s why I give out my beatings like candy right before class in the field, behind some trees or when we get dropped off home. When the floating double hovered low enough, and unleashed the drop steps, I spider crawled over the barricade between my seat and the door, not waiting for funk boy to move out my way.
‘Cause if I did—he’d be on some games and then I’d have to join with my fist being the main player. I didn’t even wave to Ms. Leo, gonna have to apologize about it later. But right now! I need to breathe! I hop out the double, collapsing on the grass, taking deep breaths of fresh proper smelling air.
I was on that double taking small sips of air, praying that I only got the more refined particles of oxygen, instead of the shit filled ones from funk boy’s mouth. I on’t even look back at the double, don’t need flashbacks or this day may be over before it started. My pacing began on this semi-flat field, trees sporadically spread around the field. Curveyn doubles, regular sized Curveyns filling up the field. Groups of kids pouring in for the day.
I simply weave through the crowd to the Dhome. Once I see the Dhome tree system was near, I duck to a nearby baby tree. Well, the baby tree was baby compared to the Bluwe Dhomes. Speaking of Bluwe Dhomes, I promised you some understandin’. Bluwe Dhome Lesson House is a five tree system.
Thee Bluwe Dhome, it was the deepest shade of blue, the leaves where blue and morphed into purple at the tips, and it was where most classes was held. It sat in the middle and was the biggest of them all. Four smaller trees by comparison of the middle one, but still pretty damn swole, all colored various hues of blue, two sat to the north of the biggest and the other two sat to the south of it. I know the south tree to the right, I knows what goes on in there pretty well.
That tree was Council Lounge, it was for the teachers, council board, main office hall, and the discipline hall. Council Lounge tree was a paler blue, no wonder it held the discipline hall for bad kids. It’s no wonder I hated that tree on sight. I been in the D hall probably for about half the year. The north tree to the right as well is the fun of Dhome.
The fun interactive classes, arts, fitness, practice. The other two…no clue. You askin’ the wrong one. Today, only the mega tree will be graced by me Khezzy. Inside the tree trunk was hollow space, a door carved into the trunk, made out the wood snatched from the very trunk.
The classes? On the tops, the dome. How do we get up there? I’m glad you care enough to ask. There’s a ladder up top, can be thrown down under necessary demand, so it’s usually not, which I appreciate.
Early in the morning I ain’t tryna climb nothing. Flying dust, dust came straight from wings of a matured Yay. I really wish I produce that dust. But, sadly I’m not there yet. Only a non-winged person, injured Yay, too young to fly Yay can use the dust.
The teachers say it’s such great practice for our wings. F that. I’m a be hella injured today, injured with broken bones of laziness. Keio betta gimme that dust. I wait for the sea of youth bright eyed Yerosai ready to enter the trunk of one of the 5 trees, before I enter the main one.
By the time I skip for door, I was late for my first lesson of the early light. I push back the heavy door, looking up from the darkness of the hollow trunk to the light spilling in from the dome. Before I could take flight, I was stopped in my tracks by Keiomaztin. The door guard who take his duty too serious. I almost forgot his existence.
“Kheznaria Umtofye! Haven’t been here in a couple forevers and still got the nerve to be late your first time back.” His buck toothed golden majesty comes from out the shadows.
I observe him, take his new look in. A tiny smirk forms on my face, then I knock it away. “Keio, how’s it crackin’? I see you let ya dog Cumber piss in ya hair.”
He looks up at the stringy bang falling on his forehead. “Yellow hair is all the rage!” He yells incredulously.
I do my best not to laugh at him, but I fail. “Where’s that Keio? It surely ain’t ‘round my way.”
He points at me in disgust, I can’t help but grin at this fool. “And where is wearing cloth in sync? Huh? You think you’re just so special.” His warm brown face was turning red, I was really pissing this boy off. Let’s continue, shall we?
“Oh it’s not Keio. Nowhere except my house and my crew, but see I can admit that. It might—might look better if ya hair was springier, but that piss string you got goin’ on ain’t cuttin’ Keio. And I’m just giving it to you honest.”
His eyes look down, then he turns away, finger combing his hair. “Is it that bad Kheznaria? You think a curl would make it better?”
I hold back chuckles, hide away my smile ‘cause I know it’s go come out my voice. “It would help a bit. Another hue would help more. I’m sorry Keio—you just don’t have the juice to make piss colored hair fall in the sync. It’s not happenin’.”
I hear him sniffle, muttering, “Thanks Kheznaria.” He pulls himself together and I learn when I give him a little flavor—he just turn around and spoil it.
“Now that that’s over.” He lifts his head, going back in ‘doing too much’ mode, looking down at me. “I’m gonna have to write you up. Why were you late? How can we prevent this from happening tomorrow? Why have you missed the latest lesson? Do you have a write up from your parents explaining your behavior?”
I sigh, rolling my eyes, shaking my head back and forth. Not today Keio.
“Dude,” I cut into his shit, “you need to get the hell out my business. I’m no—”
He interrupts me, pointing to the light of the dome, “Whatever has to do with that is my business!”
“Shut up! Let me finish. I’m not even here for class today. Mama sent me here to get my transfer. I was told to come in later—after classes start, kids settle. You not knowin’ Keio.”
“Well,” he utters skeptical, “why didn’t you head for Council Lounge?”
“Why you think I’m here after classes fool?! I went there first—they had me wait the kids out over there. What you think—I was playing in the shadows first?” I frown up my face, as though I was telling the truth. “It was the Council Lounge that sent me here. You messing up plans right now man.”
He looks away, seem unsure if I was speaking the truth. That must of meant he was being a lazy guard. That yellow on his head must of got to his brain, ‘cause usually he on top of his game. Checking the main office before he even start guard duty.
“Okay, you can go up.”
“Let me get some dust.” I reach behind him, he pushes my hand away.
“Don’t push it Kheznaria. I’ll see you after lessons. By then I’ll know if your story checks out.”
I smile, then wink at him. I fly up the hollow trunk, going for the light of dome.
For 6 stressful weeks, I am on my better behavior. Tough times. My parents accept it with no suspicion. Never voiced it to me much, at least. I assume they believe that little talk slowed me to the level of retardation—the mental impairment makin’ me act out with proper behavior. Whatever they wants to think—I’m a sho let ‘em.
I’m ready for this trip and a warm tingly feeling inside me says they’ll gimme a yes. I spent my days cleaning up behind my parents and myself too. Going to school, pretending I was doing my after lesson work. I been amazing if I say so myself. The last task of this 2 month trial period is the icing, cherry, sugar bits on top of mom/dad cake/pie/muffin. Yes.
Taking ‘Tika on a trip. Trip to the Barn Jam. Don’t ask, please. Its name—location is all I know. I know too, ‘Tika been wanting to go back since she first went with her class last year.
I’m even gonna pay for it.
On the day I suggested it ‘Tika pulled me aside, saying, “I know ya game—ain’t no reason to front big sis.”
I grin with innocence, “I don’t what you talkin’.”
“Naga, please. I know what’s goin’ on, but I will play along for a trip to the Jam.”
I give a nod. “Mm hmm. I thought you would.”
The week right before the Wave is when I asked. I got four thumbs and a standing ovation—it’s on now! When the weekend hit, I met the ladies at the Palace, just some girl time before we met with the boys. Yup, the Forcei boys. This a trip we sharin’, our first and most likely not our last.
It’s go be a hot mess, at least I’ll never get bored. I close my wings, entering the Palace, pacing through the dark living room, it’s evening, heading for the hallway to our rooms. Only one room was lit, at the end of the hall, it was Samita’s. I peak in through her wide open door. Samita was laid out on her bed, snoring every so.
That’s a good idea. The rest of the girls will be here in less than an hour, but sleep is good no matter 10 minutes or 100. I’m a take it.
“Thanks ‘Mita,” I whisper, pretty much for myself.
I shut off Samita’s light, then follow the walls to my own room for a quick slumber.
I woke to Neimala’s face, her hair was for some reason in a high bun. Not her usual, but pretty nevertheless. I drag my covers with me down the lit hall, entering the living room, filled with the girls. I plop next to Samita, she slides over a snack for me, Raishana throws me a bottle of water, the joins the rest of us on the floor.
“I can’t believe y’all invited them fools on this retreat!” Meishan remarks.
“Girl,” Rai responds, playing with a band on her finger, “ain’t nobody invite shit. This the only way we can get them to stop naggin’ about that book from T.F. Small price to pay for a book full of magic.”
“Still.” Meishanre said. “At least they cute though.”
“Who?” Samita questions, turning up her nose. “Which one?”
Neimala chimes, “They all have some virtues.”
“Uh uh.” Meishan jumps in. “We ain’t talkin’ virtues Nei. We talking fine.” She looks at the girl across from her, shaking her head. “‘Mita, don’t front like Ant ain’t a sexy thing.”
Samita smacks her lips, I smile in response of her clearly being uncomfortable at the topic. Samita replies, “He okay. Nothing to flutter about.”
Rai looks up, speaking, “Flutter Samita? Shit, I’m full on flight for his sexy ass.” We laugh, taking turns giving dap to Rai. “Naw foreal, llama boy my speed. Not quite as beautiful as Ant, but he seem like the type that’ll stay on instant buzz if you whisper in his ear just right.”
I point at Rai wit’ a grin, the four of us chuckling.
Neimala breaks into our laughter. “Lavar’s got a really nice spirit. His energy is calm.”
“Well, Lavar think you got a nice spirit too Nei,” I say. “That’s why he get shifty or,” all the girls say it with me, “talky.” We laugh, Neimala shakes her head. I finish, “Whenever that fool is around you. But no dating girls. No matter how cute, sexy, nice—calm spirit they is. Our association is complicated enough. We don’t need that extra.”
“That’s real interesting Khez.”
I look to her. “What’s that Meishan?”
Samita answers for her. “You already breached. Dating that boy.”
I frown. Something in her tone reminding me of my mother. “Dyondrei is his name Samita.” I look at the girls, asking, “Is this general sentiment?”
“Pretty much,” Meishan said.
I shrug. “I didn’t know he was with them when we first met. Hell that’s when the connection was made. Nothing can bring a boy and girl closer than smelling the foul breath of a Tegubout together.”
All the girls laugh to snorting, except Samita. She was not amused.
Raishana comments, “You ain’t never act like this before. No guy thus far has beat down those walls.”
My eyes widen. “What?! We ain’t did nothing…yet.”
Rai looks to her sister, she to her and out comes the ugliest laugh from them both. “I ain’t talkin’ about that! You must be right and ready for some action—if yo’ mind went straight there.”
I cover my mouth, looking away in embarrassment. “Oops.”
Rai pushes her thick hair off her neck. “I was talking about your defenses. Or cautions. Not those walls, nasty girl.”
She points at me, I slap her finger down, then grab her wrist and we both laugh.
“Oh my god.” I place my hand on my forehead. “Anyway, I ain’t never felt like this before. That’s how he got pass the caution.” I gush, “He’s wild like me. And y’all know I only ever attracted well behaved boys—the ones that do whatever they parents tell ‘em. Never act on plain impulse—or do and try to cut on me for doin’ it. Hell to the naw I ain’t hidin’ a thing and neither is he. So, it’s all good.”
“Okay,” Samita cuts in, “we getting off topic. What are we doing tomorrow with the guys?”
“You know,” I said, looking at her, “handlin’ the basics—figure out how all this gonna go down. Nei,” I reach to her hand, “we might—I might need ya parents to come through to my house. I need them to tell my folks about the retreat. I need they total trust.”
She nods. “Oh, it’s all good. My parents coming to pick all y’all up. So there that is.”
Clouds crowded the sky, preparing for the onslaught of rain to come. The young man closes his eyes, chin towards the sky, breathing in the scent of rainwater yet to come. A smile graces his face. He leans on the barricade between him and the water underneath bridge, waiting on the girls. The girls.
One girl in particular circulated his brain. Rich dark brown skin on the face, golden skin that always glowed, full head of thick coils. She kept her hair in a few choice styles, braided up, twisted down, braid outs and twist outs galore. He found himself in love with them as though the same style was new. The girl in question is Kheznaria, the boy Dyondrei.
He was overwhelmed with the energy in motion she produced in him. Her fire roils in his gut, bringing him to life. The boy hates the idea of life without her in it, even if he became just a friend. He’d be the best. He’d be it if only to prove that’s she’s special to him and that he’ll work to be special to her.
Showing her there will never be another like him. He takes a deep breath of the rain to be air, grateful he was more than a friend to her. The young man opened his eyes when he heard wings flapping in the distance. He didn’t think it was the girls, but looked in case it was. The first thing he spots is a wild bush of hair blown by speeding winds and wings coasting in the air.
Neimala lands before him, followed by Meishanre, then Raishana, Samita and Kheznaria side by side.
“Whatsup!” Dyondrei greets the ladies.
“Mm hmm,” Neimala responds, sweeping by him.
Raishana grins, “We know who you really want.”
“Exactly,” Meishanre relays, “he just tryna butter us up to impress Khezzy.”
Dyondrei laughs, “It ain’t even like that. I’m a familiar face. Y’all love me and I got love for the whole crew.”
Samita passes him, saying, “Sure you do.”
“Hey baby,” Drei greets me with a full spread of a smile on his face, taking me in his arms.
“Aw, you waited for us out in the rain. It’s ‘bout to get us.” I’m hugged up on my boo, looking in his eyes. “How you plan to save us from the evil rain?”
He laughs. “Y’all don’t know the north side like I do—it’s a lil place we get gliders. We still go get hit by the rain, but I know you ain’t afraid of getting wet. Are you?”
I lick my lips at him, then I feel hands rip me from him.
“Okay okay,” Samita breaks in, “we need to go before the rains y’all.”
“Yes!” Meishan shouts. “I just did my hair. I got at least a week of wear out of it before it’s time for a change. Rain go ruin it in less than five minutes. Let’s go.”
Drei leads the way, instead of taking us to the Rhythm, we stroll deeper in Slumber District. We cut through backyards, swerving out the way of Curveyn circles, it was crowd-less since most was inside to avoid the rain. We reach our destination when we come up on a ratty shack. The sign Smooth Trail crookedly placed on the front of the shack.
We follow Drei behind the place, behold glider seats chained up in rows. We stand at the gate as he creeps through, unlocking 3 gliders.
He looks back to us. “Double up.”
The girls pair up, then he comes to me. Whispering in my ear, “Pretty girl rides with me.”
We hop on the seat, I hold on to his waist, him holding the handles. I tell him, “We stealing gliders now.”
He balks at me. “Never. Never. Borrow honey. This borrowing. Hold on.”
I hold securely to him as we roll through the North, traveling to the east side of Bohrmys. It was where all the boys lived and where their clubhouse was. The rain hit us hard, but it felt refreshing to feel the rain and wind on me. It’s hard to fly with them both, but I love being in motion while it rains. I know Meishan is fuming.
I can practically see the smoke rising off her. We slow down once we left the Rhythm and Slumber lines, entering the forest. We ride pass legions of trees, until we come on a bare clearing. No grass, just brown dirt. Drei hops off the glider, walking to the huge dirt patch, he crouches down.
He looks behind him to us, “Ladies stand back or wing up.”
We follow his instruction, stepping off the dirt patch, going back to the line of trees. He opens his wings, then taps the dirt a few times. Forcei sho got a thing for land collapse. The dirt falls down, before it hits anything other than air, the dirt disappears. Drei flies up from the dust cloud, pointing down the gaping hole.
We lean over the hole, seeing the stairs he was pointing out. FaiCita trail down the steps, Drei flies in. Once all was under, the dirt roof found its place back over us. A short hallway ahead of us we walk it and what was before us was the boys’ trife clubhouse. Food wrappers, clothes, filthy socks, empty bottles, malfunctioning energy balls holding on to dear life trying to stay afloat.
This place was just nasty.
Antiahn was throwing some trash in the over flowing trash bin, away when he notices our grand entrance. “Welcome girls.”
“Damn,” Drei said, pushing through us, “y’all couldn’t clean up—y’all knew the ladies was coming.”
Lamzeen, who sits on the floor, replies, “Fuck the ladies.”
Rai snaps to him. “Watch it now. We ain’t say nothin’ ‘bout the condition of this place…yet.”
Meishan, right on cue, stepping up next to her sister, said, “But since y’all opened the floodgates, ladies let’s drown these tired Angels.”
We take turns ripping on this underground trash bin. Calling ‘em every name we could think of.
Once we was satisfied Drei steps up with a grin, saying, “Now that y’all got that out, let us get to business.”
Neimala is the first to take the courageous descent in this trife enclave. “Ask away y’all.”
Drei sits down across from her, I went to be cute and sat in between his legs. Listen, I need protection. “Central pickup point?”
Neimala points at him, slight nod, then gestures to the girls to come sit. Reluctantly the girls found the cleanest spot they could and sat, being extra like usual. The boys didn’t appreciate it. But they ones acting like they ain’t never heard of the invention called a broom.
“Good question Dyondrei. There isn’t a central point for the girls. My parents know where they live too well. For you guys—y’all need to be in close proximity to your North gate. I’ll buzz you Drei on the night before to give you the time for the next early light. Boys,” Neimala eyes them, “on this—don’t be late. My parents are always on time.”
I look back at Drei. “She ain’t lyin’ baby.” I give my eye to his friends. “At all. The Koplur (Cop-ler) family don’t play.”
Neimala nods again. “She would know. She missed a few Koplur events because of lateness. We will leave you behind if you are not on time. My parents ease up once we’re there—not before. Next question.”
Lavar, sitting on the arm of they holey couch, raise his hand. Neimala smiles over to him, I roll my eyes at them. He questions, “How far is Kharver Dip from the retreat?”
“It’s called Spirit Wave and not too far on the first day. But as I told Lam, the houses move at lights out. Since we can’t bring much on this trip, we only have feet and wings to get us back and forth to our destination. Lamzeen said he might have a solution.” Neimala turns to Lam who was now posted on the wall with his foot up against it. “You have the solution?”
“Yup.” He gives a quick answer.
Raishana responds, “Well Lam—that is? Come on.”
He looks at her, all surly as usual, but brings it down a notch and joins us. “Sensors. Undetectable ones. They made to track Yays—my uncle told me they can work on anything that move. Neimala, remind me to give it to you, ‘cause they need to be programmed first.”
“Good boy,” Raishana awards him, he gives her a mocking smile.
“Great! Thank you Lam. Okay, let me give y’all the run down.”
Neimala informs us of the rules and regulations of the land for the week we spend on Spirit Wave. We have 3 days to get our adventure on at Kharver Dip, because after 3 days the moving retreat will be too far away from the Dip. And it would be near impossible for our wings to carry us that far back and forth. She tell us about our sleeping arrangements in the House of Regeneration and how we’ll be bunking with kids younger than us. I don’t know how they expect us to get any regeneration having to deal with children.
I guess we’ll handle it. I have no problems putting kids in a headlock to behave, it’s not beneath me. In the early light there’s this sit down called the Voyage After, where during breakfast we have to sit with Neimala’s folks and tell ‘em about the spirit of our voyage from last night. Now, this the tricky part, Nei told us we can’t lie about it. Which means we go have to get more spiritually involved than we anticipated.
We figure the details between us the girls and the boys. The Wave itself or the folks who run it, give us winged people the goods, so our wings can stay energetic while on flight to find the spirit. Neimala let us know that even that wouldn’t be enough once the houses move too far away from Kharver Dip. Once we finished up we all left that space that needs demolishing. I mean, just because it’s under dirt don’t mean it should be on par with a grave.
I kiss Drei goodbye and let him know I will see him at the finer places in life. Which just mean I’ll see him next week on the trip.
I rose before the sun did. I was considerin’ staying up for the night and sleep in the Curveyn on the way up to Wave, but thought better of it. Probably end up falling asleep as soon as the sun came up. That’s how serious the game is with Neimala’s folks. We got to be on time to be at the Wave on time.
Ya under-dig? It should be repeated: Nei’s parents don’t play. I get prepared for the hype ass day ahead of me that early light. When I feel complete I exit the front door. I’ll be waiting for a good thirty minutes, but that’s alright.
I rather wait outside anyway, my parents may relapse and turn back into those creatures from the fiery depths. Just in case—it was smarter to stay out their line of vision. The leaves were turning colors, ditching green for a pale purple, the wind was cooler too. It was that time of year, where even Yays cloth down, not much, but the cloth strengthens the gold down effect that keeps us warm. I stand when I notice a smooth electric green Curveyn gliding over the sea of trees to my right.
I knew it was the family when I saw an equally electric blue Curveyn following behind it. The flying transports land on the clearing between us and the forest. Neimala’s mom Fojanza (Foe-john-zuh) and dad Vudanz (Voo-donz) hops out of one. Tranquil flows gushed from them both as they floated (no help from the wings) towards my house. Neimala inherited her medium brown complected face from her dad, freckles too, but she got her pretty and her perfect fluffy hair from her dark brown faced mama.
“Khezzy! How you doin’ baby?” Fojanza opens her arms to embrace me. I gladly accept the hug.
“I’m on time mama Foja. That’s how I’m doin’.”
She smiles brightly. “I know that’s right.”
I give Vudanz a hug too, with his big burly self. He asks, “You ready for the Wave?!” He does a corny body wave move with his arms.
I couldn’t stop the laugh from coming out. “I am pa Vu. But uh, I’m a need you to never do that again.”
His wife nods. “I agree with the girl honey.”
He dismiss us with a flick of his wrist, replying, “Haters. I got moves.”
“Sure you do husband,” she taps his shoulder. “Kheznaria, you go to my Curveyn—we’re gonna talk to your folks right quick, okay? You remember which is mine right?”
I nod to both queries, walking off for them to deal with the under-creatures. I hop in the Curveyn, greeting the girls, who was already on board. After a good few minutes we was off and I was all the way in the clear. We pick up the boys, the whole crew smashed to the windows, waving at the boys. If we ignored them, we knew it would only be a matter of time before one take flight with us over on Fojanza’s green Curveyn.
Couldn’t have that. After what felt like a solid 5 months (was actually about 3 hours) we got to the Wave. It was 10 in the early light. I was informed we was in Pass City, meaning abandoned city. Everything about it, forgotten, including its actual name.
The only thing worthwhile about Pass City was the famous Ether tree. And that’s where the moving houses will be traveling to. Ery day. That’s how Nei found out Kharver Dip was near in the first place. In the book it told us Kharver Dip was 100 wing winds from the Ether Tree.
She questioned her folks on it, ruining the surprise of the journey, but they informed her anyway. At the start of the wave, we only a good 10 wing winds from the Dip. We land in a long, wide, but round flat field, full of Curveyns. It was early light and already jumpin’. I see why Fojanza and Vudanz wanted to be early.
Once both groups unloaded from the Curveyns, we strolled for the entrance.
“House of Entrance,” Neimala corrects me over her shoulder.
“Oh H.O.E.” Neimala reaches back to slap my arm, me and the girls laugh.
We twist through the crowd of spiritual veterans. Well, I know most of these people done been on the Wave before. In our party it’s everybody first time, except the Kopler family. Eventually we weed through the crowd to make it to a door. Just a door, just a entrance shall I say.
I’m not quite seeing the house part. We follow Nei’s parents lead, heading inside of it. Behind the entrance was soft lights, couches lining the wall, a desk across it and a few folks already present in front it it. There was a shiny silver spiral stairway behind all this extra. We get checked in after a 10 minute wait.
Our group of 12 line one behind the other as we climb the silver staircase. At the end of the stairs was a door. I walk down the hall with the group, watching us each open the door for ourselves. It shuts tight after each person. Then finally it’s me.
Excitement zing through me as my fingers touch the doorknob. On the other side was an OCEAN of Angels, all sizes and ages walking around. Checking out the surroundings and settlin’ in. The houses Nei told us about was soft houses. That’s why they move so easily, without constant Flow manipulation, or physical hands.
The structures was made directly from the Flow, the material soft stuff like cotton, satin, water, dirt, and air, licks of fire and plenty sprinkles of ether. Instead of physical labor and using hard earth like trees and stone. It was a community of soft houses on the land in circular rows and at the center was a great huddle of food tents. The smells calling my name!
“Sweetie,” I hear Fojanza say to her daughter, “take your friends to H.O.R.A. Inform your siblings we’re here. Then meet us back at H.O.N.”
“Okay mom,” she answers back. “Come on y’all. Follow me.”
Once again we weave through people, this time moving briskly, doing our best not to get lost. Trying to keep attention on Neimala’s steps rather than all the movement around us. Eventually we stop at one of the bigger soft houses, which was the shameful community house where I have to share a bunk bed with a snot midget. We enter and I’m stunned to silence at how immaculate it was inside.
“They did us right,” a whisper only to myself.
Samita sidles next to me with a smile, “Mm hmm. I told you Nei always got the juice.”
Before us was a grand pearl staircase. The house felt relaxing the minute I stepped in. Ah, the soft materials at work. There was a wing for the boys, a wing for the girls, multiple bedrooms with no bunks, but wide plush resting spots, numerous bathrooms. Shower rooms, tub rooms, dining areas, quiet times, massage room, mental massage/stimulation room.
The damn works. The soft materials transmit the images to me, to ease my worry in the first place.
My head shakes. “Nei’, I ‘on’t know about Kharver Dip no mo’.”
The boys behind us, a rumble of laughter came from them, followed by laughs from the girls.
Neimala replies, “Oh, we will be spendin’ time actually on the Wave. Don’t worry.”
After we drop our bags in our rooms and Neimala collects her siblings, we leave for outside. We follow Nei to that enticing huddle of tents, where her parents were. After while mo’ folks show up, crowding around. I’m block all access to few tents, I’m getting first dibs. A tall Angel, I mean towering over the crowd wades through us to get closer to the tents.
His wings may be comically large, but I will go to war over some food. Even if my wing span ain’t even half his. His voice booms over the field, repeating rules, codes, regulations of this week in the spirit. Neimala hip us to it when we met with the boys. Once he was done, Neimala’s folks got us together.
“Now listen up,” Vudanz said, “anything goes. This is a journey, an exploration. We trust our Neimala, so we let her free.”
Fojanza continues where he left off. “But be mindful of your parents and their rules. ‘Cause when the week is over we will be giving a full honest report of the week to each of them. And with that—”
“Be free my golden birds!” Vudanz shouts happily.
We stuff bags of food in our packs and left on our hunt for Kharver Dip. We head off as a group leaving the Wave’s grounds, crossing the Curveyn field going for the mess of trees. We start off on foot, Antiahn takes a liking to annoyin’ Meishanre and Raishana. In his words the girls were in the same fruit family, distinct flavors, but there was a familiar taste that welcomed him. He was having a time working both their nerves and gifted with two different kind of responses.
Me, Samita, and sometimes Neimala walk aside each other, talking about nothin’ most minutes, other times we talk what’s common. Our surroundings. Drei trails behind the group, no doubt staring at my ass, in between being all our watchful eyes. The last three boys, Oshan, Lavar, and Lam just hopped from group to group. Joining Antiahn in terrorizin’ the sisters, listening to Nei’s calm, laughing wit’ me and sometimes Mita when she lets her guard down, or being quiet watchful wit’ my boo.
We don’t all come together until break time.
We knew it was such when Raishana yells, “And the wind meets the ground! Wings dip the water! And a bird dies from flight!”
I hate that old saying, but it’s a old Yay warning. When too many winds meet the ground, it’s time to settle on feet, revive all the body that’s left. If not…the bird…the gold one…dies…right in the air to fall in the sky. The two sisters lean on a nearby tree, thick as a mid size shop, big enough for the girls to lead side by side on it.
“Time to eat,” Lavar announces to us, more excitement to himself to be eating again. He and Samita should be best friends, because he been snacking the whole walk thus far. Shoot, he even had Samita sneakin’ a peak at his hungry ass.
Neimala comes in the middle of the group, a few boys scattered on the ground near the tree, Drei not being one of ‘em, and all my girls standing or leaning. She crouches to the ground, her long skirt swallowing her bare feet, she throws off the bag on her shoulder to the dirt. Pulling out supplies first, dry mats, perfect for outside dining, then comes the food. Meat wrapped tight on plates, breads, fruits in their own bags. She unveiled the baby pink and purple melons, warmed a bit by now, but juicy just the same, the salty meat—ooh!
She grabbed some of my favorites. My Nei knows me so well. Some Hahkta bread plus Huna cream, delightful when eaten together. After I spotted that loaf I couldn’t be concerned about whatever else she had in the pack. Nei’ grabs herself some a that purple juicyness, hops away from the mats—now full of food, then we all digs in.
All that was on my mind was bread. I snatched the mini tub of Huna and swept away from the crowd, daring anybody to even look in the direction a this bread.Drei tried, thought his fineness would disarm me, I slapped his hand with fire rapidness, he couldn’t do a thing, but head back to the mat. Trying to grab some water meat, before his boys ate it all. After what felt like a refreshing few hours break (only a good half hour) we pack up and round the tree.
Rai and Meishan was still laxing on the hardness of the nature bit. Raishana tells us, “We cut a good 3 wing winds on foot—we take to the sky for the rest. We take proper rest when needed, keep our pacing solid, we should be able to find Kharver Dip and make it back to the Wave way before early light.”
We all give nods. Samita tosses the wing pads around that we got from Nei’s parents who got it from the host creators of Spirit Wave. We pad up, warm our wings, then fly for the sky. The next time we land it was late in the day, still lit, but clearly the sun was makin’ an exit. This time it was Meishan and Nei’ who stopped us.
Our feet is planted on a hill, overlooking empty dusty flat lands.
“This should be it,” Meishanre said, gesturing down below us, “we hit round 10 wing winds. And trust me my wings screamin’ that truth every few seconds.”
“I know that’s right,” Antiahn replies, out of breath.
“Nei’?” I say, looking over to the girl with the messy hair of thick coils.
She gives me a soft head bob, staring out at the open flat, then responds, “Meishan’s right. This is it.” The girl extends her arms out, widening her hands. “It’s an essence here. Thick. But, I—I don’t.”
Raishana steps next to Neimala, placing a arm on her shoulder to sooth her. “It’s shadow. That’s why it feels foreign to you.”
Nei’ turns to the girl. “Is it covering Kharver Dip?”
Rai shakes her head, “I don’t know. All I know is that I feel the presence of the shadow.” Then she walks down the hill, away from the group.
Meishanre said, “That’s good enough. We’ll figure this out tomorrow—after we get some much needed sleep and pain sedatives. Let’s go.” The the girl trails after her sister down the hill.
We in some miracle, some divine touch of the Flows make it back to the houses before they start moving. Around 3 in the dark day the roll began. I know this because I was in a half sleep half woke state in the hot steaming baths room, starin’ up at the windows on the ceiling. I cocked my head to the side when I notice the sky move. A few hours later when the sun rose again, the whole crew was up and ready for first meal of the day.
When that was finished it was time for the second undertaking to Kharver Dip. We took less break time and made it back a little later than yesterday. There was still some sun out, thank the gods. Instead of stopping on the hill, we stop on the flattened land, no trees near sight. Simply dusty stubby green blades of grass around us.
Raishana paces ahead of us, until her body disappears. The boys the only ones alarmed, so they do what they usually do, bother us by opening said mouths.
Lam was first to do the honors, “What happened? Where she go?” His eyes reveal a little frantic.
Meishan rolls her eyes. “The shadow fool.”
“That’s not what happens when you come across a shadow,” Antiahn replied, thinking he’s informin’ us of somethin’ we don’t know.
Meishan turns her head to him, crossing her arms over her chest. “Since you so well read, why don’t you tell us what supposed to happen.”
“I will.” He pokes out his chest. “If that’s really a shadow—then at best,” he points his finger at her, “if you lucky, you bounce off it. But since most fools clouded in that dust, then you wind up killin’ yourself.”
“Yeah,” Lavar now adds, “we don’t like y’all all that much, but we don’t wanna be witnessed to y’all deaths.”
Me, ‘Mita, Nei’, and Meishan’ look to each other, then the laughter fell out.
“Calm down young men, be still in your worries,” Neimala says to them gently.
“Raishana is a shadow reader,” I inform the collection of stupidity trapped in boy bodies.
“Wow,” Oshan mutters.
Meishan beams, “My sis is a damn good one for somebody not only untrained, but who clearly detests the ability.”
Once we quiet, Rai comes out of what appears as nothing to the rest of us. She gives Neimala her attention, nodding. “The whole thing is cloaked by the shadow.”
“Can you uncloak it?” Her sister asks.
“I should be able to. Gimme a second.” Rai closes her eyes, a low buzz sounds around us, then tiny specks appear. The tiny specks build around Rai’s body, the keep building until a rectangle box of black speck covers her completely. The Rai-box moves forward, until she disappears again. The earth groans under us, the wind starts to kick up, it all seeming to go to shit, until just as quickly as it started, it stopped.
Raishana reappears and behind her is a house. An old home, it was a flattened round, widely stealing up space.
“Hello Kharver Dip,” Drei said from behind the group.
Our unnecessarily large group trail to the door of the round, it was unlocked. I guess the shadow was meant to secure it enough. No one, not even the boys expected for us to have a shadow reader on deck. I told you, Rai is our secret weapon. We split in two groups, though the house only had one floor, it was a big freaking floor.
I wanted to pair off in twos, cover more floor, but nobody was havin’ that. Either not wanting to be paired with the boys or none of us trustin’ each other for all the girls to pair up or for the boys to do the same. The 2 sisters join with Nei’, Ant’, Lam’ and ‘Var, while my group was my baby, ‘Mita, and Oshan. We took east wing, they took west. The round was dark, dusty like the stubs of green outside, smelled more old than it looked.
Smelled like granddad skipping around bukkid naked. I shake my head. That’s just wrong. The walls slowly falling apart. The only light we got came from the sun, which was soon to dim all the way out.
This house was creepy, the floorboard creaked in agony at our every step. We huddle near each other, but I was lagging behind a bit. Only a bit. It was a glint that caught my eyes from the corner, when I stopped to look back in the room we passed a wall slams in the hall we was walkin’. I end up caught off from my group. I hear my friends’ muffled voices behind it.
I pick up my pace to the wall, touching it.
“I’m alright y’all! Keep walkin’ through. I’ll find a way around this wall.” I thought better of telling them I found some goods. I know they would not approve.
I follow my steps back to the room we passed up. It was a library, I could barely make out the books, the towering bookcases on the other hand—dead giveaway. My feet take me towards the wide windows, curtain-less, maybe that’s where the light came from. I peak, all that met my eyes was flat lands and a sun barely shining. When I turn around—I had a visitor.
A child. A small little girl, staring back at me with the oddest eyes. Pretty. Sure. But strange.
Her eyes was rainbow colored. She coulda fooled me—she’s as still as a statue. Maybe I should go with that and walk around her. Yeah, she’s a statue that I missed on the way in. I hear flutters, my head jerks up, in search of the thing.
I hear it again. I look back at the statue. More flutters. Wings. The little statue’s got wings.
Movin’ ones. I squint, taking a few steps back, until back met wall. The wings was different from mine, more butterfly like. She’s not Yerosai, instead of gold skin, she had rich black skin. My eyes widen when I realize her wings was the glint I saw from the corner of my eye.
I jump out of my skin when she blinks. I held onto the wall to steady myself and calm down.
When I was gathered I said, “Uh…hi.”
She doesn’t utter a word, stares me down with those round peepers and breathes.
I swallow, slowly gettin’ creeped out again. She was a beautiful little creation, but that may very well be a deception for a less than beautiful nature.
“Can you help me? Do you need help?”
Her head perks to the side. Maybe that’s not a bad sign.
“I lost my friends out in the hall,” my finger points out the door. “I really need to find them.”
A sadness grows in her eyes. Then she lifts out her tiny hand to me. Warily, I take it. She leads me out the room. She takes me across the dark hall to enter another room, filled with dusty furniture, look like it use to be nice.
Probably in its younger years. The butterfly winged girl drags me near the back wall, her tiny fingers taps it a few times, then an opening appears. For some weird unknown, never to be known reason I let her take me through this dark musty hallway. Thankfully it was short. We reach another room, she pauses.
I couldn’t see her clearly, but I assume she was in thought. This room’s ceiling was high, graceful chandeliers with no light hung from the ceiling. I hear a door open, she drops my hand, then the girl walked through it. Hmm. That was easy.
She takes me to a garden, at the meet of the path ways was a statue (I think) of a man. A man with wings similar to the little girl.
“Khezzy!” Samita calls to me. My head swivels to her voice, spotting the group taking up space on a few benches. The benches sat under thick foliage, Oshan kept slapping long leaves out his face.
The little girl pulls at my finger, I stare down at her. She softly murmurs, “Thank you.”
I repeat the same sentiment, “Thank you.”
The little girl with the rainbow eyes shuffles towards the statue, placing her little adorable dark fingers on the feet of the statue man. Tears fall from her eyes, wetting the statue. My feet started to move, to comfort her, I stopped when the statue starts to wake.
“Oh shit,” Drei retorts from the bench.
The man’s eyes were just like the little girl’s, just shaped like a cat’s, his skin just as dark as hers. He kneels to hug her. She cries in his arms. The two speak a language foreign to all our ears and through her sobs, he pats her back, calming her. The butterfly winged man approaches us with the girl still in his arms.
“Thank you for freeing my daughter and I from the Kharv,” he says to us.
“Wait!” Neimala shouts. “What is this place? Who are you? Where are you from?”
He smiles at Nei’s enthusiasm. “We’re the butterfly people from Thada’s Wyngs.” He nods, saying again, “Thank you.” Then with his daughter securely tucked in his arms, he flutters away.
Not one of our most eventful finds, but beautiful in the end.
The Spiritual Wave is going down! A retreat where people get in contact with ancestors gone by yesterday, tuning into the elements of today, and weaving a gem for tomorrow. That sounds wonderful and all, but not the mission Kheznaria had any plans to be on. Trust and believe, she needed some god after the 5 demons she witnessed her daddy morph into. But, sadly the only attention her spirit will be getting is hype action. Kheznaria along with her crew of girls, her boyfriend and his crew are heading for Kharver Dip.