Betrayal of Eralavict
By DhNAi Divine
Copyright 2017 DhNAi Divine.
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
Oh man! The girls are so mad at me for pullin’ out the weekend craziness last minute. But dammit I forgot my family was stayin’ at the crib for the weekend. I haven’t seen my cousin in years, my folks never let me go stay at her place. Somethin’ about my disobedience needing to be contained.
Don’t wanna unleash me on an innocent family. Like I’m some feral beast or virus. I sigh. I throw the thought to the back of my mind and finish collectin’ all the supplies fa Avuh (Aye-vuh) Kanatha (Kuh-nay-thuh). Avuh is the Yerosai bathing process.
Yes, our bathing is a process. It cleans our golden layers real deep. There’s the long version we call Avuh Kanatha and the short one simply called Shinin’. For Shinin’ we don’t have to make a new batch, we warm up an oldie, rub it all over our body like oil and get a single layer cleaning and a nice glow. But since family is comin’ by—I got to go all out.
Our skin catches funk like regular skin, so just like regular skin we washes it with regular water and soap. Oh yeah! There’s this nasty ass juice we have to consume every so often to keep the gold inside our bodies in workin’ order. That shit shouldn’t even be legal, it’s torture on sensitive taste buds like mine. I hit up the backyard, pattering around my mama’s garden, search for Ozkh (Ohz-kah) herb—a stubby yellow-green plant that stinks like hell, but good stuff.
Its used for practically everything in Gatara—in one way or another. I pluck five from the ground, throwin’ ‘em in my basket, and skipped back into the house, heading for the kitchen. I already had my silver Bulus (Boo-luhs) Powder out, spring water—fresh right from da spring. ‘Cause that’s how I gets down. I crush two shrubs of Ozkh, my nose wrinkled from the scent, I push the plate of crushed herb to the side on the counter.
I scoop a cup of Bulus Powder and dump it into an empty bowl, then pour my bowl of water in the powder. I mix it up well, then add the crushed Ozkh in the mix. Alright! My liquid was readay! Time fa a sista’s soap.
I search through the cabinets looking for some purple cream that mama keeps in bulk. I found it—scared to death in the dark corner of a bottom cabinet. I pull it from underneath and sat it on the counter next to my liquid. I scoop out way more than I was supposed to and slopped it in the red bowl I already had set out. Thank god mama was not in this kitchen!
Or ‘Tika. ‘Cause I know she would run her little mouth, then lose it once I come for her. A vial of brown liquid was next to be dumped in the cream. It was Anylu (Uh-nil-luh) Shoog, my favorite scent. It was a sweet sugar smell, perfect for this tasty little treat.
“Ow!” I laugh to myself.
I crush two more Ozkhs and let em loose in my soap. I ate the last Ozkh—making a face of disgust, but took it like a woman! I mix up the scent and the Ozkh in the cream. Then I was off for the shower. When I hopped out the shower I could hear my mom screamin’ out Auntie’s name.
I grin to myself, happy that my clothes were already out on my bed. I leave my bathroom, skin barely dry, rushing to my clothes. I wanted to show my cousin the new fit I got. Though she really rather me rep my golden skin. But still—she go love it.
My family was visitin’ all the way from Mochai Tree. A city I only visited about two times in my life. They had the best trees a girl ever seen. Special trees with special properties. I laugh loudly.
Like I care about some trees, me and cuz didn’t care nothing about ‘em. We was only interested in climbing them and seein’ if we can get inside them. Once my cloths was neatly on, I looked at myself in the mirror, hitting a few poses, then ran for my door. My purrty cousin was on the other end. She was all human, smooth almond-brown skin, short Afro, showing off those high cheek bones, wrapped up in a rose red dress that stopped at her knees. Both of us had mega grins on our face.
“KZ!” She screams.
I scream back, “C-Lala!”
“Girl gimme a hug!” We jump into a hug, still screamin’ our lungs sore.
My cuz pulls back from me, saying, “How’s my bad ass cousin’ doin’?”
“Girl, tryna survive a crazy house—full a nuts.”
Chaila replied, “I heard that. Let’s see what the nuts cooked up for lunch, ‘cause a sista hungry.”
We laugh, arms locked, skipping down the steps going to the dining room. We pass through the kitchen and the first face I automatically zone in on is my Aunt Chyjan Mokam. I swear—I love that woman so much. There she was, big cloud like hair tumbling down around her, lookin’ fabulous, her sienna brown skin glowin’ even mo’ with her bright blue shirt against it. My Uncle M’stovik (Muh-stow-vick) already comfy at the table with my cousins, Varion and M’tila (Muh-ty-luh).
Auntie was my mom’s big sis and the best Aunt a niece could have. Chyjan is the only human born of their Yerosai family. She knows the Yerosai Gatarin culture well, having grown up in it. But, she still felt something like an outsider, so she got the mark our sigil, proving her lineage, a golden mark. It’s a painful process, some souls been unfortunate to die from it, but she still did it—even knowing the risks, but it’s some shit she will not subject her kids to.
They only half Yerosai anyways, but Yay—a full blood one—can still be born down the generations, even with diluted blood. Some Yays born as humans grow wings, some may be bodily ready to get the gold in their 30’s. If they don’t get—death could ensue. Once the process is done, it’s permanent, rarely does the body reject the magic, unless the magic and stone is corrupted.
“Khezzy, my honey baby,” Auntie said, taking her seat across from me, “look at you! You look great—skin a glowin’. Is it ‘cause a that boy I been hearin’ about?”
I grin at the thought of my babe Drei, I peek at my cuz Chaila. My Auntie giggles at me blushing, Chaila shakes her head. I already know she want the scoop. After she cuss me out first fa not tellin’ her I had a man.
“Uh,” I relay, finding my escape by staring down at my untouched plate, “can’t give him all the credit. It’s more due to Avuh Kanatha, you know.”
I chance looking up at her.
Auntie Chyjan shakes her head with a grin that never dropped. “Oh honey, I know all about Kanatha and it doesn’t make you glow like this nor grin the way you just did. Spill the beans girlie. What’s his name? What’s he like?”
“Yeah,” Chaila chimes, “spill it. You already know you in trouble wit’ me. Cuz did a sista get a buzz?”
I shake my head at my cousin. Gotta love that girl, I have no choice.
“Dyondrei is he, Drei for short. He’s…he’s,” I didn’t even have words for my baby, “he’s so like me. Adventurous, got laugh jumps fa days—he’s that.”
Chaila shakes her head incredulously. “He’s not that that.”
I give my cousin a look, then a big stupid grin settles on my face. “Yeah Chai Chai, he that that. Ow!”
It took my mom long enough, I damn near forgot she was real. Jyyetha mockingly laughs, “Don’t hype him too big. Chyjan, really, we don’t want to encourage her behaviour.”
Chaila turns to face my mom who was at the head of the table, my dad at the other head. Chaila was next to me, her face turned all up. “What behavior is that Auntie Jy?”
Mom points her fork at Chaila. “One you don’t know nothing about by the way I hear, keep it that way,” she says sternly. “Be careful hanging around our Khez—she may rub off on you.”
“Stop it ‘Yetha,” her big sister chides.
“Oh Chy, I’m just telling the truth—keeping it real. Like you always say.”
It doesn’t take long for dad to be a follower and voice his dislike for Drei. And all the ways in which he disapproves of our courtship. And whoop there it is, the lunch just tumbled down the hill and cracked its neck. I couldn’t say nothing. My face warmed with embarrassment.
The family ain’t even been here for a good hour before my parents went in on me. Damn man! My uncle neutralized the situation the best way he could, by changin’ the subject. From the corner of my eye I saw my Aunt nod to Chaila.
He cleared his throat, “Halan, how’s the business goin’ for you?”
I didn’t hear nothin’ else after that. My cousin musta took notice of me shutting down, ‘cause without a word she was pullin’ me from the table and out the back door. Chaila drags me pass the garden, the backyard fence, heading for the trees. She lets me go when we come up on Auiji. It’s one of my favorite places near the house and my cuz knew.
Softly I say, looking down at my feet, “Thanks Chaila.”
Chaila was leaning on a tree. I hear her reply, “Shit, naga please. Yo’ mama should be thankin’ me for not poppin’ her in her face. Girl, I had to get my own ass outta there”
“Chaila,” I lift my head to her a true eye, “thank you.”
Chaila hears the vulnerability and gives me her eye. “You welcome. I knew your parents to be assholes, but damn! I thought it would wear off. Guess not.”
I move closer to the stream, kneeling down to dangle my fingers in the cool water. My silence was loud to my cousin. She left from the tree to put her hand on my shoulder.
“Hey,” she calls to me, I look up, “don’t you dwell for a second on what your crooked parents say. Mom told me how confused Auntie ‘Yetha always was—so don’t you get twisted up in it.” I laugh at that tidbit, but quiet when Chaila said, “You the shit and the realest thing in that house. You are wonderful—you need to get away from them jacked face clowns, you always got a spot in Mochai. You hear me?”
I smile up to my angel of a cousin.
“You feel me?”
“I feel you cuz.”
“Now, that we got that out the way—what’s some mess we can get into? ‘Cause I’ll be damned if I come back near this house before night fell.”
I stand up. “You always wanted to see Zabahzkn (Zah-bahz-kin) Rirta (Weir-thuh, roll the R).”
“The coatin’ process.”
She agrees to it, we have to cross the water, so my cuz gets on my back. Chaila locks on my back. I mean LOCK. Arms around my neck, chokin’ me, a leg wrapped around one of my legs.
“Dang girl. I wanna breathe.”
She eases on my neck, but gives me a look, then goes back to keeping her lids shut tight. I shake my head with a small smile, knowing how scared of flight she’s always been. Lucky for her—I can’t go that far with so much weight on me. My wings flap us over the stream, I land as soon as I come up on grass. We using feet the rest of the way.
The two of us joke and talk about all the crazy stunts jumping off in our life as we move through high grass. I knew we was close to the Reirta field when I spotted a hill in the close distance. Chaila was mad at herself for agreeing to all this walking with no places to stop for a cool drink—food or somethin’. I smile to her, shrugging my shoulders. We climb the hill with the strength of the stank from my folk’s attitude.
On the other side of the hill I see my friendly familiar stump down below, and a strange unknown puff of smoke floating in the air. We ease on down the hill, I lead us to the familiar stack of hay. The stack is lookin’ a little out of touch. Use to be nice hay seats, where the older kids would come and watch. Don’t look like there’s been any visitors in a long while.
I wonder why. Then again its been a long time since I even been out this way.
“Are you sure this the place?” My cousin voice hits my ear.
“Yeah,” I answer, looking over the land, “I think so.”
“That’s not sure.”
I look to her, “Chaila, shut up.”
Where there use to be pillars and arches, tables, candles, tents, firehouses, and open grass plus trees, now sits a big plain pasty white building. The smoke was coming from it. There was little to no windows on the upper levels, a few big ones on the first floor. When a group of men in gray hazard suits with a symbol I never seen on the backs of the suits came into view from the window, I pulled Chaila down behind the lump of hay. We popped our heads up from behind it, noticing a small peanut brown boy being shuffled down the hall by the men.
Men! Not even Yerosai men! The group stops at the end of the hall, there was a high seat and thickener bin behind it, churning the gold. One of the scary men picks the boy up and drops him in the chair. The little boy was whimpering, tears wet his tiny face.
His insides already got coated, I could tell from the spill. Gold spilled from his ears, the sides of his mouth and gold tears stained the rim of his eyes. This is wrong. They doing the outer coat too damn early. It’s not set inside if it’s still spilling.
Shit, it don’t even take that long for it to settle. Why they in such a hurry? By now the boy’s cries raised a few decibels. I would be crying at the sight of them men around me too. Why are they wearing full body suits, like the gold is toxic?
Maybe it is to humans at this stage.
“You see that?” Chaila points to an opening on the side of the thickening machine. One of the men was pouring some gunky greenish white substance in the liquid gold mix.
I couldn’t take no more. If they hurt that kid—I’m a be runnin’ up. Probably get the boy, me and Chaila hurt. I pull my cousin away from this depraved, now desecrated land.
We land back by the Auiji stream and sit near it, with our toes submerged under the water.
Chaila breaks the silence, “You went through that Khez?”
I shake my head fervently, it takes effort to stop. “Naw. No. Never. I don’t even know anybody who went through that shit! That place was not there when I went through Reirta! It wasn’t there when Martika went through it!”
After that little episode, the two of us had nothing to say. No jokes, no stories, nothing. We was quiet for the rest of the day. Auntie Chyjan was worried about us, but didn’t press the issue, knowing we wouldn’t answer. The symbol I spotted on the backs of those suits found me months to come.
And would not let me out its grip. Oh yeah, let me not forget, it brought my ass a whole lot of trouble. Trouble of an exotic flavor that my taste buds were not ready to acquire.
Thank you for reading my short story to its end! It is much appreciated. Drop me a review, comment, a hello, anything would be lovely indeed. This is the final episode of the 1st segment. And I truly hope you enjoyed it. The season of Khezzy is far from over. The second segment is on its way! Be on the lookout baby baby!
Thank you much!
In this final episode of segment 1, Khezzy is faced with the Suits. A government organization that lives behind the veil. The city where Khezzy comes from have tasted the Suits in small doses, enough to have slight familiarity with them, but never truly know them. The Suits have set up camp in the sacred land where there use to be pillars, arches, divine tables, lit candles, tents, open grass and trees. But now a simple pasty white structure sits in it's place. And inside were men performing the ritual Zabahzkn Rirta, where a young Angel gets coated in gold. But the ritual was meant to be led by women, while out in nature. Much has changed since Khezzy underwent the ritual and this truth was only the tip of the disaster.