The Light (500Words Round 2, Week 3, Day 4, 2/1/18)
They held hands as they walked across the rocks on their way to The Light. Neither of them spoke as silence was part of the ritual. Gertie stole glances at her big sister every few steps. This was her first time womaning The Light and she wasn’t sure how much she should believe of the stories she’d heard. There were things she was pretty sure wouldn’t happen, like the explosion of sound when they stepped into the circle, and there were things she hoped wouldn’t happen, like being greeted by lionesses. Her sister had participated in the ritual for over two years and always came home. Gertie trusted Fiona. That was all she knew for sure.
This was the furthest from home Gertie had ever been in the dark. Nothing looked familiar with all the shadows dancing around. She could see the rocks getting bigger around them, and could feel the ground getting more uneven, so she had a general idea of how close they were to their destination. Fiona didn’t look left or right. Gertie tried to mirror her in every way except for the comfort glances. The heaviness in her belly made the hike challenging. She knew Fiona felt it, too. It was part of the journey and what made it so the two of them were traveling together. Gertie looked up at the blue moon lighting their path. Knowing that it was responsible for the heaviness and the journey and The Light made Gertie feel small. She stole a quick glance at the smaller red moon hanging behind the blue moon and felt sorry for it for a moment. She imagined the red moon felt like a little sister, and that feeling was familiar to Gertie. The blue moon was the leader, just like Fiona.
Gertie almost broke the silence when she bumped into Fiona having been so distracted by the two moons that she missed that Fiona had stopped walking. The squeeze of her hand was the only clue Fiona gave that she was frustrated, and Gertie felt that squeeze on both her hand and behind her belly button. The moons would be there when they were done, and she needed to pay attention and play her part in the ritual. Looking around, Gertie saw that they were at the mouth of the cave they would need to walk through to get to The Light. Her pulse sped up and she could feel her palm get sweaty beneath Fiona’s grip.
In unison, as they’d been trained to do, both girls lowered themselves first down to one knee and then down into a bow. This space was the beginning of the sacred ground, and deference had to be displayed to cross the threshold safely. They held the bow for ten counts and then, again in unison, rose to standing. Fiona released Gertie’s hand and took two steps forward before pivoting to face her little sister. Gertie waited two beats before taking two steps forward to meet her sister, palm to palm and forehead to forehead.
* All 500Words are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *