Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …

after the darkness

31 March 2014



I was forbidden to speak. I could almost accept that, but the Old One had also forbidden anyone to speak to me, which was much harder to accept.  I am now known as She Who Returned, never spoken directly to, but I’ve grown accustomed to being spoken of, usually when I am actually within earshot, or worse, directly among those who are talking about me as if I wasn’t even there.


The Old One was counting marks on his staff, standing apart, yet always watching it seemed. I already knew tonight would be the ritual of the Three Trees. This was my first year to bleed and all of us who did, knew when the ritual would be. No one ever spoke of it though, at least not that I ever remembered hearing. Somehow, everyone just knew when it would be, and those of age would gather and wait for the Old One. The younger all knew they were not allowed and seemed to embrace the Wandering, most without grumbling or complaining, although some needed extra coaxing sometimes.


The Old One eyed me, scowling I thought, but he merely made some noise and quickly averted his gaze. I knew during the ritual everyone would become more enlightened to those around them. The light from the Three Trees would show us things we had never even imagined. Like the Old One’s silver gray hair which hung long and straight, almost down to his waist, or the almost terrifying knowledge of seeing faces and expressions in that powerful glowing light from the Three Trees burning.


I listened to whispers, busy hands, shuffling feet, and other noises. It was so frustrating, so sad for me to keep silent. I had returned! I knew something more than they had ever imagined or experienced and yet, I was not allowed to speak. Sometimes I was not afraid of the Wandering, even though we all knew someone who had wandered and never come back again. It was different for me. I didn’t go into the Wandering and come back, I went beyond, some place real. Not real like in the Wandering sometimes, but real, I don’t know how to explain it or even describe it. It was like here, only it wasn’t always like here. It was like the Three Trees, only more often, not just during the bleeding. I don’t know, I have no words.


The Old One took me aside, when I first returned, listened as I told him everything I could, asked questions, and then forbade me of ever speaking of it again with anyone. Then, he marched me back to everyone and changed my name and pronounced the judgment and prohibition – no one was to ever speak to me again. No one ever disobeyed the Old One. I don’t know if anyone ever even thought of the possibility. But I had, since I had returned. Tonight, during the burning of the Three Trees, I would break my silence, not knowing what might happen to me if I did. I knew after the darkness, I simply could not remain silent any longer.





31 March, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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