Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Repetition

From the Minor Annals - II

That year of my ninth summer was almost my last.

That year was my father's turn to pasture the black bullock until the autumn rites.

One glad green morning of that year, while my father and my brother were busy at forge and byre and my mother about the household, I crossed the meadow on my way to the barrens beyond.

Perhaps to gather berries, perhaps to search for flowers as an offering. I don't remember now.

Our cattle were all violet-eyed and content and I ignored the young bull among them for he had been as docile as the rest.

I suppose I screamed when he gored and trampled me. I was fortunate they had blunted his horns, else I would have been pierced through.

I remember the heavy feet, my small dog trying valiantly to drive him off, and my father's roars as he ran.

I remember my brother clearing the high fence like a lion. He kicked the black bull on the nose as if he were a common beast and no avatar of the god, and carried me over the bars of the gate to safety.

That year my father let the fields go fallow and became a bridge builder for the Imperium.

That year my brother chose the soldier's god and joined the legions as our grandfather had before him. He served in the Limes Germanicus before they were ordered home.

That year my mother went daily to the scholar's compound and took me with her to be schooled in the mysteries.

I wonder as I write here in the Grotto, if that year marked them all as it marked me.

On the slope of my left breast I bear the goddess mark. I will wear that silver crescent until I die.

That year, they say, I was chosen.


kmfrontain said...

These wee stories are such teasers! I want to know what happens to her next! Eeeeeee!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen!
I think these have been the most pleasure to write.

Scott from Oregon said...

I watched a young bull put its' forhead to my brothers backside and toss him right over the fence, which is where my brother was actually heading in a hurry at the time.

THe bones were pliable at eight, I must say.

My brother climbed back into the field and began a newly discovered taunting game...

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it very much. Good post and good writing, Bernita.

MissWrite said...

You know I remembered that from the very first line and STILL had to read it through. The hallmark of a great passage--one you can read again and STILL get the same feeling and joy out of it.

I love that piece, B.

Bernita said...

That was quite the young bull, Scott. You'll have to blog that story.

Glad and pleased, Steve. Thank you.

Bless you, Tami. That was a lovely thing to say. You always encourage.

EAMonroe said...

I agree with Miss Write, Bernita. I always enjoy reading your Minor Annals and admire the artistry of your imagination!

If you wrote 365 Minor Annals I would have one to read for every day of the year!

Thank you for visiting the Shadowlands today.

Bernita said...

Elizabeth, thank you.So nice.
That was an excellent post you had up today. Have been thinking of Oklahoma City recently and that dreadful day.

Meant to mention that Tami, particularly, would also like Karen's today post. Straight talk about editing.

M.E Ellis said...

Jeez. You write so very well, woman.

*Author Envy*


Bernita said...

Always generous Michelle!
*Author Envy*
Can't see why or how you should ever!

Rick said...

Oh, this draws me in!

Donnetta Lee said...

To be "schooled in the mysteries." I like that. Wish I had been taught so. Perhaps that is where your wonderful writing comes from--school of the mysteries. If so, you were a top notch student.

Donnetta Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raine said...

If you wrote 365 Minor Annals I would have one to read for every day of the year!

What a lovely idea. :-)

Your writing always draws me in, Bernita.
This one made me wince.
A pleasure to read!

Bernita said...

Kind of you, Rick.

Delightful compliment, Donnetta, thank you.
But I think you were also.

Thank you, Raine. Happy Birthday!

Carla said...

I like this just as much the second time round :-)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.
I did re-arrange the order of two or three sentences for better flow.

Marie said...

Great writing, Bernita.

LadyBronco said...


What a wonderful snippit!

I definitely want to know what happens next!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Marie and Lady B.

There is no "next," in the sense of a continuous narrative.
These pieces are meant to stand alone - as fragments.