Lady Sammidoran of Monama

December 23, 2010

Painting by Fantasio

LADY SAMMIDORAN OF MONAMA was born in a jar. When she was delivered, along with twelve other brothers and sisters in the same clutch, the Searchers found her badly under-developed and still bearing her yolk sac. The Searchers knew what it meant. “An Anuian is born to us!” they cheered, and her tiny, fragile body was taken to the jar and submerged. There, she was tended to daily with warmth and nutrients for three more months until, finally ready to meet the world, she “knocked” and was pulled from the jar, born a second time.

She was the youngest of the Astralon tribe, an austere group inhabiting a white ruined castle on the north lakeshore. In total, she had over seventy brothers and sisters from previous clutches. There would be no more, however, as the Demons came and took her parents in the night without a word. In the morning they were gone and never seen again. Sam was left to be raised by her grandmother, who was an Anuian just as she was.

As she grew, the differences between herself and the rest of her family was obvious. She was bigger than the rest, stronger and much faster. She also had the restless, defiant spirit Anuians were said to have. She often wandered alone, going past the edge of the lakeshore where the fog ended. There she ran with the wild gazelle and sat in the sun.

What sort of way was that to behave? Her aunts and uncles had a very stark motto that they tried to impress upon her:

Live your life while you can and hope for the best, and when the end comes, let your head swarm and take you to places where there is no pain and sadness; where the demons can’t hurt you.

The Demons always won out in the end.

Like the rest of her people, Sam began having visions of her Arin-Dan when she was five years old. The Arin-Dan was the “dreamed of”, the “beloved”. Hers was an Elder boy far to the north in the killing cold. Every night she dreamed of him, and every morning she awoke and longed for what could someday be. Her family was alarmed. It was dangerous to dream of the Arin-Dan, for that was sure to bring the Demons, and they would twist her love into something horrid. They would turn her into a Berserkacide and send her against the one she loved most. They did it all the time.

They had a ritual to rid themselves of their Arin-Dan. Take a White Emilia flower and plant it by the Wall, and though it would hurt terribly, all her dreams of the Elder boy would fade into nothing. Then she could wear her black Monama gowns and mourn what never was.

She took a flower and went to the wall, seeing the white carpeting of flowers growing all around it, planted by those who’d come before her.

All those lost dreams.

And there she planted her flower to rid herself of her Arin-Dan.

Or, did she?

copyright 2010 Ren Garcia

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