August 03, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.3

weren't allowed to trespass into the village. He grabbed his water-cup and tossed it in the waste carry-out, along with three days of food-wrappers and Systems rules too. He had to have a story tonight.

The night air under the canopy was rich and humid, and the vegetation encroached too closely on the path for human comfort. By the time he reached the edge of the village David's clothes were clinging to his skin, his glasses slipping down his nose.

The gecko pair had stopped at a cluster of ground-level huts instead of climbing to the upper habitations. Lucky thing. David tiptoed close enough to take cover under the thick drooping crown of a honihoni. The mother was conversing with a pair of neighbors; snippets of myth mixed with graceful dips of heads and tails, while the child added occasional silent gestures. It was beautiful, and utterly maddening.

When the pair entered the hut, David crept around back to listen through the loose reed thatch. The parent was still making talk: "Kridia's head-scales shone," for example, a phrase evoking lateness of night, or "Rosbas drew strength from the sedi," an exhortation to eat. No stories, though – just phrases and silences. David listened until his head hurt, until the silences merged and swallowed the last of the words. Then he pulled away in disgust and walked back along the path. One more idea come to nothing, at the

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