August 30, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.30

hand on her head, and rapped his staff. "I call the gathering to judge," he said. "Young Allayo went forth silent from our Lands, a child untouched by the full force of the Word, fresh, un-Taken."

The gathering almost sighed. "Ah, the innocence of the child Allayo!"

"Her Trial took her to places unknown, forcing her to rest among blasphemous strangers, and to bear witness to strange wonders. And, see! The seed of the Word drinks in the new, as a plant drinks water, and grows strong."

"Soon, the Word shall burst forth in its full flower," said the voices.

"And now you have heard her Tale. Shall she henceforth bear the Word forward into the ranks of the mudi? If any among the mudi believe nay, speak now – or, bow to the flower of the Word which has opened before you."

The ensuing silence of the gathering felt like an explosion in David's head. That was the missing social component: what exactly it was that made an adult, bringing about the change from silence to speech. The Trial. A voyage of discovery for a child not yet restrained by sacred responsibility, giving her a single chance to do something totally unprecedented, to prove herself worthy to speak. That was the treasure he had found – and it was his chance.

Before he knew it he was on his feet, pulling free of Father's restraining hands. He half-danced across a dirt floor packed with

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