Shades of Easter

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Egyptian Pharaoh
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Shades of Easter

Post by Dusak »

Paisi, Sofia and Virina, as usual sat waiting patently for their teacher. There was no sign of her and this was the second day she had not shown. Suddenly Sofia shot to her feet, dislodging a cloud of dust from her clothes.

''She's here.'' The young girl shouted with excitement ''Demiana, Demiana.'' They called out as one towards the approaching figure, starting an energetic run towards their mentor. Demiana laughed as three pairs of eager hands wrapped themselves around Demiana's waist and thighs.

''Calm down little ones, you're going to squash me flat as I stand.''

''But we missed you. We thought that you had been kidnapped.'' Paisi cried out, and at only four years old, the youngest of the three girls, soon began to shed a tear, creating thin muddy streaks down her cheeks.

Demiana smiled, offering comfort to the child. ''Kidnapped you say. Now that's a big word for someone so small.''

''Take no notice of her,'' Sofia stated, ''she's had her ear to the door again, listening to father and Haroun talking about stolen sheep. Father used the word in jest.''

''Someone has kid...taken your sheep?''

''No, not ours, from the man that lives over on the other side of the canal.' Virina informed her.

''So, where is your brother Haroun?''

''With father. He needs help in the fields. Haroun is angry because he doesn't like working in the fields. He wants to work on the big river.'' Paisi told her.

''Ah, the Nile river.'' Demiana said in a quiet voice.

''Where is the big river Demiana? Is it bigger than our river over there?'' The little girl jabbed her finger towards the canal.

Demiana remained silent for a long time, lost in private thoughts.
''Yes, much bigger little one. Great ships go up and down its length, carrying many people from around the world. The Nile is the river of life to us. So wide that it would take you a full day just to swim across to the other side.'' Demiana teased.

''Have you ever been to the river?'' Asked Sofia.

''Once, long ago.''

''And did you go on the big ship? Do they have pirates on the river?''

''No, the big ships are not for the likes of me. And no, there are no pirates on the river Sofia.''

''Haroun put to much salt on the food this morning and there were no tomato's. Where were you yesterday?'' Sofia demanded to know. '' Why didn't you phone us?''

''I have no phone little one and I...I was busy so could not come to see you.''

''Father has a hut with a river inside.'' Paisi stated matter of factually.

Demiana smiled. ''Yes I know my little chatterbox, you tell me at least once a week, and I always say the same thing. No you can't go and have a peek inside. Its only a pumping room that irrigates you fathers land and he keeps it locked so non of you drown yourselves.''

''I think he hides his gold in there, that's why he puts a big lock on it. Even Haroun can't go in and he's sixteen tomorrow.'' Paisi shouted in a bossy tone of voice.

''I don't think that's so.'' Demiana laughed. ''Your father Abraam is a very hard working man and any money that he has is spent on his children and home. Dose he not teach you lessons when he gets home, makes you food and making sure your all safely in bed at night?''

''Have you any gold?'' Virina asked her.

''No gold, just this plain silver chain with a little crocodile on the end of it.''
She pulled it out from around her neck. Eager hands reached up to touch the small reptile with its red eyes that swung gently to and fro.

''Is it valuable?'' Sofia asked, her wide eyes transfixed as she stared at the crocodile as if expecting it to snap at her finger.

''To me its priceless.'' Demiana stated as she replaced it beneath the neckline of her cotton top.

''Paisi ate some dried cat pooh this morning Demiana, is she going to die?''

''I didn't, I didn't Demiana, it was a peanut. I only pretended it was cat pooh. Tell her Virina.''

''Meow, meow, meow.'' Virina and Sofia teased the now sobbing Paisi.

''Alright, stop teasing your sister so.'' Demiana told the two giggling sisters.

''Haroun said bad things about Paisi last night and father hit him. They were shouting at each other.'' Sofia stated.

''Shush Sofia, we said that we wouldn't speak of it.'' Virina shouted at her sister, pushing her in her back.

''What is wrong? Why did your brother and father fight? What did Haroun say? Tell me.'' Demiana demanded to know.

All three children were quiet, not used to hearing this tone of voice from Demiana. The three drew close together, hugging each other tightly. Their tear filled eyes looked into those of Demiana's.
Demiana enfolded them within her own arms, planting kisses on their heads while stroking their hair in an attempt to calm them.

''I'm so sorry little ones, forgive me. Its just that I don't like to see you upset, and look whats happened, I have gone and done the same to you. I'm sorry, please forgive me.''

Sofia gave a small sob as she started to speak.
''Haroun shouted to father that he hates working the land and when father dies he's going to leave us and work on the big ships as he says you get a lot of money...

''Or a shop.'' Paisi interrupted.

...yes, or a shop. He said that the reason mother left us when Paisi was born was that she didn't want her so left in the night. And then Haroun said that he hated us all because mother left us.''

Paisi started to cry uncontrollably. Demiana picked the little girl up and hugged her tightly into her breast.

''There, there little Paisi. Don't listen to such things. I know Haroun loves you all, but its difficult for him. A big responsibility creeps towards him and he is frightened. So he says silly things. All boys do that, they are not as cleaver as us girls. They think that they know everything, but know very little.'' Sofia and Virina started to giggle at this, which soon proved infectious as Paisi joined in.

''Demiana, do you think that father didn't love our mother?'' Sofia inquired softly.

''Of course he loved your mother. What makes you say that?''

''Because he never went to look for her when she left us.'' Sofia stated in a whisper.

''Perhaps he knew there was no way of finding her. And it was nearly five years ago so he couldn't just leave you all to fend for yourselves now could he?''

''I suppose so.'' Sofia agreed reluctantly.

''Anyway, lets see whats for mid meal besides cat pooh and then we'll read some scriptures for an hour as its Sham El-Nessim tomorrow as well as Haroun's birthday. We can go for a short walk afterwards before the mosquito's start to wake up.

It was three days later when Demiana next returned to see them. The three girls were busy brushing the floor and dusting down the three roomed mud brick home. Only Virina looked up to greet Demiana as she entered.

''Why all the sullen faces?'' She asked. ''Is Haroun here?''

''He's outside trying to catch a chicken for tonight. He's in a bad mood.''

''Again.'' Sofia muttered.

''Why.'' Demiana asked.

''Father told him to stay at home today to help us as he didn't need him. He complains if he has to work the fields, then complains if he has to stay home with us. And you missed his birthday, and you missed the celebrations'' Sofia told her.

'' I'm sorry for that, but I thought that it would be better just the family celebrating together. And besides, don't you think that I have my own things to attend to at Easter? Paisi, could you go and fetch your brother please, I need to talk to you all together.''

Haroun, Paisi, Sofia and Virina sat at the old wooden table as they waited for Demiana to speak. Paisi fidgeted with her long pony tail while Sofia attempted to push a splinter of wood through a gap in the tables top. Demiana started to speak, slowly at first. ''Your father needs to see you all...

''But he's in the fields, its to hot to walk all that way. We can see him tonight.'' Moaned Sofia.

''Are we in trouble again?'' Paisi asked quietly.

''No, your not in any trouble. He's not in the fields today. He's in the water pumping hut.''

''We aren't allowed in there. Father said, and its dark and full of spiders. And it smells.'' Paisi shouted, showing signs of a tearful gaze.

Demiana approached the child, ruffling her hair.
''Don't worry, there's no spiders and plenty of light to see by with the big door wide open.''

''Are you coming with us?'' Asked Haroun.

''Yes, I will be with you, there's nothing to worry about.''

''I'm not worried, he's probably got more work for me.''

As they approached the small windowless hut, built of reused concrete blocks and having just the one wide door that now lay wide open, inviting them to step inside, Haroun stopped, looking at Demiana. She ushered him gently towards the open door, the others picking up the pace to keep in step with his long strides. Haroun entered first, into a room that contained no pump, nor any water flowing through it. The room was painted a pale yellow. In its center lay a single bed with a small table next to it. Upon this table was a photograph, a small box and a letter with Haroun's name scrawled across its surface. Next to the bed, which was protected by a night net of woven lace, was his father. He looked to be at prayer as he knelt beside the bed, his upper body laying across the obvious remains of a once living person, now just a mummified husk. Haroun had pulled up sharply as his eyes had taken stock of the rooms contents, an action that had caused his three sisters to barrel into his now ridged back. Slowly Haroun entered the room, as three pairs of hands dug into his arms as they sought protection from their brother.

''Father.'' Haroun whispered as he slowly approached the bed, one shaking hand slightly parting the net curtains. He knew his father was dead, as he knew that the dried husk was all that remained of their mother. He heard Paisi scream as he heard Virina being sick, but he was frozen to the spot, unable to offer assistance nor comfort.

''Who is it on the bed Haroun?'' Sofia asked as she found the courage to come close to her brothers side. ''And look, that necklace with the crocodile, it's the same as Demiana wears. Demiana, Demiana, come quickly.'' She shouted out loudly, never taking her eyes off the remains that lay on the bed.

''She's gone, I've looked everywhere for her. There's no sign of her.'' Virina said quietly.

Haroun picked up the letter and began to read it to himself.

My son Haroun. Please try and find forgiveness in your heart for what I've done and put you all through. The lady that you see here is what remains of your dear mother, the one true love of my life and a mother that loved you dearly. I couldn't find it in myself to place her in the earth. I needed to keep her here to give me the strength to carry on. She died here, in this room while giving birth to our beloved Paisi. It was late at night, you all slept soundly. In the morning as you awoke I introduced you to your new sister, telling the lie that your mother had left us. I did this to keep hope in your hearts that she would one day return to us. I'm sorry for this deceit. I've known for a while now that I had a great sickness, with only a short time left to try and teach you all that needed to be known to help you Haroun, my son, to be a better man than I. I came here this morning knowing that it would be the last sunrise that I would see, but the dawning for a new life for you. You are now the man of the family, with a duty to protect and care for your sisters. I know that you wanted to leave, so I can only pray that you stay. Inside the box contains all the money that I managed to save, use it wisely my son. There is only two requests that I make my son. The first is that you give the necklace that I placed around your mothers neck as she gave birth to Paisi, to Paisi. The second concerns your sisters imaginary friend, Demiana. I never showed any objection towards the make believe life they had created as I knew it was their young innocence attempting to replace their lost mother, but now its time for them to move on with the real world. Your proud father, Abraam.

''What does the letter say Haroun?'' Virina asked.
''It says that after we have laid our parents to the earths embrace we will talk of its contents. And after that, I have a farm to run.''

Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.
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Re: Shades of Easter

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

Good God "D" I thought you was doing the forth installment of 50 Shades of Grey, a strange book but compulsive reading
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Re: Shades of Easter

Post by Dusak »

A long time ago Choc I was bored with life, my grey period as I call it, and if it weren't for the many pages of moral support I had received at the time, I think I may have turned normal. Anyway, during this time I wrote four Egyptian ghost story's to help cheer me up but I had forgotten about them until the other day when I found them at the bottom of my cats litter tray. The first two are the cleaned up versions.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.
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