In The Midst of Black Seas
A Disturbed Girl in a Disturbing World
- Haman, Mother
- Verdant, Father
Aamina is 17 at the beginning of the adventure. 5’4" and 125 lbs. Her skin and hair are the same as her mothers. Dark, tanned skin with light wiry hair, like yellow wool. Her eyes are pure Vasharan, though. Black all over. In addition, she bears the Vasharan heritage in her limbs, with Six digits on each hand and foot.
Transporter. Aamina acts as one of the many exporters to the rest of the kingdom. So far, in the year she has lived in Dirganis, her only trips have been between the town and the Genesis College.
Diary #1 The Early Years
Living long enough to come of age is never easy as a Vasharan. It’s never even less than horrible, much less “easy.” Unless you are a boy who matures too quickly, or a girl who matures too late, your life is shit. The boys who mature quickly force all others into submission. A young man’s first rape is usually between ages 13-16. Some even force themselves on their schoolmates as early as nine or ten.
But that’s how it went in Vashara.
Mama cried every day, watching me pass my year-stones. After 9, I began to sprout like the purple flowers mama used to grow in the back yard. Hidden, like me, behind wooden planks. I watched the kids outside and learned of this world from that vantage, playing with the dark purple flowers.
Mama said they were called Lavenders.
Watching the boys outside, through those miserable years became a pastime for me. Mama never let me out of the house once my chest began to grow. At 10, I was told that I would never play outside again. Mama even made me hide in the basement every night around the time when the men came over. Light skinned and with Dark-black, almost blue, hair. They would force her down and cut her. Every night I rocked back and forth as I heard her scream again and again. By age 12 she didn’t scream anymore. They cut her more and more every night to try and make her scream, but she never did again. They took it as an insult and ravaged her more and more every night.
She wasn’t brave, though. That’s not why she didn’t scream.
She had injured her voice when she tried to kill herself with the meat-cleaver.
Now I never got to hear her voice. The songs she sang to me when I was small on my year-stones. The strange tongue of elves I would never meet from places I would never see. As I grew, I came to find that this was a norm for the women in Vashara.
The women begged, cheated, and killed.
And the men raped.
I missed going to the school yard, once I had turned 9, mama made me stop and stay at home. She would always ask me, “Why do you want to go up to the Czar’s castle to learn, anyway? They teach you nothing. They don’t tell you what will become of you. They prepare you for a life you’ll never know.”
At age 14, my chest had stopped growing far faster than any of the other girls. Mama was relieved. After that, she bound my torso in wrappings every morning and let me go outside to barter or collect wood. I had to wear the strange pants that men wore and had to take a razor to my hair. Mama cried for the first time in a long time when she cut my hair. I think that I reminded her of her own youth. Every day, after dressing me in the boys’ clothes and giving me money to buy food with, she started to say something. Her throat would hiss and she would show in her eyes recognition of sorts. Somehow, she always forgot that she could no longer speak. After this pattern was completed, she would push me out the door, always right before some drunken brutes would come barging in.
This new-found freedom, if you could call it that, was little less trapping than the room underneath the floorboards where I had spent my youth. I learned horrible things about my society. I saw foreign-borne slaves that had been taken in battles fought days earlier, their wounds not even given time to heal. Every time I saw one of these poor souls, I added a tally to a pad I kept in the satchel I carried. Every injustice I saw became a mark in the book. Every rape, every little girl tortured for the crime of being born, every baby that was aborted and buried in the same night, I added a mark.
Soon, my book was filled. Then, I began filling in the lines in between the lines until whole pages of the book were black. I began to become afraid for what mama used to call my “Soul.” She said that this land was forsaken by the Gods and that there would be no hope for us in the beyond.
One day, though, A slave man gave me a pendant. He was old and had a large scar on his chin from when they pulled out his beard, all at once. The man was some sort of insurgent. His pendant was a yellow and red circlet, with the depiction of 3 swords upon it. It looked to be of very cheap metal, but would not bend, no matter how hard I forced the edges to meet.
That day, something awoke in me.
Some describe it as latent memories, but I like to call it divine inspiration. I saw what had brought these men into the world; I saw what brought my mother into their city.
And I hate them for it.
Diary #2 Baptism
Months have passed since I met that strange slave who gave me the pendant, which I wear around my neck, under my tunic. With further inspection the markings on it’s surface are very intricate, much more than the “asterisk” symbol I thought it was. The four compass style lines are actually spears, while the diagonal lies are all maces. It’s beautiful.
Mother has gotten worse all of a sudden. Now that my 15th year stone has passed, I’m ready to go to learn the warrior’s trade, and she will allow me to have no part in it. But she doesn’t understand, if I could fight the men wouldn’t come over here anymore. There would be no rape, no theft from us, and no more fear. I could protect her with my two arms.
As I busted out of the house in my boys’ tunic, I ran face to chest into the giant of a man who had been coming here for the last three weeks, Hessic. A slimy looking man with a slender face and jagged bottom teeth. His breath seemed to stain the air with mold, and his hands left venom where they went.
Those hands had touched my mother.
“Say,brat. Stupid sissy boys shouldn’t slam into their betters.” He looked down at me from his high vantage in the clouds, “I don’t remember the whore having a kid.” He paused, then. “Or maybe, you were having a go at her ye’self?”
Every word was a blow from him. Who was he to speak to me? Who was he to speak at all, when my mother couldn’t say a word?
“Repent.” I heard the words come from my mouth, even as I felt my chest grow heavy.
“Wazzat, Kid?” He laughed, nudging me with his elbow. Like I was his friend.
“Repent, now, sinner. Or drown in your own refuse.” I recognized the words now. An old poem of the Gods from mother’s stories.
“You singing to me now? Oh, kid. You are too much. But I have to go get my rocks off on that old broad, you left her in good enough shape for me, eh?”
At the moment that he brushed past me, I extended my foot and put a hand to his back. It only took a second for him to gasp and be thrown to the floor.
“Rise up against me, but for your struggles I have no use.” I continued quoting as I put my boot to his back.
“Repent now, sinner. Or drown in your own refuse.”
With that, I kicked him in the ribs. Harder than any ball I had ever kicked. Harder than I saw him kick mother.
I felt my chest grow hot, my face flush, and my eyes dart to the left and right. To the side of the house, only feet away, was a sewage drain. There, dead slaves and excrement flowed down, out of the city and into the desert.
Once he was back on his feet, facing me, I walked with my back towards the large drain. I acted as if I didn’t notice it, and stepped close to it’s ledge.
He smiled at my “ignorance” and stepped forward with a knife in hand. “Tryin’ to keep her to yourself, eh? Fat chance, brat. She’s the best fuck I have.”
He lunged and swung his dagger into my shoulder, and I cried out. with his arm still outreached, I grabbed it and pulled him into the drain.
As he fell, his hands dropped the knife and grasped the lip of the hole. His fingers turned white as he struggled to pull himself up.
I looked down at the knife and picked it up. It was large for a blade of it’s type. Looking back, maybe I should have kept it. But instead, I rammed it into his collarbone and shouted,
He looked as if he was going to lose his grip, and be lost forever in the sewage.
“Repent to me, and I will let you live!”
He only looked up at me with his eyes wet with tears, and fell off. He was quickly swept away, not even able to scream.