she/her or he/him
x wing pilot/space weed guy
writes for work, rps for fun, writing blog linked on the main
Some of these people have never seen mud before. The young ones. My memories don’t show me moments. I have no experiences with mud, no playful joy like the children of Serora, who I hope will remember the faces of their friends when they recall the rain and its sloppy yield. But the sensation is familiar. Flecks of dirt clinging to my ankles as I walk through the vegetable garden, once cracked and dry, remind me that there must have been rain in Eithne.
The rainfall has been more evidence of what I already have come to know: these Serorans are impressive. They irrigate their crops as best they can, build structures for their vines to climb. They import soil and pray to Kaia and Alya for success. They understand that the gods reward action as well as devotion. No one blames the gods when it doesn’t work out either.
And they ask everyone to pull equal weight.
“What is that, young gardener?” A unicorn foal has been steadily unearthing a plant with bladed leaves for half an hour. A larger horse with a bigger shovel could have done it in less time, but the owner of the garden -- my dearest friend here, Golgotha -- has been letting them work at it with their tiny trowel and unsteady teke. Everyone who knows Golgotha knows me. I’m never far from her. They love her, and I think they like me. I didn’t care about that at first, but being liked in Serora is somehow better than being respected, and being disrespected casually sometimes means you are liked. I’m learning, and I’m learning to hope they like me.
“Cassava,” says the foal. “Look.”
I lower my head to their level as they scurry around to flank me on the side without a bulky antler that might hit them. The plant, which I thought to be something like a bush, has been pulled out to reveal thick, meaty roots. “That’s very impressive.”
“Golgotha fries them for me when I work and that’s why I wanted to pull it up.”
“Are they best fried?”
The little one nods and smiles at me conspiratorially.
“Will you eat all of them?” I ask.
“No! It’s for the herd!” They have a little laugh at my expense. I have one too.
“You know I used to have many friends and we would eat together.”
“Gogo says you don’t remember things.”
“She’s right. I don’t remember who my friends were. But I remember having them.”
“Well… She’s your friend. And I’m your friend. Maybe we can try cassava together.”
I glance over at the foal. They have no idea that the rain will likely mean conflict for the people they love. They have no concept of the double-edged sword of Serora’s newly-gained food stability, which I overhear in the house of Gilgamesh. This foal only knows of friends, food, and the new joy of rain after a drought that surpasses their lifetime.
I would gladly risk myself to protect such innocence as that.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea. Golgotha will think so too.”
Side by side, the foal and I walk down the garden path into the mud brick house.