Archive for October 10th, 2011

10th October
2011
written by amber

Plenty

Plenty lives alone in her hut. She hasn’t stepped outside for thirteen winters, but everything she needs is brought to her. Her daughters and the wives of her four sons visit each day, and frequently she is visited by women from surrounding tribes.

She’s the most famous woman in all the ten tribes, yet in her younger days she was just an ordinary person, an ordinary girl then an ordinary wife. Because she grew up in the years of plenty, she was always amply built, and when she became very fat during her fourth pregnancy, she and her husband rejoiced because everyone said that such a bountiful stomach would be sure to bring fourth the son they had been longing for.

But no one could have predicted what would happen. Plenty, who was called Asanza then, birthed not one, not two, not three, but four healthy sons. It was a miracle.

She was immediately renamed and immediately sequestered within the birthing hut. She was declared to be a goddess with great powers over the fertility of women, and, as such, no men were allowed to cast their gaze upon her. Even the four small but vigourous infant boys were not allowed to behold their mother.

Every good thing was brought to her by the women of her tribe and by women from the other tribes when they visited to seek her favour. She grew large, even as everyone else in her tribe grew gaunt during the years of famine. During her lonely nights, she sometimes wondered what sort of a goddess she must be, to bring drought and sickness to her tribe instead of the plenty promised in her name.

She had never asked to become a goddess. The honour had never been anything besides a burden to her. During the first month, she had secretly wandered the village one night when everyone was asleep, coming near to the hut where her husband and his new wife lived, longing to pull the door cloth aside and gaze within to see her miraculous babies, but not daring to. The village elder had caught her. He’d flung his night shawl over her head to shield himself from seeing her face and dragged her back to her hut.

After that, she’d been tied at the ankle for many years. The tether cord has long since rotted away, but it isn’t needed any more. She is too huge to pass through the door.

But now, knowing that her four sons will soon be old enough to take wives, she is determined to be caged no longer. She is the largest person in the tribe, and she has been pacing her hut each night to strengthen her legs, and lifting the fire pit stones to strengthen her arms. Tomorrow night, she will tear the walls asunder and stride forth.

No one can stop her.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.