The Moon of Xxene

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Definitions and Pronunciation Guide: [Alora – “Ah-loh-rah”]* [Emeravwe – “Eh-may-rahv-wey”]* [Eséme – “Eh-say-meh”]* [Miguo (“Me-goo-uh”) – A respectful greeting which can mean “Hello” or “Thank
you”]* [Ofere – “Oh-feh-ray”]* [Uvo – “Ooh-voh”]* [Vrendo (“Vrehn-doh”) – The response to “Miguo”]* [Xxene – “Zen”]

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue

Submitted: July 01, 2019

Reads: 83

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Submitted: July 01, 2019

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The little girl paced the wide vestibule, her frilled skirts swishing gaily about her ankles. Every so often she stopped, turning an expectant eye to the doorman who stood before the double doors. In response he spied through a peephole, then turned to the child with a disappointing shake of his head. The girl crossed her arms before her chest, a severe frown furrowing her brow around the red ruby embedded in her forehead. He is late! she thought, glaring at the lush cream carpet. Indeed, she was upset, and was fighting against the tears which began to sting her eyes when the knock at the door finally came.

Her sadness forgotten, she rushed to the doors just as the doorman opened them, her eyes settling on the twelve-year-old boy who stood just beyond.

“Uvo!” she exclaimed, dashing past the doorman and the attendant who had knocked to fling herself into the little boy’s arms.

“Eme,” he grunted, struggling to regain his balance, “how are you?”

She glared at him, chiding, “You are late!” She took his hand and, without sparing the tall man who accompanied the boy so much as a thought, pulled him past the attendant and doorman into the house. The tall man and attendant followed behind.

As she led the boy through the halls, she quickly dismissed his apology for his tardiness and bombarded him, instead, with talk of her own. She told him how excited she was for the evening and how her father bought her her new outfit just for the day, and did he think it was pretty? The boy managed, “Yes, very much,” before she thundered on again. The tall man laughed softly behind them.

They came to the rear of the home where two wide glass doors framed in polished cherry wood stood propped open, leading onto a stone veranda extending the length of the house. Wide steps led down to a flagstone walk that meandered through a marvelous garden planted with palm trees, yellow plumeria trees, and various other blossoms. All was alight with the brilliance of the low evening sun, the air filled with the sweet scents of the blooms, the irresistible fragrance of plumeria permeating through all to weave a delectable web of intertwining aromas.

At one end of the veranda the girl’s mother busied about a great mahogany table, aided by several servants. When the child and her guests stepped onto the veranda, she announced with enthusiasm, “They are here!” thus alerting her mother, as well as her father and older brother who rushed from the garden. They scrambled to the guests, dropping to their knees before the tall man and small boy.

The girl’s father addressed the man, “This servant is honored to welcome our Lord to his humble home. Miguo.”

Her mother and brother echoed, “Miguo.”

Vrendo,” the tall man answered, stepping forward to help the girl’s father to his feet. “Come, Ogaga. We have long been as brothers and will soon be one family. Do away with these formalities.” He turned to the girl’s mother, “Rise, fair Eséme,” and helped her up.

“We are humbled by our Lord’s grace,” Eséme said, bowing her head in thanks.

While the girl’s mother, father, and brother all had rubies embedded in their foreheads, their two guests were adorned in rich robes, embroidered silk cloths wrapped around their heads and foreheads. The man accompanying the small boy was tall and broad of build but looked gaunt, his eyes hollow as if from illness.

The boy stepped forward, addressing the girl’s parents, “May you accept my devotion.” He bowed his head, cupping his hands before his chest.

“We are honored to be greeted thus by lord Uvo,” Ogaga said as he and his wife bowed, returning the greeting.

“Emeravwe,” Eséme addressed the little girl, “have you greeted lord Uvo and his father properly?”

The girl grasped the wide sleeve of the boy’s garment, hiding herself behind it from her mother’s knowing gaze. “But I am not used to the greetings,” she complained. “And I like greeting Uvo with hugs better!” She grinned up at him. “You like it too, right, Uvo?”

The boy smiled, placing an arm around her shoulders. “I do.”

The adults laughed, and the boy’s father said, “You must forgive her, Eséme, as today is the celebration of her birth.”

It was the girl’s sixth birthday, and the boy and his father had come to celebrate. They sat for supper on the veranda, the girl quickly gulping hers and urging the boy to do the same though she was chided by her parents. He heeded her, however, and they played in the garden among the trees and blooms. When all had finished, she announced she had something to show the boy and, leading him along by the hand, they retired inside to a small room overlooking the garden.

As the adults settled in their seats, the girl pulled the boy to a round settee, explaining, “Father and Mother made me this room as a present! It is my new study!”

The boy looked around the brightly decorated room as he sat, remarking, “It is quite pretty. Like you, Eme.”

She beamed. “I have a present for you, too, Uvo!” She went to the low dresser beside the settee, retrieved a small black velvet box, then came again to stand before him.

“But today is your birthday, Eme.” The boy explained, “You should receive presents, not give them.”

She shook her head intently, stretching her arms to offer the box. “I want to give you Emeravwe!”

The parents looked to one another at the girl’s proclamation, their expressions a mix of amazement and amusement. The boy took the box from the girl’s out-stretched hands, opening it to reveal a pair of small pearl ear studs.

“Eme! Those are your own earrings!” the girl’s brother scolded. He came promptly to stand beside the settee and little boy, bowing his head. “May lord Uvo be at peace. My sister is young and cannot yet distinguish right from wrong. If my lord will allow, I shall immediately remove the offensive item from his hands.”

“No!” the girl protested, clasping her small hands around the little boy’s and the earrings they held. “No! It is Eme!”

The girl’s parents looked warily to the boy’s father. Her mother turned to her, saying softly, “Emeravwe, you cannot give your used items to lord Uvo, it is disrespectful. Let us summon the merchants tomorrow and you can choose something more precious for him.”

But the girl would have none of it and sobbed, “But it is Eme and Uvo likes Eme best!”

Distressed to see her in tears, the boy looked to his father.

“It is your decision, Uvo,” his father responded.

Turning to the girl, the boy released his hands from beneath hers, holding the velvet box in one hand and taking hold of hers in the other. He said soothingly, “I shall gladly accept Eme.”

The girl smiled through her tears and he sat her down beside him, pulling a handkerchief from his sleeve to wipe her cheeks. “It is your birthday today, Eme, so do not cry.” He smoothed her hair to calm her. “Otherwise I cannot give you the gift I brought you.”

“You brought me a gift?” she asked through hiccups.

The boy nodded and beckoned to his attendant, who brought over a square piece of silver-threaded cloth which he presented to the girl.

“What is it?” she asked as she eagerly unwrapped the present. The folds of the cloth came away to reveal a book.

“Alora told me you are learning to read now,” the boy said, indicating the girl’s brother, “so I brought you this book. It is called The Sun and the Moon. Shall we read it together?”

The girl nodded, setting the book on the boy’s lap. As they settled in the settee and began to read, the adults drifted into conversation of their own.

“It is simply wonderful to see them like this,” the girl’s mother cooed.

The boy’s father smiled as he watched the two children. “Indeed. Uvo knows he will one day be responsible for Emeravwe.”

The girl’s father turned from the children, venturing, “Has my Lord broached the topic of the children’s marriage to Her Ladyship Ofere?”

The boy’s father looked unsettled. He answered, looking intently at the girl’s father, “I have not. I have been hesitant due to the nature of your past relationship.”

The girl’s parents exchanged worried glances. They bowed their heads and Ogaga said, “We have sinned against our Lord irreconcilably. May he punish us as he sees fit.”

“Nonsense,” the boy’s father lifted a dismissive hand. He assured them, “I shall inform Ofere and she will not be opposed to my decision. Rest assured.”

“The moon!” the little girl burst suddenly from the settee. “Emeravwe! That is me!”

The adults looked to see her excitedly pointing at the book in the boy’s lap as she beamed at him.

“Indeed, Emeravwe,” the boy’s father said. “You will be the Moon of Xxene.”


© Copyright 2019 OE. All rights reserved.

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