A Year and A Day – Excerpt – January

“Wake up, granddaughter,” Aifa’s grandmother shook her gently, so she wouldn’t be startled out of her deep sleep. “We need to go to the Hearth soon, we don’t want to keep people waiting.” Aifa got up quickly, washed her face and hands and put on the clothes that she’d been setting aside the day before,… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – June

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“Are you nervous, granddaughter?” grandmother asked. It was Aifa’s first public speaking assignment, one for which she had prepared the entire week, and she was, of course, all nerves. “Don’t fret over it, you will do just fine.” “What if I don’t?” Aifa asked, wretched. “Then you won’t,” grandmother joked. “I’m sure they’ll let you… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – May

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The Great Hall was filled with light and flowers, there were so many flowers, so many candles, the whole floor was covered in them. It felt strange for Aifa to watch the Twins, who were dressed up in their simple white garments and had flowers woven in their elaborately braided hair, sit donning unearthly smiles… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – March

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The Day of the Blessings usually started early in Aifa’s household. Aifa and her siblings were already dressed up in their costumes by the time the sun was high up in the sky, and were crowding each other in the kitchen, where they were all gathered to stuff their goody baskets with filled pastries and… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – January

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Aifa had always asked herself, ever since she was a little child, why would a community decide to perform a ceremony that featured water during the time of year when it was almost guaranteed to be frozen. Of course if she asked her mother, she would have gotten hours of cross-referenced instruction about the significance… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – November

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At the end of November, nature had finally settled into its cold season slumber. There was a chill in the air, a chill whose fingers got colder every morning, and which was embroidering lacy frost on the ground and on the windows, the icy breath of the earth made manifest. The Twins seemed unsettled. Aifa… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – June

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For the second time that year, the community took their trip down the side of the mountain, down to the sea. It was the middle of June, and it seemed like the whole world was covered in flowers, especially the tall, bright yellow flowers of the meadow, which some still believed were faeries in disguise…. Continue reading

A Year and a Day – Excerpt – August

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Aifa, her grandmother and the rest of the Caretakers had been working hard all morning, braiding bunches of colorful ribbons into rainbows. The entire Grand Hall of the Hearth was filled with ribbons, whose silky threads seemed to be animated by their own inner spirit and slithered into crevices and recesses, never to be found… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – May

“Aifa,” grandmother whispered, although nobody in the house was sleeping. “Are you ready, granddaughter? It is time to go to the Hearth.” Aifa wrapped her garment a little tighter around her waist and washed her face with the rose water her mother had made, put on her shoes and walked in silence behind her grandmother,… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – October

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The sun set slowly in the sound of the trumpets, falling like a large orange ball into the sea. The trumpets kept calling as the light subsided, and the people looked out into the open waters from the elevated platform of the market square. “Today we begin anew. Cast all your regrets to the winds,… Continue reading