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

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – April

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Ever since the Twins arrived, poor Aifa hadn’t experienced a moment’s rest. They were five year old now, constantly moving around and getting into everything, and last, but not least, they never stopped talking. They seemed to have reached that glorious age when everything aroused their curiosity and the Caretakers couldn’t stay abreast their endless… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt

The day after the Night of the Mothers, for the second time, grandmother asked Aifa. “Did you enjoy the ceremony, granddaughter?” And again, Aifa responded. “It was beautiful, Doyenne, I just thought I’d feel different after that, is all.” “It is unlikely that you would, you are not significantly different from the way you were… Continue reading

A Year and A Day – Excerpt – August

“Hurry up, granddaughter, we wouldn’t want our guests to find us unprepared,” Aifa’s grandmother commented, more to assuage her own tension than anything else. Everything had been prepared, cleaned, shined to a blinding polish, planned to the last detail. “Today is a big day, you know, the time when the door between life and death… Continue reading