The Unfinished Song Serial Edition
copyright Misque Press, 2011 at Smashwords
Dindi scanned the crowd, hoping to slip into the plaza unnoticed. Barter Hill swarmed with people because aunties from the three clans met here to trade every half-moon. A kraal at the bottom of the hill held aurochsen and horses. Interconnected rectangular adobe buildings created a square around the top of the rise. The old uncles, to suit their dignity, leaned against the wall on a log bench, under the shade of the eaves of the buildings, drinking corn beer, chatting amiably. They hid their thighs with waist blankets and caped themselves in shoulder blankets that reached the ground. Dindi slithered by them.
Unfortunately, the first person Dindi locked eyes with was Great Aunt Sullana. Though the whole plaza separated them, Great Aunt Sullana tore across the market like a tornado on the Purple Plains. She would demand to examine Dindi’s basket, and finding nothing in it except a kitten, pinch her cheek until Dindi stuttered some explanation. The natural and obvious defense would be to lie, but frankly, Dindi had always been a terrible liar. Her whole face ripened like a tomato, her eyes slid this way and that, she couldn’t convince a child honey was sweet never mind fool Great Aunt Sullana, who ate secrets for morning meal.