I’m doing NaNoWriMo–but you knew that already. What you may not have known is that I’m kicking ass! But all this butt-kicking has my foot tired and I’m lagging behind, as writers are known to do.
Writing gets slow after a while when you do it in a straightforward fashion, so I decided to break the mold a bit with one of my characters. You’ll know Pakheme from another short, but this time we get to see him reminisce.
While this may or may not find a place in the story by the time it’s complete, this bit of productivity really helped me understand who Pakheme was before he became who he is today. So, without further ado:
When the Spirit Feels Itself
Father wasn’t happy at first, yelling at me to stop running through the crops, but if he wanted to stop me, he would have to catch me. He would have to play.
I loved the feel of the twilight breeze of the wind that rolled down from the hills, cooling me as I ran against it, my little feet making marks between the rows but not once stepping where a seedling would sprout into a gourd, a fruit, or some other green I didn’t know. I turned to watch Father shout angrily as he always had, but he was not where I last left him. A surge of panic crept into my chest, but then I turned and saw him a small distance toward my left, where he ran on his toes trying to catch up to me and bring as little damage to the crops as I. With his big feet like planks of wood, I’m sure he damaged some.
I could see my fat cheeks through the peripherals of my sight, blurring in tears from the slice of the wind or my own joy. And over the wind rushing past my ears I could hear the sound of my own laughter.
That might have been the first time I experienced me. Felt me. Knew me as me. Not recognizing myself as Pakheme when I was called, or seeing myself in Mother’s moonglass when she was away and I went exploring in her room, but truly feeling my spirit with my spirit. Which begs the question I would use in my university acceptance petition a decade later: Can the Spirit Feel Itself? An Inquiry into the Sensational Sensing the Sensational with Sensational Senses.
I must have lost myself, for I only recognized that Father had caught me when he spun me high into the air with his hands beneath my underarms, telling me what a crafty and mischievous child I was. As I remained laughing, he complained about my dirty feet and how the leopards were going to gnaw them off if I went to bed without first having cleaned them. Then I told them I’d gnaw their feet off right back.
As the memory fades, I think I recall Father promising that if the harvest was good, he would get a tutor to teach me foreign letters.