Have a sneaky read of another work in progress, enjoy.
Silver Sons – A Silver Fields Story
I remember when I first saw them. Mother had mentioned their arrival almost constantly from the moment the message of their impending visit arrived in the community. My mother was the most devout woman, her soul purpose in life was to fulfil the vows of the Silver Sun, and to meet the Road Priest was a high honour for all the farming families here. When their thundering bikes pulled into town in a cloud of blue haze, my sister and I were shoved almost directly into their path so they, the Followers, could see us presented in our best dresses. I pressed against my elder sister’s side as the noise of their engines filled my ears, wheel after wheel pulled up onto the verges of the cottages and rumbling trikes pulling their decorative caravans blocked gateways, frightening the cattle. It seemed like an endless sea of glistening chrome and black metal animals that roared and grumbled, hungry for little children and all that held them back were the leather clad Followers astride them. The Road Priest became apparent as he stepped from his now silent machine and called for a halt to the noise with the wave of his hand. With the silence, the blue smoke dissipated and the large greying man greeted each farming family in turn. His Followers paid us children no mind, they were tired from the road and the families of the community were only happy to welcome them into their homes for a meal and a bed for the night.
Over dinner that night, my father spoke to the Followers who chose to stay with us, about the progress of his farm and my mother eagerly recited any passage from the Book of the Silver Sun that seemed relevant to the conversation. The Followers seemed to be content with our company yet left without a word the next day leaving only the lingering smell of leather and sweat behind them. The Road Priest bestowed his blessings for a plentiful harvest upon our community and thanked my mother personally for her hospitality to his sons. Suddenly humbled, my mother found no words to reply, not even a passage from the book came to her mind. That year, the harvest was indeed good and the community kept well fed all winter, so much so that we even expanded the fields for the next season.
I was fresh into my fourteenth year when they next returned, this time I felt giddy from the fumes of excitement that bubbled among the members of our community. My sister already sixteen was as devout as my mother now, and the pair often gossiped between them of her perhaps being selected to ride away with them, to spread the word of the Silver Sun and learn the teachings of the Followers who rode behind the Road Priest. I had a younger brother too now, born the summer after the Followers visit but he was not presented as my sister and I had been before. He was held in my mother’s arms, his chubby hand gripping the Book of the Sun and a silver ribbon tied about his wrist. Mother had told me that this was because he was an only son, their farm relied on that he would one day tend to it as his own. This wasn’t always understood it would seem, as when the Followers left this time, the Priest himself took a young boy by the shoulders and told him that the sun had called to his wife in a dream and told her to watch for a special boy, one who was strong in faith. The Road Priest left his blessings and led the boy away regardless of the silver ribbon that danced around his wrist. I was confused by his mother’s stifled sobs and the look upon his father’s frozen face as their only son, their only child, was led away into the growing rumbles from the bikes. Mother had said later that they were taken aback with pride, and that the blessings the family received would keep them in the sun for years to come. I remembered those words most poignantly on the day the boy’s father was thrown from his horse. He died a few months later and unable to tend to the farm alone, his wife left the community in the middle of the night.
The last of the bikes jumped to life and my attention on the now childless couple was snapped back as I realised that the Road Priest’s young wife was crouching in front of my sister and I. One side of her tanned face was tattooed as a fiery sun that circled around her right eye and her emerald hues were looking straight into mine.
“Well, what a pretty kitten we have here. I bet you would grow into a fine little cat in a few years.” Her fingers heavy with silver rings, clasped my chin so softly as she looked at me, I thought for a moment that she may kiss me, kiss me how the shepherd’s son did in my daydreams. It seemed like I blinked and she had left. Blue haze and kicked up dust filled the air, as my excited mother ushered me and my sister inside with words of praise for the Silver Sun and the blessings I would bring our family when the Followers returned for me. From then on, my role in the family was much changed. I no longer shared a bed with my sister,
From that moment onwards, my role in the family was much changed. I no longer shared a bed with my sister, instead, I was given a cot close to the fire so that I shouldn’t catch another cold. My hair and skin were rubbed with oils after every bath and I was no longer expected to tend to the crops or cook at the stove. In fact, I never lifted a finger around the farm again. In place of my chores, my father paid a man from the North two tokens a week to drive me out to the canyon and learn to shoot, he taught me how to read books other than the Book of the Sun and showed me how to tend to wounds. I was sixteen when he first drove me in his battered truck away from home into a nearby town in the West of the Compass State. Here he introduced me to a red haired woman that wore the most provocative black satin gowns, it was she who would teach me how to be a woman.