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from Aradia's Diaspora by Susan Woerner

Copyright © 2018–2019 Susan Woerner

Scene 76

“It is true,” Nkiri told me the next morning, “I had a vision of the Ibeji. They are queen. We will take them to our homeland where they will rule.”

“You had a vision,” I said, “and were you going to tell me about it? Or just say ‘bye, see ya later’?”

“The vision was not something you would understand.”

“Try me.”

“Ok, but even if you do not understand, I am still taking the Ibeji to their home.”

Nkiri paused, I nodded.

“We - all of us - are standing before a great cave. So deep, it had no bottom. So steep the path that only one - the welcomed one - could enter without harm. I am the one. The one to enter untouched. The cave walls are ice cold, there is no light but for the torch I carry. I walk until there is no light behind me, leaving all of you to wait.

A great blast of air, like the breath of Earth herself, blows away the flame of the torch. I am in darkness. I know I must go forward, there is no longer a way back, only forward. So I stretch out my arms, feeling the damp cold wall, feeling my feet upon hard-packed earth. I feel warm, dry air on my face and I go toward it. My eyes are no good to me for it is as a blind person I walk.

I walk and I walk. No sound comes to me except the warm air rushing past my ears each time the breeze blows by me. Ahead, I think I see light, though my eyes might be playing tricks on me. I walk faster, losing touch with the wall. There is light. I can see it ahead of me. There is light and I run. I run and it gets brighter.

I come to the entrance of a grea...

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