Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prompt: She sees more through her fingers than I through my eyes

Thanks to Tatiana Pugina for permission to use her beautiful image, “0033”!

I should have been blind. My parents brought me to the temple when I was three months old, barely weaned from my mother’s breast. They leached mildewed moss into my eyes to turn them white and claimed I had been blind from birth. By the time my eyes cleared, they were long gone.

By rights, the priestesses could have thrown me out. Literally thrown me out with the trash to be picked over by dogs and crows. I was a tainted gift to the goddess, after all. But they were generous of spirit. Sa Meren carried me into the sanctuary and opened the book. She said she read my future in service to the goddess, and so I stayed.

There were few sighted at the temple. I grew up in dark rooms and hushed halls. I learned as well as the true gifts, the young girls who would become priestesses, to live and work and play without sight. I wore a sash over my eyes when we played games so I would not cheat – it was my own idea. They had no concept of what I could do with sight that they could not without it.

Sa Meren was mother to us all. I loved to climb in her lap after vespers and turn the pages of the books she read. My fingers could not read the way she could, no matter how I struggled to learn. Even with my eyes closed, I did not draw the words from the page the way the blind did so easily. I studied every movement of her fingers, her wrists, her palms. I matched mine side by side. The ink never moved. I felt nothing under my hands. Sa Meren drew pools of black ink across the page as she read the endless stories of our tapestry.

When I was a child, I tried to blind myself in earnest. I splashed bitter willow in my eyes, crying out as the tears burned down my cheeks. I bear the scars to this day. Sa Meren found me on the cold stone floor and washed my face in cool aloe water, wrapping my eyes in softest linens until they healed. I could still see. I cried.

Dogs in house

Time writing
20 minutes

February word count

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